Easy Rider Remembered.

Get your motor runnin'
Head out on the highway
Looking for adventure
In whatever comes our way

Born to be wild.

Easy Rider made Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda lots of money. They were making cheap grind-house exploitation biker movies and just wanted to do one last one to send off the genre.


Their characters (Hopper as Billy and Fonda as Wyatt) start out on two super-chromed motorcycles purchased from a cocaine sale. They take along all the cash smuggled in their gas tanks. The one thing they DON'T take with them is their wrist watches. They strip them off and throw them to the ground.

In many ways the 1960s started out as a decade of split factions, growing more restless. Civil rights in 1963, escalating war in Viet Nam, war protests, civil disobedience. Culminating in the Summer of Love in 1967 and the horrors of assassination in 1968. By the time this movie was made, 1969, a man going around wearing long hair meant in some parts of the USA you were looking for trouble. You stood on the side that was splitting society apart.


There was a neat scene underscoring the parallel between horses and Harleys with their bike getting a flat fixed and a horse re-shod in the same frame.

The movie, while a classic, seems more like an extended music video, a precursor to MTV. Easy Rider is more or less a beautiful travelogue of the far and wide expanses of America, her canyons, mesas, mysterious abandoned rock dwellings, its cypress tree lined boulevards. The jangly chords of The Byrds "Wasn't Born to Follow" or deep rhythm drumming of The Band's "The Weight" -along with Hendrix' "If Six was Nine" a serious wake-up call as they ride through small town America all conspire to tell the real story, the hidden backdrop Billy and Wyatt innocently stumble into.

As a movie there's nothing much to see. A few noteworthy monologues from Jack Nicholson spice things up, and the first Hippie they meet, a hitchhiker off to re-join his commune, has a nice serious grounded undertone to his behavior. Easy Rider's full of Hippies, freaks, weirdos, and they're likely to just stand around and giggle -or just stare off in the distance.


"We blew it, Billie."

George(Jack Nicholson)gets murdered. Bad acid trip in New Orleans. Sullen ride down the road back to L.A. Two rednecks blow them away with a shot gun.

Blame it on French New Wave cinema, or a sense of 'hip' nihilism built into the story. The precedent might have been set two years earlier with Bonnie and Clyde. At any rate, for the next three years or so any action/lone individualist/outlaw movie had to end with the hero blowing up or dying (see Vanishing Point).

'Why don't you get a haircut?'

In an interview Dennis Hopper relates how they used real people in small town Louisiana in the film who truly hated them, letting them vent their hatred on film.

Read Mayfield Eight Part 1: Into the Rat Hole!

Calvin Ryder, a young fry cook agrees to go on a motorcycle road trip to celebrate his birthday. He runs into a Biker Gang: The Banshees!

Read Part One

Read Mayfield Eight Part 2: White Meat!

Trouble ensues for Calvin as his friend conducts a back- room drug deal. He didn't count on it taking place at The Banshee's headquarters!

Read Part Two

Mayfield Eight Part 3: Faster, Faster!

The Banshees are onto Calvin and out for revenge. He gets the help of a lone confederate: A woman named Angelina.

Read Part Three
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