John Densmore Remembers “Dances With Wolves” Writer Michael Blake

He told me that some Nevada cowboys sent him a couple death threats after his “own” count of how many wild Mustangs were left. He used his Dances dough to fly over in a helicopter and what he came up with was about half of the “official” count. The two of us had paid for a couple of giant billboards at crucial entry points to the state where residents don’t pay any state tax. Nevada folks are freedom lovers. . .they don’t like anyone telling them what to do. Michael and I are also freedom lovers. . .we figure if there aren’t at least a few wild horses running around, then America’s inner “freedom” will suffer. The billboards depicted several Mustangs being wrestled to the ground with ropes tied to their legs – not a pretty picture. Sort of like the feeling one got from watching the last film that Montgomery Cliff, Clark Gable, and Marilyn Monroe did – The Misfits.

When I heard the news of Michael’s crossing, I immediately took out one of my drums, and played “Break on Through.” I knew his leaving was imminent because we had stopped our ritual of monthly phone calls about a half a year ago. The reason – Michael said he couldn’t remember names and was having trouble writing. . .Uh, Oh. Then John Doe, the very soulful lead singer of X, told me he visited Blake in Tucson and he wasn’t making much sense at all. MB was a true writer. He wrote everything in long hand; and I knew if he couldn’t write, he couldn’t live.

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