Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Born Free 4, six months and counting.


The nice thing about having a blog is being able to look back and see what I thought might happen compared to the way things actually went down. Last year my trip to Born Free 3 exceeded all expectations because I had no idea what would happen. It was a blast.

In retrospect I stayed too far away and spent more on my hotel than needed due to my lack of familiarity with the area. The show was promoted as being in Silverado but is actually adjacent to Irvine Lake, about 20 minutes due east of North Tustin at Oak Canyon Ranch. I am not sure if I will be camping for BF4 or staying in a cheaper motel. The only real variable is if the DicE party will be held again at Cook's Corner at the other end of Santiago Canyon road, about 5 miles further SE.

The plan this year, at this point anyway, is to drive out with with all of the magazine stuff, easy up, chairs, cooler, etc and my bike. I totally missed riding last year. Somehow a Chevy Malibu wasn't the same experience. Born Free was the highlight of 2011 for me. I can't wait to get back.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

I wanna ride...

I sold my Honda in September, but the sentiment is the same.

Merry Christmas.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

New Boots, a new project?

My aunt gave me a pair of these boots for Christmas, brand new HD Mega Conductor engineer boots.
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I actually like the style, but not all the HD gee-gaws. I was going to get some Chippewas. But now I am thinking of getting these cut down to shorties with some new buckles. It's really a money consideration; spend $100 on a cobbler to make them cool or sell them for the same amount and get some other boots. Why does everything have to turn into a protracted project with me? Why can't I be satisfied with stock and just enjoy something for what it is? It's a sickness.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

From the land before irony.

Shhhhhh...no words, behold the glory

Tony Joe White

Lately I am digging the totally underappreciated and all around fantastic Tony Joe White through the magic of Spotify.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Sunday, December 11, 2011

GKM #24...I almost didn't make it.


I wrote up Kevin Price's black 1964 Ironhead, The Penner Special, for the newest issue of GKM. I shot the pics the evening before I left for Born Free 3. I guess I was excited to be going because I didnt realize that I had smudged the lens. Everything from that session and BF3 shot in direct sun was unusable. I didn't notice it until I got home and viewed the pics on the computer screen.
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Luckily some stuff was salvagable and the piece came together. Honestly, if I hadnt said anything you fair reader would be none the wiser. The truth is, this kind of stuff happens with magazines all the time and it is usually a mad rush to cobble together an issue. I am happy to leave the editing to the other guys...err Guy.

Buy it here

I promise not to hurt myself this time.

Jesse James: Blacksmith

Today I woke up early (7:30 is damn early for a Sunday) and saw this was on the History Channel. At first I thought maybe it was a biography of the famous outlaw. I checked the description and sure enough it was about the founder of WCC.

After seeing all of his specials and most episodes of Monster Garage I was confused. How could I have missed this one? Say what you will about Jesse James but this whole neo-chopper subculture never would have got going without him. Everyone that I know who has met him says he is a genuinely nice, interesting guy and insanely knowledgeable about all things choppers, motorcycles and anything related to racing.

I was staying at my parents so I quickly ran out to get some coffee since they don't drink the high octane stuff. I settled in, guarded the remote and was not bored in the slightest during the entire two hours. Not only did JJ build a chopper from a rare Drake motor, a water cooled knucklehead used in Midget cars, but he talked about his life, his successes and failures, and hand forged a set of forks from raw steel using skills learned from a master blacksmith at a kibbutz in Israel.

It was great to see two other cats featured whose work I have also admired;
the amazing sculptor Jeff Decker
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and Dan "Bacon" Carr

I am hoping that this will go into heavy rotation on THC and signal a much deserved comeback.

My only observation is that the release must have been delayed due to his high profile divorce and resulting negative tabloid attention. Most of the action takes place around the closing of WCC and the opening of Austin Speed Shop. The exposure from the recent Biker Buildoff 3-way goat schtup probably had something to do with it too. Admittedly it is impossible for me to sit through anything with the Teutels. I dont regret missing that show one bit. However, a sure way to cleanse your palate is by watching a true craftsman in action. Jesse James: Blacksmith is a satisfying showcase of the talent and humanity of a guy who at one time or another has been a hero to us all.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Graham Bonnet Rising

My friend Jennifer Loveless is obsessed with Graham Bonnet lately. I think she is onto something.




