Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Dennis Hopper

So, I've seen a lot of "Dennis Hopper R.I.P." posts on a lot of blogs lately, but I wanted to share some photographs that I came across on the web a little while ago. Few people knew that Hopper was taking thousands of black and white photographs from 1961 to 1967, until he developed and released them last year. From an article in the Times online:
Hopper’s photographs may be around today only because they were snatched from his house in Taos by Walter Hopps. “We had a wonderful day together, and at night I had a paranoid episode upstairs,” he recalls matter-of-factly. “I started firing my machinegun. Then I passed out. Walter came crawling up the stairs and hid all my guns under his bed. When he left in the morning he took all my negatives for safekeeping.”

They've since been put into a book for all to read (or rather, all who can afford the $560 cover price). You can check out the full online edition of the book here.

This is the Sunday Times article to accompany some of the photos. I especially like this pull-quote:

During the last five years of his 25-year-long binge, Hopper was drinking half a gallon of rum and 30 beers a day. The three grams of cocaine he was also ingesting were just so he could keep “moving around”. He had become so delusional that he thought such consumption was okay because “I wasn’t crawling around on the floor”.

In the mid-1980s he was forced into sobriety, imprisoned in Mexico when he was found wandering naked in the jungle, then hospitalised for months in LA after he tried to clamber onto the wing of a moving plane. The antipsychotic drugs they gave him in rehab caused temporary Parkinson’s disease. That terrified him even more than his cocaine psychoses. “God really gave me a big sledgehammer, dropped me to my knees.”

Additionally, the blog Chasing Light is a photography blog that has a lot of insider shots of candid moments taken by notable actors, musicians, models, etc. Here Doug Kim, the author, features a lot of cool shots by Hopper:

Jefferson Airplane, 1965 © Dennis Hopper

Biker, 1961 © Dennis Hopper

Bruce Conner (in tub), Toni Basil, Teri Garr and Ann Marshall, 1964 © Dennis Hopper

Andy Warhol and members of the Factory (Gregory Markopoulos, Taylor Mead, Gerard Malanga & Jack Smith), 1963 © Dennis Hopper

Stuff kind of speaks for itself, the dude was from a different era. Billy was always my favorite in Easy Rider anyway. As Sonny Barger said, Peter Fonda graduated from "Chickenshit High."