“Touch Me” is a song by The Doors from their album The Soft Parade. Written by Robby Krieger, it is notable for its extensive usage of brass and string instruments as well as a Christmas Music like sound to accent Jim Morrison’s vocals, including a solo by featured saxophonist Curtis Amy. Ray Manzarek played harpsichord and organ on the song; he also interpolated the guitar riff from the 1967 Four Seasons song “C’mon Marianne” in his part. The song is also noted for the last sung line, “stronger than dirt”, which was taken from a 1962 Ajax commercial. The Ajax company sued the Doors for plagiarizing the ad’s trademark tune. The Doors paid the financial damages in a settlement to the Ajax company.
It was released as a single in December 1968 and reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 in the Cashbox Top 100 in early 1969 (the band’s third American number-one single). The single also did well elsewhere, peaking at #1 in the RPM Canadian Singles Chart and at #10 in the Kent Music Report in Australia. However, despite the band’s commercial success the previous year, “Touch Me” did not chart in the UK Singles Chart.
A remixed version with added bass and compression appeared on a 1974 compilation called Heavy Metal released via Warner Bros. Special Products.
According to Bruce Botnick’s liner notes the song was initially referred to by its various working titles; “I’m Gonna Love You,” from a line in the chorus, or “Hit Me,” a reference to blackjack. The opening line was originally “C’mon, hit me … I’m not afraid,” the line thus reflecting the first person vantage point of a blackjack player. Morrison reportedly changed the lyric out of concern that rowdy crowds at their live shows would mistakenly believe that “hit me” was a challenge to physically assault him.
At the end of the song, Morrison can be heard saying, “Stronger than dirt”, which was the slogan of the Ajax household cleaning company, because the last four notes of “Touch Me” were the same as those in an Ajax commercial and as a mocking criticism of Krieger, John Densmore, and Ray Manzarek wanting to accept an offer from Buick to use “Light My Fire” in a commercial. The deal was aborted when Morrison opposed it. This vocal was omitted on the single version, which was a different mix.