Sunday, August 31
Thursday, August 28
I like old things. (Don't we all?)
I used to play guitar in a rockin' lil band I formed in the late '80s (I suppose I was 'professional' as it was how I paid the rent at the time) who went on to become Morrissey's backing band.
Anyway, I had a nice '61 Guild Starfire with Schallers back then which went all over Europe with me, and I've picked up old guitars ever since. This is a '63 albino Burns Bison. It's rare, and if you want to sound like Link Wray, this is what you need.
Tuesday, August 26
I was at the newsstand today and picked up The Horse and Iron Horse. Both actually looked pretty interesting (don't like Iron Horse's new 80s-computer-font design though).
But I only had $10, and needed a sandwich, so I put them reluctantly back on the shelf and read the new issue of my own mag instead. And I noticed two things: I'm still stoked with it, and I only pick up typos when the damn thing's in print.
Tuesday, August 19
Friday, August 15
While I'm into posting simple black Pan choppers (notice how my mind wanders onto one track then can't deviate?) Wasko took this one of Rob's Pan which we featured a few issues ago. It's a local bike, and this ... AGGH! ... "old school" .... AGGHHH! .... style is very unusual here, amongst all the 'theme' choppers. The extra rake on that original frame might be heresy, but I reckon it looks good.
Another classic from 'Bad Mags'.
Here's a weird thing. When I first put cocktail shaker mufflers on my shovel chopper ten years ago, finding the straight ones was like trying to find the proverbial rocking horse shit. But the more photos I see of original choppers, I realise the versions with the 45 degree bend were used more often. Maybe the straight ones were hard to find then too!
Tuesday, August 12
Monday, August 11
I was back from school in time for the Bill Grundy show on ITV. Back in the '70s, no one swore on TV. No one. No "bloody"s or "shit"s. I remember clearly the moment when Grundy goaded the Sex Pistols into swearing on live early evening telly. "Dirty fucker" said Steve Jones to Grundy, who was trying to chat up Siouxsie Sue. "You dirty fucking rotter".
"Rotter"!! How English. I laughed then, and I laugh when I see it on YouTube now. I wish I'd seen 'em live. They changed my life and in turn made my parents' life hell. I had this very picture on my bedroom wall. Loved the way Rotten took the piss out of the Teds by dressing like them.
OK, so while we're on a Sportster tip and we're talking about Bill ... here's his '65 XLCH. Check the Iowa snow! When I go back to the GK archive, I'm not surprised that the vast majority of stuff I featured still gets me going today. Don't know how many years ago this was, but it must be at least 2000/2001?
Remember, no one was featuring people like Bill and Scott Craig in the mags back then ... GK was where people came to dig this stuff. But I say it again ... without Chopper Dave's site and David Snow's IH mag, I would never have had my eyes opened to bikes like this and great guys like Bill.
Sunday, August 10
Thursday, August 7
I struggle with admitting to a liking for the Stray Cats. They're not a cool band. But when I was a kid, struggling to find a music to move me after punk had died, I loved their style, and they kicked off a lifelong love of rockabilly in me.
So now they've announced their farewell tour, and I've got a ticket to see them in Sydney next February, which means I've seen them in the '80s (Dingwalls, London, 1983, one of the best gigs I've ever attended), '90s and now the '00s. I guess that makes me a fan.
Read about this in Classic Bike magazine. A man called Ronnie Borradaile was a 21 year old motorcycle enthusiast who rented this Jap-powered Grindlay-Peerless (the first 500cc machine to do 100 miles in an hour, ridden by Bill Lacey) at Brooklands in July 1935 and proceeded to lap the circuit at 100mph, winning a coveted Gold Star badge. "I just turned it up and hung on," he said. "It was great fun".
A professional soldier, he went on to win a Military Cross during WWII and was later made MBE. Modern day 'heroes' just don't compare to men like Ronnie.