Easy Rider Came Out 50 Years Ago Today

Via UltimateClassicRock.com. 50 years ago today, Captain America (Peter Fonda) and his friend Billy (Dennis Hopper) roared across the screen on the coolest chopped Harleys audiences had ever seen. The story follows the pair's journey from Los Angeles to New Orleans with a gas tank full of money from a big drug sale.The plan is to celebrate Mardi Gras, then head to Florida to retire. Along the way they meet hippies, rednecks and George Hanson (played by Jack Nicholson), a hard-drinking lawyer who joins them.

Easy Rider was groundbreaking in it's use of music. Most Hollywood movies had music that was specifically written for the film. From the opening with Steppenwolf's "Born To Be Wild," Hopper and Fonda used contemporary rock songs, many already hits, to fill the soundtrack.

"Born To Be Wild" and "The Pusher" from Steppenwolf, The Byrds "Wasn’t Born to Follow" and their lead singer Roger McGuinn performing Bob Dylan's "It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)" as well as the only song written for the movie, "The Ballad of Easy Rider, helped push the Easy Rider soundtrack LP to No. 6 on the Billboard 200 in 1969. The film’s innovative use of music has inspired filmmakers to use rock hits on the soundtracks of classics that include American Graffiti, Apocalypse Now and Mean Streets.

Get yer motor runnin'!!!

 
 
Chuck Nowlin

Chuck Nowlin

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