Like most of America , we here at the newspaper are working with fewer staff to get the job done.

So it came to pass that a few weeks ago, for the first time ever, I had four deadlines come together Friday morning at 10 a.m. The night before I awoke at 1:30 a.m., working through all the work ahead. I saw what looked like a view of a dryer from inside, spinning and spinning, showing me all the ads to be produced the next morning and scheduled for the four publications under way. All the while the “Cowboy Song” by Thin Lizzy drilled into my brain.

After an hour or so, I was able to stop the drum from turning and turn off Thin Lizzy’s “Cowboy Song,” and go back to sleep. When I awoke the drum went away, but the “Cowboy Song” was still playing.

I often crave a song in the morning, Usually, I am not wanting much more than a tune I like or a mood. The last thing on my mind is a theme. But often the theme seems to show up. My only goal this Friday morning was something to eliminate the “Cowboy Song.”

“Riders on the Storm” by The Doors came to me. In the midst of my deadline turmoil, it was The Doors’ “Riders on the Storm” from the 1971 album “L.A. Woman.” As the song played out, I thought about all the times I have heard this song, and always imagined the same vision.

This morning, I thought why would I keep to the same vision following the sounds of the thunder and rain that begins the song? I wondered what was keeping me from entertaining a different vision?

This led me to wonder what other people’s vision was.
So I have begun a quest to ask around. Here is what I have gathered.


Middle-aged guy, who read about Jim Morrison and The Doors, sees a desert on a foggy, rainy night, with a psychedelic, peyote tinged scene featuring Jim Morrison in his 70s leather pants, driving through the desert.


A published author, imagines a desert in the daytime. The desert has not seen a drop of rain in a very long time. At once, a downpour pounds the playa. He sees the Riders as “people out looking for stuff.” The scene then turns to The Doors themselves in 70s clothes and hair, maybe being cleansed by the rain.


A young woman who has never heard the song, nor heard of The Doors, gets very close to the essence of the California scene The Doors exude. She sees a roadside café in the desert. A band of bikers pull up alongside, and smoke cigarettes and share stories of the ride.

Steve E.

New to our enterprise, works in our production department. He sees Riders of the Apocalypse riding Horses. They are silhouetted against a painted sky. He estimates their number to be three or four.


Very busy reporter, she sees a garden.


A Rocklander living in Las Vegas, sees horsemen riding through thunder and lightning.


World traveler and brother-in-law, sees “Lord of the Rings” or “Hobbit” imagery.

It would seem my imagery is an outlier. I see a dark night on the sea. A giant ship with masts is taking huge waves over the side with the crew soaking wet and hanging on for dear life. These are my riders on the storm…

They deliver us from the “Cowboy Song.”