Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Scott Craig and I put our heads together and, with the help of an aircraft windshield maker friend of mine, hand vacuum formed 12 of these clear big twin outer primaries. This was a fun project but sadly I got the short end of the stick and only ended up with one for all of my effort. I still have that one cover in the garage. It was fun working with that machine and cutting out the forms on the bandsaw. They turned out great: that I remember. We took them to Japan and I don't think we sold even one there. We were sure they were going to be a hit. (kind of like the lighters! Ha!) They eventually ended up at some shop of Scott's in Echo Park where they got lost or were stolen or something to that effect. Either way, it was a cool experience with a cool product for the scene. I wonder where they all ended up?
Thursday, December 9, 2010
This is a project that has been on the top of my OCD list for the last three or four years. I started out playing music with lyrics from a 60's club members point of view and that turned into a three camera, two car shoot from California to South Dakota to interview the original members of the Venice and South Bay Heathens Motorcycle Family. Crazy. I couldn't believe I was going to actually do it while I was coordinating the camera crew and renting vehicles. If someone came to me and said "hey, I'm going to hang out with this motorcycle gang that I met. You want to bring a video camera and film it?" I would think that guy was crazy. Motorcycle clubs don't put up with that shit. Well, this group liked me enough to let me sit down with them and tell the story of the rise and fall of their club in the 70's and 80's. Hours and hours and hours of video footage, interviews, hundreds of vintage photos collected and too many crazy stories to tell in one sitting. That turned into the book that you see here. It turns out editing is extremely expensive and this movie is going to take a good chunk of time in the editing booth. Toru, a friend I met thru Mooneyes and my trips to the Mooneyes show in Yokohama, took the time to lay this out for me and it is up on the web and selling a few a week. www.asphaltgods.net Maybe this movie will get made after all.
The goal of building bikes has always been to look cool, go fast, and hopefully, in the end, contribute to motorcycling and custom style in a positive way. Hopefully, someday, could be tomorrow or 20 years down the road, someone looks at the bikes my friends and I have done and are inspired to continue a true 60's style. My favorite style that I hope lives on with these two bikes. # 272 February, 2011 Biker Magazine
This was my first cover and it was a big deal to me. I really love Biker Magazine. It's as close to the old magazines as you can get. You can tell every issue may be the last but the editor and contributors just won't let it die as long as clubs continue to run around the U.S. I hope that my contributions to this great magazine added to the cool factor. When I designed this sissybar, everyone and their uncles told me that would immediately vibrate itself to death and break off. It took years to actually bust off on the offramp to a bar I was riding out to for Scott Craig's birthday. The bar was called the TeeYee. I pulled up at the bar and 'damn', I thought. 'Where the hell did that go?' I rode home that night with a hope that I would find it on a trip up the freeway in the morning. LaLa and I jumped into the ranger and did 20 miles an hour in the fast lane from my house to that off ramp and back for a second pass. I found it on the damn offramp that took me to the bar. I put it back on and a year or two later it broke off on the 22 freeway at about Magnolia heading West. I felt it break off and faintly heard it tink tink behind me into nowhere. I pulled over and turned the bike around on the shoulder and started riding the opposite way on the freeway. Not very smart but I have been known to make bad decisions. Anyway, riding the wrong way on the shoulder I come upon a honda civic facing the wrong way with a flat tire, parked in a pool of radiator fluid. The elderly asian man is standing in the iceplant with his hands to his head as I pull up. I jump off the bike and he comes up and tells me that 'a shiny thing popped his tire and killed his radiator'. I bent over and looked under the car but no sissybar. I wished him luck and continued on down the freeway on the bike in the hopes that I would find the sissybar. I got stopped by the cops at Harbor and was told to keep going on foot or turn the bike around and follow the flow of traffic. Ok. I hoofed it one more exit but no dice. The sissybar attacked the honda and disappeared into thin air, never to be seen again. # 241, November, 2006 Biker Magazine
I have been thinking back, over the last few years, and going over all of the stuff that I did, tried to do, wanted to do and didn't, thought of doing and forgot to, obsessed over, and so on and so forth. Let's look back on a few of these things. I thought that these zippos were going to be the last word in cool. They didn't sell worth a damn in Japan. They sure were fun to design and lay out. I found a guy down a back street in a bad neighborhood in Saigon. A referral from some other shady dude at a used zippo shop. The engraver guy, his son, and I negotiated, haggled, went over designs, kicked around this and that, ate pho, haggled some more and finally came to an agreement on eight designs and a logo thrown in on the backside. Looking back, it was a really good deal at the price I ended at when you break it down per zippo but I could have done better if I had more time to source the zippos. I decided to do this two days before I was to fly out so I was on a tight schedule. Drew the designs out on a bunch of napkins in a noodle joint under the shadow of New World Hotel. I'm sure it was humid as hell. Takes me back to that shop every time I watch Apocalypse Now.
- ▼ December (6)