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ZZ TOP, THE MOVING SIDEWALKS & THE 13TH FLOOR ELEVATORS | TEXAS MUSIC LEGENDS

zz top chevy lowrider el dorado

“Our ’65 Chevy low rider convertible, flying the colors of ZZ Top’s El Dorado Bar is solidly a Texas car yet, equally at home on the streets of LA, Fresno, or Bakersfield.” –Billy Gibbons. This pic of ZZ Top has it all, in my opinion. The band has acquired an enviable car collection over the years, and is out and about in the custom scene. “We attend the Mooneyes Festivals in California and Japan and always make the SoCal Speed Shop summer ‘Open House’ gathering. Always a terrific time. As far as clubs are concerned, we think of ZZ Top as one.  We hang out, we shoot the breeze, we get down, we move on to the next town and, of course, it’s all about the arrival.  Loud, low, while you Rock and Roll…!” –Billy Gibbons

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Young ZZ Top Prom

“Dusty Hill, Frank Beard, and Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top) playing the Senior Prom in May, 1970 at Little Cypress-Mauriceville High School in Orange, Texas. Apparently sometime between signing the contract and the actual prom itself, the band broke-out big. They tried to get out of the contract, but the school couldn’t find a replacement on such short notice so ZZ Top still performed…people were climbing through the windows, crashing the prom, just to hear the band play. This was all at a really small school with a graduating class of around 100, maybe less.” via

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the moving sidewalks zz top billy gibbons

Before ZZ Top there was The Moving Sidewalks. Billy Gibbons (far right) founded the band (with Don Summers on bass, Dan Mitchell on drums, and Tom Moore on keyboard) in Houston, TX during the mid-1960s and they quickly caught on with the surging psychedelic youth scene happening at that time. They found success and a following with their hit single 99th Floor. via

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moving sidewalks billy gibbons jimi hendrix

In the late 1960s the Moving Sidewalks hit their stride and opened for The Doors, and Jimi Hendrix. Billy Gibbons and Jimi Hendrix seemed to really hit it off– Hendrix going as far as paying Billy Gibbons the ultimate compliment on The Dick Cavett Show, saying that Gibbons was destined to become the next big guitarist. via

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ROKY ERICKSON elevators new orleans club

Anther massive Texas music legend– Roky Erickson and the 13th Floor Elevators (Roky and Billy were friends) heavily inspired Gibbons’ own artsy, psychedelic, concept band, the Moving Sidewalks. They and the 13th Floor Elevators played at the short-lived yet legendary Houston psychedelic venue, Love Street Light Circus at Allen’s Landing. The Elevators set was cut short by Houston Police who busted lead singer Roky Erickson for marijuana possession. (Roky Erickson and the 13th Floor Elevators at the New Orleans Club, 1966. Photo © Robert Simmons. Image from Boys From Houston.) via The Moving Sidewalks reunited in 2013, and Gibbons and Roky Erikson have shared the stage much to the delight of their long-time Texas fans.

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ZZ Top in Nudie Suits!

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ZZ Top live

ZZ Top live in the 1970s

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A young Dusty Hill and Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top playing a live show.

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ZZ Top –photo by Galen J. Scott

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ZZ Top 1971 Atlanta

Atlanta, ZZ Top as an opening act in the summer of 1971.

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billy gibbons peso guitar pick

So, how did Gibbons get his legendary tone? The tale of the Peso pick has become almost as big (among guitarists) as the band itself: “If you’re not using a quarter or a peso, use a regulation triangular pick. The small edge, which is designated as the picking side, should be turned away from the instrument, so you are actually picking with the fatter side, the shoulder. It gives you a wider grip and offers that meat connection: When the pick slides off (the string), the edge of the thumb can graze that twine and make it whine.” –Billy Gibbons

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RANDY RHOADS’ RIVALRY WITH EDDIE VAN WHO…AND THE RIFF THAT SAVED OZZY’S ASS

