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'Easy Rider' Is 40; How Dennis Hopper's Celebrating

In May of 1969, the mayor of Taos, N.M., Rumaldo Garcia announced that his town's annual summer "fiesta" would be canceled that year, "due to the widespread publicity Taos has received regarding the so-called hippie situation." The mayor went on to say that "as a result of this publicity, there might be an influx of undesirables. This could result in serious health and law enforcement problems."

No doubt, part of the publicity was generated by the release of the film Easy Rider, the cult hippie road classic staring Peter Fonda, Jack Nicholson and Dennis Hopper, who also directed the movie. As the mayor predicted, thousands of young people descended upon Taos that year in search of, well, something greater.

Guest host David Greene interviews Dennis Hopper, who starred in and directed the seminal movie 40 years ago. In honor of that anniversary, Taos, New Mexico is hosting "Taos Summer of Love 2009." Hopper, a sometime resident of Taos, is curating an exhibit of paintings and photographs there as part of the city's celebration.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Corrected: May 8, 2009 at 1:37 PM CDT
In the interview, Dennis Hopper said, "When ['Easy Rider'] went to the Turner Channel, the classic movie channel, they called me and asked me if I wanted to watch them cut the film." In fact, the edited version of "Easy Rider" runs on AMC, not Turner Classic Movies.