Listen To This Eddie: The Who, The Doors And The Most Explosive Evening In Late Night Television History

Senior Music Writer

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Listen To This Eddie is a bi-weekly column that examines the important people and events in the classic rock canon and how they continue to impact the world of popular music.

By all accounts, September 17 was a typical Sunday evening in homes across the America in 1967. Those that owned televisions had three, action-packed channels to draw entertainment from as they relished in the last few waking hours before the working week began. ABC aired episodes of Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea and The F.B.I., while NBC broadcast the final moments of an AFL Football game, then followed that up with episodes of The Mothers-In-Law and Bonanza. It was over on CBS however, where things got really interesting.

Sandwiched between Gentle Ben and Mission Impossible, during the hours of 8 and 10 PM, CBS aired their two, marquee variety programs. The Ed Sullivan Show, renowned for playing host to the Beatles and The Rolling Stones was on first that night, heralding the network debut of a slinky new band out of Los Angeles named the Doors. Shortly after that, The Smothers Brothers were prepared to introduce their audience to a rising Mod outfit from the UK cryptically called The Who. Neither the hosts, the bands, nor the viewing audience at home could have ever anticipated that they were about to witness two of the most incredible moments of either group’s entire careers.

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