On this day (Jan. 15) in 1967, The Rolling Stones performed on The Ed Sullivan Show under one condition — they change the lyric of their 1967 hit “Let’s Spend The Night Together” to the more family-friendly “let’s spend some time together.” It was reported that Sullivan’s exact words were, “Either the song goes, or you go.”
In those days, TV programs were a tad more conservative. For one thing, TV Parental Guidelines wouldn’t exist until the mid ’90s, so even Elvis (aka “the King of Rock and Roll”) was shot gyrating from the waist up.
Case in point: The Doors were asked to perform in the late ’60s but told to update the lyric from their hit “Light My Fire” from “girl we couldn’t get much higher” to “girl we couldn’t’ get much better.” Lead singer Jim Morrison pulled a bait-and-switch and the band was banned from returning to the show.
Here’s footage from the Stones’ infamous performance below. But first, check out Mick Jagger’s deliberate (and obvious) eye-roll at 1:18. So rock ‘n roll.