Exploring Jim Morrison’s Epic Californian Desert Odyssey

by Tom Taylor
(Credit: Far Out / Alamy / Picryl / Austin Forrest)
(Credit: Far Out / Alamy / Picryl / Austin Forrest)

In 1969, Jim Morrison made a film called HWY: An American Pastoral. The opening shot of the movie sees a stretch of asphalt unspool with the credits painted onto it before the camera eventually arcs towards the bruised sky of a moody desert dusk where the desolate moon hangs like a milk bottle top on a washing line awaiting the hissing company of the night.

This notion of the long unfurling roads of America stretching out like lonely ventricles is not just a vignette to open a film, but a singular fascination that Morrison seemed to hold throughout his short life.

His farewell to that short life was his masterpiece, "Riders on the Storm" is undoubtedly one of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll songs ever written.


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