This is one of those “original slacker” stories about a gifted pianist from the privileged classes who chooses to work on the oil rigs and slum through life as an average joe. Five Easy Pieces is also the film that contains Nicholson’s oft-repeated chicken-salad speech in the diner.
A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.
Bob Rafelson and co-conceptualist Jack Nicholson did for the Monkees what Richard Lester did for the Beatles in A Hard Day's Night and Help!, creating a wacked-out, aimless universe that constantly riffs on popular culture.