Friday, January 30
Mark Austin's Knuck from way back in issue 2. One of my favourite bikes in Oz. Mark has run this bike in the 'hand-shift' class at the drags.
The 'in situ' shot was taken when we visited Mark's old premises near the Blue Mountains about 6 years ago. So much cool stuff!
Wednesday, January 28
On Monday we had a public holiday here for 'Australia Day'. I love the sense of national pride here; in fact, I love this country. I'm a proud citizen and passport holder and can't say I feel the same about the country of my birth, England. Perhaps I'll learn to love it again when we return in a few weeks.
I'll miss the barbies, snags and onions, and a cold one on a hot day.
Sunday, January 25
Friday, January 23
Gray Mitchell is another of those guys whose projects I look forward to seeing; I tried to get a feature on his super-slick Triumph a year or two back with no luck, so am pleased to be able to have his latest build, this XLCH, in issue 9.
More stuff I'm packing away.
I'm a big kid, and have a collection of these diecast 'Britains' motorcycle models from the '60s and '70s, the ones I had as a kid and destroyed with my brother by smashing them into Dinky toys or packing cotton wool around them and setting fire to them. So now I'm replacing them as I find them. 'Beeza Chopper' is one of the coolest and rarest ones.
Thursday, January 22
I love my KTM Duke II. I've ridden it every week day for about three years with no problems, then last night I rode through some flood water on my way home (up to the axles) during a huge storm, and the bike spluttered, wheezed and stopped about 500m down the road.
I'd removed the side panels to replace a radiator hose the week before and hadn't put them back on, and the water must have hit the coil and wiring.
As I stood by the side of the road (it's in a national park, so no civilisation or shelter) in pissing rain, I counted about 12 bikes of various makes rush by without a sidelong glance. Then a guy on one of those Aprilia step-thru scooters stopped to see if I needed help. Cool, huh?
So much for camaraderie on two wheels.
Wednesday, January 21
Early Buzzcocks are essential listening. They were on the classic 'Live at the Roxy' album (wonder what my original vinyl copy's worth?) and Pete Shelley's cut-in-half Starway guitar is now being remade as a limited collectors' edition by Eastwood, signed by Pete! Gotta love it.
Tuesday, January 20
Monday, January 19
Some people have the 'eye'. You anticipate every new project, knowing it's going to be special. You may remember Joe Cano's sweet Triumph in the mag (check old posts, it's there somewhere). His H-D is going to be even nicer. [Photos from the JJ]
Thursday, January 15
Wednesday, January 14
Tuesday, January 13
Monday, January 12
When I was a kid, into punk in the '70s, I thought Debbie Harry was the most beautiful and exotic woman I'd ever seen. I had photos of her ripped from some music magazine on my bedroom wall, dressed in a leopardskin catsuit (is that an oxymoron?). I probably liked her more than I liked Blondie's music, if I'm honest (though I like their music well enough).
And next to her on my wall I had a photo of Iggy when he was doing all that bloodletting on stage in the '70s.
I was playing 'Lust for Life' yesterday and my 11 month old son just started jiggling about excitedly to the music! I was delighted.
My wife keeps playing him Coldplay, but I think I'm winning ...
Saturday, January 10
The plan was to print one magazine. The kind of magazine I couldn't find anywhere, but I thought someone should be publishing. Featuring people I looked up to, bikes I wished I owned, and the kind of build and ride stories you usually hear after a couple of beers at your local.
But then people actually bought it! Which meant I could print another one ... and another ... and now issue one has sold out.
It's a big deal for me. And I'd like to thank every person who has sent me photos, written for the mag, built a cool bike or most importantly taken a minute out of their day to write and say "I dig what you're doing". The mag wouldn't still be going if it wasn't for y'all.
(And if you bought issue one, you now officially own a collector's item!)
"My 39 Knuck ... (been ridin' it for about 17 years as is) ... Talk about Greasy Kulture! It has never been washed or cleaned; when it breaks I fix it and that's it. Smokes like a mother, but runs great!"
I've lost count of how many cool Knucks and flatheads Jeff Baer has. This is his '39. Krusty ... kool.
Thursday, January 8
And while we're using fishing analogies (see below) ... here's another feature bike we're trying to reel in. Nicholas and his Wrenchmonkees in Copenhagen created this super-neat Sporty. We're hoping it doesn't get away ...
(OK, no more fishing terms. I hate fishing anyway.)
Sometimes trying to land a bike feature for the mag is like trying to land a hard-fighting fish. You hook a tasty motorcycle, but landing all the photos takes patience, cajoling and time.
Last year, Dennis in Texas sent us these snaps of his girlfriend's newly-acquired Triumph, built in the late sixties and parked up in '74, to be re-discovered 34 years later. They don't come out of the freezer colder than this! Check out the Bates TT seat, Wassell tank, Webco parts, aluminium dirt-catcher rims, MCM fork covers and Smiths speedo ... We may get a full feature on it yet!
Wednesday, January 7
Sunday, January 4
Saturday, January 3
More random pickings from the stuff I'm boxing up. (UK's Observer magazine from 1993).
As an aside to this article, the author Andy Kershaw – who was a national Radio 1 DJ and TV presenter – ended up an alcoholic and recently in jail. Life's weird.
Thursday, January 1
I'm a sucker for juicy biographies – and I'm an even bigger sucker for old rock 'n' roll. So I was listening to some Little Richard yesterday and was reminded of how good this book by Charles White is. Did you hear that Buddy Holly had a big dick? Nor did I until I read this...
One guy who's causing a collective sharp intake of breath every time he builds a new bike is Jeremiah Armenta of Love Cycles in Arizona. This '46 went to Japan recently, and every bike he builds is this good. We'll have a profile of this young guy who's turning heads on the chopper scene in issue 9...