New World Ride

Posted in Uncategorized on April 22, 2020 by Pat Regan

I rode the other day. I had an errand to run. I had to pick up a piece of art that I bought from a gallery downtown. Normally, I would think nothing of taking a nice long walk down to E12th Street and picking it up. But that was then. I figured the greatest way to distance myself was on the bike. You can’t beat the protection of a mask under a face shield.

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The streets were fairly empty, at least from vehicular traffic. People are another story. Pedestrians are walking into streets oblivious that there ever was such a thing as traffic. They are like horny deer at dusk in the springtime, dangerously darting into the street!

The guy from the gallery was running a little late so I rode around LES a bit. The battery could use a good charge anyway. As I was riding up Avenue A, these teenage kids were riding bicycles alongside me to the right. You know, a posse of dirt bike punks zipping about. Suddenly, one of the kids hangs a sharp left cutting in front of me in order to make a U-turn in the middle of a two-way avenue! He never thought to look. I missed him by inches. Inches. It really freaked me out. It was so close.

As I continued down the avenue passing Tompkins Square Park, I noticed a memorial on the corner. It depicts a tally of those afflicted, written on a mirror along with some American flags and knick-knacks. The slogan that sadly states a truth for today is displayed, “Stay 6 feet apart or be 6 feet under”. As of today, the New York death toll hit 15,000. 15,000 people are dead from this virus in New York alone. Having just written that, it seems stupid to continue writing about a day out on the bike. But we have to continue. Whatever it is that we do. It is essential to keep a sense of normalcy. 

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So, I hopped back on the bike and headed to 212 ARTS. This groovy gallery promotes the type of art I really dig. The art of the streets. I have been visiting 212 ARTS for years. If you have followed this blog you know I love Urban Art. 212 ARTS specializes in the urban art of today along with the great graffiti pioneers of yesteryear.

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I was here to meet with Marc Leader, owner of the gallery, so I could pick up a piece by artist Adam Fujita @ADAMFU. Because of the virus, Adam Fujita’s show at 212 ARTS had to be done virtually. It’s really cool though! Check it out HERE.

thebushwickcollective_93364756_523455501869888_1940753072366954642_n.jpgBeing here in the gallery was the first time I was having a face to face encounter with someone since this thing really blew up. It is weird. I entered the gallery. Marc was masked up as was I, and we carried on as we normally would. Marc wrapped up the piece as we talked shit about art and such. Then with a nod instead of a handshake, I was off. My new work of art was strapped down with a bungee net and I was ready to head home.

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I am always psyched when I get my hands on a new piece of artwork. This time, however, was extra special. Adam Fujita decided to make a limited edition print from the piece I had purchased. So tomorrow, 4/23/20 at 7pm EST at 212arts.com, a print of this wicked cool work of art will go on sale. @212arts

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How cool is that! I am usually the one with a print if I am lucky enough to get one or be able to afford it.

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But this time I have the original. It’s exciting.

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It has been crazy getting about in this city. Getting supplies on foot is an unwelcome adventure. Getting this artwork on the bike became a near treacherous adventure. It could have gone so wrong. Had that kid made the left turn a second later, we would both probably need emergency care. The hospital is one place you do not want to be right now in New York City!

I made it back home unscathed, with my new artwork to keep me company. A risky ride, but the bike can’t just sit around either. We have to do whatever it is that we have to do in order to seize the day.  That brings us to another Adam Fujita piece in Queens from better days.

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Take good care everybody.

 

First Ride 2020

Posted in Uncategorized on January 12, 2020 by Pat Regan

We have warmth!

A warm spell came upon the Northeastern parts of the US so I got a New Year’s ride in. This ride is similar to one I took back in November. A nice ride north paralleling the Hudson. I rode the Palisades Parkway up to Bear Mountain Park hoping to go all the way to Perkins Tower at the top, but that road was closed for the Winter.

Unlike my last ride, I stayed on the west side of the Hudson and traveled north up to the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge before crossing back over.

As I was going through Beacon again I figured I would check out Ron English’s Popmart again. That three-eyed guy was flat on the ground last time I was here. Good to see him upright. It looks like he’s riding my bike.

I was pleased to see that there were some new things in the shop. There were a number of Artist Proof prints and a few limited editions that weren’t there a couple months ago.

The display above had at least one new addition. That little piggy on the left wasn’t there in November.

