The site of the former Comeaux's Cafe & Hotel on Church Street. It is now a hamburger stand. D. J. Comeaux's sister in Morganza, LA had a cafe also which was used in making the movie, "Easy Rider" which Peter Fonda and the David guy from Krotz Springs starred in. The ending was between Krotz Springs and Melville on Hwy 105.
On the road again the next morning to the sound of "It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)" (Bob Dylan's tune sung by Roger McGuinn of the Byrds), they travel through more landscapes of America, scenes which reflect the regional diversity of the country and creeping industrial pollution.
The ending of the film is remarkably bleak, cynical and fatalistic. On one of the last stretches of roadside where American industry has not yet sprawled, two armed rednecks in a small pickup truck think they'll have some fun with the two bikers:
Driver: Hey, Roy, look at them ginks!
Roy: Pull alongside, we'll scare the hell out of 'em.
Roy reaches back and takes down his mounted shotgun from the back of the cab and aims it out the window at Billy:
Want me to blow your brains out? (Billy obscenely gestures with his 'finger') Why don't you get a haircut?
A sudden shot-gun blasts Billy in the stomach and he is mortally wounded. His bike rolls and skids down the road. Wyatt stops and turns back toward Billy to help him:
Billy: Oh my God! (He gags)
Wyatt: Oh my God! I'm going for help Billy.
Billy: I got 'em. I'm gonna get 'em. (He sobs and moans)...Man, I-I'm gonna get 'em. Where are they now?
Middle America's hatred for the long-haired cyclists is shown in the film's famous ending. When Wyatt speeds down the road to seek help for his dying friend, the rednecks turn around and drive toward him - gunfire again blasts through the window and Wyatt's bike flies through the air. [Significantly, Wyatt's dead body doesn't appear in the final scene.] The closing image (of the earlier flash-forward) is an aerial shot floating upwards above his motorcycle which is burning in flames by the side of the road. Death seems to be the only freedom or means to escape from the system in America where alternative lifestyles and idealism are despised as too challenging or free. The romance of the American highway is turned menacing and deadly.
The words of Ballad of Easy Rider (by Roger McGuinn of The Byrds) are heard under the rolling credits. The uneasy aerial camera shot pulls back on the winding river alongside the highway. The river - which extends to the hazy horizon - is the final image of the film before a fade-out to black. The ballad is about a man who only wanted to be free like the flowing river amidst America's natural landscape:
The river flows, it flows to the sea
Wherever that river goes, that's where I want to be
Flow river flow, let your waters wash down
Take me from this road to some other town
All I wanted was to be free
And that's the way it turned out to be...
There's a house
whose rooms I know by heart
where Mother tended the garden
and I read by books
where dreams were dreamt
and memories made
where we children grew up
and my parents grew old
there's a house where life was lived
a house where I belong
in my old home town of Melville
Home of The Melville Tigers - Purple & Gold
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