Tuesday, June 01, 2010


Given the lack of internet in my New Orleans hotel room, I wasn't able to comment on Dennis Hopper's death when it happened. I agree with Chad's discussion of him, but I want to add that while the obituaries are talking about Hopper the Actor and Hopper the Trend Setter and Hopper the Director, we are really remembering Hopper the Mad Man. And Hopper was something of a mad man. A child actor and Hollywood fixture, he knew seemingly everyone in Hollywood history. In his youth, he knew older people who worked in the silent days. Although he lost many years to drugs, he came back later in life to again become hip with younger people. He was a fixture on the L.A. art scene going back to the 1950s. He did become a conservative later in life and supported McCain in 08 for some reason, though St. John of Arizona didn't promote that endorsement as much as he did Wilford Brimley.

Anyway, I remember more for his gonzo role in Apocalypse Now and his comeback roles in Blue Velvet and Red Rock West more than anything. Well, anything except for this. I can't recommend Fishing with John enough, a TV series of the early 90s featuring the musician John Lurie fishing with stars in various places. It ran all of 6 episodes, but some of them are pretty amazing. 2 episodes send Lurie with Dennis Hopper to Thailand. It's weird and hilarious. But it also includes Hopper just telling stories. According to Lurie, all Hopper did on the trip was tell bizarre stories from his past (as well as eat sugar).

So rest in piece Dennis the Mad Man as well as all the rest of the Dennises. You certainly will be missed.