Easy Rider - Wasn't Born to Follow

This Baby Boomer Wasn’t Born to Follow

(updated February, 2021)

Born To Be Wild was the most famous song from the our generational, cult film Easy Rider.  I was wild part of my teen years.  I certainly Wasn’t Born to Follow.

I enjoyed running over the hills and down the less worn paths than banging shoulders with a bunch of my classmates on football field.  I didn’t date much.  Ok, not at all.

I remember going to see Easy Rider all alone.  I really identified with Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper, at least in my aspirations.  I wanted to be free like them.  When I went off to college in 1966, I began to feel some of that freedom and adventure.

The duo of Fonda and Hopper not only road from California to the South, but they did it prompted by their dreams.  They wrote, directed and produced the Baby Boomer Generation cult classic Easy Rider.  It was release on July 14the (my birthday by the way) in 1969.  The film had a budget of less than $400,000 yet collected $41 million at the theaters.

They were not born to follow the crowd.

I Wasn’t Born to Follow – the Byrds

Carol King and Gerry Goffin’s lyrics (sang by the Byrds) mirrored some of my dreams:

No I’d rather go and journey
Where the diamond crescent’s glowing
And run across the valley
Beneath the sacred mountain
And wander through the forest
Where the trees have leaves of prisms
And break the light in colors
That no one know the names of
And when it’s time I’ll go and lay
Beside the legendary fountain
‘Till I see her form reflected
In its clear and jewelled waters
And if you think I’m ready
You may lead me to the chasm
Where the rivers of our visions
Flow into one another
I will want to dive beneath the white cascading waters
She may beg, she may plead, she may argue with her logic
And mention all the things I’ll lose
That really have no value in the end she will surely know
I wasn’t born to follow

A Reflection of the 1960s

Easy Rider is the story of the two bikers who travel through the American Southwest and South with searching for freedom.

Easy Rider lays bare the social diversity and prejudices, issues, and wanderlust prevalent in the United States during the 1960s.

“The Pusher”, was not only a song that ranked high in the charts.  It reflect the age when drug use was on the increase.  It is said that in Easy Rider real drugs were used by the actors.

The producers asked Bob Dylan to write music for Easy Rider, he stepped away for the Byrds to sing “It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding). They thought he would write the theme song, but he just jotted down the first verse of the “Ballad of Easy Rider” and Roger McGuinn of the Byrds finished and sung it.

Easy Rider Counter Culture Soundtrack

Easy Riders soundtrack included, along with the Byrds, performances by The Band, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, and Steppenwolf.

Below are all ten songs from the movie with great scenes as well. Enjoy.

The Pusher – Steppenwolf

Born to Be Wild – Steppenwolf

If You Want to Be a Bird (Bird Song) – Holy Modal Rounders

I have written several articles about favorite 60s musician, Jimi Hendrix.  He was definitely wasn’t born to follow.  His contribution to the film’s music was great.

If 6 Was 9 – Jimi Hendrix Experience

Kyrie Eleison/Mardi Gras (When the Saints) – The Electric Prunes

It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding) – Sung by the Byrds leadman Roger McGuinn and written by Bob Dylan

Ballad of Easy Rider – The Byrds




By Chowning

Richard Chowning was a teenager during the 60s. Being a Southern California resident during those years, he experienced many of the events and trends that distinguished those times.