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Motorcyclists gather in Taos to toast Dennis Hopper's "Easy Rider"

Easy Rider has inspired motorcyclists for more than 40 years.
Easy Rider has inspired motorcyclists for more than 40 years.
Photo by David McNew/Getty Images

Dozens of motorcyclists from as far away as Canada converged just north of Taos, NM to honor the memory of actor Dennis Hopper, and celebrate the 46th anniversary of his iconic film “Easy Rider,” yesterday, on what would have been his 78th birthday.

Born May 17, 1936, in Dodge City, KS, Dennis Hopper initially came to New Mexico to scout locations for "Easy Rider, a film he teamed u p to make with Peter Fonda, Terry Southern and Jack Nicholson in 1968 to “romanticize” a mood of rebellion, motorcycles on the open road and showcase the hopes and anxieties of the time. Shot on a shoestring budget, the film ended up “revolutionizing Hollywood,” and has kept its appeal among generations for 46 years, despite the fact that, Hopper’s own use of drugs and alcohol served a negative influence on the public.

"The cocaine problem in the United States is really because of me. There was no cocaine before Easy Rider on the street. After Easy Rider, it was everywhere," Hopper, himself, stated after the movie was released in 1969.
Although this year’s inaugural ride and rally may have been a rather “simplified” event, or organizers intend to add more music and film venues in forthcoming years in the hope of drawing more Hopper fans to Taos annually.