I am guessing we will see this fella in an upcoming painting. There are plastic dinosaurs running down his spine and it’s painted with a pink and green pseudo camouflage pattern.

This sign is actually a detailed painting however the details are obscured. You can sort of make out some body parts.

This clever display was also new.

For years I have been making papier-mache masks with my students. I use a cellulose paste as a binder. It is a powder that I mix with water in a blender. After it settles it’s a slimy mess and I have always told my students it is elephant snot. It’s been a running joke for many years. And now I can show them my source. Ron English has a number of these outrageous retro-looking grocery signs about the shop. Elephant Snot $12.99 a bucket.

On the side of a building in a nearby park in Beacon, a large Ron English banner of a camouflaged deer hangs.

This is the old Matteawan Station. It once served the Newburgh, Dutchess and Connecticut Railroad. It now houses apartments and commercial properties. The building was built in 1869 with a third floor added soon thereafter. The last train rode the line in 1993.

It may have been a nice day to ride, but you can still find piles of snow that had been plowed and there was plenty of ice on the side of cliffs as I rode around.

Something I really wanted to see on my last journey was Bannerman’s Castle. The problem was that I didn’t know where to stop and it was getting dark. So this time I pulled into some private driveways, no good. I pulled into the parking lot of a catering place overlooking the Hudson, but it was a bit too far north. Eventually, I just pulled over to the side of the road and walked back up the highway. Bannerman’s Castle is on an island in the Hudson River.

Francis Bannerman VI bought the island in November 1900. He owned a military surplus business. He had this castle build to house his arsenal. The castle, clearly visible from the shore of the river, served as a giant advertisement for his business. On the side of the castle is written, “Bannerman’s Island Arsenal”.

There are numerous structures on the island including what looks like the foundation of an old bridge, maybe a ferry landing. If you would like to have a better look at it from the mainland there is a place to pull over just south of this spot I chose. The road goes back down to sea level and you can walk north along the railroad tracks for a better view. I didn’t have the time on this day. They also offer tours to the island. Click Here!

Although this weekend brought warm weather, we can expect more cold in the coming months. So if you can’t get out and ride but you’re still itching for motorcycle experiences, I have a recommendation. Dale Walksler from Wheels Through Time Museum in Maggie Valley, NC has an online TV channel. He shares over 400 videos in the archive and discusses the process as goes through his vintage rebuilds. They also produce a new show each week and get these beautiful pieces of motorcycle history running and riding again.

For a one time price of $7.95 you become a member for life and have complete access.

I visited Wheels Through Time back in 2012. I met Dale and his son Matt. Very nice, friendly people.  https://mybonnie.wordpress.com/2012/07/13/wheels-through-time/

I look forward to returning.

 

International Motorcycle Show 2019

Posted in Uncategorized on December 13, 2019 by Pat Regan

This past weekend was the International Motorcycle Show here in NYC.

I toyed with the idea of going all weekend. Then Sunday afternoon I decided to hop in the bike and make it happen. So I headed over to the Javits Center.

It wasn’t too cold this day. Not a bad ride at all.

Parking is weird around the Javits Center. It’s posted No Parking Anytime on most surrounding streets. But I finally found a spot between a few tiny cop cars.

In the background below is a new structure called the Vessel. It has stairs and platforms spiraling upward. It is nestled into a new NYC neighborhood called Hudson Yards. Hudson Yards is built over the old train yards that flowed from Penn Station toward New Jersey near the Hudson River.

On to the Javits Center and the bike show.

This year the show was downstairs.

The big dealers were prominent as you walked in. Suzuki and Kawasaki sitting right up front as you enter.

They say, ‘The 1973 Legend Returns’ with this Kawasaki Z900RS. A good looking bike that has a nice retro vibe.

Harley Davidson seems to be toning down it’s appearance. There is a whole lot less orange. Like practically none. It’s a good look.

Fun for the whole family!

Or for riding solo. This set up was funny because it came with fans to make it feel like wind is blowing at you as you fake ride.

The only orange I did see was in a strange new Harley display. The world of electric bikes.

This is Harley Davidson’s new electric bike line.

It’s a solid-looking machine, but I am not sold on the electric bike thing.

I see however that there will soon be a new generation of folks on these silent two-wheelers. They had a small rider course to test out the Zero, another type of electric bike.

