So, hellraiser Dennis Hopper has ridden off along the empty highways into the sunset with two sensational performances, ‘Easy Rider’ and ‘Apocalypse Now’, under his belt and dozens of other memorable moments in his career. Now that corporations micromanage screen actors’ lives, we won’t see this kind of wildness again.
I never liked to admit it, but ‘Easy Rider’ made me very uneasy as a teenager. According to the notebooks I kept during the period, I saw it at least four times at my best schoolfriend’s urging, and suggested that despite those iconic shots of Peter Fonda riding his long-forked hog, I was frightened by the film’s wind-in-the-hair freedom and lack of restraint; proof that carrying a heavy leather briefcase to and from an English all-boys school for eight years could leave lasting damage. It also makes me wonder if kids keep diaries anymore, apart from blogging.
The Sunday Telegraph decided to print this picture of Dennis. Even at this small size, it’s obvious that the ridiculous old man’s cap has been Photoshopped – no, cut out and stuck on – but why would they do that? To make their elderly farming readership feel better?