INT. RECORDING STUDIO (LAST SESSION) - LA DEC 1970 - NIGHT
A dark silence hovers along the deserted, bunker-like studio.
MIKE stands and booms shadow a grand piano...
The ENGINEER waits in the booth, lit, alert man, bored,
Hey Jim, It's your birthday man,
whaddaya say we try this another
Camera moving tentatively along the shadows, discovering the
sidelight on a Navy surplus pea jacket thrown on a chair;
moving to a candle's orange flutter on pages written with
verse... a hand breaking the seal of the bottle of Irish
Kill the lights a little more, will
They might drop a bit more... Camera crawling past the FINGERS
weaving a new cigarette out of the Marlboro pack. An ashtray
full of butts... and an asthmatic horrid cough, filled with
phlegm... crawling up the slight paunch in the bright jersey
with #66 on it... stitched on the sleeve is the team mascot --
an American Indian in full headdress.
Hey man, how come the Doors aren't
in on this?
Camera revealing JAMES DOUGLAS MORRISON, -- 27, poet, buried
in the shadows, curls of cigarette smoke about his haunted
sensuous eyes, meditative lips scragged with beard and long
greasy hair, not a pretty sight, yet a man full and bold and
struggling for survival through his words... beneath the
Bushmill moon, he takes the tambourine and shakes it violently
in our face
No music, No Doors. Let's roll... Is
everybody in?... Is Everybody in?...
Is everybody in? The ceremony is
about to begin...
He shakes a TAMBOURINE at the mike and one of his sudden
giant Indian YELLS rock through the studio.
WAKE UP!!!! HAS THIS DREAM STOPPED!!!!
Music riffs from "American Prayer". AUDIENCE SOUNDS ghostly
on the track. The ENGINEER reeling backwards from the sudden
shift in sound, cursing silent.
Let me tell you about the heartache
and the loss of God Wandering
wandering in hopeless night Indian's
scattered on dawn's highway bleeding
ghosts crowd the young childs fragile
The GRIN on Jim's face magnesium flares out to:
EXT. ARIZONA DESERT - DAY (1940'S)
The blinding YELLOWNESS of the desert, so barren, so hot it
stings to look at. An OLD CHEVROLET winds through the yellow-
orange landscape beneath a brooding blue SKY crackling with
ELECTRICITY -- the storm coming in in the distance as the
MUSIC writhes out at us like a reptile from under a rock --
the beat of RIDERS ON THE STORM.
Riders on the storm (2)
Into this house we're born
Into this world we're thrown
Like a dog without a bone
An actor out on loan
Riders on the storm
CREDITS ROLL, OVER THIS DREAMSCAPE
(continues over imagery)
...me and my mother and father and
grandmother and grandfather were
driving through the desert at dawn
and a truckload of Indian workers
had either hit another car or just --
I don't know what happened... Indians
were scattered all over the highway
bleeding to death.
INT. CAR - DAY
MOM, DAD, the youngest BABY in the front seat -- pointing at
GRANDMA & GRANDAD in the back with JIM, about 4 and his
SISTER, 3 asleep.
Mom's a beauty and Dad's an austere handsome military man in
civilian clothes, mouthing words -- look, wake them up, a
desert storm... but we barely hear
A LIGHTNING BOLT shreds the blue sky with a thunderous sound,
frightening dawn of creation...
Grandma nudging Jim awake. His eyes open --
Just as the car turns the bend -- revealing
An overturned TRUCK lying in the road -- dead and wounded
INDIANS everywhere... A cop car, ambulance. A terrible