Mosko is a brand I wasn’t familiar with. I checked their stuff out. It’s nice. But It’s expensive!

The clothing and the bags are built tough and waterproof.

It’s the Mosko bags that first caught my attention. At the end of the Summer, I hope to go on a grand adventure so I am interested in quality gear. I love the giant bag I have, but it is beaten up and old after 100,000 miles. As durable as this gear is I think I would get the new version of my same old bag over this. I use the SW-MOTECH Speed Pack. It provides more packing space and is about 200 dollars cheaper than the gear below. Plus it makes an awesome backrest.

As you walk about there are vintage and custom bikes on display here and there, like this 1974 Norton 850 Commando.

I’m a sucker for reflections in unusual places like in this old Husqvarna tank. These are tough old bikes.

I did not know however, that Husqvarna is still cranking out bikes. They have reasonable price tags as well.

There are always interesting bikes to be found along the main aisles at the Javits Center.

Each year customized bikes can be found atop oval-shaped J&P Cycles carpets. This hardcore Bonnie conversion had Mad Max metal spikes on each tire.

This Harley Forty8 looked ready for adventure.

Below, this Bonnie looked ready for some off road action.

Jesus was prominently displayed on the fairing above this J&P carpet.

There is generally a spot for some vintage beauties at the show as well.

This bike called the Little Skinny was beautiful.

Both the bike and the paint job were works of art.

This monstrous customized BMW was on a rotating platform.

There was no sign of Triumph Brooklyn or Ducati NYC this year. But in a far corner of the convention center was Yamaha.

And in the far corner of Yamaha was the Yamaha TW200.

I have had my eye on this bike for a while.

As I dream of more days on the road in my future, I can imagine this bike on one of those racks that hangs above ground from a tow rack.

It’s lightweight, tough and street legal, but built for the unpaved road as well. It was good to sit on it and get a feel for it.

The last time I looked up as I left the Javits Center, none of those buildings were in the background. That is Hudson Yards that I spoke of earlier. Just like that! An entirely new, state of the art, modern neighborhood has appeared from the rubble of former warehouses and train yards.

I don’t dig these three-wheelers, but I like a nice paint job.

So all in all a good day at the bike show.

The temperature keeps dropping as December rolls along, so my bike may be parked for a while. One can hope for those freaky warm fronts. Meanwhile, Santa keeps me company as he rides around my place for the season. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year everybody!

Ron English’s Beacon Popmart

Posted in Uncategorized on November 4, 2019 by Pat Regan

I thought about riding on Saturday. I let the cold talk me out of it.

There is an art event I really wanted to see, but it’s far away. I guess ‘event’ is the best way to describe this place in Beacon, NY. It is a shop created by the artist Ron English.

The cold can easily talk you out of going for a ride, as it did Saturday. The cold was debating with me again this Sunday morning as the temperature was in the 40’s. It was scheduled to break 50 by the afternoon. Putting my reasoning aside, I put on my big boy pants (lined with Kevlar) and decided to go for it!  Well…I was right. It was chilly.

I am posting this photo below to declare that this pump at the Pip Stop on the Palisades Parkway is a biker friendly pump. People who ride appreciate this. The handle lets up easy so you can slow it down for a focused fill of the tank. No splash. No mess.

With a full tank, I was ready for the long haul. On this ride, I was reminded of a chart that was recently posted by someone I know, (Thanks Doc). It is a motorcycle wind chill chart. I was doing 70mph and it was just under 50 degrees. So the temperature I was feeling was just above freezing. I would estimate about 36 degrees. By the time I got home, it would be below freezing.

One thing that convinced me to take the plunge was my heated grips. This is my second cold-weather season having the heated grips. This was my first time using them this season. They were invaluable, but I have no fairing and I did not install the flyscreen I got, so the frigid air was blasting my chest and arms.

But I was determined. I was on a mission. I was going to Beacon, New York, to see Ron English’s Popmart. More on that when I get there. Meanwhile, I had to make some miles. I rode North up the Palisades Parkway then crossed back to the East side of the Hudson River, just past Bear Mountain. I did a little U-turn for this shot.

I pulled over at a small town called Garrison where you can see West Point Military Academy across the river.

There were numerous sites I had marked on my map before taking off, but due to the cold and time, I decided to skip some things. I figured if there was enough time I could catch them on the way back.

