“Me, and my mother and father, and grandmother and grandfather were driving through the desert at dawn…” so starts the story of a haunted sounding Jim Morrison as he told of the mystical experience of the soul of a dead Indian leaping into his soul. But did it happen? Oliver Stone illustrated the scene in his opening of his movie The Doors. Morrison’s parents downplayed the significance, chalking it up to Jim’s vivid imagination, but in a discussion with friends Frank Lisciandro and Paul Ferrara during the filming of Morrison’s HWY, Jim himself said it wasn’t a ghost story it was something the held real meaning for him. It was also an important enough incident in his mind to include it in his poetry and The Doors’ song Peace Frog. Doors fans have long wanted to know if the story is true, Doors message boards have run threads on the veracity of the story and a few have tried to track down the accident. Documentary filmmaker Brad Durham tracked down what he believes to be the accident the Morrison family witnessed in the late 40’s and has made the film Dawn’s Highway about Morrison’s experience.
Durham’s documentary explores the truth behind the accident for Doors fans, and adds the names Tony Montoya and Willie Quintana to The Doors legend as the driver of the truck and an eye-witness (respectively). Dawn’s Highway is a completed film, but Durham wants to get the film out to Doors fans and he’s asking for Doors fans’ help. How can you help? Through Kickstarter, a website that helps artists fund projects through donations. Durham is seeking $10,000 to help fund adding bonus features, producing the DVDs, and for the marketing of Dawn’s Highway.
I was able to see Dawn’s Highway in October of 2010 (see The Doors Examiner article A Night to Remember) and instantly became an adherent of Durham’s film urging him to get the film out to fans, even going so far as to contemplating investing in the film. Kickstarter has given me that chance! All Doors fans have that chance now too! Jim Morrison thought art could and should have audience participation and this Kickstarter project was built for Doors fans, not only in subject matter but to be able to participate in getting this part of The Doors story out to the world!
But there is a catch this. Kickstarter is an all or nothing proposition. If Durham doesn’t get pledges for the full amount of the funding ($10,000) he won’t receive any of the pledged donations, and there is a deadline Friday March 8, 2013. I’m in already! So if you want to be a part of a truly fan driven project make a donation today. As Jim Morrison said, “Let’s see some action out there!”
To make a donation or to see a brief video of Brad Durham talking about Dawn’s Highway follow the link to Kickstarter. To ‘like’ Dawn’s Highway on Facebook follow the link. If you want more information on Dawn’s Highway before jumping in, follow the link to the website.
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