“Here’s the first of the day, fellas. To ol’ D.H. Lawrence.”
Jack Nicholson and Dennis Hopper reportedly hung out with Native Americans they met at Kiowa Ranch near Taos, New Mexico, and napped at the grave of D.H. Lawrence in nearby San Cristobal the day before shooting this scene.
Nicholson plays George Hanson, the hard-drinking lawyer who gets them out of jail.
Nicholson’s “nic-nic-nic” bit came from observing the quirk of a biker they paid to start their motorcycles for them. He threw in the “Indians” bit to honor his erstwhile companions.
Why D.H. Lawrence?
Born in Nottinghamshire, England to an illiterate coal miner and a schoolteacher, Lawrence wrote several short stories and two novels from 1909-1911 and his 1913 work, Sons and Lovers, won him critical acclaim. His next book, The Rainbow, questioned sexual expression and morality with such bluntness that it was banned in England. A frustrated Lawrence left England forever as a result. In 1926, he began working on his most controversial and well-known novel:
Lady Chatterly’s Lover was immediately banned as pornography.
Now watch this extended clip of the video and Nicholson’s reference will make more sense.