There was one thing that caught my eye that I had not marked. It looked like a castle on a mountaintop. It’s something you would commonly see along a river in Europe, not New York? But there it was.

Castle Rock was the estate for the former president of the Illinois Central Railroad, William H. Osborn. It was built in 1881. See it? Above the headlight, on the mountaintop. It remains a private estate, so no visitors.

I stopped for one more shot along the way at this quaint little home.

From there I was headed to Beacon. When I got there I turned off the highway to go through the center of town. Beacon is a lovely place. It is one of those towns that has had a revival of sorts. Many of the old industrial towns along the Hudson River have been given a new life inspired by the arts and interest in the heritage of our country. Main Street is lined with 19th-century buildings bustling with activity.

But my purpose in Beacon was beyond Main Street. I wanted to see Ron English’s Popmart.

And when my chilled body finally arrived. It was CLOSED.

However, a sign in the window said it would re-open at 2pm.

So I went back to Main Street, had some lunch, and looked about. A roaring river rips through Beacon.

Blah Blah Blah! Nuff said!

It was now past 2 pm so I headed back to the shop. It was OPEN!

I really wasn’t sure what to expect. The place was shabby. Desolate. Unkept. It bothered me that this sign was laying on the ground. I noticed it when I stopped by earlier but thought it would be resurrected when the place opened.

Inside, however, it retained a magical aura. It is kitschy.

There were these fantastic displays along the surrounding walls of the shop.

Many of the items for sale in the Popmart consisted of plastic models designed by Ron English.

A lot of Ron English’s work ‘sticks it’ to corporate America and corporate advertising. He reinvents force-fed pop culture. These models are cool, but not my taste.

I love Ron English’s paintings. He often paints bizarre characters and settings in a hyper-realist manner. His paintings aren’t being shown here. They are for galleries around the globe. I can gaze endlessly at some of his paintings. Related to his paintings was this surreal landscape display with ape-like creatures standing within.

The last time I went to a Ron English gallery show to see his paintings, I realized he must have made large models to paint from. Here was a prime example. Plastic creatures were melted, glued and painted, to create these otherworldly scenes.

In this corner of the shop were camouflage deers. Another theme in his paintings.

This bubble gum machine triptych was another display containing some of Ron’s characters.

Resting in the lap of this Mouseketeer is a note left by David Arquette thanking Ron English for some recent artwork.

A few life-size creatures were sitting about as well.

Within the helmet is one of Ron English’s Star Skulls.

I asked if this machine below was functional. Some of Ron English’s early work involved the defacing of cigarette billboards like the BREATHE image that was placed over a Marlboro ad. The girl who worked there made a call. Not for sale!

Ron English has re-imagined a great deal of advertising imagery, like these cereal boxes below.

There were a great many things for sale, but nothing really caught my eye.

The only thing I thought I’d be taking home was this Rick Griffin inspired pin.

Then I noticed that billfold display by the window. It was similar to a display I used to leaf through endlessly at a place called the Postermat on 8th Street when I was a kid.

In there amongst many blank pages were some large prints of English’s iconic kitschy characters with hefty price tags. There were a couple Star Skulls. There was a Rainbow Elvis print. Then I saw this amazing print below!

Generally, I don’t really do the clown thing. But I totally dig this series Ron English did of kids smoking. And here was one of those limited edition signed prints for sale at a fraction of what those others were going for. Kids with blazing stares, drinking Pabst Blue Ribbon and having a smoke. With palettes of red white and blue, it represents all that is wrong and I think it’s great!

I thought we could roll it up and I’d be on my way. The girl behind the register had only been working there for a couple weeks. I asked if she had a tube since I was on a bike. She wasn’t sure. So she made a call. Is she calling Ron? I didn’t ask. Whoever it was, told her to grab any tube around the place. We found one. But when we pulled the print out of the sleeve from the giant binder, I realized it was on very heavy stock paper. I was psyched at the quality but this was not going to roll. It was too stiff. It would have to travel flat. It’s an unusual size. 14 1/4 X 19 1/2 inches. It should bungee down to the back of the bike. So we grabbed scraps of cardboard and tissue paper along with some plastic and duct tape and wrapped her up.

I got the print packed snug and strapped to the bike. Time to go. It was later than I expected.

Someone painted RON ENGLISH IS A HACK on the side of the shop. Maybe he did it himself.

If you would like to know more about Ron English, watch this documentary. He’s a trip!

