There won’t be a rock concert at KTAOS, or a Dennis Hopper movie at the Taos Community Auditorium, or a barbecue catered by The Tiwa Kitchen. Still, as of press time, the annual Dennis Hopper Days celebration planned Friday and Saturday (May 18-19) will not be happening this year.
This message now appears on the dennishopperday.com website: "Due to last minute unforeseen circumstances beyond our control, this years Dennis Hopper Day festivities are hereby cancelled. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience and look forward to seeing you at next years Dennis Hopper Day and 50th Anniversary of “EASY RIDER” May 17 & 18, 2019. All 2018 registered bikers, will receive their Embroidered 2018 Easy Rider Ride patch."
As of Monday (May 14) organizer Robby Romero has reportedly not made contact with some individuals, businesses and organizations that apparently were involved. Several phone calls were met with a message that stated his voicemail box was full.
Romero’s connection with Dennis Hopper goes back to the iconoclastic actor, filmmaker and fine artist’s time in Taos when he once owned the Mabel Dodge Luhan House. On May 17, Hopper would have been 82.
Eight years ago, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson made Dennis Hopper Day official. Four years later The Taos Pueblo and Town of Taos followed and named a street “Hopper Highway.” The tradition has in the past been celebrated in Taos with a motorcycle rally, a barbecue catered by the Tiwa Kitchen of Taos Pueblo and Hopper film screenings at the Taos Community Auditorium.
This year, Taos Center for the Arts Executive Director Deborah McLean said the TCA will not be hosting any Dennis Hopper Day events, and as far as she knows there isn’t anything planned. “I have no idea what happened this year,” she said.
In the past, musician-activist Romero was the driving force behind the events that commemorated Hopper’s Taos connection. “Romero needs help to make the event happen,” McLean added.
This year, a rock concert and barbecue was planned at the KTAOS Solar Center, something Romero himself described to Tempo editor Rick Romancito last March. In addition to the annual “Rebel Film Festival” at the Taos Community Auditorium and an “Easy Rider” motorcycle tour, Romero said he was also putting together a concert celebration at the KTAOS Solar Center featuring Robert Mirabal, Gary Farmer, Romero and special guests.
Monday (May 14), KTAOS General Manager Dave Darus confirmed the concert has been canceled and declined to state anything further on the issue.
— Freelance writer T.L Testerman and Tempo editor Rick Romancito contributed to this report