Whenever I hear ‘Crazy Train’ I’m immediately transported back to 8th grade Guitar class. One dude will forever be etched in my mind. Dave was 1/2 Japanese, all of about 5 ft tall, and probably weighed 80 lbs soaking wet, if that. His hair, alone worthy of open adoration, making up the bulk of his weight and height. This ‘Metal Mane’ was streaked, sprayed, and stood a good 6 inches above his head, cascading down to the middle of his back in perfectly teased strands. My 13 yr old brain could not fathom the ridiculous routine and expense this must have required. But damn if he didn’t more the rockstar part than 90% of the bands on the cover Cream and Hit Parader magazine. His bare arms were like sinewy, wire pipe cleaners. And I’d never seen jeans that tight in my life. Not even on a girl. No sir. I don’t know where the hell he found them, or how he breathed. The entire situation was delicately perched upon tiny black (or white) Capezio, soft-as-hell-leather lace-up dance shoes. Boom. Mind blown. Only a handful of dudes had the nuts to wear these. Dave’s look was definitely balls-out for West Phoenix. But nobody questioned him, because Dave was the reigning guitar badass. While the rest of us fumbled through the opening of ‘Stairway to Heaven’, Dave was staring at the ceiling tiles, biting his lip, soloing like the Segovia of Heavy Metal.

Dave even brought his own guitar to class. Lugged it around in a case thicker than him, covered in cool stickers. Rather that than play the nylon-strung acoustic beaters they had in class. I don’t remember what kind of acoustic it was, but the strings (always Dean Markley) were so light that you could hardly see them, let alone feel them. You had to lean in to hear a damn thing, but it was worth it. And the action was set so low that you could run scales faster than a hot knife through butter. But if you strummed it would buzz like crazy. No worries. No one was strumming shit. Everyone was shredding– with varying degrees of success. Dave was a Rock God in the making, and everyone at Maryvale High School seemed to sense it. Dave was into the hot, new Japanese Metal bands that no one else even heard of. And he spoke of Yngvie, Eddie, and Randy in hushed whispers like they were comrades. Knew all their solos and tricks, and could perform them on cue. Eruption, Spanish Fly, Dee, and of course, Crazy Train were all in his finely honed repertoire. We moved from Phoenix to Tempe that year, and I changed schools, so I don’t really know whatever became of Dave. But my fascination with the marvel and mystery of Randy Rhoads was firmly cemented. No head-banging hooligan. A sensitive, immensely talented man taken too soon.

Ozzy and Randy Rhoads

Ozzy Osbourne & Randy Rhoads playing that epic polka dot Flying V! – photo by © Paul Natkin

“I never really got into Black Sabbath when I was in England. Right? And then Ozzy came out with this great first album, you know, it really was good. And we got to see them play after that, like almost every night. And so, Randy Rhoads, although being a wonderful guitar player, could not play Asteroids for shit. I beat him right across this country. From East coast, to West and back.

Randy Rhoads was like just, brilliant. You know, I mean of course he got better after he died. You know, because everybody does. Right? But uh, I loved Randy, yeah. He took risks. He wasn’t scared, you know. I mean, he knew his instrument, you know? So he’d just go for it. That’s what I used to like about him. And you could…like, Ozzy used to just throw him around, throw him up on his shoulders while he was playing. And he never missed a note.”

–Lemmy from Motorhead

randy rhoads flying v

Randy Rhoads pre-concert soundcheck –photo by John Livzey

“The very first time Randy Rhoads saw Van Halen, he took his girlfriend Jan with him. Jan told us that Randy was ‘devastated’ after the show. Here he was, the king of Burbank. Everyone was always telling him how great he was. Then he saw Eddie and it opened his eyes and he got a major reality check. It was healthy for him. He was inspired. He thought Eddie was great. He wanted to be great also. I know they met at least four times.

Quiet Riot and Van Halen played on the same bill at Glendale College in April 1977. Quiet Riot opened, Van Halen was the headliner. Randy once approached Eddie and asked him how he was able to keep his guitar in tune without a locking nut for his tremolo. Eddie refused to tell him and said it was his own secret. Randy couldn’t comprehend because he was a teacher at his core. He loved to help others and he was always willing to share anything he knew. He would teach anyone anything they wanted to learn. So, he was quite disappointed in Eddie’s treatment of him.”

