How The Doors’ Jim Morrison Inspired The Monkees Hit

Through his work with The Doors, Jim Morrison has become a classic rock legend. Regular Monkees songwriters had a strong reaction to The Door’s songs. Subsequently, they were inspired by Morrison to write “Words” and other Monkees songs.

Jim Morrison of The Doors | Estate of Edmund Teske/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

How The Monkees Songwriters Thought Jim Morrison Compared To Other Artists Of The 1960s

Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart formed a songwriting duo called Boyce & Hart. They are known for writing Prefab Four songs such as “(Theme From) Monkeysand “Last Train to Clarksville.” In his 2015 autobiography Psychedelic Bubble Gum: Boyce & Hart, The Monkees and Turning Mayhem Into MiraclesHart said he and Boyce were inspired by hard rock bands.

“The night would find us at our usual table at the Whiskey, absorbing the counterculture sounds of bands like Arthur Lee and Love or Jim Morrison and The Doors,” Hart wrote. “These were surprisingly new sounds to us, worlds apart from first half ’60s pop, and we were excited and inspired by them.”

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The Doors Inspired The Monkees’ “Words” And “(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone”

Hart explained how The Doors inspired Boyce & Hart. “We had long become accustomed to being on the lookout for early notice of any new direction in which the ever-changing flow of pop music might flow,” he said.

Hart said The Doors inspired “Words” and several other songs he co-wrote. “The result was a new assertiveness in our songwriting and a series of new songs with a bit of a harder edge, like ‘(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone’, ‘She’ and ‘Words'” Hart mentioned.

“It wasn’t long before we had them recorded by some of the newer, more rock-influenced bands like The Leaves, the Boston Tea Party and Paul Revere & the Raiders,” he added. For context, The Leaves recorded “Words” before The Monkees gave it their turn.

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How ‘Words’ fared on the charts in the US and UK

“Words” became a hit in the United States. It reached number 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 and stayed on the chart for nine weeks. The Monkees released “Words” on the album Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd., which topped the Billboard 200 for a quintet of weeks. Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd. spent a total of 64 weeks on the Billboard 200.

The “words” did not have the same impact in the UK. According to The Official Charts Company, the song does not chart there. Meanwhile, Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd. reached #5 in the UK and lasted 11 weeks on the chart.

“Words” is a classic Monkees song and it might not be the same without The Doors.

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