50 years ago, The Doors tore up the charts with the hedonistic track 'Hello, I Love You' - their second single to hit the #1 spot in America after the band's breakout hit 'Light My Fire.' Half a century later, Doors drummer John Densmore is still taken aback by the psychedelic song's first verse.
"What a great opener, 'Hello, I love you, tell me your name,'" Densmore told Rolling Stone recently. "Like, whoa, OK. That’s aggressive. You’re in love with me but you don’t know my credentials?"
Although the song cemented the image of frontman Jim Morrison as a wild child, in real life, the Lizard King was much too bashful to be so forward, according to Densmore.
"He was sort of 'Southern shy'," he explained. "Well, if he got loaded, he got a little more open – a little too open sometimes."
Yeah, the sheriff of Dade County would definitely agree.
The Doors' drummer also revealed the song's inspiration, which Morrison wrote in 1965 while living in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Venice Beach.
"It’s about an African-American girl he saw on the boardwalk in Venice," Densmore explained.
And it took three years for the group to turn that momentary infatuation into music history. To celebrate the single's 50th anniversary, Rhino Records is reissuing a seven-inch disc today. It will also appear with the other songs from the 'Waiting for the Sun' LP that is being rereleased this year in a 50th anniversary boxset that includes unreleased tracks like a rough mix of 'Hello, I Love You.'
Check it out below.