–Randy Rhoads’ biographer, Andrew Klein

Ozzy Randy Rhoads Diary of a Madman

“Randy and his good friend Lori Hollen were in the parking lot behind the Whisky loading his gear into this car. Eddie and Dave (DLR) pulled up alongside of them in a white Mercedes diesel and began harassing him. Lori quickly put a stop to it and actually slapped Dave across his face. Quiet Riot’s drummer, Drew Forsyth, has said that the Eddie/Randy rivalry has been made up to be so much more than it was. He also said that Eddie used to come watch Randy play way more than Randy used to go see Eddie play. They were both great, and I’m sure there was an immense amount of mutual respect. Randy told journalist John Stix that he does a lot of Eddie’s licks live, and it kills him that he does that. But he added that it’s just flash, and that’s what the kids want to see. That’s what impresses them. He also said that it kills him because he believes in the importance of finding your own voice and style. He thought the worst thing a guitar player could do was copy someone else.

Finally, when Randy was home on break from the Ozzy tour, he decided to drive to his local music store to buy some classical albums. Randy said that when he walked into the record store, Eddie Van Halen was standing on line at the register purchasing the Diary of a Madman album. Imagine that scene. Can you imagine walking into a record store on any given day and seeing both Eddie and Randy in there at the same time?”

–Randy Rhoads’ biographer, Andrew Klein

OZZY OSBOURNE RANDY RHOADS GUITAR

“Randy was one in a billion. He didn’t try to be different. He was born different. I don’t think he dressed that way because his goal was to be different. He wore what he wanted to wear. He used to take his first girlfriend, Jan, with him when he shopped for shoes. He preferred the girl’s shoes, and he would have her try them on for him. Clearly, he was embarrassed to buy them for himself, and he knew he would get grief for wearing them. It didn’t matter to him. He was very committed to doing what he wanted to do. Sometimes it did get him into a lot of trouble, especially at school. He constantly had jocks wanting to beat him up. They called him names. It didn’t affect him. Randy may have been frail, but he was emotionally strong. It took more than names to rattle him. He just laughed at them.”

–Randy Rhoads’ biographer, Andrew Klein

Randy Rhoads polka dot flying v

“One of the things Ozzy loved about Randy Rhoads was that he was a teacher at his core. He used to sit with Ozzy and help him. Randy would find the right key for songs so that Ozzy would feel more comfortable and within his singing range. They worked out melodies together. Ozzy would hum ideas to Randy, and he would, in turn, convert those melodies into songs. ‘Goodbye to Romance’ was created this way. When Randy would noodle or test sounds, Ozzy would say, ‘What was that?’ And Randy would say, ‘What?’ Ozzy would say, ‘Play that again’ – and sure enough, songs were born that way as well. ‘Suicide Solution’ and ‘Diary of a Madman’ were born that way.”

–Randy Rhoads’ biographer, Andrew Klein

randy rhoads ozzy bw

“I know Randy was a salvation for Ozzy. Ozzy was really down on his luck. He had just been thrown out of Sabbath. He was broke, constantly drunk, and basically living in squalor. Then, Randy Rhoads walked into his life. I am not so sure Ozzy was a salvation for Randy. I think Randy could take it or leave it. His arm had to be twisted to go to the audition, and when he was given the job, he didn’t want it. He didn’t want to hurt Quiet Riot and his friend Kevin DuBrow. Although they were frustrated and going nowhere, he was prepared to stick it out. He was not one to seek auditions, and I don’t think he would have quit had he never met Ozzy. So, I would have to conclude that Ozzy needed Randy way more than Randy needed Ozzy. This is evident at the end of Randy’s life. He informed the Osbournes he was quitting the band. Ozzy went crazy over this and begged Randy to stay. Randy had made up his mind and nothing was going to change it. Ozzy knew what he had. When they first got together in 1979, Ozzy would introduce Randy to people by saying, ‘This is Randy, my secret weapon.’ When they met producer Max Norman for the first time, Ozzy said to him, ‘Keep everything Randy records – don’t erase anything!’ Ozzy Osbourne is no dummy. He knew what he had.”

