Wednesday, November 30

Ready for the off

Getting packed to fly out to Tokyo tomorrow.

The new 20th anniversary issue of Vibes just arrived to get me in the mood.

It's going to be a great seven days... will post regularly from Yokohama, Tokyo and of course the Mooneyes show, so stay tuned.

Back next week.

Friday, November 25

Issue 24 ... a pre-Christmas cracker!

As we're in Yokohama next week and Christmas is fast approaching, we're releasing the new issue a few days early. If you are already a subscriber – good on ya! – you can look out for your copy from tomorrow.

If you want the new issue – tasty as plum duff – be quick: get your order in sharpish before we piss off to Japan, HERE.

Toddy deservedly makes the cover with his GKM Award-winning, magnificently hand built TR6P. You can also look forward to:

+ Dave Barker at SpeedMetal’s amazing ’38 VL-Knucklehead
+ Swedish time capsule: Roland’s ‘47 UL
+ Grim Reaper’s Ride: Shin’s Knucklehead
+ Brooklyn Invitational: what you missed!
+ Kevin’s ’64 XLCH, the ‘Penner Special’
+ David Snow remembers Larry and THAT shoot... the best magazine cover ever?
+ Family ties: Cal & Joe’s ’52 Panhead
+ Bones Legacy's Bay area ’64 BSA digger... reborn!
+ Trevor’s Brooklyn Beater: minimalist ’76 Sportster

Wednesday, November 23

Tape recordings from a Kings Cross squat

Own a Conrad Leach original


Conrad and I were at art school together, and he's always been a talented fella. While I ended up a piss artist, he ended up a proper one... and his work is collected worldwide.

He painted this fantastic piece for the Rollerburn ramp, and is taking bids for it right now from prospective owners. The money raised will be going to the EllenorLions Hospice in Kent, one of the few that welcomes young people. Conrad recently experienced a terrible family tragedy when his 17 year old nephew lost his battle against cancer at this hospice on 20 October.

So if you want to own a fine motorcycle painting by a world-renowned artist, now's your chance. Here's the detail:

Lucky 13 Rollerburn Edition
96 x 96 Inches
Hand Painted
Acrylic on MDF Panel
Signed by Conrad Leach

Being offered for Auction (Dutch Style)
Highest bid sent to conrad@conradleach.com by 22nd December.
Delivery worldwide at cost.

Tuesday, November 22

Saturday night special


Saw JD McPherson live on Saturday night... very impressed. Great authentic sound, and Jimmy Sutton is a truly great stand-up bass player: take it from me, I've seen and played with quite a few over the years.

Tiger, Tiger, burning bright

Just shot Markus's very tidy '66 Tiger 100C for GKM. Pete alerted me to this bike at the Hotrod Hayride this summer and I finally caught up with Markus last week.

There's something glorious about nickel plating's warm glow.

Monday, November 21

My weekend with George Barris







Good things: Newcastle Brown Ale, 'Shakin' Mother for You' by Jack Dupree, old friends, JD McPherson live, laughing & dancing, winter sunshine on Camber Sands, Dr Ross, Roy Brown, Joe Turner, Wynonie Harris and Lightning Hopkins.

Odd things: George Barris riding the Batmobile through the olde worlde streets of Rye, people in vintage forties western wear packing their Astra hatchback to go home.

Bad things: Music with clarinets, my bed – as usual.

Thursday, November 17

I ain't drunk... I'm just drinking


Remember, if you want GKM back issues, stickers or new tees this weekend, you need to be visiting the GKM/Eat the Rich stand at ROLLERBURN.

But if you want to see an old man bop, buy me a pint at the Rhythm Riot.

Have a good one, whatever you do.

Back Monday night.

Wednesday, November 16

Bonhams motorcycle auction

Had a glimpse today into the world that exists at the other end of the motorcycle spectrum I am generally used to.

Landed ponces in tweeds, cords and loafers bid ridiculous amounts of money against each other for piles of rust, while the nice stuff didn't get anywhere near estimate.

A rough BSA in a Manx frame's estimate was £1500, and it went for £10.5k. The Egli Vincent went for £20k (£6k under the lowest catalogue estimate) and the Brough went for just over £100k... lowest estimate £165k. Bargain?

I noticed from the catalogue descriptions that many machines had been bought a decade before by owners who had never started them, before entering them again for auction today, presumably then to be bought by another 'collector' to sit in another shed – still unused – for ten years... and so on.

Pete bid on a couple of barn-find Triumphs, but we both looked at each other and shook our heads as the prices rocketed off into the stratosphere.

If there is a double-dip recession, I don't think it will be bothering too many people there today.

June 30 next year

Be there!

Tuesday, November 15

Party time in Tokyo: you coming?

You don't want to miss this if you're around in Tokyo after the Mooneyes show...

We are hosting a party along with Matt and Dean of DicE and Masa at his fabulous cafe, Delight.

Masa cooks the best burgers I have ever eaten... and last year this party was a blast. We will also be going on somewhere very special afterwards...

Hope you can make it.

Monday, November 14

New t-shirts now in the GKM store

They're HERE.

Oily Rag shirts, bone on black, Gildan heavyweight tees – none of this cheap shit – and $25 INCLUDES AIRMAIL SHIPPING, to wherever you are in the world.

