By Neil Chrisley
We had graduated from film school, and there we were, with no prospects, whatsoever. Remember, this was the mid-’60s. Hollywood couldn’t care less about guys from film school. All they wanted to do was make movies like [the Rock Hudson/Doris Day film] Pillow Talk. So anyway, Jim was originally going to New York, but for some reason he didn’t. And we ended up running into one another on the beach. Talk about being guided by the better angels of your selves–or, even more so, being guided by the spirit of the dead Indian that was in Jim’s body. It was as if he was saying, “The two of you–psychedelic warriors–have to get together.” What the shaman wanted to do was get the word out to white America about Indian tribalism. What did it mean to be a Native American, the first people on the continent? What did they see? What did they worship? It was about knowing God through the eyes of an Indian. That was one of the purposes of The Doors: to open up Native Americanism to the new tribe, as we were called–the new long-haired tribe.
Whether it's in a movie or a memoir like this, the phony legend turns an extensive body of thought and belief into a magical fairy tale. It's as if there was no Bible and people made up stories about Jesus. We don't do that for Christianity or other major religions, so we shouldn't do it for Native religions.