DescriptionPeter Fonda's American Flag Patch from His "Easy Rider" Jacket. A surprise mega-hit during its 1969 theatrical run, Easy Rider is one of those rare movies that changed the way motion pictures are made and defined a generation in the process. Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper co-star as "Wyatt" (aka "Captain America") and "Billy," respectively, hippie motorcyclists who try to obtain their own version of the American Dream via a drug deal. Their quest takes the form of a road trip across the Southern and Southwestern United States (stunningly captured on film by late cinematographer László Kovács), where they encounter the best and worst of a nation in turmoil, and ultimately find only disillusionment and death. As the tagline so eloquently put it, "They went searching for the American Dream and couldn't find it anywhere."
It's a story that is as provocative and relevant now as it was then. The impact of Easy Rider, along with Bonnie and Clyde, The Graduate, and Midnight Cowboy, helped jumpstart the "Hollywood Renaissance" of the 1970s, a period that saw studios investing more and more into smaller -- and often riskier -- movies by directors with a personal vision, projects such as American Graffiti, Mean Streets, The Conversation, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Its soundtrack set an early standard for the use of pop and rock music in motion pictures at a time when recycling songs was unheard of; now multi-artist pop soundtracks are par for the course and often a major source of revenue.
This is the original, one-and-only American flag patch worn on the back of Wyatt's motorcycle jacket, featured prominently throughout the movie and also its classic poster. Peter kept the jacket after production wrapped, and wore it until it wore out. He saved the patch, however, framed it, and has held onto it for almost 40 years. The pat
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