I stopped to have a look at a pull-off along the Hudson River. Some dude was checking out my bike. He said he likes the straight twin engines. I suppose his accent was Russian. He wanted me to take his photo with my bike. I was in a hurry and wasn’t taking my helmet off. It was a scene. I couldn’t really see him through my bubble shield as I snapped his camera. They must be terrible photos. Sorry. Then he took some shots in my reflective bubble shield. It does make for a cool photo. But I had no time to waste. The sun was dropping fast behind the mountains and I had a long way to go.

I rode along trying to ignore the discomfort of the dropping temperature. I was really getting cold now. That bad cold where your body temperature is affected. I was going to push through and go all the way home, but there was one more thing I wanted to see in Yonkers, NY. The artist FUMERO recently painted a mural to honor the life of Jef Campion.

Jef Campion AKA ‘Army of One’ was an artist, a first responder firefighter at the WTC, an anti-war activist, and a caring humanitarian.

This mural FUMERO created represents all those aspects of Jef’s life. Jef’s firehouse was stationed in Yonkers.

Jef was a champion for the rights of children. He volunteered endless hours at the Ronald McDonald House.

As an artist, Jef’s red handstamp was becoming an iconic site throughout the city along with his powerful statements with the cutout of the grenade boy from a Diane Arbus photo.

No one really knows why someone decides to end life on their own terms. But that’s the choice Jef made. Jef’s friend and fellow artist “Screwtape” Carl Paoli made a movie about Jef. I first met Jef and Carl in 2012 after the closing of an Adam Dare show in Brooklyn. They were introduced to me by Aimee Becker who sadly passed recently as well. Aimee is also featured in this film as she was photographing this team of dynamic street artists. Have a look at the film Carl made. It is a touching tribute to a great man. We Are An Army of One from Carl Paoli on Vimeo.

Check out Carl Paoli’s site as well. carlpaoli.com The last time I saw Carl, he handed me a few stickers he made promoting the idea that Banksy is a collaborative effort between Shepard Fairy and Mr. Brainwash.

Spread the word!

The Distinguished Gentlemen’s Ride 2019

Posted in Uncategorized on October 3, 2019 by Pat Regan

Last weekend was a blast attending the Easy Rider Live event and the Indian Larry Block Party. This weekend was Jillian’s birthday weekend and was packed with more fun as well. I will start with Sunday’s event since it’s most directly related to riding.

Distinguished Gentlemen’s Ride NYC

This year I decided to partake in the Distinguished Gentlemen’s Ride.

“The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride” is a global motorcycle fund-raising event, raising funds and awareness for prostate cancer research and men’s mental health programs on behalf of Charity Partner, the Movember Foundation.

Folks who participate get dressed up, ride a classic-style bike and fundraise for the cause.

Friends, family, colleagues and even a guy I met on a cross country road trip chipped in to help. Thanks again to all of you who lent a hand with your donations. I appreciate you!

After a fun but exhausting Friday and Saturday, (which I’ll get to later), it was time to dress up for the ride. I sported a white shirt and tie with a black sweater-vest and a subtly plaid green Burberry jacket.

I signed up with Team Triumph Brooklyn for the ride. My bike is being served there as I write this.

The photos above and below are the Triumph shop in Brooklyn where they opened up early for coffee and donuts before meeting up with the 600 or so riders in Manhattan.

The Ride

The meeting place to begin the Gentlemen’s Ride this year was Peck Slip Plaza.

A long row of NYPD bikes lined the street awaiting their role as escorts for the ride.

Peck Slip Plaza is an open area just north of the old South Street Seaport and south of the Brooklyn Bridge.

Folks got suited up in all kinds of dapper designs and prepared for the ride.

Jillian joined me down at the plaza in a Burberry dress of her own. And my Bonnie sported a mustache on the headlight.

These officers were admiring this old Harley with a sidecar…

…so much so that they hopped in for a photo op.

Dad proudly displays the badges from many sidecar clubs as he and his boy await the start of the ride.

There were all kinds of bikes, but predominately Triumphs.

A Royal Enfield and a Vulcan.

This vintage Honda was in mint condition.

This guy goes by the name The Suited Racer. Jillian obliged with her own mask for this shot.

A Distinguished Triumph Thruxton with a wicked wheel shadow.

Cute pup on a Vespa.

