OVER BLACK: JOHNNY (VO) What do...
SILENT ARCHIVAL FOOTAGE OF BRIAN JONES
JOHNNY (VO CONT’D) Brian Jones...
SILENT ARCHIVAL FOOTAGE OF JANIS JOPLIN
JOHNNY (VO CONT’D) Janis Joplin...
SILENT ARCHIVAL FOOTAGE OF JIMI HENDRIX
JOHNNY (VO CONT’D) James Marshall Hendrix...
SILENT ARCHIVAL FOOTAGE OF JIM MORRISON
JOHNNY (VO CONT’D) Jim Morrison...
SILENT ARCHIVAL FOOTAGE OF KURT COBAIN
JOHNNY (VO CONT’D) Kurt Cobain...
JOHNNY, tall, pale, skinny and coifed like a modern rock star and wearing a black suit with a red shirt and black tie (very New Wave), properly done up at the collar is writing on the mirror in a hotel bathroom in red lipstick.
JOHNNY (VO CONT’D) and me have in common?
He writes on the mirror “Thanks a lot, it was nice, Johnny.” Lines of COCAINE are visible on a book on the counter
JOHNNY (VO CONT’D They we’re all musicians, and they all died at age twenty-seven.
Johnny raises a REVOLVER to his head.
JOHNNY (VO CONT’D) Well, life is not all that black and white now, is it?
TITLE CARD: ROCK AND ROLL SUICIDE
IN GRAINY BLACK AND WHITE:
INT. POSH HOTEL ROOM - AFTERNOON
The room is a mess. Empty whiskey bottles, clothes strewn everywhere, a FENDER MUSTANG GUITAR, a lamp knocked over, cigarettes butts piled into an ashtray. In short: disaster. The curtains are closed letting in little pools of light.
2:39 PM - NOVEMBER 9 - TUESDAY
Johnny lies beside JESSICA (13 turning 14) in bed. He’s wide awake. His shirt is off. He has an ashtray on his chest and smokes in bed.
She is wearing a baby tee emblazed with “THE OBJECTS.”
JESSICA (rolling over) Hap-py Birth-day. How old are you again?
JESSICA Oh my God, you’re like soooo old, I’ll be fourteen next month.
He groans. She doesn’t looks that young. Yes, she does.
JESSICA Uh, huh. Next month.
JOHNNY Don’t tell anyone else that.
He gets up. He’s only wearing a pair of LEOPARD PRINT BRIEFS.
He takes a drink of alcohol and swigs it back.
INT. HOTEL - HALLWAY
SUE (29) his manager walks fast down the hallway with LISA (22) and her make up girl, who carries a MAKE-UP KIT and SEVERAL CHOICES OF WARDROBE draped over her shoulder.
Sue stops in front of a hotel room door and the end of the hallway, knocks and dials her CEL PHONE.
INT. HOTEL ROOM - AFTERNOON
The PHONE IS RINGING. Jessica picks it up as Johnny, still wandering around in his underwear opens the door.
JESSICA (on phone) Hello?
He sees who it is and walks away as Sue and Lisa enter.
SUSAN Uh, huh.
JOHNNY Put down the phone, honey.
She does. Sue looks at the girl. The girl runs over and puts a tight fitting short skirt on.
SUE Uh, huh. Who is your little friend?
JOHNNY What’s your name, love?
JOHNNY She’s Jessica.
SUE Uh, huh. Okay. You know a photographer from SPIN is going to be here in...
LISA Five minutes.
SUE Five minutes.
JOHNNY I don’t care.
SUE Uh, huh. Get dressed.
JOHNNY No. The music’s over. I’m not doing anything anymore. I quit.
Sue walks over. Rips open the blinds. He reacts like a vampire to the sun.
SUE Get dressed! And you, go home!
JOHNNY Sue, she stays.
JESSICA I’ll go.
JOHNNY SUE Stay! Go!
JESSICA I really have to go pee.
She runs awkwardly to the washroom.
SUE Why do you always do this? Why do you always do this to me!?
JOHNNY To you? You’re not singing a (BLEEEEP) single every night from a (BLEEEEP) album.
A knock at the door. They look at the door.
LISA The photographer!
JOHNNY Quick, what do I wear?
Johnny is dressed in the suit and tie. Lisa is doing his hair. He is agitated. Lisa tries to keep him still.
The PHOTOGRAPHER, (20ish) dark hair, swept to the side, in an Unkempt SUIT. He takes a FLASH metER reading. He has a NIKON with a FLASH around him. Johnny breaks away from Lisa. He’s getting hyped up like a boxer before a match.
He poses. The photographer takes a photo. FLASH! The strobes fire.
Johnny jumps on the bed. FLASH! He jumps off.
