Peter Fonda Interview
There’s no getting around it, Peter Fonda is a dead set legend. In town to promote his latest film, Geoff Bartlett tried to find out what makes the man so damn cool.
Geoff Bartlett: What do you do to relax these days?
Peter Fonda: I live in the mountains in Montana. Most of my friends and I like to fish. We catch and release wild trout using barbless hooks.
GB: That’s a bit new age. What do you do when you get the urge to get in touch with your primal side?
PF: I hunt elk and antelope, and believe me, there are no barbless bullets.
GB: Do you own many rifles?
PF: Not that many. But I do collect .45 automatics. I also collect knives. Both folding pocket knives and straight knives.
GB: Remind me not to break into your house. Got a favourite hunting memory?
PF: I was on a trip with George Peppard and our first day I saw a massive bull Elk. George was whispering ‘shoot him!’ But I hunt for food, not for trophies and the cow elk makes much better eating. So I just watched this magnificent animal walk back into the woods. George tried to get a shot, but I yelled and scared it off. For the next four days, George was making fun of about how I was afraid to shoot and challenged my manhood.
On our way home, I spotted five cow Elks from the back of our pick up, so we stopped. Now, George had insisted I bring a much higher calibre rifle than I normally use. We were 618 yards away. I shot one in the head and it went down and the kick from the rifle almost knocked me out of the truck. But I cranked up another shell, came back down. And now there are four elks looking up saying ‘What the fuck was that’ Then, Boom!, I shot the second one and yelled ‘That one’s yours George.’
He wouldn’t take the meat, so I came home with enough meat to feed all of my rock and roll friends who were thrilled to have free steak.”
GB: Still have time in your life for Motorcycles?
PF: Definitely. I have two Harley Davidsons, both fat boys. When I’m done promoting a film, I really look forward to that first hour on the bike. It is just like nothing else. It’s so cool.
This piece first appeared in Ralph Magazine.