This is Marcos from the Ducati shop in Manhattan. Ducati NY has put together this copper beauty that Marcos would be riding at the day’s event.

Members of the UPJET crew were in attendance. I didn’t know about these guys but Jillian did. They represent NYC mopeds and other dumb bikes. (Their words).

And away we go!

Jillian was on photo duty. So these shots on the road are all hers. We crossed the Brooklyn Bridge into Brooklyn then headed to Queens.

We stayed predominantly on the major artery highways as we rode about town while police held back traffic.

From Queens, we crossed the 59th Street Bridge and back into Manhattan.

It was great having police escorts because we didn’t have to stop for any red lights. Sometimes as we rode through the city streets I’d glance up, see the red color and have a strange feeling of caution. Like, Oh shit! Did I ‘F’ up? Did I run the light? Then I’d remember that it’s cool! And it is! It’s sooo cool!

They closed off the FDR Drive all the way uptown.

We’ve been seeing this bike about town recently. It’s got a Japanese Zero sort of vibe.

This guy below had that nice Gulf Racing Team color scheme going on his tank and helmet.

Rocking the hot red leather pants on a Triumph Speed Triple. Yowza!

A gentleman on a vintage BMW.

It was fun whipping around along the West Side Highway!

Tweed panniers? OK!

Check out the whiskers on the passenger in the Ural sidecar.

We cut into the city and stopped on 59th Street near the Plaza Hotel.

Then we headed back to our original starting point at Peck Slip Plaza.

This guy was shooting film with an old box camera. We also met a guy with a 1954 Nikon taking photos.

This BSA Gold Star was purchased by Triumph Brooklyn.

The guy in the red vest is the owner of that Japanese style bike we keep seeing. It was at Larry’s Block Party last week too.

It was a great day. I didn’t know what to expect. If you know me, you know I like the solitude of the road. I’m a Solo Lobo. But I got to tell you, this was a lot of fun!

Thanks again to everyone who helped out.

So that was Sunday! I mentioned at the beginning of the post that it was Jillian’s Birthday weekend. And because Rock n Roll is part of the ride I must include more of the weekend’s events here. Happy Birthday Jillian! Let’s back it up to Friday.

We bopped over for a nice dinner at NOBU on 57th Street.

It was delicious!

After dinner, we strolled down the street for a return to Radio City Music Hall. This time we were going to see Massive Attack!

Horace Andy was there with his high pitched haunting voice to compliment the band.

A little goofing off downstairs at Radio City.

The next day…more celebration and fun!

This time we were headed to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to see Steve Miller and Jimmie Vaughan!

The MET has been having a really cool exhibition called Play it Loud. The show consists of amazing musical instruments representing the history of rock n roll. This Steve Miller show was a celebration to close the exhibit.

I just happened to get tickets at the right time. It was fantastic! Jimmie Vaughan and his band came out first and rocked some Texas blues.

The venue was a small auditorium in the museum adjacent to the Ancient Egypt section. I had been there for art teacher meetings in the past. But tonight it would grace the presence of Rock legends.

I have been a huge Steve Miller fan since I was a kid. I’d stack his albums on the old phonograph and let ’em drop. Then turn ’em over and do it again. Remember those phonographs that you could stack a bunch of albums on?

On this night Steve Miller would open with Living in the USA, followed by Space Cowboy then Abracadabra and The Lovin’ Cup.

Jimmie Vaughan returned and jammed with Steve Miller on a few classic blues tunes by T-Bone Walker, Freddy King and Otis Rush. They played, All Your Lovin’, I Wanna Be Loved, and Let Your Hair Down.

Jimmie left the stage and then Steve Miller continued with Dance Dance Dance. Then he told a wonderful story about the electric sitar that is displayed in a glass case at the Play It Loud exhibition. But this time it was draped around his neck. He told us how he was walking around NYC back in the day and he stopped by Manny’s Music on 48th Street. He said he really wanted a Gibson Les Paul whose namesake happened to be his Godfather. But he could not afford a Les Paul and his godfather never gave him one. So he turned to Manny’s Bargain Barrel, which was literally a barrel full of guitars just strewn about in there. Take your pick for $150. He picked up this strange looking instrument and bought it. This is the instrument that makes those amazing sounds on Wild Mountain Honey. I always thought these were some type of synthesizer sounds. But no. After this engaging story, he played it live. It was those same amazing sounds! Beautiful!