Sizes? S, M, L, XL, XXL. No ladies sizes, but we may do some if you want 'em.

Big hugs to the lovely and ridiculously talented Scarlett Rickard for turning my ham-fisted Wolfie cartoon into a lovely design.

Anyone know where I can get some of these?


Matt has had my truck's interior carpeted, headlined and finished off in LA, but I need some scuff/sill plates to screw down over the new carpet where the doors open.

Anyone have any... or know where I can get some? To fit a '58 Dodge Town Panel.

I've done an extensive online search with no luck.

I don't need to tell her, I'm a super fella


Half-mast school tie, hair dye from Boots, egg white spikes, pogo.

Revolver was the best thing on TV in 1978.

Does anyone besides me and Matt remember and love The Lurkers?

Sunday, November 13

Rollerburn... it's next weekend!

There's never been an event like it... and if you haven't bought your tickets yet, do it now!

I can't tell you how much I admire Ben and Gary for putting this on... for getting right away from the stale jester-hats-and-metal-bands custom bike show formula. It's been a huge amount of work (something I could never be arsed to do), so buy a ticket and support something good.

There will be – amongst other things – bands, birds on rollerskates being pulled by blokes on motorcycles (wasn't it always the way?)... and Guy Martin!

Stop by the Eat the Rich/GKM stand and you can buy goodies from Pete and Ali... including our new t-shirts, stickers and copies of the mag.

To buy your Rollerburn tickets, go here. And there's more information about the event here.

Saturday, November 12

Friday, November 11

Remember

Today is known as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day in the UK, and commemorates the signing of the treaty between the allies and Germany on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, 1918.

As I mentioned before, we were brought up as kids to have a deep respect and understanding for what our armed forces have achieved for our country, and today at 11am we remember those who didn't make it back home. My children also understand what the poppies that we wear signify.

The photo above was taken at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, one of the most moving places I've visited; on a par with the war cemeteries in France. This wall of remembrance and the Victoria Cross room inside the Memorial are truly humbling.

I don't care what your politics are. Be silent today for a couple of minutes at 11am and be thankful we live in a largely free, democratic country: our freedom didn't come cheaply.

Thursday, November 10

Men At Work II

Yep, hard at it today... issue 24 needs to be at the printer tomorrow.

It's a hard life looking at the world's finest custom motorcycles all day – and Dave Barker's VL-Knucklehead definitely falls into that category – but some fool's gotta do it.

Wednesday, November 9

To be honest

If the Mooneyes show was suddenly cancelled and I had to spend every minute in the Shibuya punk rock bar (er, actually I did last year), I wouldn't be gutted.

I just heard from Con... he's there. Jimmy's coming. Dean and Matt. Pat. Meet us... Tuesday 6 December. Late.

Puke, Sid Vicious salutes, man hugs, loud singing and reminiscences of London in the '70s (if you're old enough).

Avoid the crowds








If you want to take photos of bikes at a show without dudes in do-rags and key-chains standing in the way, you have to get in when it's setting up or breaking down.

Outtakes from Brooklyn. A report on the show in the new issue.

Tuesday, November 8

Men at Work

Have been getting some more detail from Capt. Cal on his dad Joe's fabulous club-style '52 Panhead that I shot in Brooklyn. It's in the new issue, out soon.

And here's a photo I pinched off Cal's excellent Retrofit blog of me actually at work.

A very rare sight.

Monday, November 7

Hello again Paul

We've featured a few of Paul Whitehurst's motorcycles.

Looks like we'll be featuring a few more.

The words 'prolific' and 'talented' spring to mind.

Sunday, November 6

You can't win all the time


We used to do George's interpretation of this song (I think originally written by Hank Snow, and covered by Ike Turner amongst others) with my band 'Switchblade' in the late 80s. I'll see if I can find our version, which we recorded for an album in '89 and wasn't bad.

The lyrics suit my half-glass-empty attitude to life perfectly.

Saturday, November 5

David Snow writes about Indian Larry and THAT shoot

David Snow, editor of Iron Horse magazine during its glory days, shot this iconic cover nearly fifteen years ago to the day.

In a brilliant essay in the next issue of GKM, he explains the story behind the shoot, how he persuaded the publishers to run Iron Horse's first ever non-skank cover, why Larry had 'disappeared' for two months before the shoot, and why this might be the best motorcycle magazine cover ever...

Don't miss this one.

Friday, November 4

Slave Economics

Had a good injection of creative inspiration yesterday. Visited the Salts Mill gallery in Saltaire which has a huge collection of David Hockney's work and two floors of art and photography books (which I pored over wistfully, wishing I could afford to buy 30 or 40 of them). Then I came home to find a totally unexpected package from Adam Wright, a photographer whose outlook on life is as refreshing as the images he creates.

Check out the profile of him we did way back in GKM issue six if you haven't already.

Thursday, November 3

Blown Anglia

Mike's finished his Anglia... it runs a blown 454 Chevy. His pal Alex's '34 also runs a big block.

Serious muscle!

Wednesday, November 2

Is she really going out with him?


Only a few more weeks until the Punk Rock Bar reunion, Shibuya.

This is the reason I still want a Hofner violin bass.

1993, Shovelhead

First big twin. Living and working in central London. No mortgage, no kids, no responsibilities. Life was all about motorcycles, music and Soho bars. Good times.