Dennis first arrived in Taos during the late ’60’s. Taos’ magical light had cast its spell over him as soon as he first laid eyes on the mountain, with the Gorge ripping through the valley below.
Dennis bought the Mabel Dodge Luhan House, renamed the Big House by locals, and settled in for over a decade of bohemian life, before finally moving back to Venice, California to recharge his career. He converted his El Cortez Theater into a home and studio, and Taos is where he’d come to make art and hang out with old friends.
Robby Romero is one of those old friends and his stories about his years at the Big House are chronicled here
Last year, Marin Hopper wrote a couple of great blog posts for the New York Times about her father in Taos, I’ve included links to them below this post.
May 17th was Hopper’s Birthday and in 2014, the town proclaimed it, Dennis Hopper Day. This year, Dennis Hopper Day is moving into full gear with the Easy Rider Ride starting in Santa Fe and ending at St. Francis Church in Ranchos Plaza, where Dennis Hopper’s funeral was held. For details on the itinerary, I’ve included the link to the official website.
After a screening of Easy Rider, Robby Romero and Robert Mirabal will be hosting a jam session at Martina’s Hall with family, friends and special guests, including award-winning and critically acclaimed actor, (and member of the First Nations), Gary Farmer.
Very special guest, Academy Award Winning actress Patricia Arquette, will also be in the house.
Dennis Hopper Day is a free Community event.
Dennis Hopper was a pivotal figure in the Pop Cultural Zeitgeist of the 60’s. His legacy in Taos includes the body of work that moved him out of the Mainstream, into the Underground, and back again.
He has left us with stories, myth and mystery. Outlaw renegade and creative genius, Dennis Hopper was one of America’s most courageous artists and deserves all due respect. And that includes a biker party!
Hopper would love it, at the end of the day, after all his adventures out here in the wild, Wild West, he had the last laugh.
We’re giving away a freebie here on the blog today. An Easy Rider patch goes to the first person who answers correctly.
Who did Dennis model his character in Easy Rider after?
To find out more about Dennis Hopper day in Taos, go to dennishopperday
Marin Hopper‘s New York Times blog links
Photograph of Dennis at Lama (Robby Romero on the left) from the family archives.