Randall Jahnson is a screenwriter known for his work on various films, including “The Mask of Zorro.” He co-wrote the screenplay for “The Mask of Zorro” along with Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio. The film was released in 1998 and starred Antonio Banderas as the titular character and Catherine Zeta-Jones as the female lead.
After being imprisoned for 20 years, Zorro — Don Diego de la Vega (Anthony Hopkins) — receives word that his old enemy, Don Rafael Montero (Stuart Wilson), has returned. Don Diego escapes and returns to his old headquarters, where he trains aimless drunk Alejandro Murrieta (Antonio Banderas) to be his successor. Meanwhile, Montero — who has secretly raised Diego’s daughter, Elena (Catherine Zeta-Jones), as his own — hatches a plot to rob California of its gold.
Alex Ferrari 0:07
Enjoy this episode with guest host Scott McMahon.
Scott Mcmahon 0:48
We got to finish the interview I had with Randall Jahnson from Randalljahnson.com. Look it up on the website, get the link. But no, we were a part two because we ended because this is how bad I am. This is the never ending conversation by the way. Yeah, I hope it goes on and on. I hope there's like seven parts to it. But the thing is, the thing is I this is how bad I am if I was a real journalist, which I'm not, which, you know, explains a lot. Yes, is I wouldn't I would have, I would have taken the time to do lab and more research because on reading your website and everything because everything you were sharing with me was on your website. And but when you were telling me I was I was it was almost as if I was a new person, though, because I was like, Oh, really, I didn't know you work with all this, you know, you know, Henry Rollins and Stan Ridgway and you know, so that was exciting for me. But it was kind of neat, because being stupid as I was, is like I was hearing for the first time even though I could apply prep myself better by reading thoroughly through your website, as opposed to just glancing a few of the items when I first went to the website.
Randall Jahnson 2:40
Well, you can just peel the layers away like an onion. Yeah. So each week, you'll find a little something new.
Scott Mcmahon 2:48
Well, you can just peel let's go. So what we did was last we left off you were mentioning, you went to UCLA, for screenwriting. Yeah. So and then you had a college, you know, friend, who's working in agency saw you somewhere in the street or something like that. And you bumped into I don't know where the coffee shop. But anyhow, they got your script, because there was a whole breed of new young agents that were looking for some cool stuff. And they really latched on to a slaughter alley. Right? Vice. Correct. And from that, but we got sidetracked a little bit, because you said you were doing a lot of work with the the the exploding punk scene in the late 70s, early 80s. On the west coast, Southern California style. So which is huge leaps. Yeah, so and you know, we're talking about, we were going on about Standridge way and Black Flag, we will talk about Minuteman and the label that you created. So we kind of touched upon that, but I think it's still an interesting story. We can continue there. We were working our way on towards how you got dudes made or how it got picked up like your first scream, right? Like kind of stuff.
Randall Jahnson 3:55
Let's see, gosh, well, backing up a bit. Yeah, I ran into my friend, Howard, Howard Sanders, who I'd gone to film school with, and how he had become an agent to or was aspiring to be an agent at the William Morris Agency. And so when I ran into him, he was literally working in the mailroom at William Morris at the time. And he said, You know what happened to slaughter alley?
Scott Mcmahon 4:20
Oh, yeah, yeah. How bitten that give me perspective. Like how big was William Morris? At that time?
Randall Jahnson 4:25
Oh, Morris was huge. It was one of the established you know, agencies that have been in show business forever. It was so old as a matter of fact that I was there was a lot of talk about William Morris at that time that like, how interested were they really in the entertainment business? Because apparently most of their financial holdings weren't real estate. Really? Yeah. Yeah. So it was it was kind of an interesting thing. But at that time, William Morris ICM, CA were kind of like the big three UTA hadn't really emerged yet.
Scott Mcmahon 5:04
What was it? Where was endeavour at that point?
Randall Jahnson 5:06
They were they were there. I actually no, I take that back I think endeavor started with after a bunch of guys that I had met at Morris and then later ICM split, jumped ship and started an endeavor. Okay. Okay. Okay. And then endeavor became endeavor and ultimately came back and merged with Morris. Right. Okay. I mean, it just goes to show you what goes around comes around, you know that the sharks eventually devour one another.
Scott Mcmahon 5:39
They are they are it's an amazing machine and how much they survive and how they they find their paws and different things. Like it's taking them a while to get involved with the interactive industry as well. So slowly, yeah,
Randall Jahnson 5:52
Yeah, they're a little slow in the pickup. But I mean, UTA is really, I think hot on them interactive in the media, you know, new media, whatever you want to call it. Right now, I think but, yeah, I mean, you know, again, a game world, you know, on this whole internet thing. That that was just, that's like, you know, it was it was dull. It wasn't interesting to the established industry at that time. Right. And, of course, now, you know, everything is migrating into that. And so, that stuff is moving front and center a lot more, where it certainly has a lot more respect than it used to, right. You know, I would have meetings after I wrote gun. Again, I'm jumping ahead here. But after I wrote gun or was writing gun was still you know, I would go around and have meetings with a production company, or, you know, a studio or something. And this is what you've been doing lately. And I said, Well, I've been writing this game, this video game. Oh, no, I guess that's kind of an Yeah. People are doing that. Right. Yeah, it was just, it was it was it was something that didn't have any respect. Yeah. No. business and how you know, hello. It's got, you know, it's I mean, it's devouring the business in one sense.
Scott Mcmahon 7:16
Oh, yeah. It's a total. So sure. It's very different. Yeah. Please drink eat. Like it always pauses. It's ok.
Randall Jahnson 7:24
By the way that for those who might be listening, having a very delicious pumpkin flavored pumpkin chocolate flavored
Scott Mcmahon 7:32
Randall Jahnson 7:33
Is that sort of stout, or was it? A? Yeah, it's a little it's a little lighter. For them stout. It's the that's all right. We'll, we'll figure it out.
Scott Mcmahon 7:44
When they come down. We'll get there. We'll get there. We'll get there. I'm gonna get one out for my style, and it's quite good.
Randall Jahnson 7:50
You know, Happy Halloween everyone.
Scott Mcmahon 7:52
Seriously, today. Today was sort of the first day that got kind of cold.
Randall Jahnson 7:57
Yeah, yeah. I went out. I went out running. Yeah, it was 36 this morning when I got up. I noticed second a while ago. Yeah, up and I went out running today. And it was like a little chilly.
Scott Mcmahon 8:08
Here comes winter.
Randall Jahnson 8:10
Yeah, sounds great. The skies are just in wasn't a cloud in the sky. Now. We've been laser on the changing and on the ground. And it's just it's beautiful, man.
Scott Mcmahon 8:18
It's been Yeah, real nice. And I love it.
Randall Jahnson 8:21
I love it. Cool. I know Mr. Surfer.
Scott Mcmahon 8:28
I actually had a great weekend surfing. No. Did you so I had no complaints there. So it's all good. Oh, so anyway, going back? Yeah, we got your friends.
Randall Jahnson 8:38
Yeah. So So I ran into Howie Sanders. And he was like, literally on the street in Beverly Hills somewhere. And he just said, Dude, what what happened was slaughter alley. And I said, well, the whole project fell through. I had to go back to the mailroom my male realm of at the Academy of Motion Pictures. And I was working there and I said, nothing's happening with the script. He said, well give it to me, because he said, I'm in the mailroom now at Morris and I can get it to some young agents there who are really hungry, and it makes me look good as well. So he said, believe me, he said, given the stuff that I'm reading there in the mailroom, which is what every aspiring agent has to do, he said there's a lot of people far less talented than you that are making a lot of money. So he said, I think you could you could get represented here. So I did, I gave it to him. And sure enough, a couple days later, I got a call from you know, the young agent over there and I invited me over to to basically meet and I signed with him. I met with actually a pair of agents there, Carol young cos and a guy named Rick Jaffa.
Alex Ferrari 9:56
We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show.
Randall Jahnson 10:05
Rick Jaffa is now a writer himself. And he and his wife Amanda silver, they wrote a wonderful movie called The Hand That Rocks the Cradle. Most recently, they wrote the remake of the planet planet of the apes. Oh, wow. Or Rise of the Planet. Okay, yes. The big hit this last summer. But Rick was my agent initially,
Scott Mcmahon 10:29
Don't you consider like, a pocket client,
Randall Jahnson 10:32
I was considered a pocket client by a guy named Shelly Weil, who has since passed away. But at his very established agency, he wouldn't take me on as a regular client, but I was a pocket client based on slot rally. But he wouldn't take me on as he said, because on the on the merits of what he termed is an exploitation. Okay, movie. Okay. So that was a very different I mean, Shelley was very, very old school. So when I gave it to Howard Howard was like, this is an exploitation. This is just a great script. Let's go, let's go. And you know, and then he got it to Rick and Carolyn Morris. And they were, they were just starting out. And they remember Rick telling me, he read it. And he just after he finished the last page, he threw it in the air and just was like, it felt like, Yes, I can sell this, or I can write, you know, this is a, this is a really great writer. It's just one of those moments where that goes, right. It's a template, you know, it's seared into your, your memory. More, it's just like, Wow, great. I'm so happy. Somebody loves it that much. And so they signed me. And then they started sending me out on meetings right away, slaughter ally, was still under options. So they couldn't go out and sell it. But they wanted to sell me it was a great calling card that they could use to sell me as a talent.
Scott Mcmahon 11:53
So whether you're able to, like sell it as, hey, we got his projects in in option or something like that. So you gotta meet with him. He's hot. Right? Okay.
Randall Jahnson 12:01
Correct. Correct. And so Subsequently, I went out on a lot of different meetings with companies. I remember meeting with Johnny Carson's company, he had a development person at that time.
Scott Mcmahon 12:14
It was strange. Yeah.
Randall Jahnson 12:18
You know, it was it was just kind of interesting. You go out in there, basically meet and greets, hey, how you doing? I read your script really? Like it's cool. What else you got? That kind of thing? What did you have at the time? Well, it was interesting. I would didn't really have I had some vague notions. And I went into a meeting at a company called the VISTA Vista films, or Vista organization. And I after this was after a string of meetings with what you might call pod people. Okay, little there, the obligatory meeting where they're, they're just like, hey, like what we have here?
Scott Mcmahon 12:59
We can put on pause real quick.
Randall Jahnson 13:00
Sure. We're back live.
Scott Mcmahon 13:02
Cool. We just got back. Just finish up our dinner delicious. Again. You know, we're at Mars, like Oswego Mars Irish club. Anyway, we were talking
Randall Jahnson 13:13
Yeah. And by the way, that it's a porter, my pumpkin chocolate concoction. Not a stout, it's important. It's a lighter, a little bit lighter. So quite, quite delicious. Cool.
Scott Mcmahon 13:26
I gotta get one after this beer.
Randall Jahnson 13:28
Meal in itself.
Scott Mcmahon 13:33
So the question was, we were talking about, now you got your you're in with agency, and you're going on meetings, you know, and let's talk about that. Because that's one of the things that was exciting to see for a writer or who they do it for actors to like the actors, if you sometimes once you to meet with like the director of one hour program, ring programming for Fox or whatever, you're not necessarily auditioning, they just sort of want to meet you, depending on the agency. And same thing with writers and not sure how it works for directors and stuff. But same maybe same thing,
Randall Jahnson 14:09
You know, I mean, it's a lot easier now for directors because they can they can have a real either on a desk or they have a website and somebody can go right or stuck right away. You know, back in those days, I mean, our director would have to leave a reel and have like a big fat
Scott Mcmahon 14:25
and actual film reel. Yeah, or
Randall Jahnson 14:27
videotape or right. Yeah, big fat, three quarter inch videotape or something. Like ridiculous.
Scott Mcmahon 14:32
So when you went, what was your emotional? How are your emotions? That's one thing I never get like an in interviews is because a lot of interviews, the interviewers just sort of skip over like, oh, yeah, so I got this agent, agencies behind me now they start sending out of meetings, but never stop and say, Okay, can you recall sort of the emotions you had? Were like, I'm doing my first meeting and they tell you, I'm sure they get like a call or they tell you. Alright, you gotta be here at three o'clock. If you're going to meet with so and so at this production company, they want to meet with you and talk to you about this story or whatever. So what goes on on somebody's emotions at that point?
Randall Jahnson 15:10
Well, I used to get really excited or almost anxious about, you know, these meetings, because why do they want to meet with me? You know, I might, what should I have stuff? Ready? What? Right? What are they expecting? Do I have to pitch another story? You know, the agents would always say, no, no, no, just just chill out. They just want to meet you. They read the script, they just want to know if you have any other ideas. You know, it's just a it's just a meeting. Yeah, there's nothing, I used to attach a lot more import to the meeting, than was really there. And I used to get, at least initially very anxious about it. I remember just in particular, that like the meeting of at Johnny Carson's company, Terry, Terry something or other rent was in his head of development. I used to I ended up playing basketball with him at a later really later date. Yeah. But he was cool. And I, but I was very nervous about it at first, because this is like one of my first professional meetings and like, what am I say, What do I wear? What do I do, right? That whole thing, but you start doing enough of these and it's and you get a little more relaxed and just be your learn to be yourself. Right? And, you know, it's it's not, it's always a little bit of a dog and pony show to a degree. But it's, it's not. It you shouldn't suffer from performance anxiety for something like that. They generally, if these people have been doing their job for a while they know that writers aren't necessarily the most
Scott Mcmahon 16:54
Randall Jahnson 16:57
I think they're not. Yeah, the most gregarious individuals now, you know,
Scott Mcmahon 17:03
Ron Howard's partner, Brian Grazer? Yeah, I saw him in an interview on iconic class on IFC, I think it was or, and that show is basically kind of combining two icons or moguls for different industries. And the they follow them around. And then it's like an hour show, but it was following him. So it was Brian Grazer, and his friendship with redstone at Viacom. Well, you know, yeah. So is there some summer Yes, on there. So, but then we're interviewing grazer. And he was saying that, about writers like he says, he wants he, he has his, the way they dress he goes if they're not, like disheveled, and like, look, like just like right off the street. And they he goes, he wants his writers to be the ones that are, like, socially awkward, that aren't dressed to the tee that are in like, like, they look like that's all they do is right. And that's sort of maybe it's a tongue in cheek sort of perspective. But he was like, he's he said he was suspicious of a writer that was dressed better than he was, you know,
Randall Jahnson 18:07
well, then. You know, then then he just lost out on a meeting with like Aaron Sorkin you know, or somebody. Right, right. Or, you know, come on, if you take a look historically, photographs of writers from let's say, the really, from the 50s 40s 50s, early 60s. You know, the Writers Guild has plenty of them on file. And in the in the guild home headquarters there. You'll see a lot of pipes. But by and large, they're a debonair crowd, right. I mean, Dashiell Hammett, who's one of the founders of the Writers Guild really named me the very debonair gentleman, you know, I mean, dapper these guys, these guys knew how to dress. It's sort of a sad state of affairs, I think what it's come to now, because we are really sort of a T Shirt Nation, but that I think that's more indicative of the population in general than anything. But for a long time, you know, the, the sort of the uniform was a trashy t shirt, and a really worn baseball cap of some sort with some obscure product label on it. You know, and, of course, jeans and, and a pair of, you know, some kind of a, you know, a tennis shoe of some sneakers, you know, of high tops or something like that, you know, or, you know, Frank Darabont was was fond of particular high tops, I think at one point in classics, you know, so it's kind of come to that and in a sense, I understand what grazer is saying, but you know, you can't make a blanket statement. It was just interesting to hear he's, you know, he's a surfer.
Alex Ferrari 19:59
We'll be right back. After a word from our sponsor and now back to the show.
