October 19, 2007
Originally published October 18, 2003
I made some microwave popcorn and watched Easy Rider on cable TV last night. Damn! I went spiralling back in time.
I first saw that movie when I was a jockstrap football player in 1969 and it depressed the shit out of me. I was down in the dumps for days afterward. I thought that the movie made the South look bad but I had to admit to knowing a few pure-assed red-necks who WOULD have fired a shotgun out of a pickup truck at some long-haired hippie on the road. I had never smoked marijuana at the time and I never expected to in my life.
Two years later, I had a Fu Manchu Moustache, hair that I could gather into a pony tail and I watched that movie again at a drive-in. I was in a 1962 Dodge Dart and the dope-smoke was as thick as London Fog in there. The movie still depressed the shit out of me.
I haven't smoked dope in years. My hair is short now. But I took an adventure on the Wayback machine last night and I have a few observations that I want to share.
* That movie is terribly dated. Nobody says "groovy" anymore.
* That movie also has the best fucking soundtrack ever. Period. I will brook no argument on that fact. Bejus! Just listen to it!
* Jack Nicholson was outstanding as the drunken lawyer in his gold football helmet. My drinking buddies and I STILL do that chicken-wing wave with one arm and go "NICK...NICK...NICK... SWAMP!' when we're hitting the tequila bottle. We talk about Venusians beaming back at us, too.
* Dennis Hopper had the best role of his life as "Billy." He brought just the right amout of craziness, suspicion, hostility and loyalty to that part. He was so good that he DESERVED to die in the end.
* The idea of dropping acid at Marti Gras in a cemetary with a couple of hookers has always fascinated me.
* I thought Karen Black was beautiful in her scenes. I just wanted her to get nekkid.
* I never wanted to own a motorcycle, but I HAVE wanted to make a cross-country trip after watching that movie.
Maybe now's my chance. I'll be going east to west, but WTF? I've never seen the Grand Canyon and I've never stared up at the top of a Giant Redwood. I've never thrown my body into the Pacific Ocean. I've never seen the Golden Gate Bridge.
Life is short. If you don't get it while you can, it's gone forever. I am over half a century old.
I need to get busy.
All content © Rob Smith