John Densmore, uncensored!

Editor’s note: what follows is the unedited (or more accurately, uncensored) version of John Densmore’s recent letter to the Los Angeles Times. Densmore, a noted bestselling author among his other talents, deserves better than to have those Times people cut up his work. He has been kind enough to provide us a copy of the real deal. So, as a public service, Gonzo Today presents his full, unexpurgated statement for your education and edification. Enjoy, Gonzoids! (Photo and preamble, KKM)


Last night on the Oscars, there was a tribute to all veterans of US Wars. It showed clips from the many films that depicted heroic stories of soldiers in action. One MIA film that didn’t get a slot was Oliver Stone’s “Born on the 4th of July”. Was it overlooked because it is an anti-war film? Certainly Ron Kovic paid a big price for his service: the loss of his legs.

All the WWII films drummed up patriotic revelry for the “Great War.” No disrespect to the heroic soldiers, but my ge-generation got the shaft because we were lied to by our leaders about Vietnam. The only lesson they took from that war was “don’t show coffins returning from the battlefield.” If all the lessons were learned, we wouldn’t have entered into the several more civil wars that followed (Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.)

Certainly WWII was necessary, but if we don’t shift towards peace, we will continue to only learn after the fact. “Born on the 4th of July” doesn’t glorify war, and is an effort to teach that maybe if we used our resources to clean up the “shithole countries” that are in the poor areas in all of our cities, instead of meddling in civil strife outside of our borders, America would be even greater than it already is.

John Densmore

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About Kyle K. Mann 86 Articles
Kyle K. Mann is the pen name of a contributor to, and publisher of, Gonzo Today. He lives high atop Topanga, California, where owls hoot and coyotes howl. A recording musician since the 70s and radio broadcaster in multiple fields in the '80s and '90s, Kyle sometimes supports himself part time as a Union film crew member in Hollywood. His articles and interviews first appeared in Gonzo Today in early 2015, and some of them are fairly good.