I decided to start a website dedicated to fifties and sixties style choppers and hot rods. I called it Greasy Kulture, which is cringeworthy now but then seemed like a fair summation of the fifties aesthetic and burgeoning nouveau kustom scene (which saw everyone growing goatees and painting their hot rods flat black).
Chopper Dave helped me get the site going (emailing me on how to construct the site and which of these amazing new 'digital' cameras to buy), and used to send me mags from California; I remember sending him a copy of Custom Car magazine that featured a tiny photo of his bike at one of the first Blessing of the Cars. Those were the days... when you had to search out the choppers hidden behind cars in magazine photos! I remember the Hater sending me a few copies of a cool magazine – or more like a fanzine – called Greaser, featuring the SoCal scene's hot rodders and chopper riders at the end of the nineties. Black and white, hand stapled... that must have been one of the first independent mags covering the new 'old school' thing.
I used to ride around on my shovel, wearing my Coop t-shirt and German helmet, thinking I was the hippest cat in north London. I dread to think what anyone from SoCal would have thought of my wannabe-ness.
Funny how one photo can bring on the sentimentality. I think there's a book to be written about those early days of the traditional hot rod and chopper revival in California. But perhaps we need to wait a few more years before it becomes proper 'history'...