Scott Mcmahon 20:08
I know it's like a bump in the head. Like you're like, oh, so
Randall Jahnson 20:13
yeah, yeah. You know, but, but there is a certain, you know, it's it's a certain look, it's a certain vibe. And you'll get sometimes, you know, and they're usually clutching a lot of coffee, a coffee mug of some sort, you know, add to that. So they're in line at the espresso bar there. You know, we're in the, you know, you see him in Starbucks everywhere, any kind of coffee house? They're
Scott Mcmahon 20:40
like, it's a given like any coffee shop. You see in Los Angeles, there's a laptop with
Randall Jahnson 20:46
Sure. Screenwriting? Sure, I mean, it used to be in the old days, it used to be nope, notepad, okay, I mean, and I was one of them, I would go out, because, you know, writing is a lonely business part of the right for most of the time, and writers rarely got out, especially if you are under pressure to get a script done, or on a deadline of some sort. You just didn't get out. So the only way to get out really was to double up on function in business and what was like, get to his coffee shop, get some coffee, and you get some work done. And then you might vicariously experience real life process to get out of that, that those four those four enclosing walls, I don't know if it's, you know, yeah, I
Scott Mcmahon 21:33
don't know, if I've, I've done it a few times, just because at a shear, I had to I was like, I had time to kill, I was like, I gotta get some work done. And I noticed that I kind of shut myself off a little bit when there's a lot of noise, because I don't know anybody. It's okay, just put the earplugs in, and you know, your business. But when you take your moment, they take a breath or step away from whatever you're working on writing, it gives me a chance to sort of observe, you know, human nature and you and you never know what triggers that inspiration, like, you just see this, this, somebody ordering, you know, a latte, but the way they order it is bizarre that you're like, oh, that's might be interesting. But I actually found most of my success writing from for me, is I go to the public libraries, you know, it's just they have the Wi Fi but, but I tried to cut off the Wi Fi because it's easy to get distracted. But for some reason for me, the libraries was always a nice little getaway to get outside the homes to homart essence the libraries
Randall Jahnson 22:30
are great. I never, I never ventured to them to actually work, I would always go I would be there to research, right. And I would always be on a sort of a on a mission, you know. And again, these are days before the internet, I remember if I was on, you know, a couple of projects, I became a lifetime member of the UCLA Alumni Association for the sole purpose that I would always have library privileges. Well, that makes sense. And so yeah, I haven't used it now in a number of years. But the point was, is that I used to, and again, the days before the internet, if I was researching something in an historical period or something, I would go to the Graduate Research Library and just disappear. I mean, it would lead I would cross reference and go down this path and that path and that aisle and go to special collections and everything. And I loved it. I mean, it was fantastic. It was a really a was actually a physical investigation, right, you actually had to travel, you had to get in the elevator after you get to the card catalog and go upstairs or this or that or you know, find different things. And it was it was always a little bit of an adventure. And then there would be interesting things you would encounter along the way on the shelves and down the aisles and all that stuff. So I always, always really enjoyed that. Now, you know, I mean, it's all at your fingertips. It's crazy. So you don't do that anymore. But I never worked in a library. I always liked the vibe of it, but I never worked in and I preferred to go where I could observe people coming and going a lot. There's a place in in in LA, called the apple pan. It's it's down on Pico Boulevard, just just east of Westwood Boulevard and block. And it's a little horseshoe counter and an old bungalow that's been there since 1947. And it's family owned, and they have refused to sell out. And so it's completely surrounded now by tall modern. And here's this little 40 style bungalow on the corner. And it's still run exactly the same way. It was way back when in the menu who really hasn't changed the prices have gone up but basically they're making the same kind of stuff on the menu with a hickory burger, a hamburger cheeseburger, tuna fish sandwich ham sandwich. It's been on the on the menu since 1947. But I used to go there because I, I live not too far from it and it stayed open relatively late, it would stay open till midnight on on weeknights, and then one o'clock in the morning on the weekends and I used to take a corner seat and go in there with a note book, order a lot of coffee and I would go in about an hour before closing and get something to eat and drink a lot of coffee, make a lot of notes and then go home and work through the night. But I used to see tons of people coming through there and a lot of celebrities. I mean, everyone from you know, Warren Beatty was with a beautiful woman there. Gene Siskel, I met Gene Siskel, actually, right after the doors came out. Oh, really? Yeah. And he and Roger Ebert had interviewed or reviewed it on the show, and I happen to look up and I think, Oh, my God, they're seen Cisco. How weird is that? So I went over to him and introduced myself. I said, I wrote the doors. I said, Oh, my gosh,
Scott Mcmahon 26:05
well, he's a big music fan, or like, pop icon fan anyway,
Randall Jahnson 26:08
I didn't. I wasn't aware of that. But anyway, he was like, Oh, wow, that's really cool. So you know, so we, but we ended up talking less about the doors and more about the Apple pan, because he always whenever he was in town, and so it was like, What's your favorite thing on the menu? You know, there. Yeah. And I sort of said, well, I liked the hickory burger, and he liked the tuna fish sandwich. You know, it's a tough call on that on that. But it was fun. You know, I mean, some of the Lakers used to be in there, I would say a lot. A lot of movie stars kind of come in. And it would be you know, it's sort of incognito, and very, very low key. But it was fun. It was fun to see. And then just lots of very interesting where people and then of course, the guys that have worked in their old row. They've been there for and for ever, in a couple of the waiters, you know, I mean, just holy cow, you know? So there were lots of stories even about those guys, even
Scott Mcmahon 27:02
now that we're now that you're appear and then are in Portland, do you find yourself going out and observing sort of human behavior appear anything or?
Randall Jahnson 27:13
Well, it's really tempting to and I really should, when I do get the chance, but I don't step out like I used to, to go and work. And that's basically because I got a family now and I want to be at home with him that night. I don't write excuse me, right through the night, like I used to, I used to work after getting all jacked up on Capitol coffee. You know, I would work until I would hear the paper delivered, you know, on my doorstep at about the driveway about, you know, five, six in the morning or so. And then I'd hit the hay and sleep until noon or whatever, you know, get up and kind of start the day, procrastinate, day away until 10 o'clock at night and start writing again. But so I don't get out like I did. And, but when I do go out and I you know, go to the you know, find drinking establishments and like this, and whatever it's like, yeah, brings back a lot of memories in terms of wanting to do that. And if you go to any, you know, coffee house now and at least in Portland, geez, you walk in and everybody's on then hovering over their screen. You know, you never see anyone with a notebook anymore making no right or all hovering over their screens, you know? Yeah. And it's so it's very difficult to tell like, Who's, who's real and who's not I used to do that. I used to go in and see a lot of people making notes or writing or something about like, you know, is he really Is he real? Is he someone? Is he not? Right? Is she really good? A good writer or not? You know, she's cute, but Was she an actress is she knew that kind of thing.
Scott Mcmahon 28:57
There's friends that these girls would tell me in in, in LA, it's like, they would always meet these cute guys whose waiters or whatever they are. And then sure enough, they're all actors, you know? And they're like, and like, as I got older, and they got more professional are like, Oh, geez, you know? Yeah.
Randall Jahnson 29:16
Well, it's funny getting back to these, you know, these rounds of meetings that I was that my new agents were sending me on, you know, as a writer. Well, once I started getting paid as a writer, you just didn't get out that often. You know, I mean, it was you were you were working. And I took it very seriously. So I was, you know, always working in angsting away over my stuff. So to actually go out on a meeting was, was like, hey, wow, I'm actually going out and mixing with society. Yeah. And invariably, you know, you'd go to these production companies or studios and meet with an executive there and they would always have a beautiful young The woman working the front desk. Right,
Scott Mcmahon 30:03
Alex Ferrari 30:05
We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show.
Randall Jahnson 30:15
They all did. So yeah, and because that that was also it's never stated, but it's implied if you have a hot chick, you know, as you're working as your assistant or, you know, receptionist, then you are you too are a sexy individual, you know, your cache, your, your relativity into importance in the business is, you know, your stock goes up, right, so, but invariably, I would always meet these wonderful, and a lot of them are just really, really great. And I would end up like, you know, these were the only women I would meet, so I would be unabashed about like asking them out. I made a fool out of myself a number of times. Interesting. But my roommate at the time, used to kid me, he's like, Oh, you had a meeting today? Did you ask anybody out? As a matter fact, I did. Yes.
Scott Mcmahon 31:15
Any of us who ever coming writers are find themselves in opportunities for meetings, any words of wisdom you can give us be yourself,
Randall Jahnson 31:23
you know, now,
Scott Mcmahon 31:24
I mean, in the dating, oh,
Randall Jahnson 31:27
just be yourself. You know, I mean, it's different, it's different. Now. You don't, you know, that's not your only outlet. You know, I mean, you're on if you're on, on the on the net, you know, you're gonna find people via Facebook, the, you know, dating services, eHarmony, whatever, you know, there's so many different ways now to get hooked up without ever leaving your, your four walls, right. And that's that, to me, this was the lifeline this was the only way out, you know, you had to get out, it's actually have a meeting or go to the Apple pen and have a cup of coffee and hope you sit, a beautiful girl sits next to you. But that rarely, rarely happens.
Scott Mcmahon 32:10
Well, it's funny, I think my actor friends would tell me it was very difficult. They say it's difficult to date in LA, because it's sort of implied or understood that everyone's here for themselves and their career and then self absorbed, going so to find time to, to, you know, to share with somebody else is very, very difficult. And why it's difficult to date there. So, that made sense to me for maybe the acting circles, I don't know, but Well, everybody's
Randall Jahnson 32:38
here. But you know, I think I think it applies across the boards, you know, everybody's there to become famous, you know, let's face it, they're looking to, to, to climb up. And so you're, you're thrown in into this into this sort of, you know, whatever you want to call it a pool of people who are social climbers. They can be shallow, they can be sincere, they can be artists, they truly want to make art, but they don't know how to do it. I mean, there's everything's all kind of thrown together. So it's really hard to read people at first they come across very sincere. But you know, sometimes they're not, you know, in writing, these are just some of the hard lessons of human behavior, you just sort of go through in your 20s when you're when you're trying to make it that just like, Oh, God, can I get your heart broken a couple of times and like, oh, have really lousy experiences. Yeah. But it all becomes great. Yeah. You know, goes into the, the, into the hard drive of your head for fodder for later scripts. And stuff. So you become a student of human behavior, if you will, however. Yeah. I had known what the Northwest holds. You know, for one aspiring writer. Back then, I would have come up here a long time ago. Oh, interesting. I think yeah, yeah. And, I mean, of course, I'm married now. But I've found that the girls out here, you know, just in chatting and stuff. There's so much more friendly and open and sincere than they were in LA. Right. And I think it's just because you know, Portland doesn't have the stigma of Thai people coming there to be famous. Nobody comes to Portland to be famous. I don't I don't think unless maybe you're a musician or something and you want to become one of the Decemberists or something you know but you know it's it's you go to New York or you go to your you go to LA and that's where the real big business centers are. However, that is all changing, but it's very
Scott Mcmahon 34:49
right. But yeah, the ones that need it that certainly that yeah, just constant approval, or so to make it I
Randall Jahnson 34:56
mean, look, I mean, they're always there are insecure, insecure people everywhere. There's always you know, everything is sort of relative that we're talking about a certain archetype in a way but, but by and large, I just found people, actually in the Northwest all in all been very much more open and sincere. And yeah, I agree. I think they're great. Great to hang with.
Scott Mcmahon 35:17
Yeah, there's a definite sense of independent spirit or just pure heart. Or, you know, and their perspective is, ya know, yeah, art for art's sake are just weird for weird. It is, and you're like, Okay, I go with this.
Randall Jahnson 35:33
Oh, gosh. Yeah, I mean, back in those days again. And also, when I was simultaneous with all this, I was in heavily into the music scene, though. So I did have more of an outlet because I was going out a lot late at night to see punk bands play and go to these really shitty little clubs. Inside, you know, I mean, a place called the VAX, I remember. The, the while there was the odd club and Silver Lake, there was Al's bar downtown. I mean, these were, this was downtown. This was way downtown. I mean, this was no man's land, right? And 8182 or whatever. And it was unbelievable. And it was nothing. And it's all changed. Now. You know, I mean, the people that were living there, but but I would invariably see these very interesting art damage women with Moon tans. And I have a really heavy duty Goth look, or sometimes they would be tattooed. It was almost pre tattooed kind of thing. But you know, Ruby, red lipstick and pale white skin, and then just like, you know, have this really bored art vibe about them that I just I I'd love for the long, line and sinker. And that's commonplace up here now. Yeah, except that they're not, as John just in are much more open and friendly. Here. A little more tattooed and pure Steven now than they weren't? Sure. Anyway. Yeah, I digress. Yeah. To observe.
Scott Mcmahon 37:10
I want to I want to, I want to divert to that later, when we get back to. So you're going on these meetings? What was the SIR, the first break that says, We want to hire you? Or, you know, we're doing this with slaughter alley, or, you know, what, what was the first after all these meetings were like, Oh, my God is actually turning into something?
Randall Jahnson 37:31
Well, it's, it's a good question, because it is Oregon related, actually, and I'll tell you about it. Tell you what the connection is. I went to a meeting call at a company called the VISTA organization. And they were, they were independent. They had a bunch of Canadian money, I think is what it was. So they didn't have any ties with the studio or whatever. And there was this guy, Miguel, Tata Flores, was the head of development there. And he wanted to meet me. So I show up. And this is after I've had a number of meetings with pod people, you know, who again, very friendly Oh, yeah, I really like your stuff. But it goes nowhere. Right. Right. Right. You know, and you just and you kind of exit these meetings and go, What was that about? Well, you know, did he really liked my stuff? Or is he just saying so or what? You know, what, what is this? Yeah. So I finally go in. And invariably, these meetings were, you know, in clean offices and really, you know, tasteful, tastefully decorated furniture was surrounded you I had a meeting with a young, aspiring, well, a young producer, he was the son of a studio head of certain studio, and I met at his bungalow. On the west side, it was at Fox actually. And I remember in our meeting there, he had a glass coffee table. Okay, that was had and we were there were these two couches that were perpendicular to each other around this on the corner of this glass coffee table. And on the table was this bowl of peanuts. And so as we were having our sit down and starting to chat, he reached in and like started, grabbed a bunch of peanuts and started cracking the shell peanuts. Yeah, shell peanuts. Yeah. Like they were, you know, like, he was at a ballgame. And just letting the shells just drop on the thick shag carpet beneath I'm not making any effort whatsoever to clean it up or or or not make a mess. He was deliberately just dropping it there. And eating these peanuts as we were talking and I thought that was the strangest thing.
Alex Ferrari 39:50
We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show.
Randall Jahnson 39:58
Um, and I've often thought about that it was an image that I will never forget because it made me think is, is he trying to show me how powerful he is by the fact that he's going to shit? Yeah, he's just gonna let the let the help grab it and pick it up afterwards or was he just clueless, you know, is that the way he was raised? You know? It's very, very odd. So I had all these weird meetings. So then I come to the VISTA organization come to meet Miguel Torres. And I walk into this office, and it's just chaos. It's just packed with scripts and books, and there was shitting. There's toys all over the desk. And, and I remember seeing my first view of him he, he was working. He was at his computer, which was at that time was a big box boxy computer called a K Pro, which was made in San Diego. Yeah, okay. And were manufactured in San Diego, because at this Kaypro computer, and he looked up over the top of it, big, black rimmed glasses and said, Randy Johnson, yes. And he said, Oh, Miguel, tada Flores, you know, I read slaughter rally a fucking love it, what else you got? And we just sit down. And I just felt like, oh my gosh, you know, here's a nut. But he's a sincere nut. And he's all about making movies and telling stories and weird stuff. And it was just fun. We just collect immediately. So he said, What else you got? And I just sort of threw out punk rockers in the middle of Wyoming. And he says, I love it. Come back when you have a story. And I did. And I came back a couple weeks later with a little more story. And he said, I like that keep coming back. Do
Scott Mcmahon 41:49
you have an outline or a treatment or anything? It just
Randall Jahnson 41:51
was, I it was it was just the germ of a notion that ultimately became dudes. But what it was was that I had been going to so many punk rock shows and it struck me as being a very tribal. Oh my god your hair. You know, Randa, nice to meet you. Yeah. You just want to visit guys.
