Saturday, October 6, 2012

Choppers and submachine guns

At a a party last night a bunch of us were standing around drinking beer and discussing bikes. The sub-topics ranged from the intricacies of building Shovelheads, Japanese industrial machinery and various aspects of vintage parts. One comment struck me as somewhat odd; a friend showed me pictures of his recently completed Sportster chopper and said that he was going to sell it because it wasnt "cool" anymore. After Born Free and The Brooklyn Invitational I was very favorably impressed and excited to see a local cat build a bike that had the same bespoke look. I even mentioned that I'd like to shoot it for magazine. "The 60's style chopper is over, all the hipsters are into it", or something to that effect he said. I understand where he was coming from. It is a bit annoying to see the choads in skinny jeans and scarves riding choppers, running up prices on parts and generally diluting the cloistered pool of coolness. But as someone who writes about bikes and has friends who build bikes, make parts and sell accesories, I see those people as a mark of success. For every 1000 metrosexual beardos there is one guy like me trying to make a few bucks and indulge his asthetic calling. Since I was a kid I have been attracted to things that share the same sense of subversive and adventurous danger. Hammer Horror movies, punk rock, metal, Kurt Vonnegut, military history, rockabilly, southern culture, race cars, guitars, Billy Childish, choppers, submachine guns, these are the things that merit my endless fascination and where all of my other wanderings and interests begin. Maybe it is the result of being raised by a family of blue collar hillbillies relocated to a midwestern factory town where cars, bikes, guns, alcohol, country music and stories of overseas service were a pervasive part of daily life. I feel like I was lucky to get the tail end of the old breed, so I try to live my life as an homage while exploring what trips my trigger. It's not always easy, but it is always rewarding. I suppose what I am saying is there some things that I will always dig no matter where I am in life. But it is jarring to think that for some people what I hold hold dear is merely just a whistle stop on the journey of life. I pity them.

1 comment:

  1. Well said.....I'm an old guy who's been doing this a while and like you, I'll keep doing the same things until I'm toes up. I used to get pissed off about the hipsters, but realised as you did, that it is about the success of our form of expression....we'll still be doing it when they've moved on to the next 'cool thing'.


About Me

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