Sunday, December 11, 2011

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
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.


  1. I edited this show. We delivered it last year (Oct 2010) and History has been holding back on airing for ... who knows why. Then they air it without promotion at 8AM on a Sunday.

    We need to petition them to air this. Tweet them at #HistoryChannel and demand that they air it again!.

    Shane Ross

  2. I agree with you about JJ. I haven't seen the new special, but I do respect the hell out of the guys work. Anyone who doesn't isn't anything more then a wanna be who doesn't know shit about building shit. Just the fact that he chose Uri Hofi says he is the real deal. Uri is a long time master, that the average joe isn't going to know about. Because only people who care to know would take the time know. Thanks for standing up against the haters. haha

  3. I can't believe I missed this and THC doesn't seem to be airing it again. I hope it shows up on Hulu or Netflix so I can see it. It sounds like the kind of show I wish was on TV instead of that crap they usually air.

  4. Awesome show. Easily could have been titled Motorcycle Mania 4. Very odd time to air it..esp with no promotion.

  5. I was lucky enough to catch it Sunday morning..totally by accident. I have it on DVR, so I have watched it 3 times so far. Very good 2 hour show....I agree with the Motorcycle Mania 4 comment.The shows format and music soundtrack are very similar to the earlier Motorcycle Mania shows.

  6. I missed it didn't dvr it did not even know it was on. Anybody know how to record it to disc and send to to me have cash will pay. Especially since the History channel will not be showing it again

  7. my wife woke me up from a sound sleep @ 8:04 am sunday with a coffee and a bowl of oatmeal. she said got something on tv for u to watch. when she put thc on and i saw jesse james back on tv with what ended up being the best special on tv in years. i thought i am the luckiest guy in the world to have my wife and a tv.

  8. my friend Bob works at Austin Speed Shop and i got to see him on tv! pretty crazy! wasn't expecting that at all!


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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.