Thursday, September 29

Issue 23: come and geddit

Subs have gone out... so if you haven't subscribed yet or you want the stonkin' new issue, it's in our online store now. GO HERE.

Contents? Well, there's no filler...

GKM recommends... stuff worth buying
Frank Kaisler: more from Maryland
Holy Moly! Steve’s T100R’s been around
Fast commuter: Lou’s stroker Shovel
Mike D’s as-raced ’62 T120C
Caleb’s mile munching ’76 Shovel
Bill Ray: Life magazine and the Angels
Hot Rod Hayride: draggin’ & drinkin’
Pop’s Bangkok beauty: ’55 Triumph
The Cutter: Benny’s wild Sporty
A chopper with suspension? Akira’s FXS
Gas Box’s black ‘n’ beautiful Ironhead

Wednesday, September 28

Thanks Jess

Jess is proprietor of two of the coolest bars we went to in Brooklyn, Lone Wolf and No Name, and Matt and I also checked out the restaurant/bar she will be opening soon. It's going to be a great place... the downstairs is just like the St Moritz in Soho (London).

Jess was really hospitable to us English blokes: free drinks, cocktail samplers, Korean BBQ... it made for a great trip. And Jess doesn't just own bars – she races motorcycles too...

Check out the blog she and Ray contribute to here.

Tuesday, September 27

Trevor's Sportster

Saw Trevor's Sportster one night outside Jess's No Name Bar in Brooklyn and loved it; I caught up with him at the Invitational and shot some photos for GKM.

This is his first motorcycle, and he did all the fabrication himself.

Why a Sportster? Well, Trevor works for a NY artist and a recent project involved making a white, lifesize plastic Sportster by dismantling an Ironhead piece by piece and creating a mould of each part as it came off the bike. "I got to know Sportsters pretty well" Trevor laughed, "so it made sense to use one for my first build."

Monday, September 26

Blimey, this is good

I've seen Dean play a number of times over the years, from when he was a kid (Rocker), to his band Magnum 500 on the beach at the Hemsby weekender about 11 years ago, to the Black Tibetans last week in New York.

And as a total music snob and cynic – I'm an ex-musician – it takes a lot to get me whooping at a gig, but the Black Tibetans did. Think of the number of bands who can do fast rock 'n' roll with a punky tinge and still write a decent melody, and you'll realise how hard it is to do. The Black Tibetans' gig at the Gutter Bar in Brooklyn ranks as one of the most enjoyable I've been to... the snorting of mysterious powder onstage and Dean falling offstage onto a guy in a wheelchair (knocking him over) just added to the fun.

Been playing this album sampler a lot since I got home... and when it comes out, I recommend you buy it. You won't be disappointed.

Dean even does a good American accent... and they do a stomping version of Dr Feelgood's classic "She does it right". How can you possibly lose?

Sunday, September 25

Next year: an Aussie chopper run not to be missed

If you're at the Chopped show next weekend (see post below) be sure to catch up with my good friend Buzz, who is organising a chopper run next March. Yep, good notice, so no excuses!

In case you don't know him he looks like this (although if you have GKM #1 he will be familiar), and rides this bitchin' blue UL chopper. Tell him Guy said g'day!

Next weekend

If you're in the Southern Hemisphere, I am jealous. If you're going to the Chopped show, even more so...

Friday, September 23

GKM #23 – the Bill Ray issue

As soon as the now-iconic LIFE magazine images of the San Berdoo Hells Angels were released on the Internet, I wanted to know more about the photographer and how the shoot came about.

This curiosity led to creating a feature on Bill Ray, the LIFE staffer who shot the famous photos in San Bernardino and Bakersfield, in the new issue of GKM.

I talked to him about why the shoot came about, who brokered the deal between LIFE and the Angels, what it was like to hang out with the mother charter for a month, and why the photos never ran in the magazine. The fact they were never published has led Bill to publish his own book from the original negatives, which you can buy here.

Bill is a legend, working for LIFE magazine for 15 years, shooting everyone from Elvis to JFK, Marilyn to The Beatles. Bill's photos have graced no less than 46 covers of Newsweek.

Bill told me: "The Angels were as much fun to shoot as Natalie Wood or Michael Caine...". Don't miss this issue, out on October 1.

Thursday, September 22

Brooklyn Ink II

Joe is a long time biker, buying his first Knuck in the mid-sixties for $150. He built this Pan in classic sixties club style, and his son Cal rode it to the show. Look out for a feature in GKM soon.

Check out Cal's great blog here.

Wednesday, September 21

Brooklyn Ink

The Invitational wasn't all about bikes... White Knight John Copeland looked pretty relaxed as he took it on the Adam's apple in front of onlookers at the show.


FTW? Copeland was living it.

Knuckle Buster rides in

As I mentioned below, I finally got to meet Jeff Baer at the Brooklyn Invitational. He's provided some great features for GKM over the years – both on his bikes and others' – and it was nice to see him ride in on one of the Knuckleheads from his amazing collection after only seeing them in photos. He, Kelly and I chatted and drank his cold beer for a while until I had to slip away and shoot some stuff for the mag.

After all, this was a business trip, right?

Tuesday, September 20

Last exit from Brooklyn

The Widows leave N 14 St for North Carolina... and yet again I have to watch not ride.


Monday, September 19


There were some great bikes in the show area at the Invitational, including (top to bottom) Tom Fugle's Pan, Vince's Triumph, John Copeland's twin Linkert Pan/Shovel, Keino's 45 and Max Schaaf's Knuck.

- Posted on the move in Brooklyn

Sunday, September 18

I like a bit of rough

The morning after the night before... Headed back to Root this morning as Matt & Dean needed to sort some stuff out and had the chance to see some of the show bikes up close. But the bike on the sidewalk that really grabbed me was AJ's shovel. Built by Keino it's a real tough NY jockey-shift street bike, with perfect lines and great little details.

- Posted on the move in Brooklyn

A picture is worth a thousand words

Unfortunately I was so busy taking 'proper' photos yesterday at the Invitational that I only took a couple of bloggable pictures on my phone (the one above isn't even of the Invitational), so words will have to suffice in describing the event until I get home to the computer on Tuesday.

I loved the set up of the show, which reflected the White Knights' creative talents; it all took place in a huge gallery space called Root, with the invited show bikes spread around in different rooms, surrounded by photographic displays.

The street was chock-full of bikes ranging from the stripped-back and sublime to the bagged-out and loud piped monsters that seem popular in NY. One of the bikes getting most attention outside was Jeff Baer's beautifully crusty and original blue '39 EL; it was great to finally meet Jeff and Kelly... Thanks for the cold beer Jeff! It was funny watching from across the street as people hovered around his bike. He told me that many people can't resist wiping the grease and dirt off the engine number boss to discover what year the bike is; something that pisses Jeff off. He's become so tired of checking who has the greasy thumb amongst onlookers that at one meeting he taped a little message onto the boss: 'what the fuck do you care?', then watched as people quickly stepped back from the bike looking around guiltily. Funny.

Another person I was happy to meet was Eric Kinsey (Tip Top Daddy), who has supported and contributed to the mag since the first issue. He and I slipped away from the craziness for a beer and some dinner; a chance to rest the cameras and talk.

I met so many great people (thank you again for the kind comments about GKM) and kept to my usual policy of never approaching those I admire... I saw Paul Cox, Max Schaaf, Knucklehead Steve, Keino... but kept my distance. The one exception was when Jimmy introduced me to Kutty Noteboom the night before; I was a tiny bit tipsy, but Kutty was extremely gracious as a drunken Londoner went on and on about his old F100. Every time he tried to tell me about the bikes he was building I just went into another chorus of 'but how cool was your truck!'. Sorry Kutty.

A great event then, which you can see more of in the next few days and the next issue. The star of the trip for me though has been this area of Brooklyn: the heady mixture of top bars, eateries, artists and motorcycles makes everyone wish they could stay.

- Posted on the move in Brooklyn

The Invitational...

...was too much!

- Posted on the move in Brooklyn

Saturday, September 17

Friday on my mind

Good party at the Gutter Bar last night, and the roar of bikes coming into Brooklyn for today's show is booming of the walls of the local houses.

Really looking forward to seeing some great bikes... And really wish I was riding.

- Posted on the move in Brooklyn

Friday, September 16

Thank you folks

My follower counter has just clicked over onto 600 followers, and with 623,000 page views in 18 months a conservative estimate would be a million page views since the GKM blog started in March 2008.

So thank you.

Thank you if you read this and thank you if you read the magazine. A number of people took the time to tell me last night at the Lone Wolf how much they enjoy GKM and if you know me you will know how much these comments mean to me. When I am sitting at my desk wondering whether to wind the magazine down, they can make it all seem worthwhile. Really.

Ok, back to the east coast mayhem.


- Posted on the move in Brooklyn

A night at the Lone Wolf

- Posted on the move in Brooklyn

Thursday, September 15

Ray's shop

Ray is a legend in Brooklyn. He builds bikes and creates extraordinary paintings. His studio and workshop are in one building; he is also taking care of some of the Invitational bikes, including Dean's lovely Pan.

He wasn't around this morning (that's him in the hat drinking with Matt in one of the pictures down below) but his '56 Effie was. He's a diamond bloke and has made us feel very welcome.

- Posted on the move in Brooklyn