Arts & Life

'Easy Rider' Is 40; How Dennis Hopper's Celebrating

  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

In May of 1969, the mayor of Taos, N.M., Rumaldo Garcia announced that his town's annual summer "fiesta" would be canceled that year, "due to the widespread publicity Taos has received regarding the so-called hippie situation." The mayor went on to say that "as a result of this publicity, there might be an influx of undesirables. This could result in serious health and law enforcement problems."

No doubt, part of the publicity was generated by the release of the film Easy Rider, the cult hippie road classic staring Peter Fonda, Jack Nicholson and Dennis Hopper, who also directed the movie. As the mayor predicted, thousands of young people descended upon Taos that year in search of, well, something greater.

Guest host David Greene interviews Dennis Hopper, who starred in and directed the seminal movie 40 years ago. In honor of that anniversary, Taos, New Mexico is hosting "Taos Summer of Love 2009." Hopper, a sometime resident of Taos, is curating an exhibit of paintings and photographs there as part of the city's celebration.

Correction May 8, 2009

In the interview, Dennis Hopper said, "When ['Easy Rider'] went to the Turner Channel, the classic movie channel, they called me and asked me if I wanted to watch them cut the film." In fact, the edited version of "Easy Rider" runs on AMC, not Turner Classic Movies.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from