50 years ago, a relatively low-budget, independent film made its way to theaters and set moviegoers on their ears. It captured beautifully the views of our society during that time and took us on a ride through the “hippie” generation’s lifestyle. Easy Rider, starring Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper and Jack Nicolson, grossed $60 million worldwide and became a film classic. Not too shabby for a film that only took $400,000 to make. That’s if you don’t count the cool million spent on licensing the music used in the soundtrack. Easy Rider put Nicolson on the fast track to stardom and made Steppenwolf’s “Born to Be Wild” an even bigger hit. The movie was nominated for two academy awards and was added to the National Film Registry in 1998. The ending was brutal, senseless and left absolutely no chance for Hopper and Fonda to follow it up with a sequel. You had to see the film to understand that it was more about the journey.
Local author Tommy Gibbs, always wanted to find out what happened after the movie ended. Were the cuplrits ever brought to justice and what happened to the motorcycles? That love for motorcycles and riding, along with his imagination and storytelling ability, led Gibbs to giving us the closure we needed.
In his new book, One Picture, Two Journeys, we find ourselves 21 years after the demise of our heroes in Easy Rider. Inspired by a newfound truth and an old photograph, young Rand Garret sets out on Route 66 in search of a missing father. Ready to give up and return home, Rand comes across a man who had been living with guilt over an incident involving his father. The confrontation erupting between the two of them gives Rand the answer to a lifelong question and leaves the stranger at peace for the first time in over 2 decades.