Scott Mcmahon 42:22
What are you doing? Adam with my buddy All right. All right. We're back. Sorry. We got a little. I had no idea Frederick was here. I thought he left already. But it sounds like there's gonna be a big party here Saturday night for him. So he came down to say hi, and introduce me his friend. So there you go. He's going
Randall Jahnson 42:44
to do that. And every subsequent interview, I think we should just he's just going to show up. It's like the court jester. Cards.
Scott Mcmahon 42:53
But you know, he's personally so big and joyous. That's why when he gets here, like everybody knows him. He's like your norm.
Randall Jahnson 43:00
Yeah, totally. I get it.
Scott Mcmahon 43:02
So we're past where we are. Well, I
Randall Jahnson 43:05
was said back. Meanwhile, back at the guy at Vista. Yes, yeah. Miguel Flores. Yeah, what do you got for me? And how did you come up with that? Anyway,
Scott Mcmahon 43:14
we're just at the punk shows we're just something Well, yeah, that's what
Randall Jahnson 43:16
I was saying is that I've been going to all these punk shows you know, in the whole thing It struck me so the Hardcore scene in California at that time and was was very was very tribal. You know, you had your social distortion tribe, you had your your black flag tribe, you had the Dead Kennedys and and in each each sort of faction, each tribe had their there were subtle differences in their in how they looked. Right. You know, the Orange County punks were a little different from the Hollywood punks, the valley of La Valley punks were different from some of those guys, you know, you had a lot of different skinheads or spike heads, and, you know, that whole thing, but it was just a it was a very interesting thing. And then plus you had the bands were almost embracing the kind of a Western kind of quality and especially Standridge when you're well Well, sure. You know, Stan, I mean, when he was he was still with wall of voodoo at the time, and swallow voodoo. Although they were not punk, they were on the edge of that kind of art damaged New Wave experimental sound stuff. And they had a medley of spaghetti western stuff they used I remember seeing them the first time you know, not only did they cover Johnny Cash, his ring of fire, which was their signatures, showpiece. They really deconstructed that, you know, and they had a big booming Mark Moreland, who was their guitarist had just this great 20 guitar sound that evoked the the old old school Will instrumentalists you know, the guys have backed up Johnny Cash and those kinds of guys back then. It was just a Western sound to it, you know, but they incorporated in their show they had a medley of, of spaghetti western songs. So they they remember seeing them first time, and they play to hang them high. And the good, the bad and the ugly and some other thing too. And it was like, wow, this is frickin wild. I love this. It was just it was really great. So they were the Dead Kennedys had covered like Rawhide right from the TV show and the Vandals came out of Long Beach they had a thing called Urban struggle, which was all about the the punkers at the Cuckoo's Nest and in Orange County having like a big battle with punkers from you know, another plant. Yeah, it was all done like a cowboy. Kind of twang.
Scott Mcmahon 45:52
I do. Yeah, I do recall those oh sound quite a bit. Yeah. Because it was it was that the guitar itself that uses sort of big, semi hollow hollow body guitars, the big Right, right, Gretz guitar, you know, the 50 style guitar, then sort of like has that artwork to sort of like you said it was that rock and roll, Hot Rod subculture that kind of bled over where it's Yeah, big Twain, the source of the sound
Randall Jahnson 46:19
you know, I mean, that simultaneous with all this was like the blasters and this whole rockabilly revival right, you know, thing up the alley cats were not the alley cats, the stray cats were the very commercial, sort of tip of that, of that sort of phenomenon. But that was a that was happening all at the same time. And there was some overlap with the punk stuff or the blasters, especially But, and this is, there was a band called The plugs that were really great came out of East LA. And in Los Lobos then and all those all those the NX then in this embraced all those things with the hardcore, and then, you know, X, they're all They're all crackers, you know, they're they're all hillbillies, you know, they love they love all that country 20 stuff from way back when Yeah, social distortion evolved into the absolutely Mike Ness, a huge country fan, because they recognize that, that you know, that those guys, they were the they were the outlaws of their day. And a lot of them as in the context of the time, you know, when they were recording for Sun Records, or whatever they were, they were, they were breaking new ground, right. This was it wasn't like the the, necessarily the the mainstream music. This was, like a whole new sound, you know. So anyway, going back to all of this, I just had seen like this sort of, kind of knew western landscape in the punk scene, and, and so, but at the same time, I mean, Punk was primarily an urban or suburban, you know, phenomenon. So I thought, Well, gee, how funny would it be to take some of these hardcore punkers? You know, we're like, all all full of aggression and piss and vinegar, and throw them out into the realities of the West. Drop them right in the middle of Wyoming or Montana or something like that, and see what would happen. And so that was the germ of the idea. And then I kept coming back and urged on by Miguel kept coming back every couple of weeks or so with a little bit more of a story a little bit more of a story. So you're writing
Scott Mcmahon 48:27
on spec at this time, and completely, he's nothing, no agreement, nothing. He just said he expressed interest. He just
Randall Jahnson 48:33
He said, I like that. And he knew he couldn't option slot rally at the time, because it was under Options. It was somewhere else. He liked my writing a lot. And he liked this idea. And this sort of he thought I was on to something. So he just kept urging me on. And so finally, there was another guy there a guy named Hank Palmieri, who has subsequently passed away a surfer, great surfer group, a Malibu, really bright guy, really brilliant guy and such a good, one of the best people I've ever met in the business. And he was Miguel's partner at the time, too. And so between the two of them, I just thought these guys are fantastic. I totally want to be in business with them. And it they kept urging me back and finally there, there was a writer strike looming. This is 1985 and there was a writer strike looming. And so there was a certain amount of there was a ticking clock and we had to get this get something done, you know, before the strike kicked in. Because God knows who how long the strike was going to last. So finally, what they were you in a guild at the time? No, I wasn't. But that was the thing in order if they made a deal, I was going to have to get into the guild and Okay, well, thanks. So both basically what happened was, I went in there one day and Miguel says, Okay, you got we got enough. Let's make this let's make a deal. Let's make this happen. And so they, they made the deal. It was a rush rush thing, and basically I got some money, and they just said we can't communicate with you now.
Alex Ferrari 50:02
We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show.
Randall Jahnson 50:11
You know, because because as soon as the strike is going to kick in, but we want you to go ahead and start writing the script, so maybe after week week after the strike is over with, we'll have a script. Right. Got it. So the strike, the strike was actually settled in a couple of weeks. It didn't last long at all, comparative to subsequent strikes. And so, in the meantime, though, I went out on an adventure of myself out into the contemporary West, because I hadn't been out there since I was a kid. So I went out to Arizona, Utah, Nevada, you know, did this kind of long sweeping tour, you know, and just wandering around I went to, I was really into ghost town, so I wanted to visit ghost towns and, and it was out when I remember this very clearly, I was driving on a on a highway heading west towards Ely, Nevada. And suddenly I got the whole very clear picture of what the movie was all about. But it involved jettison a lot of the story I had already worked out. Yeah, but I just like I knew how to do it. I suddenly saw it, I knew how to do it. And so I got on and got in a phone booth somewhere. And I called them and I remember getting Hank on the phone. And I said, Hank, I got it. I got it. I got the story of finally, you know, and I know what it is. And I explained it to him. And he said, Well, yeah, it sounds kind of good. But what about the other stuff? And I said, No, no, forget the other stuff. Forget it, forget it. This is it. I know how to do it. And he was really kind of nervous about it. But he said, Okay, he gave me this approval to go ahead and do it. And so ultimately, I came back from this trip and it was really eye opening for me as well. It was really great. I went to all these different places that it was just evocative in so many ways that I came back, I wrote the first draft, and they loved it. And they had they started sending it around and we got a director attached pretty early on and you know it Penelope Spheeris, had read it and she was coming off of what she had done. Her claim to fame, of course, was the decline of Western civilization. Right. But she had only done the first one at that point. And she had done another several other sort of low budget exploitation films, one for like Roger Corman, and stuff, you know, and so, but she was kind of like the punk rock queen, right? And I remember Miguel telling me, he said, Well, Penelope came in and she impressed the shit out of us, and we're gonna hire her to direct this movie. And she said, he said, she came into the meeting, and said, basically, there are two people that can direct this movie. Me and Alex Cox, who did repo man. Okay, which was the kind of like the other. Yeah, you know, and Alex had been a teacher's aide at UCLA Film school when I was there. I knew we had a couple of people friends in common a little bit, you know, and so I knew knew him a bit, or knew of him, certainly. And anyway, so that was that was out, they started they, they things started rolling very, very quickly from that point on, and then once dudes was in production that led to the doors and other things. Okay, let's,
Scott Mcmahon 53:29
let's roll back here. So, you are what kind of what was the, your agent's perspective of you? When they you told them like, hey, these guys are interested in me developing the story. Do you mean what what is their reaction? Like okay, kaki. Keep going,
Randall Jahnson 53:48
Yeah, sure, of course, you
Scott Mcmahon 53:49
know, they don't want to knowing that you're not on like, any sort of contract, you're just on spec.
Randall Jahnson 53:53
It's not at this. At this point. Yeah. They were just saying, okay, you know, go for it, let them let you know, if they're interested, keep them, keep them on the line, get the story done, you know, get a story out there that you that they're gonna, that they're gonna like, they weren't real mettlesome at that point, they were just sort of taking a back seat. The one agent that I had Carol, I didn't necessarily trust her in terms of, of feedback. Is this a good idea? Or is this a bad idea? You know, so I wouldn't test the waters with her. Rick was a different story. Rick had a better story since I felt they both can sell very well. Okay. So I didn't consult Carol in the sense of like, currently think this is a good idea. Should I do it? Or I mean, should I develop the story? It wasn't like that at all. I was just I knew this was the story that I wanted to tell. And she was going to make the deal for me when this when the time was right. So there's a difference there. You know, a lot of people go to their agents and look at them all. Just as if they are a studio executive or the head of a production company and, and, and think that they might have some artistic taste, I think that's dangerous, that's dangerous to a degree to trust your agent as being someone who really has a taste. Gotcha, their their deal is to sell, you know, making a sale, that's what they're about. And that doesn't necessarily mean they have taste, it means they can take a product, once they see it, once it's done, and they can sell it. But it doesn't necessarily they, that doesn't mean that they can necessarily see it as it is forming, you know, now there are others who can, and have that ability and have that sense of like, that's a very good idea. Go for it. I like where I like how you're thinking, you know, but that's not always the case. So what just let that be a warning sometimes, too. Yeah, you know,
Scott Mcmahon 56:07
if you're Yeah, if you got yourself representation, for sure. Now or what? You were just working so at the mailroom, I was
Randall Jahnson 56:15
I was still I was still in the mailroom. And then finally, when that when they pulled the trigger on on that
Scott Mcmahon 56:21
the first was it the first paycheck that we were, well, that first payment the were you able to take your trip, like take extended leave from the mailroom to do your
Randall Jahnson 56:30
that was it this time it was it was enough, it was substantially more money than I got on the slaughter alley option. And okay, and the stuff that I had, you know, I mean, at the time, it was like, she's I don't know, it was like $25,000 $40,000 Something like, that's pretty good. Yeah. Are you kidding? Cheese man, it was more money than I'd ever seen. So it was definitely enough for me to finally say, Okay, goodbye to the mailroom. I'm gonna go for it. And also, at that stage, I had to become a member of the Writers Guild. So that's the way because VISTA was a guild signatory. And I had to become a member. So you have to drop $1,500 initially to become a member and then get on the health and, and pension plan, and whatever. But then that's it. And then they take 1% of your, your earnings, you know, on top of that. So suddenly, I was in The Guild, and it was, it was a whole new it was a whole new world. You know, I was a professional. I was truly a professional writer at that point. And it was you
Scott Mcmahon 57:37
gotta guild meetings or something just to be Yeah, they had.
Randall Jahnson 57:44
At this time they had, they were having some what they called outreach meetings, because they knew the strike was looming. And so they were having very small gatherings in, like, certain guild members would open up their home to a couple dozen writers turn and they would come in and somebody from The Guild would come there and talk about the latest contract negotiations and what was to be expected and and inform us a bit of what was going on. My roommate, my former roommate. At this time was Gregory Wyden, who wrote Highlander. Oh, and
Scott Mcmahon 58:28
just the first one.
Randall Jahnson 58:29
Well, Greg never has to work a day in his life early because his name's on everything else subsequent to that, so you've Alexa paycheck for it. But he did other things, too. I mean, he wrote Backdraft for Ron Howard. And, and that's kind
Scott Mcmahon 58:47
of how he was dressed when he met grazer. Now it's kidding.
Randall Jahnson 58:52
But Greg got into the guild, just a bit before I did, I think, and off the Highlander deal. And so he and I were were basically sort of rookies of so we were going to a lot of these these outreach meetings together. And I remember this initial one, I was blown away, because there were maybe a dozen people at this at this one meeting. And one of them was like Paul Mazursky, who was well known writer, director, you know, at that time, former actor as well. And Julius Epstein was there and this little this little guy who's you know, about four feet tall and about 80 years old? It's one of the writers of Casablanca.
Scott Mcmahon 59:35
Archie, that's right, it sounds familiar.
Randall Jahnson 59:37
And you just go wow, that's where I was like, suddenly it's like, Oh, my God. I'm and these are, these are like names. You know that. I mean, real pros. I mean, these are this was like an amazing thing.
Alex Ferrari 59:50
We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show.
Scott Mcmahon 59:59
Now Backing up real quick, so exciting when you got in. When you first got the offer, like II realized it was happening there, they're like, Okay, let's make this happen, we're gonna give you the initial payment, you're gonna have to get in the guild, like, I'm assuming all this stuff happened very quickly in a few weeks or a month or so
Randall Jahnson 1:00:16
no, it was like the super past. It was within a couple of a week or so.
Scott Mcmahon 1:00:21
So emotions, like did you did you get a chance to like go out with friends or anything or girlfriend and say, let's celebrate, just have like just a little toast or anything that you did that you like any type of little ceremony said, Whoa, this is cool.
Randall Jahnson 1:00:36
There was a group of us that came through the film school or the theatre arts department at UCLA at the same time. And actually, in retrospect, this that whole era, I've been told by other people from the theater side, the drama department that it is generally regarded as being an extraordinary period from the from the theater arts department, the UCLA Theater Arts Department was included film and drama. So they were sort of segregated, if you will, but two different buildings, but basically, we're all under under the roof of theater arts. Right, right. But out of that time, I mean, there was Tim Robbins, Daphne Zuniga, Alex Cox, Greg Wyden. I mean, Dan pine, Neil Jimenez. I mean, there were so many people that we're going, having huge success, like, I mean, very early on and would later go on to, you know, having extraordinary careers. Yeah. But in my particular circle, it was Greg and I had been roommates, we had a guy named Mike pencilled, who was aspiring producer, his girlfriend at the time, ended up becoming, it's hugely important in my career, because she was a development exec at Columbia when they had the doors. So I threw her was able to get in and have a meeting about that, but that's a little bit further down the line. But Greg had grown up in in Laguna Beach, and a good buddy of his Don Knowlton was also in the theater arts in the drama department. So he knew the number of people there anyway, there was a circle of you know, four or five of us that were all writers and in or producers, aspiring producers, that anytime anyone had any sort of success we would go out and celebrate and usually it was it was you know, wasn't anything like you're painting the town red right. But we would always gathers Yeah, we did. Yeah, we would gather there was a place called Cafe Figaro, which was in West Hollywood, it was on Robertson. Right. And right, we're almost dead ends to Santa's Little Santa Monica Boulevard. And it is George San, I remember this very well, because there's I met Demi, Demi Moore, in the bookstore there across the way after one time, but we would always convene at Cafe Figaro, and have drinks and dinner there. And it was like a real to serve a working. Yeah, working man's place. You know, they always had cute waitresses there. And it was just a place where, you know, lonely writers would go and score, you know, so that was that was the kind of thing that we would do. It wasn't you know, I always had a sense that, you know, this stuff was fleeting, you know, and it was never going to be, you know, you just that there was always going to be challenges further ahead, just let it go, like, wow, I've made it and it's, you know, there's no turning back, is it? No, it's not like that. Because even once you've sort of, quote unquote, arrived, there's always stuff going on, that you've you know, you get wracked with self doubt, you can write something that isn't received well, all these things that can sort of trip you up at one time or another. And it you know, Hollywood in general is a place that just one of the fuels that runs it is insecurity and fear of losing one's stature of losing one's job losing losing face, you know, and so that that informs a lot of decision making and a lot of, of, you know, artistic decisions, right? Fortunately, you know, but at that time, though, still, I was on cloud nine, man, I just frickin I couldn't believe it. I was just thrilled. And then later on, it was funny. It wasn't it wasn't that strike because it didn't last long enough. It was Strike and 88 that I started seeing, because I was a strike captain, the guild had asked me to be a guy that would have to call okay, you know, here's the phone numbers of a dozen writers so we're going to pick it 20th Century Fox tomorrow got it, you got to call all these guys and tell them to be there, what time they're going to be there and this and that. And in the 88 strike, you know, you have we have these just these massive pickets, one studio at a time, so there would be hundreds of writers out there today, you know, marching up to the end of the block and then back down, up and down and bagging them act really angry, shake your signs.
And so invariably, you know, you're there these two columns you're going in you're passing guys walking in the opposite direction, you know, when you see their faces so it you don't even see guys that I've always admired a Harlan Ellison, Richard Brooks, you know, great writers and directors and then I see Ray Bradbury. Bradbury had been a real inspiration for me ever since. Oh, God,
Scott Mcmahon 1:06:10
we talked about college, your high school wrote,
Randall Jahnson 1:06:12
this is going back to high school. Right, right. You know, where I was leaving, like I start reading Ray Bradbury short stories when I was about 12 or 13 years old. And he I did my high school, term paper, English term paper on his work. And then he came down and spoke to at a local college where I was out at MiraCosta, where I was, and I went to see him at the time. And I was like, I couldn't believe that was actually a living breathing writer, like one of my idols right there. I was sitting in the front row. And afterwards, I went up and just told him, I did my term paper on you, and I, you know, in English this year, and he said, Oh, great. Here's my card, you know, write me. I did. And I think he asked for a copy of it of the report or whatever. And so I sent it to him. And he sent back like a whole little package of of stuff that he had autographed and personally printed stuff. And I was like, Oh, my God, I couldn't believe it. So cut two years later, I come to LA, and just my very first, you know, month at at UCLA. And I went into, I knew where he lived, he wasn't too far from where we lived. It was one of the first things I wanted to see was like, Where does a real writer live? And I found his address down in, in in certain part of West LA there. But But anyway, he was signing books one time at a bookstore in Westwood. And I went in, this is like, like I said, my first month there. And I went up, and I was just, again, sort of in awe and just sort of freaking out. And I and he said, Yes. And I said, Well, we've met before, and whatever. Yes, yes. So I want to be a writer. And he said, Well, do you write every day? And I said, No. And he said, then you're not a writer. Next. I was like, Oh, I was so angry. And it's like, wow, I felt like I don't know. But yeah, it was really, really made me mad. But it was right, you know, I had to get get my ass in gear to crack and get cracking. And so come the strike and 88 I'm out there on the picket line. And here comes Bradbury walk in opposite way. He's got this giant head. He does. He's got it. And I see him coming. And so I stopped. And I said, Hey, Ray, and I said, you know, you will really remember me, but Bob, like. And he was, oh, it was very friendly. And he said, and I said, Oh, isn't this cool? Here we are on the strike line. We're writers, you know, we're peers. But I said, I still don't write every day.
But that was, you know, that was the kind of thing it was, it was a thrill to just see some of these these people that had grown up and I was, you know, in awe of and and to be now sort of marching with them to be part of that same organization to be in the same arena was thrilling.
Scott Mcmahon 1:09:22
Yeah, yeah. That's cool. That's the stuff like, I'd like to haven't heard a lot of interviews with a different writers. And they sort of just kind of gloss over that as if it's like, just where the interviews go, is. They just sort of Oh, yeah. So I got my agent and I got this deal. And then we moved on, I had to work on this story. But no one ever stopped and, like, wanted to know those holes intricacies of just the personal motion that people have that says, Well, this is trippy, this is really crazy that I'm able to do this or I'm meeting somebody.
Alex Ferrari 1:09:57
We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show.
Scott Mcmahon 1:10:06
And, and then because it it reflects on your own sort of, I guess self worth worth, and you're like, how am I here? You know, that kind of thing. And I think it's cool because it sounds it makes all this experience human.
Randall Jahnson 1:10:19
What? What I just recall now was after the dude's deal happened my other roommate, Mike penciled he said that this I guess I'll set this up for the dudes. He and a very good friend of his and subsequently subsequently become a friend of mine. Got a wonderful guy named John Hart, who had gone to USC film school and was a cameraman. And he John, we had met John because John shot Greg widens project to which was this year 16 millimeter film, okay. And John was just this. He was from upstate New York, he was just completely different from any of us that had grey cotton come from California, you know, and just really, John was just tremendously fun. But he and Mike kidnap me was one night after this happened. And I remember this, they took me, they took me down to we went out, we wait way east, downtown, right over the LA River. I was like, Okay, it's like Fourth Street Bridge or something like that was right, right, needle bridge, whatever. But at this point, this was no man's land. There was no one out there. It was about two or three in the morning. They they pulled out a bottle of champagne, and they popped it and they said, here's to, to me. Man, you know, to say, you know, you're, you know, the beginning of a new career and that that staggered may that was, that was a wonderful my choked up. I had tears running down my cheeks at that point, because it was so cool. You know, it was just, it was just a wonderful gesture. And those guys were, you know, like, you know, what can you say? I mean, I didn't, not much to say but but drains. Yeah. There was a, there was a diner down there a little bastion of light. In the in that No Man's Land of you know, art lofts and stuff at that time is called Gore keys. And it stayed open. I think it might have been 24/7 You know, and they took me we went there afterwards after we did that. And I remember eating that they had like Russian food and stuff. And I remember eating there after that. They always had hot waitresses there too. It is LA. Oh, God, all these aren't damaged. You know. And that was yeah, that was a pretty neat night. That was That was great. So it was it was very it was monumental fan. You know,
Scott Mcmahon 1:13:08
I thank you for sharing. Because you're I mean, that's, it's cool. It's it's cool to hear. I mean, it's cool to know that. Yeah, we're all human. And it's real like that. I'm sure everyone has the those who are working professionally have these little moments where they feel like just like there's a little fleeting moments of Whoa, that's feels good. But then then but you know, next day you got to get on and work but I think it's a perfect place to stop the podcast. We've been talking for a while and I think it's a great segue into the production of dudes and then how you got to how you got how you got to a chance to write the doors and all that stuff. Yeah, but I think this is fantastic because we've covered in the first part sort of where you started how you got into punk rock and and why that music scene was important to you and now we're in the second phase. Yeah, well,
Randall Jahnson 1:13:57
let me just sign off a bit once we sign off I mean, I got into punk rock by accident really? I mean, cuz I was I was writing a script that was a murder mystery. I think I mentioned this before there was a murder mystery set in the punk rock scene of LA and and it wasn't because I was really into punk rock it just that I thought it was a very exotic place that said a murder mystery. Okay, and so I started attending all these shows as research you know, and for you know, for the for this stuff and I had made friends with all these bands because I started contacting them and I would read what you know, the the cool bands, what the cool bands were, and there had been some that were associated with you at UCLA Film School as well. So I started I knew of them and whatever. So that's how I really got in started getting into the music. The the script panned out. I could I finished it I wrote like 25 pages of it or 30 pages of it and then I put it away but I haven't somebody
Scott Mcmahon 1:14:57
got a hold of me because I think actually I saw a T A show that had that premise. Oh was that was like it was like Cagney Lacey or something. Some kind of show back then. Yeah, that it starts off at a punk show, where people were a mosh dancing, and there's a murder. And then the whole scene surrounds the whole punk rock scene and murders anyway. Yeah, it made it to. I know, Murder She Wrote. I've seen that premise. Yeah, I'm assuming that somebody found it.
Randall Jahnson 1:15:23
Yeah, maybe. So maybe, but what, you know, whatever the case was, I mean, that. That's why I began investigating a lot of this, you know, initially, and then the music. But, I mean, after the script panned out, I still had all these contacts with these bands. And I was kind of, I started really digging the music. And yeah, and so that's, that started then leading to the notion of like, Wow, maybe I could direct some music videos for the broken and have any kind of money, or have any kind of money. So as I maybe we can just do cheat and do stuff on the complete fly here and see what happens. And so that's, you know, but that's another story as well, because I was doing all these videos working with Black Flag, Henry Rollins, writing, writing dudes that don't, and then starting the doors thing was, it was all like happening, it was at once from about 84. To to 8086. And even, you know, beyond that was a very high, highly busy time for me.
Scott Mcmahon 1:16:28
So crazy. I was skateboarding at that time. And obviously, that the skateboarding culture bled into that, sure. That was the music of the time. Like all the older kids, were, you know, into the punk scene, and especially southern California. And, you know, it was different, cuz we're like, I don't hear this on the radio, like, you see, like, this is such a subculture than what is being out there on TV. And it was sort of like the first opportunity of like, independence and skateboarding was definitely embedded with the punk scene, especially I think, with the Z to Z town boys. And you know, that whole long beach scene and Venice beach scene and all of that, no doubt all of that and the look the way or the attitude. And then, but that's how I, you know, obviously, my upbringing, a lot of other Southern California kids that are in the scene, probably saw it the same way so to know that you were making and interacting with those bands where I was just like a bystander of a kid just picking up whatever records I can at back then Tower Records or yeah, what's it called lagers, pizza? Remember that? Yeah, sure. Anyway, I think a lot of my first albums she's, you know, the best thing in my thing, my dad eventually, some of the stuff that I was going to punk shows and like, I come back with, like, the pamphlets and stuff. Yeah, I'm only like, 1213 at the time. So he's come he's looking at this going. Yeah. He's like, he was really disturbed, like, what is going on with my son?
Randall Jahnson 1:18:01
I remember seeing a picture of the Sex Pistols and some was like Parade Magazine. And they were like, you know, warning about the new horrible trend and you know, rock and roll or whatever and use extra pistols and they look like some it's just like, oh, a freak show. thing. And I was so horrified. Like, oh, no, rock'n'roll isn't coming to this because prior that this is, of course back in like 7778 When I was just, I was 77 was my senior year in high school. And I hadn't come to I wasn't going to go to LA until my junior year I transferred up from community college. So I was still in kind of the fishbowl of Carlsbad, California. But, you know, I was listening to Yes, the blues right Emerson Lake and Palmer and the prog rock arena, and he Well, yeah, the prog rock, you know, yeah. And the arena rock kind of stuff. And then this whole thing of the Sex Pistols. Oh, it just sounded just sounded wrong. And I was so intimidated and threatened by what they look like and everything and then then I get up to LA and it was just it all changed, it changed. And all that stuff just still resonates with me hugely. Because it's it's a it's a represents an approach to creativity. That is so resonant and still today, you know, I mean, really, it's, it's about doing it yourself. Yeah, it's Yeah, DIY man DIY. This was the original DIY stuff. And but that's another story and we'll pick that up.
Scott Mcmahon 1:19:38
I think we'll wrap it up for tonight. I was good. Felt good. Well, welcome. We got a little cameo from your friend Frederick. And yeah, where he takes off. Oh, sure. I think he's like here every night before he takes off.
Randall Jahnson 1:19:53
This is the launch pad. I think that's what it is.
Alex Ferrari 1:19:56
We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show.
Scott Mcmahon 1:20:06
You just basically made the deals and had your little, your buddies help you celebrate the sale of the dudes. And I wanted to get into sort of the production of dudes and sort of lead our way into the doors. But what I wanted to tell you is like, about a month ago, I was down in Portland and I came across this like, you know, weird books, sitcom bookstore thing, but they had like, a bunch of array of like, unusual books in there too. And they had a book was like, Punk in the cinema or the American cinema.
Randall Jahnson 1:20:40
Was it floating world where you were out? And it's like in fifth?
Scott Mcmahon 1:20:45
Yeah, it's like, just Yes. It's kind of just fifth and I think it's yeah, it's just right off near is near like Chinatown. Just yeah. So have you ever floated? Yeah,
Randall Jahnson 1:20:56
they have a lot of counterculture stuff. Okay, so that's a great store. And Jason, leave Leviathan Leviathan,
Scott Mcmahon 1:21:06
I think says Yeah, well, that was your last name.
Randall Jahnson 1:21:11
So wonderful guy. Very friendly. And that's his store. And I love that story. That's actually got me really excited a lot about comics and
Scott Mcmahon 1:21:20
Oh, really? Yeah. I kind of stumbled into because it was I was looking for the 24 hour Church of Elvis. Oh, yeah. And I guess it used to be there. But now they've closed whatever it used to be there. Now. It's just this hole in the wall, right? This like weird display that has these buttons you asked you to push? And you can't hear anything. Can't hear anything. It's like the most weird sort of like useless.
Randall Jahnson 1:21:44
Yeah, we're so where is that now?
Scott Mcmahon 1:21:45
I it's just on the other side of Burnside. So what it goes Burnside, there's kuj. It's like yeah, it's fourth fifth. It's right around the edge of
Randall Jahnson 1:21:55
Chinatown. I didn't realize it was it was I thought it was further up north it
Scott Mcmahon 1:21:59
might have been but they changed it and that's where the location so right down the in the corner of that is that come book counter? Culture? Bookstore. Yeah. But I was in there. And I saw this book. It was like punk, history Punk in the cinema, or whatever it was. And there was like, halfway through fools full spread is like dudes had like a full spread of like your, of the cover of the movie and like little synopsis, and it's really kind of cool. Get out of here. Really? Yeah. I thought you might have no, no, I did. Okay, so we had to get that for you for Christmas.
Randall Jahnson 1:22:31
Oh, wow. Just Oh, crap. I didn't know that. That's great. Yeah,
Scott Mcmahon 1:22:35
it was. I mean, it's a pretty thick book. I mean, it goes through like a bunch of stuff of like, about punk reference or anything related in cinema. And this, you know, it wasn't just like little like, picture and blurb. It was a full thing. It was a full page picture. One side and other side was the right up. So anyway, I'll let you know what's out there.
Randall Jahnson 1:22:56
Oh, wow. Thank you. Well, it's very interesting, because, you know, it was dudes was directed by Penelope Spheeris, who, who really got on the map with the decline of Western civilization, which was her her documentary on the LA punk scene, in really circa 78 7980. You know, with x and fear and the germs, you know, she had a lot of a lot of footage of interviews with Darby cry, she would be dead, you know, in a very short amount of time. When and that was one of the compelling aspects of the of the whole movie, but so Penelope had a lot of street cred, you know, in terms of the punk scene, right.
Scott Mcmahon 1:23:44
Was this their first feature after the documentary?
Randall Jahnson 1:23:46
No, no, she had done. She had done actually two or three more films, narrative films, before dudes, but she'd done it from Roger Corman. And one of them was called the boys next door, which starred Charlie Sheen. And a young, a very young Charlie Sheen, and that, you know, at that point, Emilio Estevez, his brother had all the street cred, or at all that was sort of an established star because especially in the punk world, because he had been in remote and Repo Man, where is that? Well, this was repo man. And dudes came out basically the same year, or they were being filmed almost simultaneously. So this was 8580. Was it let's say it at 8686 87 Right? Yeah. Dudes was actually shot mostly during 86 As I recall now, and but it didn't get much of a release until 87. Then it was barely you And what's interesting too, is that d dudes has never come out on DVD. And we're actually in the process of tracking it down right now and see if we can get it released on DVD. But what makes everything so difficult is that there has been a chain of bankruptcies declared by the whatever entity that that acquired the rights to require the the actual funny and finished film, because they dudes was made by the VISTA organization, and they made three or four films, and then they were bought by someone, and then that company folded and then they were bought and gobbled up by another corporate entity, and so on, and so on and so on. And so becomes very difficult to actually follow the the chain of title right before. And you know, and what's fascinating is that this is relatively recent history. I mean, you know, as a 19, you know, this was a film that was released in 1987. Right? And yet, they're, they're serious doubt as to who owns it. And imagine, you know, we're gonna figure that that shows you in one level, how fast these corporations you know, bye, bye. Come and go. And they come and go, and the rights to things or get gets very confused right.
Scott Mcmahon 1:26:27
Now, I think I remember, well, we saw the film on your writing class, because one of your students was able to get a copy or you had a copy of No, I had a copy of it. Okay, so you basically,
Randall Jahnson 1:26:37
yeah, basically, what happened is, I fortunately, I'm glad I did, I purchased a laser disc of it when a disc was this big chrome planter, you know. And when I moved up here, actually, a friend of mine, who was coincidentally the engineer on, on two of the records that I put out on my record label back in the 80s was an AMI record label. Yeah, blue yonder sounds and
Scott Mcmahon 1:27:10
how long did it last year?
Randall Jahnson 1:27:12
Well, it lasted about three years. You know, a couple of years, three years, something like that, you know, I mean, you can. But Steve sharp, who engineered the album by the fifth Fibonacci, which was the first release, and then the second one by a band called slack who were from Portland, Oregon. Well, Steve was originally from Portland, Oregon. And then he moved back to Portland, Oregon, when I moved up here. I went to go see, my friend, Stan Ridgway, who was performing at Mississippi studios. With us, this is like in July, you know, we moved here in June of 2007. And then in July, Stan came through town, and I went to go see him. And while I was waiting in the beer line at Mississippi, I hear, Hey, Randy. And I did not recognize them. But it was Steve sharp. And he now shaves his head, whereas back then he had big poofy, 80s hair. Right. And, and so he, Steve sharp and said, Oh my god, Steve, what are you doing here? And so anyway, long story short, Steve has a media duplication company and a recording studio and everything here in town. Yeah. So. Wow, great. All right here. Okay. It's a beautiful thing. Thank you. But you will see I finish with right on anything else? We're guess? We're pretty good for now. Yes, thank you. Yeah. Don't forget us. So, Steve, I said look, I've got a laser disc. Is there any way of getting something duplicated on you know, and so basically, we got we're able to get a DVD copy of dudes pulled off of the laserdisc the digital copy there, but the quality isn't that great. You know, it's not like still looking at the original thing and it was shot by Bob Richardson who has gone on to become in Martin Scorsese's dp and he was Oliver Stones DP for the for the doors and many other films and he's an Academy Award winner. He shoots beautiful stuff and always has and so you know, I don't think our little you know, rip off DVD was, you know, doing it justice, but Right, right. You know, it worked for my class.
Scott Mcmahon 1:29:47
That was cool. We'll take a little break or eat your back. Let's see here.
Alex Ferrari 1:29:54
We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show.
Scott Mcmahon 1:30:04
All right, well, let's talk about your production of dudes. So boom, you realize it's happening, right?
Randall Jahnson 1:30:12
Well, what happened was that I wrote my my first draft, which was really long, it was like 140 pages long or something like that, you know, in generally a screenplay should be coming in at tops, you know, 120 pages, right? And even a little less than is better. But mine came in it was it was this epic, epic punk rock Western.
Scott Mcmahon 1:30:34
I shoot for about 50 pages now. Yeah. Yeah, and I say add action scene here now. Right.
Randall Jahnson 1:30:47
Oh, thank you. But in the case of dudes, then they got a director involved. You know? I guess I got notes from Miguel Tata Floros. And Hank Palmieri, and producer herb Jaffe, at that, at that stage in which I then, you know, we all knew we had to cut it down. So I worked really hard and just really condensing it and getting rid of any anything that was fat. And then Penelope Spheeris, came aboard. And they were talking it was the script was making the rounds at the studios as well. They were trying to get a studio maybe further on board.
Scott Mcmahon 1:31:29
Because so they're already in the midst of producing it, but they want a little bit more back. Yeah, yeah.
Randall Jahnson 1:31:34
You know, what happens sometimes is that an independent company will say, Okay, we've got this, maybe we can get somebody to come on board more. And
Scott Mcmahon 1:31:46
I'll adjust. No, no, I just met, I moved it closer, you
Randall Jahnson 1:31:49
get to throw to throw some more money at us or something. And I was told, you know, it got out to Columbia, Columbia was kind of interested in it. And actually, Ridley Scott, I was told Ridley Scott had read it was very interested, or were somewhat interested in it. That's obviously not enough to go to get behind it and make it but because, you know, ultimately, it was interesting. He goes and makes Thelma and Louise not that much later. But there were you know, there's kind of a little bit of similarities to it. But anyhow, they started taking meetings with potential directors for it. And to quote Miguel Penelope came in and met with them. And he said, she impressed the shit out of us. And Penelope told me later to that she went in there and she said, look, there are only two people on the planet who can direct this me and Alex Cox and Alex Cox was already making repo man at that stage. She said, it's got to be me. So I met her and she gave me some notes. And then I did some refining. But the great thing about Penelope was that she just she really loved the script. I mean, she really didn't want to change much at all. Not not in rare. Yeah, it's pretty rare. It's pretty rare. And in quite, quite frankly, I mean, Penelope was just, you know, she was just really wonderful. She was so welcoming, and encouraged me to be on the set as much as possible. She invited me at every stage of the process to be involved. For example, once she came aboard, and they started having casting sessions, she invited me to a casting session to come in.
Scott Mcmahon 1:33:43
Now, did you have those three sort of main characters? Well, sort of the three guys, three dudes. But did you when you're writing have actors in mind? No writing,
Randall Jahnson 1:33:56
okay, not really. The only guy that I had in mind was the villain. And that was leaving, play by leaving. The villain was his name was Missoula was a nickname. And it was played by leaving but I wrote it with leaving in mind because he was the lead singer of fear. One of the bands that was featured in the decline of Western civilization, but I had seen fear a couple of times, and I thought he was very very menacing. And he was a real kind of there was a redneck cracker kind of quality to the sky that was behind all the, the the intimidate intimidation, there's a real biker kind of going lately was very, you know, really provocative presence. So I hadn't really with him in mind, but the other three guys biscuit and you know, Grant and Milo. I didn't have anyone in particular
Scott Mcmahon 1:34:57
line. So when you saw that when you go to the casting show And then you're
Randall Jahnson 1:35:01
well, I had I mean, I had in mind a character, right, you know what I wanted. And it was interesting because we on that particular day that I was allowed to sit in, or she invited me to sit in. We saw read for the part, we saw Tim Robbins. Kyle McLaughlin, and Kiefer Sutherland and Michael Dunbar who was, you know, sort of 70s glam rocker, you know, in that, who wasn't quite who wasn't right. And all those guys gave interesting readings. But the one I was most impressed with, was a keeper. Right? But Penelope didn't go for him as much because she felt he didn't have a sense of humor. And that was interesting to me, because I never felt that Grant had a sense of humor or should have had a sense of humor. It was the the movies, comedic quality came out of out of situations where you have these punkers you know, a city of, you know, floundering out and the Wild West, you know, the modern West. And that's, that, to me was a funny situation. And if there was any humor in the Express by either of the characters, it was out of biscuit. It was this big slobbery. Yeah, kind of a lovable but, you know, a lummix. Right. And so, but we disagreed on that and she she just didn't feel it was right. But ultimately, you know, we was played by Jon Cryer that cast stone prior because he was coming off of the John Hughes movies pretty pretty. He was pretty big. He was Ducky, ducky. Yeah, yeah, exactly. You know. So,
Scott Mcmahon 1:36:54
and I don't think kefir hadn't made stand by me yet, Hattie. No, he had not. Okay. So no one really kind of
Randall Jahnson 1:37:01
he was he was a known quantity. Yeah. You know, they knew about him because of this, you know, certainly the the, the his father but but they didn't. He hadn't quite proven he had bit parts. I think that, you know, prior to that. And it was shortly after that, that he started, you know, taking off.
Scott Mcmahon 1:37:23
Because he was like, stand by me then. Oh, Lost Boys. Yeah. That's kind of cemented that, sir. Very. Yeah, he was a good heavy.
Randall Jahnson 1:37:31
Yeah. Well, he was good. And you know, he had that he had suitable answer. And he physically he was menacing. You could be menacing. And that's what I wanted with, you know, with with Grant, somebody could go head to head with leaving, you know, in a way. And then you'd have the lummix of biscuit, who was based on a took his name from a lead singer of a band called the big boys who were skate punks from Austin, Texas. And interview Randy biscuit. Turner was there. And he was awesome. That's awesome. I only saw them once. But their records hold up really, really? Well. They were great. And then Unfortunately, he passed away a few years ago, I think but the big boys were were rockin and then ultimately then she also cast flee. Right and the chili peppers as Milo the ill. ill fated Milo which was interesting because on one level, because flee had filled in as bass player for temporary basically player for fear. Oh, okay. So in a sense, backing up leaving, and I thought it was always funny that I hear was, you know, the movie contest? The lead singer was killing his bass player.
Scott Mcmahon 1:38:48
Now, that was real quick, cuz I don't think we're gonna lose anything here by just giving the premise of the movie. Right? It's like no, no,
Randall Jahnson 1:38:57
basically, in a nutshell, it's about three New York punk rockers who get fed up with all the urban blight living in the city and decide to drive cross country to California. Yeah, because they want to go they want to meet the Go Go's or something. It's they want to get away from Jersey and they want to get away or you know, Queens, whatever. And what happens then is they're traveling across the country. They're camping out in Arizona, and then they get attacked by this group of rednecks who are who are out killing illegal aliens or whatever they put kicks. Yeah.
Alex Ferrari 1:39:39
We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show.
Randall Jahnson 1:39:48
So they find these guys and wrong place wrong time and place wrong time. And so one of them gets killed and the other to the surviving to grant biscuit Without events there, buddy, and go on the trail of these killers, when no one else will write and write. And so it's a it's an epic Western. So they try, they try and track from Arizona and ends up at least on the script, it ends up in the mountains of Montana. Oh, okay. Yeah. So it was a, they were crossing all the way. And so I traveled all around those areas. I wanted to, you know, actually make it really authentic to make sure they're going to real rise and all of that. But they meet characters along the way that come and go. And Catherine, Mary Stewart plays a random a young woman who has a tote drives a tow truck, right, okay. And she comes out to their aid a few times. And then she actually gives them a few tips on surviving and gives him some guns and and I wrote the I wrote the, the role for a much older woman, I wanted to see that it was, you know, it was Grant getting involved with with an older woman. So it would be it would have been like, you know, Kiefer Sutherland and Barbara Hershey. That time, okay. But, you know, Hollywood being what it is. They ended up casting Catherine, Mary Stewart, who was in I think, The Last Starfighter, you know, and who's actually quite lovely, and she ended up being playing the role of Jessie and gonna fill in that role pretty well. Yeah, not she did a good job. Yeah, she broke her arm during the production of it actually went out to the set when they were filming outside of Flagstaff, Arizona. And by the way, another great thing about Penelope, she asked me a lot. She said, Where where should this take place? Or do you have any ideas where this location is and this and that, and I directed her to some of the places that I had found specifically in in Arizona, in and around the Verde Valley, which is, you know, just north of Phoenix about about 100 miles or so it's in between Phoenix and Flagstaff. It's very close to Sedona. So there's some great old ghost towns, interesting places out there. And so, I went out there to the set, she welcomed me to come out. And so I was there for a few days while they were shooting on location and the date the first day I got there and finally got to the set. There was a scene where they were riding horses through this beautiful, beautiful setting, right? Right on the edge of Flagstaff and she fell off a horse I think, and this is like I'd been there like five minutes and she fell off this horse. The horse stopped abruptly and she went like ass over Yeah. Saddle pommel and broke her arm. Arm. Yeah, but she was quite the troopers. She She toughed it out, she got that thing, put in a cast, and then they covered it up with a long sleeve.
Scott Mcmahon 1:43:06
So some of the shoots she was just tightening it. Yeah, she was
Randall Jahnson 1:43:09
hiding it. And she got back on the horse and did some more writing and all sorts of stuff. So she was shooting press me quite a bit crazy. Yeah. You know, movies show must go on, you know.
Scott Mcmahon 1:43:19
So you got to see the whole movie. And, you know, you're like, the first movie. Yeah, like holy cow. And then,
Randall Jahnson 1:43:26
and I wanted to be there every every day. Right, but I couldn't. Because I got the job and the doors. And I had early. Yeah, I had to start.
Scott Mcmahon 1:43:36
Okay. Okay, that's perfect. So not only because I think let me double check here. So you said, so you're doing that. Hold on, sir. I want to just make sure I get this in Chronicle. Chronicle.
Speaker 2 1:43:52
I can't speak chronicled. Yes. The
Scott Mcmahon 1:43:54
chronological order here.
Randall Jahnson 1:43:57
It's the dead guy speaking.
Scott Mcmahon 1:44:00
Or it's just me making fun of my mother for so many years. Okay, let's see here. Come on. There we go. So it says here because this is all true. IMDB.
Randall Jahnson 1:44:19
on IMDb, then it's true.
Scott Mcmahon 1:44:21
Okay, this is good. Okay, so yes, you're working on dudes. So How and where did the doors project come up during the filming in the production dudes?
Randall Jahnson 1:44:30
Well, again, Hollywood is a streaky business. So you know, there it's, it's all about hype. And in the anytime you have something going and heading into production that creates a fair amount of momentum. So suddenly everybody's interested in you know, what you're doing and what your next project is and all of that. So I had some real heat based on that because again, the script had kicked around the studios as well, right. It was The there was some interest there. So the doors project had been languishing for years because they had as I think I explained before they had there were quarreling parties that were involved. Okay, finally, Bill Graham, the rock promoter was able to put all the quarreling parties together in one room and get them all on the same page and get them to agree to make this particular movie. It was a huge bit of politics and
Scott Mcmahon 1:45:28
all this stuff was going on prior to even showing up right. Okay.
Randall Jahnson 1:45:31
So it was finally set and was set up at Columbia Pictures and Columbia was where Ridley Scott had his deal. And so that's how I think dudes got circulated out there. And one thing right, you know, so they had read it, and they were aware of it now, simultaneous with all of this is that my, one of my roommates from film school, Mike penciled was dating. A young executive at at Columbia, a development executive named Jude Schneider. And Jude was the executive who inherited the doors project. So it was her job then to go out and find your appropriate writer for it. So she asked her boyfriend, my old roommate, Mike, doing good for this. And Mike, who was aspiring to be a producer at that point, too, as well is just saying, Well, you know, he knew a lot of writers around but also, you know, he said, you know, Randy, I was Randy them. And so I got the call, and I knew Jude anyway, just through Mike Yeah, slightly, but not, you know, not real close. So, she got me out to come out and talk about it with her and then she said, I want to, I want to put you together then with a producer on it. Okay. And the producer was a guy named Sasha Harare, who was an Israeli computer magnate made a lot of money in in software. Way back when and he had bought his way onto the project. He had never produced anything before but he had bought a strategic piece of the pie. He bought the sync rights to the doors music, which Yeah, no one can make a movie with doors using DOORS music without pain. Right the Piper was Sasha
Scott Mcmahon 1:47:26
well that for once I close that door
Randall Jahnson 1:47:32
close the door and the doors Yeah, that's cold though.
Scott Mcmahon 1:47:47
Yeah, good reason. All right. So so very, which is that? Yeah, to think like the producers who bought the rights. Harry Potter, right. That just opened up.
Randall Jahnson 1:47:58
Yes, it did. It's just like, it was like a ghost. That's pretty funny. No, you can't do that. But, you know.
Scott Mcmahon 1:48:02
Funny. All right. We got a ghost. Yeah. So sorry.
Randall Jahnson 1:48:19
Jim Morrison coming. So Jude facilitated a meeting for me to meet the producer. Sasha he was he was apparently the lead producer at that point. So I met with him. We had lunch, and that he speak English pretty well. No, actually have very thick Israeli accent. Yeah, he tended to mumble a bit. And so it's
Scott Mcmahon 1:48:52
kind of hard to tell if you're getting good response. Oh, he must have been like, I don't know about Oh, I thought I
Randall Jahnson 1:48:57
told you. I thought it was over after 10 or 15 minutes. I mean, you know, yeah, I thought it was just going to be a very long lunch because I felt like I was shooting blanks. Yeah, I was not seeing anything that made any sense to him at all? Well, let
Scott Mcmahon 1:49:09
me let me back up on that. Real quick. So you know, you're going into this meeting, you know, what the project is about is just the doors. So how much preparation do you do before you go into the meeting? In terms of like reading up about the doors? Or do you have something preset in your mind about this is how I would tackle the story or
Randall Jahnson 1:49:27
Well, it's helpful. Yeah. Because they, when you're going through an interview process with producers, so it's essentially it's an audition piece. Now granted, they usually have read something that you have written prior to that. But they're also listening to agents and, and studio executives and and listening to their recommendations on who they should meet and all that. But when it really comes down to it, it's about chemistry. And it's about, it's about your vision.
Alex Ferrari 1:49:57
We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show.
Randall Jahnson 1:50:06
You know, so granted at that time, unlike today where there is a, you know, there's a dozen biographies out and Jim Morrison Yeah. Now, at that time there were no biographies, except for no one here gets out alive, which was written by Danny Sugarman and Jerry Hopkins, which I read, but I was not impressed with it for a variety of reasons it but it struck me as being very sensationalized and what wasn't footnoted? That's always if a book isn't footnoted, that's nonfiction. You know, I find it very difficult to believe, right. You know, some of the sources they say that they get the they they get their material from anyhow, I had read that I was a DOORS fan. I wasn't a DOORS fanatic. I had a couple of their albums. I didn't have the complete catalogue. Yeah. And but I had gone to UCLA, film school, which Morrison and Raymond's Eric, the keyboardist had had attended. And we had actually shared a couple of the same instructors. They were they had attended, you know, and I think 6465 Okay, and I was there and started in 79 and 8080, and out in 82. And so what happened, though, is that I caught a couple of these professors at the very end of their tenure, after many years there and that one was Ed Brokaw and the other was loose Doman and they both had had Morrison and, and Raymond's Eric, his students, and he left the door wide open there. And
Scott Mcmahon 1:51:49
he's having now down Yeah,
Randall Jahnson 1:51:51
so that brought a little credibility for me, because I you know, it's always about insider information. And somebody Oh, he must be really in touch. Because he's come up through the so you did all the UCLA Film School mystique. Okay. So
Scott Mcmahon 1:52:08
do you do is prep work before? Like,
Randall Jahnson 1:52:10
not really, because there wasn't a whole lot to do other than listen to their music, read the book.
Scott Mcmahon 1:52:15
How many days did you have to prepare to do like one day like he's gonna meet with him tomorrow? Yeah,
Randall Jahnson 1:52:20
it was pretty quick. It came up, I think, within a couple of days, because they were ready to go, they had to get moving. You know, they were they'd been this project had been festering for years. And so now that they finally had the green light to do it, that people were very, very eager to have moving. So I went and met with Sasha on this, this restaurant up on, on the Sunset Strip there and Hollywood, West Hollywood and sat down and we started chatting, and I just felt right away. This is not working. It's not going anywhere.
Scott Mcmahon 1:52:49
Did you feel like you're doing most of the talking? And he was just kind of looking mumbling Yeah.
Randall Jahnson 1:52:54
Yeah, basically, he was even closer. Sure.
Scott Mcmahon 1:53:13
He's just cooking out there.
Randall Jahnson 1:53:16
On the chef's Yeah, well, he's cooking and out there. We're freezing in here.
Scott Mcmahon 1:53:20
He's like yah no problem close it. Anyway, so you're just great. So yeah, it was the meeting like 20 minutes?
Randall Jahnson 1:53:28
Well, it was about to be I thought it was going to be over real fast. It was the quickest lunch ever because I thought I was boring them and we just couldn't find seem to be finding any any common ground. And granted again, to I at this time had had directed. You know, I've been working with Henry Rollins, Black Flag, men. And so I was kind of very steeped in the punk culture in LA at that time. Just didn't seem to matter to him. So then I said something that was I remember him cocking his head. And I felt that I made some sort of impression. And that was I drew the comparison between Jim Morrison and Lawrence of Arabia. And the movie Lawrence of Arabia, in which I said that both of these guys were very charismatic, very well educated, well read young men who were literally swept up by the events and the wave of history. And they served it as best they could. But what was happening is that there was a discrepancy that arose between their public persona and their private ones. And it got to the point of where that discrepancy pulled them so far apart that something had to snap, and it did, and it broke them out. I got my attention. And that did He cocked his head and then what I thought was going to be a 20 minute conversation ended up being two hours. We Were there for a couple of hours. That was a turning point was the turning piano hook, gone with that hook. And so who would have thunk, but that's the way that's the way it worked. And so he became very curious then about, you know what I thought and because he was Sasha was very intrigued with the notion that Jim was indeed a poet. He was he was an intellectual. Yeah, and arguably, he was. So he wanted to see that aspect really exploited and dramatized as much as possible. And so when I brought that up, I mean that to him, you know, there was there was a corollary between him and Lawrence of Arabia, te Lawrence, who was, you know, was a writer, and basically, you had the poet, the soul of a poet himself. But Lawrence was homosexual. And Lawrence also started believing his own press, at a certain point, at least, that was the take that the movie had. And it became very, very difficult for him to measure up to the sort of the public, or the heroic image that that had been perpetuated them by the media of the day. So it's very true with with Morrison Morrison wasn't a homosexual. He's probably bisexual. Yeah. But he had some secrets and some issues that, you know, caused him to, to snap, you know, to break as well. So, and also then the other thing that, I think scored some points was that I said, and this was one of the reasons why I really wanted to do the project was I had felt there had never been a rock and roll epic. Yeah. You know, up until that point, we'd seen the Buddy Holly story and the Richie Valens story and things like that Coal Miner's Daughter, which was really great, but it was different types of music and different, we hadn't seen a really serious treatment of rock and roll, and rock and roll, epic rock and roll.
Scott Mcmahon 1:57:08
Yeah, at a crucial time, like you said, it's different like the by high pitch the value or is is is different.
Randall Jahnson 1:57:14
And so I felt that the doors really had that potential, you because the, because of the subject matter of what they they sang about and what they their performances and the way they orchestrated things and the way their albums were produced and all of that, and you know, in Morrison's vision and men's Eric's vision and all of that they collectively they they had scope. It was It wasn't bubblegum rock. Yeah, it wasn't Paul Revere and the Raiders are, you know, really was about that was about the big questions, you know, yeah. And so that's what I bought dramatically. cinematically, it had great potential. And that's why I wanted to do it.
Scott Mcmahon 1:57:51
Did you find yourself once you cry, you broke through that like 20 minute mark, and you realize that now you're gelling? having this conversation that? Are the things kind of come in your mind. Like it's just you started just riding the wave yourself?
Randall Jahnson 1:58:04
You started the station started talking about your aspirin? Yeah, you do. You gotta do like, no, yeah, they
Scott Mcmahon 1:58:11
give you like this dolphin No, no, not.
Randall Jahnson 1:58:15
A bit. Yeah, it gets like that. It's, it's pretty funny. And you got to be careful to have like, not not promising more than you can deliver. But you can't help you get excited. And, and they and they feel that, you know, they producers, and executives and stuff, they they want to be swept up with the with your enthusiasm, they want to see your vision as well. Right? And they want to feel it. So it's a it's exciting for them, when you get excited and you sell them on it, you know, and then they're going to get on board because they usually have to turn around and then either have to sell you to their boss or to the studio or tested to some sort of money entity, that they and make them feel confident and good enough that they are making the right decision in hiring you and that you and only you have have the vision to pull this off. Right. So when I went off to this meeting, I remember talking to my my agent at the time, Rick Jaffa who I mentioned in our last session, you know, wrote has written with his wife, The Rise of the Planet of the Apes, you know, he left Morris to go become a writer. Rick was still my agent at that time. And he called me before I had this lunch before I called him up to tell him that I had this meeting that Jude had set up with Sasha and and he said, Listen, you know, you said I don't mean to dice your hopes, you know, rain on your parade, but, you know, they're talking to some really heavy hitters. It's a very, very slim chance you're gonna get that gig. Okay, I said, I don't care. I'm gonna I gotta go for it. I want to try, right? We try for it. And so he was very pleasantly surprised when when I got the gig But however, I didn't know I really had it.
Alex Ferrari 2:00:04
We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show.
Randall Jahnson 2:00:13
See, Sasha was very good poker player and so. So we that 20 minute lunch expanded into to a two hour lunch and we'd left. And then I heard from Jude I believe a later on that said, All right, he wants you to come and meet the doors. Now, the surviving doors. Great. Nothing else. That's already been worth it. Yeah. So we met and I can't remember if it was at Columbia Studios, or if it was at some other location there. But we had a preliminary meeting and where I met them. I can't remember if Jude was present in that meeting or not. But what was interesting was that man's Eric was there and men Zarek was impressed with with the stuff that I had done music video wise, and and also with my record label, and here's the here's where it got. No, no, my record label hadn't hadn't been established yet. But here's here's where it got incestuous though, which was that men's. Eric was producing X at the time. Oh, X was of course right now the punk rock band of LA and LA. Yeah, so man's Eric was producing them. So he was very keyed into what their their, you know, vibe and aesthetic was. Then he was a further impressed by the fact that I had gone through I was through UCLA. And we had had some of the shame Siemens instructors, so We compared notes. Yeah, a lot. And then Ray was also very interested in a band called the Fibonacci series who were he was interested in producing them. And they were the band that ultimately that would be my debut band on my record label. So I got to kind of really, and then then Densmore, the drummer John Densmore to the doors found out that I had written dudes, and he knew about dudes already. That it was I don't know, in the, in the works somewhere. And John was acting a lot at that point. And he immediately said, Do you think you can get a nice part in the movie? Like this? Oh, I just. I said, Well, sure. And then I had also the other thing that brought them in Zurich like was that I had been working with black flag and Henry Rollins. And I had always argued that, you know, the doors were much more punk rock than they were FlowerPower psychedelic, oh, yeah, generation kind of stuff. And that Henry was, you know, sort of the spiritual inheritor of the Morrison legacy, you know, by doing all his spoken word stuff, and I felt Henry had potentially had some acting chops. And there was even some discussion about Henry even possibly being the guy to play Jim, just very briefly. But Henry and I were piling around a lot at that time. And so I actually brought Henry over and to meet men's Eric and Paul Rotschild and Bruce Botnick, who engineered all the doors albums in Roswell, who produced them all. With some recording session was going on that they end so the he thought that was really cool. I scored a lot of points on that day, because Henry was really impressed to meet men's Eric and Rothchild. And men's Eric was really impressed to me, Henry and further just kind of, I think submitted my street cred in terms that I I was the right guy for to do this project. Right, right. So that's how in session and then I got I got Densmore an audition for dudes and Penelope Castile. So he's in dudes. He plays sheriff in a, you know, that's right. A Montana town and leaving blows him away, you know, at the very end there and but it was it was really funny. It was quite a time that was a high watermark in my, my career. And I so yeah, 1986
Scott Mcmahon 2:04:34
God, so you had your duties in production? You basically, at what point did you know was official that you're on doors?
Randall Jahnson 2:04:43
Well, I did. So we have that you had all these meetings. We were having all these meetings. And I kept wondering, Well, where are we you know, and we a lot of talk, a lot of discussion. A check. Well, nobody was saying anything. Yeah. So then we met again at a meeting. We had a meeting at 20th Century Fox and the reason why we were there was because we were in the in the office of a screenwriter named Tom Rickman. Tom Rickman is a wonderful, wonderful guy and a wonderful screenwriter. And he had written Coal Miner's Daughter, Michael Apted directed, they had originally gone to Tom to see if he wanted to write the doors movie of which he declined. He just, he just didn't want to get into that. That rat's nest, I guess, or whatever it was hornet's nest. But he agreed to be a board as to mentor, anyone who did step in to do it. So in other words, Tom was there for backup in case you know, whoever stepped into it failed. So he wanted to meet me then. And so we all convened at his office and 20th Century Fox, and so so it was Tom, were the surviving doors myself, Sasha. And I remember, they had ordered out lunch and everybody was brought in the sandwiches and zoo were all sitting around eating sandwiches, and there was a lot of banter going back and forth and discussion. And they kept asking me certain things about the movie or out, you know, what, how I saw certain things and what was important and what wasn't. And I kept, like, figuring out what, what, and finally I just find out, I just looked at Sasha. And I said, Look, do I have the job? I remember him just kind of grinning up. And he said, Yeah, you have the job.
Scott Mcmahon 2:06:35
That was your job. Like, my age and my man. Oh,
Randall Jahnson 2:06:43
my God. And that's, that's when at that moment, then it was just like, I frickin couldn't believe it, man. Because then it was like, I, I had run the gauntlet. I had beat the odds. I was, you know, having lunch with legends. And I was on a studio lot. And it was the dream. It was the dream. You know, it was just an amazing feeling.
Scott Mcmahon 2:07:08
When you got that moment when he gave you the smile a nod. Internally, were you just how quickly were able to focus back on to the task at hand which is like Well, here's the vision the movie because inside us be like, a holy shit. This is actually happening. Like this has actually happened. Yeah,
Randall Jahnson 2:07:24
I mean, you're you're doing somersaults inside. Yeah. But try to be cool. Cool. Yeah. Okay, yeah. Cool. I'm into it
Scott Mcmahon 2:07:42
well, it goes outside, but that door keeps flying.
Randall Jahnson 2:07:47
No, no. Yeah, this is it. So yeah, it was like, but I remember getting out of there and just like, Oh my God, who do I call first? I mean, it was like so well, who do you call? I think I called my agent I called Rick and Carol young guests and I said, I got the job and they just like, Are you kidding? Are you sure you Sure? And they said they told me they only got the job. And sure enough, it was you know, consummated shortly after that. I called Jude to thank her for really going to bat for me because she she really also it wasn't just all me she had influence with the studio of course and cuz she was still the executive in charge of the project. So she went to bat for me as well. And Jeeves, I think I called I don't know I call my parents and I you know, it's all blur a blur at this point, but it was just, I just
Scott Mcmahon 2:08:41
chose this is still a payphone Oh, yeah.
Randall Jahnson 2:08:46
I waited till I got home. But you know, this was this was at six but this was the drag though is that I got the gig and then dudes was in production was going into production. So like, I want to be there on the set, but I got it. I have to start going to work. Right away. Yeah. Fortunately, they were shooting dudes in LA in LA locations before they went off to Arizona. Okay, so I was able to, to go down the set in LA a couple of times. And I was dating this girl who worked for SST records at the time. Nice. Punk Rock. Yeah, yeah. She was a little skate punk. Nice. And she was tough man, Karen Nicks. And she was a photographer as well, and a really actually very good writer. And anyway, I took her to the set of dudes and we were I remember being then fully started, started trying to pick up on her. I was gonna
Scott Mcmahon 2:09:52
ask you, Ryder down there. I'm assuming that you see you lost her to one of the rockstars punks.
Randall Jahnson 2:09:59
Fleet was You know,
Alex Ferrari 2:10:02
we'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show.
