Hear the Doors’ Rare ‘Hello, I Love You’ Rough Mix

Photo Credit: Gunter Zint © 1968 | The Doors European Tour (Frankfurt, DE)
Photo Credit: Gunter Zint © 1968

“What a great opener, ‘Hello, I love you, tell me your name,'” the Doors‘ drummer John Densmore says. “Like, whoa, OK. That’s aggressive. You’re in love with me but you don’t know my credentials?”

He laughs and says that kind of pickup line was not frontman Jim Morrison’s style at all, even if he did write the lyrics. “He was sort of ‘Southern shy,'” the drummer says. “Well, if he got loaded, he got a little more open—a little too open sometimes.” But when he wrote the lyrics that would become “Hello, I Love You”—a Number One single off the band’s Waiting for the Sun LP—it was more from a place of hope than actual bravado. “It’s about an African-American girl he saw on the boardwalk in Venice,” he says. “‘Do you hope to make her see you, fool?/Do you hope to pluck this dusky jewel?'” He laughs again. “Who puts words like that to rock & roll? Only Jim.”

The song will be getting a second life when Rhino Records reissues the seven-inch on Friday, the 50th anniversary of when the song went to Number One. The record will feature mono mixes of “Hello, I Love You” and its B side, “Love Street,” that were only sent to radio stations at the time (the original single was one of the first stereo 45s, which was a novelty at the time). The song will also feature on a new Waiting for the Sun box set, which features nine rough mixes from the album’s recording sessions and tracks from a gig the band played in Copenhagen in 1968. The collection is due out September 14th.

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