Born to be Wild

"Born to be Wild" Steppenwolf (Mars Bonfire, 1969).
Although this was not Dennis Hopper's first choice- Steppenwolf being a relatively new band- the song became not just the theme song for Hopper's classic swansong to hippie America- a kind of late 60s cinematic "On the Road," but it became an iconic tune which references much of what we identify with the conduit between the road and music in the 1960s. Hopper's and Peter Fonda's characters ride through what is now a deeply divided American landscape- picking up George Hanson (Jack Nicholson) who is at once anarchic and nostalgic. All three ride and trip, hoping and roaming towards a time that will never return. The hybrid of Hopper's, Fonda's, and Terry Southern's screenplay with music and the motorcycle road trip echoes the roots of road rebellion going back to Brando's "Wild One". A great example of the praxis of music that even Adorno would (perhaps) appreciate (he died in 1969).