The Vintagent Selects: A collection of our favorite films by artists around the world.

NOT SO EASY (1973)

Run Time: 17:57
Producer: Cliff Vaughs/Filmfair Communications
Director: Cliff Vaughs
Associate Director/Writer: Norman Rose
Editor: Phil Content
Director of Photography: Harry Winer
Assistant Cameraman: George Leskay
Sound: Conrad Rothman
Original Music: Jeff Hathaway, Bob Tomasky, John Webb, Terry Boylan, Frank Blumer
Key Cast: Peter Fonda, Evel Knievel, Cliff Vaughs, Wendy Vaughs

THE FILMMAKER

Cliff ‘Soney’ Vaughs was a chopper enthusiast and Civil Rights worker in the early 1960s, spending time in the South with the SNCC as an official photographer and activist.  Returning to Los Angeles in 1965, Vaughs worked at KRLA producing stories, and making films such as ‘What Will the Harvest Be?’.  In 1968, he met Peter Fonda while reporting on Fonda’s arrest for marijuana possession; the two discovered a mutual interest in choppers, and discussed Fonda and Dennis Hopper’s idea for a ‘new Wester’ with motorcycles.  Vaughs became an Associate Producer of what would become ‘Easy Rider’, for which Vaughs provided the title, some of the plot line, and the two iconic choppers in the film, ‘Captain America’ and ‘Billy’, which he built in collaboration with Ben Hardy.   When Columbia Pictures took over production of Easy Rider, Vaughs was bought out of his contract as Associate Producer, and his name never appeared in the credits.  In 1972, in response to a wave of motorcycle fatalities during a great boom in motorcycle sales to new riders, Vaughs filmed ‘Not So Easy’, and asked his friends Peter Fonda and Evel Knievel  to appear, with Harley-Davidson supplying motorcycles.  The film was shown in motorcycle rider education classes across the United States and Canada through the 1970s and early 1980s.

SUMMARY

While motorcycles are great fun, they’re also ‘not so easy’, and need careful training to ride safely.

RELATED MEDIA

Cliff Vaughs – Rest Easy

Chopper History on NPR

Top 10: Most Expensive Motorcycles


 

 

Evel’s jump in the LA Stadium in 1967

 

The Title Card
Peter Fonda gives a lecture
The stars
Evel Knievel talking safety!
And now, a historical artifact
Cliff Vaughs, the filmmaker