–Randy Rhoads’ biographer, Andrew Klein

ozzy osbourne randy rhoads

“The band had a great relationship with Ozzy. From the beginning, they were managed by Sharon’s brother, David Arden. He managed the band well. He was very attentive to their needs. It was ultimately David’s decision to bring Randy to England. David tried to convince Ozzy to find a guitarist in London who was local in order to make things easier. Ozzy begged and pleaded and said Randy was the only one he wanted. David acquiesced and sent Randy a ticket. When the band began working, they were all very close. Ozzy used to say to them, ‘Here’s my hand, here’s my heart, this band will never part.’ They recorded the ‘Blizzard of Ozz’ album, and then they began a U.K. tour.”

–Randy Rhoads’ biographer, Andrew Klein

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Randy Rhoads receiving the “Best New Talent” award from Guitar Player magazine with Ozzy and Sharon Arden (now Osbourne) proudly looking on, 1981.

“It was at this time that David had to resign because his daughter had been born prematurely and he was needed at home. This is when Sharon stepped in to replace him. She immediately got cozy with Ozzy and everything changed. When they revisited Ridge Farm to record the Diary of a Madman album, she became notorious for emptying everyone’s suitcases and throwing their personal belongings into the pond outside. Everyone who was there said the vibe changed when she arrived. Ozzy began divorce proceedings with his wife, Thelma, and succumbed to severe depression. He stopped attending writing and rehearsal sessions and drowned his sorrows in drugs and alcohol. The Diary album was nearly complete before the real problems began. It was during these recording sessions that the decision was made to fire Bob [Daisley] and Lee [Kerslake] in favor of younger, greener musicians who wouldn’t challenge authority. When Rudy [Sarzo] and Tommy [Aldridge] were brought in, the band was no longer called the ‘Blizzard of Ozz’ – it had now become an Ozzy Osbourne solo project, which is not what Randy signed up for. Randy expressed his displeasure with anyone who was willing to listen. Randy was no longer happy as a sideman. Add to that, Sharon placed Randy in a very uncomfortable position between herself and Ozzy, which she chronicles in her own book. This was about all he could take. He really just wanted to leave the band and that situation and move on with his life.”

–Randy Rhoads’ biographer, Andrew Klein

quiet Riot Rudy Sarzo Randy Rhoads

Rudy Sarzo, Kevin DuBrow & Randy Rhoads in the Quiet Riot glory days. “We had one of the best guitar players EVER in our band and we couldn’t get arrested!” –Quiet Riot singer, Kevin DuBrow

“Randy Rhoads and Kevin DuBrow were the best of friends. Very close. Like brothers. Both became stars separately from each other. But the dream was they were going to do it together. They remained good friends even while Randy was with Ozzy. Kevin attended all the local Ozzy concerts and was invite to after-parties at the Osbournes’ house.”

–Randy Rhoads’ biographer, Andrew Klein

kevin dubrow randy rhoads quiet riot

“Kevin was domineering and Randy hated that. Randy tolerated it because he knew that that component of Kevin’s personalithy was the reason why they were so successful, locally. Those who knew Randy said that if not for Kevin, no one outside of Randy’s garage would have ever heard him play. Kevin was the driving force. Randy was not a go-getter. He just wanted to play and leave the details to others. He was also non-confrontational, which is why he put up with Kevin. It was easier for Randy to say nothing than to argue. Toward the end of 1979, Randy saw the writing on the wall. Music was changing. Disco, Punk, and New Wave had taken over. Randy and Kevin never really saw eye to eye musically. When he finally got settled in with Ozzy, he was happier because he felt he had more musical freedom. Ozzy was constantly telling him to, ‘go out there and be the best Randy Rhoads you can be.’ Ozzy wanted Randy to be a guitar hero. He wanted that explosive playing all over his records. Kevin stifled Randy and preferred poppy, catchy songs because he thought that’s what would ultimately get them a record deal.”

–Randy Rhoads’ biographer, Andrew Klein

Randy Rhoads personal guitars

“One of the biggest myths around Jackson/Charvel guitars is that many think Grover Jackson or Wayne Charvel made the Randy Rhoads polka dot Flying V. Grover Jackson and Tim Wilson made the white Jackson V. