Much as I enjoyed Easy Rider when I first saw it in 1970, as an unworldly and ignorant 16 year old Australian, I learnt later what a distortion of truth it really was.
Peter Honda and Dennis Chopper were placed on a pedestal of self righteousness, gunned down by the ignorant redneck Southerners just for "being themselves". The reality was, of course, that they had been cocaine dealers - hardly the sort of individual most of us would wish to associate with, given a choice.
When I did my own "easyrider" ride across the Southern US in 1975 I was surprised how little resemblance there was between the film and the truth.
Even though I looked like a stereotypical hippy, the vast majority of older USAlians were friendly, interesting and helpful. I never felt at risk of being shot at just because I rode a bike (something easyrider had made me fear would be the case), and my interactions with the local constabulary were always good ones - no risk of being locked up in a cell just because of what I looked like.
No, easyrider painted a rose colloured picture of a counterculture who were in reality combative and thumbed their noses (and stronger) at the existing culture - not the peaceloving individuals they claimed to be at all.
.... and nowadays in the USA there are very few longhaired bearded males who are not rightwing rednecks - isn't that interesting?
Garry from Oz - powered by Burgman