1969, "Easy Rider"
Premiered in 1969, “Easy Rider” is an independently produced drama film written by Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper and Terry Southern and produced by Peter Fonda. Directed by Fonda and Hopper, it tells the story of two motorcyclists, played by Fonda (Wyatt) and Hopper (Billy), who travel through the southwest and south of the USA living off the profits generated by the drug trade. The cast was also enhanced with the participation of Jack Nicholson (George Hanson), Karen Black (Karen), Phil Spector (The Connection) and Toni Basil (Mary).
The official trailer
The counterculture plot explores the tensions of North American society in the 60s, the popularity of the hippie movement and the use of drugs, presented as a challenge to the establishment: work, patriotism and nationalism.
Morals aside, the film appeals to a life of freedom that is dear to the motorcycling philosophy, and for that reason, also because of the soundtrack's popularity, it has become an iconographic piece of motorcycle culture.
Among the many distinctions he received, the following stand out: - Oscars 1970 - Jack Nicholson nominated for best supporting actor, nominated for best original screenplay; - BAFTA 1970 - Jack Nicholson nominated for best supporting actor; - Cannes 1969 - won the award for best film by a new director (Dennis Hopper) and was nominated for the Palme d'Or; - Golden Globe 1970 - Jack Nicholson nominated for best supporting actor; - AFI's 100 Years - occupies the 88th position among the best North American films and the 29th position among the best movie soundtracks; - was added to the Library of Congress National Film Registry in 1998.
The motorcycles used
The motorcycles of the two main protagonists, the “Captain America” and the “Billy Bike” were HARLEY DAVIDSON base motorcycles customized in a chopper style that contributed a lot to popularize. The Stars & Stripes from Captain America's gas tank and from Wyatt's helmet made a school and are, to this day, profusely used.
Mainly, “Captain America” is still the aesthetic inspiration for multiple achievements. For the film, 4 units of this motorcycle were produced (based on 4 old motorcycles bought at a bargain price) and as far as we know, at least 3 will have been stolen. The one believed to be the survivor was auctioned in 2014 for $1.34 million!
The soundtrack used, among others, The Band, The Byrds, The Jimi Hendrix Experience and Steppenwolf. Thanks to the richness of the soundtrack, songs such as "Born To Be Wild" gained the status of an anthem for bikers.
Born To Be Wild (Steppenwolf)
1. The Pusher - Steppenwolf 2. Born To Be Wild - Steppenwolf 3. I Wasn't Born To Follow - The Byrds 4. The Weight - The Band 5. If You Want To Be A Bird - The Holy Modal Rounders 6. Don't Bogart Me - Fraternity of Man 7. If Six Was Nine - The Jimi Hendrix Experience 8. Let's Turkey Trot - Little Eva 9. Kyrie Eleison - The Electric Prunes 10. Flash, Bam, Pow - The Electric Flag 11. It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding) - Roger McGuinn 12. Ballad Of Easy Rider - Roger McGuinn