Princess Tiny Hands

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Best gal ever.

My hands look bigger in Crawfordsville

There is a bar in Crawfordsville, IN named after Lew Wallace who wrote Ben Hur, was the governor of Indiana and also the Territorial Governor of New Mexico during the Lincoln County War. It is a locus of silliness.
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Nashville Roadtrip

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Saturday, December 3, 2011

Anybody got a metal detector I can borrow?

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They are tearing up the parking lot of the former Linkert Foundry. According to Jim Summit, who worked next door at Carburetor Exchange, when Linkert shut down they buried hundreds of carbs. This may be my only chance to dig for buried treasure.

I'm done with choppers. I've found a new hobby...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

She

is all mine...
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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Back To What Is Right

Here is one of my new originals. More to come soon.

Monday, November 7, 2011

The new roots music superstar

If you are an old Rockabilly scenester like me you already know how stale the genre can be. It will always be a part of who I am. But over the last 6 or 7 years I have drifted into other genres of music looking for that same identification and excitement I found in the early 90s.

So when I hear somebody as fresh as JD McPherson it is kind of a big deal. This cat has it all; great style, gear, voice and AMAZING songwriting ability. I have been listening to his album Signs And Signifiers non-stop for the last few weeks. Jimmy Sutton's production done at his Hi Style Recordings in Chicago just blows me away. Recorded on all vintage analog tube equipment with ribbon mikes in an attic it harkens back to Ricky Lee Brawn's Valvemobile/Priory recordings from the 90s.

This record has captured lightning in a bottle. It is a party record to be sure. But the spot on instrumentation and production does nothing to obscure the solid songwriting. Gentle Awakening could hold its own against other neo-R&B acts such as Adele or The Noisettes. I would not be surpised if it charts in Europe.





If you haven't already, do yourself a favor and pick us this record or listen to it on Spotify. This guy is gonna be a roots music superstar.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Full Throttle Saloon

Not sure if you've seen the commercials for the new season of Full Throttle Saloon. But the promo clip is almost a shot for shot rip off of this clip:



I don't know why, but I am still surprised by the lack of originality from people with lots of money.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The wrong love I know I did choose, but there'll be no more cryin the blues

Nursing some gnarly chest congestion, I broke out the Tele for this one:

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Monday, October 17, 2011

Johnny One-Note

I don't want to do just one thing. My mind is too restless and expansive to concentrate on a single pursuit. Most experts are dreadfully boring and lack any depth outside their areas of expertise. For instance, an amazing chicken picker I saw after a show in khaki cargo shorts and boat shoes. I actually felt embarassed for him, what a sham. I think most "brooding artist" types are actually asshole douchbags with nothing to say, but with a keen enough sense for preserving their image to stay mum. I neither want to be a charlatan nor a hollow idol. I merely want to be all I can be. The last year has been an exercise in introspection and removing self imposed limitations. But can it be done, can I pursue all the things I love at the same time with equal effort and reward? Let's just see if the universe gives me the chance to be that multi-faceted diamond I already have in my mind's eye.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

RIP Shawn Farnsworth

Sad to hear that the rider who crashed on Sunday has passed away.

http://www.cyclenews.com/articles/industry-news/2011/10/11/shawn-farnsworth-1975-2011/
Dang it, I hate to hear about anybody going down on a bike. He left a wife and two kids. Sad, but he died doing what he loved. We should all be so lucky.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Hill Climb at the Devil's Staircase

I spent a delightful Midwestern Autumn Sunday at the hill climbs just south of Dayton, Ohio. The racing was fast and furious, straight up towards the sun with dirt clods flying. Plenty of vintage bikes with some extremely interesting people watching. Lots of "salt-of-the-Earth" types, if you know what I mean.
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About Me

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An unfocused dilettante. I'm not half bad. Overall a very good yegg and a wrong guy in an increasingly right world.

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