Below is a Hi-Res photo I took of Steve’s Coral Electric Sitar from the Play It Loud exhibition. You can click it to see the details. It’s really cool.

Here is Steve Miller playing the same sitar in 1976 at the Capitol Theater.

After the sitar, Space Intro led to Fly Like an Eagle.

He told another story and had a giggle over this blue guitar covered with crystals.

He continued the show playing, Rock’n Me, Take the Money and Run, The Joker, and a spirited Jet Airliner to close.

We saw that there was tape over the first song on the playlist. We later found out that Swingtown was scratched.

We said hey to David Fricke, Senior Editor for Rolling Stone Magazine on our way out of the auditorium.

Then we headed back outside to see how they had renovated the front of the museum.

It looks great at night. The new fountains dance around like the Bellagio fountains in Vegas.

The next morning I had to get up early for the Distinguished Gentlemen’s Ride, bringing us full circle.

I was going to end the post here, but I can’t hype up the Play it Loud exhibition without sharing it.

We returned to the Museum to catch the last day of the exhibition. I had seen it earlier in the summer, but Jillian hadn’t. And after hearing Steve Miller talk about it Saturday night I was happy to revisit it.

PLAY IT LOUD

What you see above is Steve Miller’s electric sitar that he played in the show. And to the right of it is Ravi Shankar’s sitar. This show is filled with iconic instruments from Rock’s history. Below are more of Steve Miller’s guitars.

1961 Gibson, Les Paul TV special. Painted by surfboard artist Bob Cantrell.

Steve Miller talked about visiting the exhibition during the show we saw. He said he had many peeks of the show in the evenings when he could bring friends. The best part about each visit was the stories people tell. The rich history of the instruments really touches a soft spot that incites memories in everyone.

The Joker, 1996 by Triggs Guitars.

Below is Eric Clapton’s 1956-57 Fender Stratocaster, “Blackie”. It was actually built from three different Stratocasters.

Eddie Van Halen’s “Frankenstein”. He built it and decorated it himself with Fender-style body and neck and Gibson electronics.

Jimi Hendrix’s 1967 Gibson, Flying V.

Keith Moon’s 1966-67 Pictures of Lily drum kit. The snare drums feature nude photos of Lily Langtry, the subject of the song, Pictures of Lily. They also display the words, “Keith Moon Patent British Exploding Drummer”.

Keith Emerson’s Moog Synthesizer atop his 1968 Hammond Organ.

Paul McCartney’s 1962 Höfner 500/1 “violin” electric bass.

Rick Nielsen’s 5 neck Hamer guitar.

Ron Wood’s 1978 Tony Zemaitis guitar.

Jeff Beck’s 1965-66 modified Fender Esquire.

Bo Diddley’s 1960 Gretch, The “Twang Machine”.

Pete Townshend’s 1975 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe.

Jack White’s 1964 Valco Airline.

Jerry Garcia’s “Wolf”. Commissioned from Doug Irwin in 1973.

Jerry Garcia’s “Tiger” Doug Irwin, 1979.

Joe Strummer’s 1966 Fender Telecaster.

Jimi Hendrix’s 1968 Olympic White Fender Stratocaster. This is the guitar that Jimi used to wake the crowd up at Woodstock when he played the Star-Spangled Banner.

Pete Townshend’s Gibson SG Special that he smashed for a Rolling Stone photoshoot.

It is encased in lucite and displayed at Rolling Stone Magazine’s headquarters.

There were many more iconic instruments in the collection. Real jaw-dropping stuff.

Before leaving the museum, we stopped by to see Leonardo Da Vinci’s St.Jerome. St.Jerome is an unfinished Leonardo Da Vinci painting on loan from the Vatican Museum to memorialize his death 500 years ago this past May.

We left the museum, but we weren’t done. We walked through the park to see an art opening.

What you are seeing below is not shellfish.

Ce ne sont pas des crustacés

It’s soft shellfish. Very soft. This is the art of Lucy Sparrow.

Heeeeeere’s Lucy! As the Play It Loud show had its closing, Lucy Sparrow’s Gourmet Deli had its public opening today.

There are 30,000 items at the deli all made of felt. It’s a surreal scene!

There are various sections at the deli. Meats, Fish, Shellfish, Cheese, Bakery, Fruits, Vegetables, Macaroons, and canned goods.