Randall Jahnson 2:10:11
Chili peppers were just starting to Yeah. They were they were still very underground. They were, you know, they were the opening band for more established bands in LA at that time. But, you know, flea was a known commodity because of his, his playing with a fear. Yeah. You know, for even though it was a short stint, and then, and he was just a well known guy on that whole scene. So, yeah, but Fli was after Cara that. That was pretty funny. But yeah, so then, then Sasha told me, he said, basically, take a couple of weeks to research and then go and write the script.
Scott Mcmahon 2:10:57
Okay, so where do you start?
Randall Jahnson 2:11:01
Well, I started by interviewing, you know, the door, the doors themselves, you know, you go right straight to the horse's mouth in this particular case. And that was a, an array, Robbie, and John and I interviewed them collectively. And then I interviewed them individually, as well, because it's a little bit of corroborative Yeah, kind of witnesses and and that that I found it was sometimes they wouldn't be more frank, if they were if the others weren't around especially Densmore would really open up and the other two weren't around. So it became very apparent to me. Oh, and then Rothschild was also the gem of have an interview. And he was really my, my head. We're, yeah, we're doing really, really well. I guess you can take that empty. Yeah, I'm not gonna suck anymore. No,
Scott Mcmahon 2:12:02
I games. Another one, I think.
Randall Jahnson 2:12:04
Okay. Yeah. I'm just been talking to him tonight. I know. Yeah. , so So ray, t. Densmore, Rothschild. It was, yeah. My first or second session with him. It was like, wow, I felt like I was still being auditioned to a certain degree. Yeah. Because a lot of these guys now now, even though I was on board, and sanctioned, yeah, had the blessing. Now, it's still I sort of had to prove myself. And in, in a sense, I mean, these were the guys who were the guardians of the, the faith, keepers of the faith. And so therefore, I had to further prove myself in a sense, so that's where I started doing a lot more research and really asking the right questions, really thinking ahead of time before I would speak, it wasn't just trying to, you know, talk out on my end, what was Joe really like? Yeah. Blow, can you tell me some good drugs, stories and stuff like that, and, but, but really try to get to the meat of the matter. But it became very apparent to me. After my first round of interviews, that the public persona of Jim Morrison was one thing, the private one was an entirely different, right, so that there was in other words, there was a whole lot of stuff that had never been discussed, never been talked about never been delved into whatsoever. And that it was not, this was not a particular case of where I was going to be able to take a couple of weeks to research and then go and write the movie. Because the deeper the more and more I got into it, the deeper and deeper I felt it was, and it was going to take some real work and some heavy lifting and Rothschild. Rothschild, you know, told me at one point, he said, Look, you're gonna, you know, the, the key to it is, is finding, you know, what, what made Jim so angry, what was the core? What was the, the, the source of his angst?
Scott Mcmahon 2:14:17
And did you ask him, Where do I go to fight?
Randall Jahnson 2:14:20
Well, he offered it up, okay, me. So. And he said that, he said, Jim came to him a couple of times with a problem and asked Paul's advice about what to do about it. And the, it would it was related to a particular function. And, and Paul said, you know, look into this because he said, I think this might provide some, you know, answers to Jim's angst.
Scott Mcmahon 2:14:57
So let's back up real quick. For me. It's like we have Ray the keyboard earnest Yes, we have. Paul is
Randall Jahnson 2:15:05
rape, Raymond's Eric is the keyboardist right Robby Krieger is the guitarist right for John Densmore is the drummer right. And then Paul Rothschild produced thank all of the doors albums except la woman. Okay. Okay. So that's where he he if he was done as really in one sense sort of was Jim. After the soft parade, he couldn't, he didn't. He heard some of the demo tapes for. We're not even they weren't even demo tapes. He attended a couple of band rehearsals for where they had the new material working on and he heard writers on the storm which he said it sounded like cocktail music to him. It was boring. He didn't say he didn't like it. Thank you. So that's what was interesting. There. So but Rothschild, was the elder statesman in a sense of the band. Ron Paul was a few years older than even man's Eric immens. Eric was definitely the elder statesman of the band. You know, Robin, and John were like, 2122. Yeah. And Ray was 2728 years old when the doors really kicked in. Ray was born in 1939. Ray had been in the Army Ray was in graduate school for film school when he was at UCLA. He wasn't an undergrad. I know when
Scott Mcmahon 2:16:34
the film came out. I ever heard read statements, he was just upset like, because he's felt like the movie sort of portrayed him as like kind of a whiner. You know,
Randall Jahnson 2:16:45
it's like, yeah, well, Ray had a lot of issues about V and
Scott Mcmahon 2:16:50
the jump ahead, but yeah, remember? Yeah, that mean as you know, outsider
Randall Jahnson 2:16:54
Yeah, there there were a lot of I re did not get along with Oliver from what I understand. I can't say that okay, you know, but I they did not see eye to eye. And it was interesting too, because Ray was very tight with Danny Sugarman. And Danny Sugarman ended up being very tight with Oliver. So you would think there would have been some sort of synchronicity there, but there wasn't apparently there was a lot of friction between Oliver and Ray. And Ray did not like you know, how the movie handled a lot of the stuff and so and so went on record again, and again, really just say no bad movie bad, bad portrait, etc, etc. all over again. Oliver likes to get sensational with stuff and but he's and he's the man not lacking in opinions. Yeah. And so And nor nor the guts to express them. So he's, you know, he was going to make his own movie one way or another.
Scott Mcmahon 2:17:53
So let's back up real quick. So you, you go on this, this journey, your own journey now that you've entered the portal of Jim Morrison's world who was exactly it was that Yeah, and I don't know if you, you may check out just last week, Jimmy Fallon, that this Jim Morrison person he did. He does this thing where you he takes famous like musicians that he does imitations of like, Paul. I'm sorry. Who's it? Neil Young. Yeah. But he's, he had like Jim Morrison the doors like his makeup make believe ban, but they were he would just sing the songs. But the lyrics are just nonsense, but he was he was basically reading like, the Reading Rainbow. You know, the, you know, good night moon. So it's like, children's songs done. And it is uncanny how much he sounds like Jimbo more. Yeah. And so it's online. It's you can easily find it, like a quick YouTube search. And it's just to see him just going like rooting rainbow. Indian rubber. Yeah. It's like the way he sees it. And like the whole band is like for your show, but just just as a little tongue in cheek. Sure. Pretty funny. But as you go down this journey, yeah. And what you thought was a couple of weeks how big of a fan was Sasha of the music? Or was he just more of a business pragmatic person that's, I'm gonna buy into this and then
Randall Jahnson 2:19:22
that's an interesting question, because Sasha would tell me on more than one occasion, how he got into this whole thing in which was that he had been had been in New York. Sasha was married at the time to one of the Efrain sisters, Amy Ephron, who's a very prolific novelist now, but she's the younger sister of Delia and the other AirFrance. There's a lot of them.
Alex Ferrari 2:19:55
But we'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show.
Randall Jahnson 2:20:06
He had been living in New York at the time. And he said that or prior to all this, he said that he had been out partying all night long or something. And he was coming back from some all night thing and was driving across a particular bridge and the sun was coming up in New York, and I think he said the end came up. Right on right on time. Yeah, right on cue. And he said, that was just like, a salient moment. For him. He had never really heard it, I guess, you know, Sasha had been, I think it was in the Israeli army was in the seven days war and 67, or whatever. So I mean, he was just this was not a, he wasn't, in other words, he wasn't in LA or San Francisco drinking the FlowerPower wine, you know, he was in an entirely different place, much like Oliver Stone was, you know, he was an Oliver was in, in Southeast Asia is in Vietnam. And when the doors were really happening stateside. So anyway, he just said that this was just a huge moment for him. And he just he got from that point on, he became obsessed about the band, and he had made all this money in software. And he just went out and bought, literally just bought his way onto into this, the strategic piece of
the producing puzzle of the producing puzzle. Fascinating. Yeah. So yeah, yeah, it really,
I mean, I was very interested in and I mean, it was effective, because boy, he was he instantly made himself a player. Yeah. Now he had bought it a couple of years before, you know, but he'd laid the money down and then did it. It was it was a smart thing.
Scott Mcmahon 2:21:53
So then, now you've, you're exploring, you're going wow, it almost sounds crazy. But you could have like, written a book biography, because all the legwork that you've done to do the research,
Randall Jahnson 2:22:06
Yeah, I accumulated I think I have about 50 hours of interviews, you know, on on tape, and, you know, I mean, it's, I mean, it's it's everyone, all the doors, you know, Rothchild. Jac, Holzman around Elektra Records. Got it. I mean, I mean, there were characters, you know, babe Hill. I've babe Hill was Jim's trusted drinking buddy in the latter part of his career. Nobody knew where babe Hill was. When I got on board. No, and a lot of people didn't want to know, I wanted to know because I wanted to interview him. Yeah. But everyone was, was afraid of baby because baby was kind of this biker guy. And he was in pretty tight with some, I guess, some real heavy friends. Right? Robbie had did not want to have anything to do with him. He's and I mean, Rothschilds just said, Jesus, you know, the last time I saw a baby at a he had a hunting rifle on was shooting it, you know, off of, you know, my backyard, you know, up in the Hollywood Hills, just like crazy all these crazy stories about baby but nobody knew how to get a hold of them. And, you know, Ray and all those guys didn't, they didn't know. So how did you do it? Well, I I wish I could take total credit for it. But I couldn't. Tom Rickman had a very resourceful secretary at the time named Francesca and Francesca did a little bit of sleuthing, which was we had heard that babe was in the grips union work in the film business and he was a grip. So she called the grip union headquarters. Wherever that number is, yeah.
And then they said, Well, you got to talk to moose. So moose was like, this guy named moose was the head of the grips at MGM. So she called up moose and he said, Oh, yeah, well, babe, you know you can find babe at this bar. I forget the name of it now. She it's only been 26 years. Yeah. That was literally across the street from MGM, the old MGM lot in Culver City. And he said, He's there every day about four o'clock. So you know, just buying some Jack Daniels. Like, okay, so, Francesca relays this information to me, she said, I think I found them or at least Nunnery where you can find them.
Scott Mcmahon 2:24:44
So you kind of go solo on these things. It's not like you have a team that says like, you have your own little team that says like, I'll find this setup this interview for you. It's you going Hello?
Randall Jahnson 2:24:55
Yep, that's exactly what remember there's no internet. No cell phone. That's fine. But, you know, it's an entirely different landscape.
Scott Mcmahon 2:25:04
What an event?
Randall Jahnson 2:25:04
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So she gave me the name of the bar, new dress. And I went down there on a particular day about four o'clock in the afternoon.
Scott Mcmahon 2:25:15
Now set the scene here. You in this bar? Did you fit in? Or were you
Randall Jahnson 2:25:20
totally No, this was a real this was this was a drinking mansbach.
Scott Mcmahon 2:25:28
So what were you wearing? Well,
Randall Jahnson 2:25:32
certainly not going to dress up for the occasion, you know, jeans and a T shirt, and it's probably wearing my black Doc Martin Doc Martens at the time. It was a little horseshoe counter of a bar really small. Gosh, I can't remember the name of it. I probably got it somewhere in my notes. Three or four professionals at the bar drinking, you know, four o'clock on a weekday afternoon. And I think I got there first. I think I was there staking it out, and went in in order to order the beer. And you know, honestly, boy, I haven't really thought about this in a long time. It might have been that moose conveyed a message to bait.
Scott Mcmahon 2:26:24
Like, hey, this guy's like, yeah, yeah.
Randall Jahnson 2:26:27
And and I think the message came back something like Go tell that guy to go fuck himself or something like that. Their usual. Yeah. Or, or it was like, you know, meet me at this bar at that at such and such, you know, just do different responses. Yeah, I know. Honestly, it's been that long, and I can't remember. But let me just say that, you know, for the record, I entered the establishment with a certain amount of trepidation. But sure enough, baby came in. And I took a seat next to him and say, Hey, babe, I'm Randall. And you know, I'm writing this. Yeah, the movie
Scott Mcmahon 2:27:12
now hard horse. How hard was it to say, Hey, babe, I
Randall Jahnson 2:27:19
haven't really thought of it. I guess well, it would have been worse if I'd said, Hey, babe, I'm Randy. If we were in England, that would have been an entirely different subtext. And, you know, he just he didn't really want to talk i At first, I remember him being Sutton's taken somewhat aback. So which leads me to believe now actually, that he was I caught him a little off guard, he wasn't sure that I was going to be there or something. So he, but I remember him saying, kind of, you know, being standoffish at first, but I didn't. Back away. I knew this was like, I have to get this is my job. Yeah. And he finally said, Well buy me some whiskey. And we'll talk. And so we ended up drinking, he drank a lot of whiskey and having a, you know, we talked for probably an hour and a half, two hours there at that bar, initially. And then, again, like I was talking about before, whether it's, it's kind of like these hurdles, or the, you know, this gauntlet, you have to go through, I cleared it with him. So, therefore, then I was able to go the next level, which was okay. We'll meet again, and yeah, we'll get into it. Okay, I see what you're doing. No, no. So it was like, the outer circle, right. And we're, we'll get into the meat of the map. Now,
Scott Mcmahon 2:28:47
let me so when you get hired on the job, again, as a life of a writer, you know, you're paid in a sort of like a freelancer, you're paid in these chunks. There's not like a regular paycheck. It's literally like, here's a bit of money. And here's another bit of your paid
Randall Jahnson 2:29:01
at increments, and usually the way it worked at that time, you get paid, you know, half upfront, and you'll get paid the half the second half upon delivery of your first draft. And there's usually yeah, there's there's a usually some leftover for another pass and possibly a Polish, right, you know, but basically, you get a very large sum upfront, and then you get another large sum after you deliver a first draft and what can happen in in between that, you know, it can be a long time, and it was in my case a long time.
Scott Mcmahon 2:29:36
Yeah, I was gonna think like, because you're on this project or like, okay, he's asking you buy him some whiskey, you're like, Okay, money is like yeah, they're paying me to this. I'll buy this whiskey for you, you now makes the second you enter that circle and and yeah, and the stuff that he was telling you, like, like
Alex Ferrari 2:29:57
we'll be right back after a word from our spot. Sir and now back to the show
Scott Mcmahon 2:30:07
for you personally, it was just more like were you finding moments of like, oh wow. Oh wow like just your head spinning in a sense that you were like, like story points or just just sheer pure human interest
Randall Jahnson 2:30:19
it's more of the latter. I mean I don't recall you really just going holy goobers you know this. This is the most amazing stuff I've ever heard. It wasn't anything quite like that a lot of the a lot of the stories had already been kicked about, you know, that people were aware of them at least as a rumor or something, but I don't I don't remember. You know, having really earth shattering stuff coming out from Babe and I actually I think I might have been a little disappointed in babe, actually and then more subs hoping you had Yeah, okay. But basically Babe. Babe was was just a good guy. Babe was unlike Jim. And a lot of gyms old film school crew. Babe was kind of the anti intellectual. And in a sense, Bade kind of kept it real. I got that for him, you know? And that babe was probably more loyal than almost any and all of those friends. But babe, wasn't Jim's intellectual. On his level, he would listen and he would tolerate it and kind of stuff like that. But basically, he would watch gyms back and he would call bullshit. Yeah, Jim in you know, in gym knew that. Babe was real. He wasn't just sort of somebody who was fawning all over him. And that was pretty much the case too, with with the other guys that were that they were pretty close in that in that little knit, close knit group, which was included Paul Ferrara, who I never interviewed, and Franklin Leandro who I did interview. Those were Jim's old friends from film school. And those guys were really tight knit, you know, for for a period of time. And so they did a lot of partying together a lot of drinking together and alone, you know, that stuff, but But yeah, you know, but what was happening, though, is that I would interview all these different people, and they not none, none of them really got along with one another. And they, you know, headed two different directions, you know. And so what happened is that I just had this it was amassing all this information, though. And none of it jived food, none of it was sort of coalescing. Yeah. Anything. And it was like a classic case of that, you know, the blind men touching the elephant. Yes. Thinking that, oh, I really have the knowledge of what Jim Morrison was all about. But you know, he's got his hand on the Tusk, that somebody else is holding on to the tail, right. And all that and, and they, neither one of them really knew.
