Sunday, August 31, 2008

Harley's 105th

Here in Milwaukee we are inundated with Harley riders, all in town for the company's 105th Birthday bash. They do it every five years and Hogs are everywhere. The rumble is constantly in the background. We have even more where we live because my house sits on a fairly popular run along the lake shore for bikes without and without motors and there is a Harley dealer in the area. These places operate, during the Harleyfests, as mini-party stations.

When H-D did this the first time, locals envisioned wilding in the streets. We were about to be invaded by Sonny Barger and the Angels. Think Altamont.

Didn't happen, of course. The average Harley rider is a 55 year old banker. They do try to dress the part - all of the men and the 50 and 60 something women who can still pull it off (which is, quite a few). Lots of leather, do-rags, tats and pony tail rings. The men, of course, don't care whether they can or can't look the part. I've seen some rather frightening things around town during the past few days.

But this is Sunday and Harley deserves a musical salute. It's obvious but essential that we begin with Steppenwolf:

It's equally obvious, but Lynyrd Skynyrd's Free Bird is,as we saw on Six Feet Under, obligatory at biker funerals:

We must have a tribute to Easy Rider. I normally only do live performances, but it's Harley 105 so here's Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda riding to Hendrix' "If Six was Nine:"

Before concluding and because I can, we need just a brief look at Nicholson in that movie:

And, finally, since Bruce Springsteen wrapped up the festivities last night on the shores of Lake Michigan. He opened with, what else, "Gypsy Biker" but this is "Lost In the Flood."

But here's "Gypsy Biker."


reddess said...



James Rowen said...

A friendly suggestion, really:

I appreciate these eclectic photos and clips, but your blog is more and more looking like Son of Fischer.

Less scattered and frenetic, but I'm seeing some similarities.

Rick Esenberg said...


A friendly reply, really.

Who is Fischer and who is his son?

apexcutter said...

Reddess -- I'm loving it! Back from my holiday weekend and I find BIKER MUSIC! The weekend before I was thrummin through Duluth on my Triumph Bonneville, singin these songs in my head. Long live Sundays and music posts!

Kevin said...

Funny thing that the first image of having a H-D Festival is of my Dad and his friends riding into town. Sadly, H-D has never given him a bit of credit for his image saving H-D. Everyone grew up into their 50's and wanted to live that life they could not, the one Sonny lived every day. So they bought H-Ds to try to regain that missing youth. My Dad never even had as much as a wink in his direction from those corporate assholes at H-D. So on this day of celebration I ride Dads last H-D, the bike I call "The Chief", his 2002 HD RoadKing and he rides a new Victory motorcycle. Yes Virginia, a Victory! So rethink that image and start imagining Sonny and the guys rolling into town on their Victories, the real bike for Freedom.