They even have Sushi.

There are all of the sections one would expect to see in a fancy deli. And each section is filled with little works of felt art. Each one signed. All 30,000 of ’em.

Lucy Sparrow’s Delicatessen on 6th is located on Sixth Avenue between 49th and 50th Streets, and is open daily from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., through October 20th.

Hope you enjoyed the post. Steered a little off-topic, but what the heck!

 

Indian Larry Block Party 2019

Posted in Uncategorized on September 30, 2019 by Pat Regan

Wow! So much going on recently! Let’s back it up a bit. Last weekend was the 16th Annual Indian Larry Block Party in Brooklyn.

Bikes lined the street again for a fun-filled day!

A fire broke out to the south but it was quickly extinguished.

This vintage Bonnie took a front row spot on the corner.

Behind Indian Larry’s they were having a barbeque with food, a bar, and a DJ. Off to the side was this nice little nook that had a table and chairs in a garden with beehives. It was a nice respite from the craziness.

A la Big Daddy Roth!

Love a Knucklehead!

Some gorgeous vintage vehicles are always in attendance as well. Like this early 60’s Corvette.

Some Captain America action below. The Easy Rider Live show the night before was amazing!

Some of my favorite people were there. Here is Darren McKeag working on a helmet. He has a masterful brushstroke. I really dig his work. I own a few pieces of his, including a beautiful helmet I got at Indian Larry’s a few years ago. On this day I bought that “Ghost Riders” print you see in the photo below.

This is my helmet.

Darren and his wife Missy were about to celebrate their anniversary a couple days later. I saw them at Sturgis a few years back just before they got hitched. Congratulations Darren and Missy!

Here is Makoto Endo. He paints motorcycles using chopsticks as his brush.

He is at many motorcycle events. Here he is painting one of Indian Larry’s bikes.

And here is the lovely Gloria Struck. Gloria has been riding for over 75 years. She is in the AMA Hall of Fame and still riding! She is holding her biography. She signed on for me last year.

Inside Larry’s shop, folks were getting tattoos.

This flaming pick up was here again. I believe it was parked in the same spot last year.

The skyline of Manhattan makes a fine backdrop for the days’ activities.

This old Corvair was very customized. Looks like it could really tear things up.

Here is Jillian with a NY salute!

BURNOUTS!

This dude was having a blast! He was surrounded by cops and did not give a shit!

He ripped it up, flew down the road and came back for more.

On the next block, a few other dudes started burning up rubber.

You can see chunks of hot rubber flying through the air!

And I could feel it as those rear tires spit their molten residue on my flesh. Gotta sacrifice for the good shots!

After a walkabout this Corvair had replaced the Corvette.

We had a great meal at a French Restaurant and hopped back on the ferry.

A great day at Larry’s.

 

 

 

Easy Rider Live

Posted in Uncategorized on September 23, 2019 by Pat Regan

I had some good motorcycle related fun this weekend! Friday night Jillian got tickets to see Easy Rider Live at Radio City Music Hall. This event was something Peter Fonda had been working on and hoped to have attended. In fact, his last Instagram post was promoting this special evening celebrating the 50th anniversary of the movie’s release.

As the film was played, the original soundtrack was performed live by some of the original artists. It was a great event. Not only that but when we went up to the mezzanine to be seated, we were handed tickets for orchestra seats. We got bumped up! Right On!

To the left and right of the stage in the photo below, they displayed Peter Fonda’s last post. @fondstagram

John Kay of Steppenwolf came out and opened the credits with Born To Be Wild followed by The Pusher. As the songs ran long the film would be paused and darkened so the band could continue rocking out. It was like seeing the film in chapters with live music. And what a treat to see John Kay.

Below is a film clip to give you a little taste of what it was like.

There were three horns blasting out When The Saints Go Marching In as you may have seen in the video above. Nicole Atkins sang The Band’s The Weight. Guitarist Tash Neal and a seasoned band backed everyone up and did a ripping version of Jimi Hendrix’s If 6 was 9. Roger McGuinn of the Byrds closed out the movie’s last two songs, It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding) and Ballad of Easy Rider. Then after the heavy ending, John Kay came out again saying he wanted the show to end on a more upbeat note, so he sang Magic Carpet Ride. 

The show really flowed nicely. Great performances. Well put together. A real treat! Thanks Jillian!