Scott Mcmahon 2:33:11
Randall Jahnson 2:33:13
So fast. It was, yeah. And so it was it was scary. Then, because I had to pull it all together.
Scott Mcmahon 2:33:19
Like yeah, like you realize now it's real, like all the honeymoons over now. It's this word right. Now, how many years? Or how long did it take you to get the first draft to them?
Randall Jahnson 2:33:30
I spent all of 1986 working
Scott Mcmahon 2:33:32
on one year. Yeah. When you're free starting writing.
Randall Jahnson 2:33:36
I got I think I got the job in like February, March, something like that. And yeah, and so then I started researching and then writing and holy crap, you know, I just got, and I was funny, too. I was. I was 27 years old. Same age. Jimbo was when he died. drove a Mustang. I had a Mustang. Jim drove a Mustang. I was living in West Hollywood, which is literally around the corner from from where Jim used to crash at Pamela's apart apartment on Norton Avenue. I was on lived on Sweetser and just up from Santa Monica Boulevard. And so I was literally around the corner from his his universe, which was basically the corner of the intersection of Santa Monica and La Cienega. Yeah, because the doors offices were right there. The LTC anago Hotel Motel was there. Elektra was just down the street. There were buttons, Barney's, Beanery, and a few other locales that are now long gone, but that was really kind of the center of his universe. And so it was it was a little interesting, you know, living living there at that time, and you know, and writing about it. This was when I was First on onboard on it, and then and I, it was it was odd. Yeah, it was really kind of a sort of a strange thing. But I couldn't work at home a lot of times because there was noise in the apartment. I had a roommate at the time. And yeah, and it was just, it was a lot of it was distracting. So I moved around a lot. And I actually came down to the, came home to Carlsbad and wrote a lot of it down, there was a stand with my parents. Just to get away, well, just to get away and I got really sick. Also, I got Oh, I got a it sounds worse than it was. But if I had mono hepatitis, which just waylaid me. It's actually a more benign form of hepatitis, then you would, yeah, but it sounds worse than than it really actually was. But it was it. I mean, I was wasted for a long time. And I literally couldn't get out of bed. And here it was, I had the most felt like the the job of a lifetime. And I couldn't, I couldn't, you know, so I wasn't laying there in bed, and too sick to even sit up straight. But I remember just envisioning in my head it was laying there with this fever or these, oh, these aches or whatever. I would just go over it again. And again, in my head, like one scene after the next how I would see the movie. Yeah, you know, and it just formed it from based on all the interviews and stuff and just just envisioned it one thing after another after another after another as far as far as I could. So you're still working. I'm still working but literally not write writing.
Scott Mcmahon 2:36:49
Yeah. Which is fine. It's mean they talk about that. And they said the other podcast I listened to with Jeff Goldsmith, like creative, screenwriting magazine, but now he has his own podcast called the q&a. And a lot of the screenwriters he's talked to they talk about this, this technique that they use, which is they need their naptime. The Coen Brothers talked about that where they just have a nap, which is that that weird state of in between when you're about to fall asleep and in awake, and all sudden, somehow it just cleanses your your thoughts. And like, what you're trying to work on comes clear in that weird moment of bright before sleep or coming out of sleep. So you were lucky enough to be induced with the this sickness that you are, like, constantly like that. every waking hour, but
Randall Jahnson 2:37:39
Well, there's Yeah, I mean, but yeah, it is interesting. There was there's a lot of truth to that. And to that sort of state between waking and waking, conscious. Ness, yeah. Asleep. But it was nevertheless, you know, I was I moved around a lot. I went up to Idlewild up in the mountains above you know, Palm Springs there. And some friends of mine had a known it wasn't friends. Yes, it was friends of friends. And I rented a little a frame cabin for like, three weeks or a month and wrote up there like a real writer. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, exactly. And then then I was down on my parents place and then then I got some office space. This is really bizarre to there's just all these really weird things that happen but I have this office space that I rented for a while and a big barn like building in West Hollywood. It was an old old historical building. I think it had been a silent film studio or something like that. But had been all divided up subdivided inside and so there were all these different little cubicles and, and things within it. And somebody I a friend of a friend had office space there and they were going to be gone and so I could go in there and work. So I was there working late one night. You and I had my all my stuff out at doors tapes, I had a little this is again the day of cassettes. I had a little portable cassette player and I had all my doors tapes and I had a briefcase full of stuff. And I had a whole stack of photographs of that I'd taken on the set of dudes that were in this briefcase and everything. And I was really tired at one point. So I went out and I got a bite to eat over around the corner and like at Hugo's or someplace and I and I came back came upstairs into this into this place and it was pretty big and dark, you know and others and and we have this just this little light around my little cubby right? It's working
Alex Ferrari 2:39:59
we'll be right back. back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show.
Randall Jahnson 2:40:08
And I came in and I sat down, and I noticed that some of my stuff did look like the way I had left it. You know, and it was weird as a kid. I don't remember these things. Well, something was off it. There was some papers on the floor or something was something was in disarray. Something was it wasn't quite right. Then I heard something in the back. What the hell is this? So I go back? No, I had been told that there was there's this comedian rich. Paul, hot, rich Hall rich hall itself. Yeah. had also had space there. And he would occasionally come in late at night and work around. So I thought it might have been him. So I was oh, let's go. And I'll go and say hello, maybe. So go on the back. And here's this guy stooped over, and going through a bunch of stuff. And I come in, I say, hey, and he's, and he looks up and he says, Oh, hello. And he has this kind of affected English accent of some sort is very, very odd. And he had this retro, like, 50s suit on and a fedora hat. Literally. Yeah. And I thought, well, this isn't it definitely isn't rich Hall. Yeah. And so I said, Who are you? And I said you work for it was a production company that actually was do you work for such and such? And, and he's, he said something? He said some weird answer. That was like neither yes or no. And I thought, This isn't right. Yeah. So we chatted a little bit more and he was like, really just like, iron me and like, it was very, really, really kind of weird. He stood up, you know, and I was like, there's this is something's really not right. You're inside. Yeah. Yeah. So I said, Look, your spidey senses. Yeah, my spidey sense was up, you know. And so I said, like, Gee, do you know? I don't mean to be out of line here. But I missing I'm missing some stuff that was on my desk. Be here. And he said, Oh, really? What was that? And I said some tape some doors, tapes and stuff. Oh, I liked the doors. He's really kind of creepy. I liked the doors. Oh, boy. This is okay. My spidey senses. Really, ya know, and I was thinking, geez, what do I do? And I kept thinking I can I can take them I can take, but I thought also this guy is just weird enough that he's got like a switchblade or some kind of weird thing in there. So I kind of made my exit segway to back backed away from him. I went over to my cubicle, and I called the cops and, and I said, I got a, you know, as a, there's a burglary, and they said, Okay, you know, blah, blah. And they said, they put me on hold. And then they finally came back. And he said, so when it had happened, I said, it's happening. Now he's in the building. She sees in the building, why don't you tell us? So, I mean, they both and then this guy was he heard me and he bolted. He pulled it out of the place and went running with my pieces of my briefcase. Yeah, ever and, and boy, the cops were there fast. I got down on the street. And then I had to put my hands up because they thought I was the guy and I said, No, I'm the guy who called this is the you know, and so they had a helicopter overhead. This is not LAPD, but this is West Hollywood. So it was Sheriff's Department. And they were there very, very quickly. And then people from the production company called later on and I told him what happened and because there have been other things that have been taken, and so what happened is, you know, I lost this guy absconded with a bunch of my doors, cassettes, not not Unfortunately, nothing that could not be replaced, except that he took my grandfather's briefcase which was something that I was you know, very proudly thought was cool. Yeah, gold satchel looking kind of a briefcase. And there might have been some notes or something but he also all the photographs I'd taken out on the set which the happy ending though I found the negatives too many years later, like after I moved up here actually interesting. And I found them you know, that's one of the advantages of moving is that you find a lot of stuff so I got those reprinted and actually they're on my my website now. So anyway, but that was just, they never found the guy and actually many like said Couple months, like six months later, I got a phone call. And they had found the briefcase and they had found and stuff, but it was just deteriorate. He had stashed it under the steps or some bushes there on the on the compound and had been rained on and deteriorated and all that stuff. But they had found that there was still some stuff in it that, you know, I was able to salvage a little bit of but still the good stuff was gone. And anyhow, that was just kind of, sort of typical of what was going on. I you know, I remember coming home one day after working, you know, interviewing people, and I was just exhausted and my head was swimming. And I, you know, I didn't know if I was making any progress at all. And I and I literally, like lay down to take that nap. And my head hit the pillow and the phone rang. And I picked it up and I said hello. And he said, Randy Johnson. Yes, blah, blah, blah here. I won't say who it was because he's actually a very successful director now. But he was an actor at the time aspiring actor. And he said, I hear your writing the the doors movie. I said, are and he said he announced his name. Like we were all buddies. And I said hi. And good, I think. And he. He said, Well, I understand you're writing the doors movie. And I say, yeah. Well, listen, you know, we got to get together because, you know, I'm a huge doors fan. And I'm, I'm the guy to play Jim. And I said, well, listen, man, you know, thanks. But there's not even a script yet. It's a little premature. I mean, I haven't even written finished the script yet. And, frankly, you know, when it comes down to casting, I'm not gonna I'm gonna be lucky to even if they even asked me, you know, my opinion. And so I knew I somehow I, you know, I got off the Line. He called me up a couple. One other time, in literally, it was the same kind of circumstances. Middle, the afternoon, I was like trying to take a nap. And he was he says, I'm tripping. I'm tripping. Man, I'm tripping. And I said, Well, good for you. And he said, listen, he said, You got to know this. He said, The I had a dream last night. And guess who came to me in my dream? She, I wonder, he said, Jim Morrison. He came to me in the dream. And he said, I'm the guy to play him in the movie. So we have got to get together, man, we've got to get together. Dude, you know, don't call me when you're high. But now he's a successful director. Yeah, it's fine. It's fine. I won't say who it was. But but this was just kind of the nutty, bizarre circumstances that were, you know, just in the midst of all this and where I was trying really hard just to get through my find my way through it all. And yeah, and I could. And so, you know, again, back to your whole thing. Could I have written a book? Yeah. I think in one sense, after I was off the project that I had all this all this, all these interviews, and it was very, I thought, I nobody's nobody's gonna want to read a book about and then subsequently, you know, I mean, for like, every six months, there was a new Jim Morrison biography that was coming out, I'm just sort of kick myself for not doing it.
Scott Mcmahon 2:48:40
There's, you know, the reason I brought that up is because I remember hearing this interview with another, another screenwriter, and they were talking about this other famous, I don't remember her name, but they were asking her like, hey, you know, if you would ever were approached with this particular project again, and would you, you know, write it the same way or write this project? She was she was her response, I remember was something like, like, hell no, because I would write, I would write the book, I read the play, I write the movie, basically, mindset was like, I would figure out a way to milk it. Yeah, it's in all different facets, you know, and like her life lesson as what she learned after being a writer for so many years. Like, so that's what I thought about it, too. It's like, wait a minute, holy cow. You know, I just had to ask you, just because I remember that little, little snippet from
Randall Jahnson 2:49:30
well, some of this stuff. I'm actually I think, going to attempt in the large article about it, you know, at some point, because I think there is enough stuff that in here that's kind of actually worth looking at in terms of a screenwriters approach to a daunting project and that my kind of like my whole trip my whole journey on this was, it was it was something Yeah, it's something I I earned some stripes on this one, I think Yeah, it's cool.
Alex Ferrari 2:50:02
We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show.
Scott Mcmahon 2:50:11
I think we will wrap it up here because I think we can go into the next next. I love it because we can go the next one, we talked about the final release of dudes, we can talk about coming into this as Exactly. This is fantastic. Believe me, I, I'm gonna be honest with you. I, I lost a lot of podcasts. And I said with a lot of screenwriters, and they do like a lot of the interviews they do with screenwriters. Even though I love what Jeff Goldsmith does, they served as he only has like an hour and a half to really kind of gloss over somebody's career. So the advantage that we have here is, I get to ask these questions. I know, I'm just like, fan like anybody else going? Like, how much would that be? Like, if you had that moment, or like, Oh, my God, I'm on the job. You know, it's like, or, like, I can't believe this is so surreal that that I'm working with the doors, the doors, and then like you, but you got to step back or like now it's this work, I got to just figure it out. And just talking about the little things about writing about like, you know, you realize you're, you're you're doing a service, because you're just trying to get the story. But there comes a time sometimes where you I guess you're you have to ask yourself, like, what kind of story do I want to see? Or like, what is it? You know what I mean? That was that little ounce of personal reward out of it? Especially when you're writing all these, you know, sort of pseudo auto autobiographies?
Randall Jahnson 2:51:36
Well, in that auto biographies, I'm sorry, yeah, in bio pics, or whatever. But in this particular case, the more I got into it, and the more information I began to uncover, and collect, the more and more it fueled my, my passion for it, let's say, it became my crusade, I got a degree to, to, in a sense, blow the whistle on the bullshit that had circulated about him for so many years. And and in the very least, try to tell attempt to tell some truth about him. But at the same time, that was my undoing on the project. And so we'll leave it at that there was much conflict to come. Okay, because it was not smooth sailing.
Scott Mcmahon 2:52:33
Okay, well let you know where and I remember when we finally saw the film, I think it was in senior high school. Yeah. It was a big, big deal for my buddies. And I had to go see this movie. So you know, because it was a big like event. So anyway, well, when
Randall Jahnson 2:52:48
I was in the, in the South Pacific earlier, in this year, in March, there was a I met a gentleman who was a politician and serving in the Parliament of the island Kingdom chain of Vanuatu. And he found out that I wrote the tours, and he just, he, he said, I saw it in college. This was in Australia, but he grew up and has returned to Vanuatu, out there in the Deep South Pacific. And he said, Oh, man, he's that I'm so glad to meet you. So you really gotta write. And so it never ceases to amaze me how powerful, you know, film, and pop culture is really, you know, it's so far reaching, you know, there's not a point in the globe anymore, where it just doesn't go
Scott Mcmahon 2:53:38
it is the greatest export that the United States has. Yeah. And it will change. It will change. I mean, it will change worlds, because, you know, doesn't matter how I mean, the culture of these young people and all the all these subtle other countries. I mean, not to say Western eyes it but there is this romance idea of I think what these western movies, so that hits a psyche amongst, you know, the rest of the world. Yeah, and I think that is sort of sometimes becomes the root of, you know, revolution and how we were bombed. I mean, we were attacked 911 Because of the stupid things of like, they're, they're reciting, you know, Britney Spears, like, how could you have your women dress like this? Right. You know, it's like, sure. We were so like, what? That was the reason? Yeah, but they go there anyway. Yeah.
Randall Jahnson 2:54:32
Well, thanks for asking the questions. And thanks for giving me the opportunity actually, to get into this in a certain amount of depth. Yeah, no, I just doesn't, you know, again, if this were any other interview, it would be
Scott Mcmahon 2:54:42
glossed over. Yeah, and then it's like, Okay, you're right. But yeah, soundbites. Now, this is good. I mean, I'm enjoying it. It's like uncovering and, and all this kind of stuff. Now, it gives me those thoughts like when we should write a story about your adventure writing this stuff. I don't Oh, that Yeah,
Randall Jahnson 2:55:01
I think that's in the works here at some point. I'm yeah.
Scott Mcmahon 2:55:04
See, we're like we're scratching the surface here. All right. Yeah. Well, here we are. I'm sure I got some good stuff.
Randall Jahnson 2:55:11
Thanks, Scott. Thank you. It's been a pleasure.
Scott Mcmahon 2:55:12
Thank you guys. Thank you.
Sign up to receive email updates
Enter your name and email address below and I'll send you periodic updates about the podcast.