He opens his BAG and takes out a REVOLVER.
PHOTOGRAPHER Oh, that’s great.
JOHNNY Is it?
He jumps on the bed. He poses with the gun.
Lisa and Sue look on.
Jessica does a line of cocaine.
JOHNNY Do you like this? Huh?
Johnny puts the gun in his mouth.
LISA Is that loaded?
Johnny is serious. He puts the gun to his temple.
JOHNNY This one’s for all my fans out there. Where every you are.
He cocks the gun.
Sue looks suddenly worried. FLASH! She grips Lisa.
The photographer notices their concern. He takes out his Leica M6, it’s quieter.
A silence falls over the room.
JOHNNY (starting to cry) You just don’t listen. Do you?
“Click!” The Leica shutter snaps.
SUE No. I don’t Johnny. I’m sorry. Put the gun down. Okay?
JOHNNY Hey hey, what’d Kurt Cobain say? It’s better to burn out than fade away.
LISA That was Neil Young.
JOHNNY Shut up, Lisa! (points gun at her)
SUE It’s okay love, you’re not alone.
JOHNNY It’s not okay. (starts to cry) I’m just so bad. I’m so bad.
SUE Your single’s at #18 on the college charts. That’s pretty good, right.
JOHNNY I guess so. Yeah. And it’s moving up the charts.
SUE (approaching) That’s right, it’s moving up.
Johnny slumps in the corner, and puts the gun down. Sue gives him a hug. He holds her.
From the bathroom, a muffled high pitched scream.
SUE Jesus, what now?
Jessica emerges from the bathroom. Her nose is bleeding. She jumps up and down, her hands shaking in front of her face.
JESSICA Make it stop! Make it stop!
Lisa runs into the bathroom and grabs tissue.
ZOOM INTO JOHNNY
ZOOM INTO SUE A CONTEMPTUOUS LOOK ON HER FACE
ZOOM INTO JOHNNY’S FACE
THE SOUND FADES AWAY TO SILENCE.
COCAINE is visible all over the bathroom counter. Lisa makes Jessica sit down on the toilet and dabs the blood from her nose. Sue stands arms crossed in the doorway.
Sue is speaking her words unheard.
JOHNNY (Vo) I can just hear Sue say it...
CLOSE SHOT - SUE’S MOUTH “HOW OLD ARE YOU, HONEY?
JOHNNY (VO How old are you, honey?
CLOSE SHOT - JESSICA RESPONDING “FOURTEEN... IN DECEMBER.”
JOHNNY (VO) Then the girl say’s, fourteen... in December. God. And the photographer gets his photo.
The photographer snaps away in SLOW MOTION.
JOHNNY (VO) Then the band show’s up. Eric, Christina, Paul. Sorry guys.
Sue opens the door. THE DRUMMER, GUITARIST, BASSIST, stand holding a BIRTHDAY CAKE lit with two candles in the shape of 27. SPARKLERS sparkle. “HAPPY BIRTHD--!”
SOUND COMES BACK as Sue SLAMS the door and locks it.
SUE Everybody out.
The photographer takes his chance to get out.
Sue eyes him as he walks out. She gestures for Lisa to go.
SUE (to Jessica) Not you.
Johnny sits in the corner slowly strumming a guitar.
SUE This is all good. We can work with this. Honey, I want you to go out and say that Johnnie raped you and forced you to take drugs.It’s okay. We’ll pay you honey. Okay?
JESSICA Yeah, like, how much?
Johnny looks aghast.
SUE Think college fund. You’ll have to keep that pretty little mouth shut, unless I tell you to open it. Okay?
JESSICA Like, maybe can I get a recording contract?
SUE --Uh, we can talk later about it.
JOHNNY (shaking his head) No. No. I can’t let you do this.
SUE Johnny, you’ll have to go to jail. It’ll be good, like Kobe whatshisname. Nothing serious. We’ll cut another record and you’ll be on top. This is what you want, trust me.
JOHNNY (approaching) Go home Jessica. It’ll be okay.
He kisses her on the forehead, then opens the door for her. Sue mouths “We’ll talk,” to Jessica as she leaves.
Johnny closes the door. Sue starts to dial her cel phone. He walks across the room toward the balcony.
SUE (ON PHONE IN BG) Lisa, call a press conference! Yeah, and get Bermann. He’s the label’s lawyer. He’s a pro.
EXT. THE CITY - POV FROM BALCONY
Johnny looks out over the city for a moment. He turns and grabs his gun from the bed and walks toward the bathroom. Johnny walks past enters the bathroom and closes the door.
SUE (through door) Hey? Johnny? Happy birthday.
A LOUD GUNSHOT is heard. Sue’s eyes open wide.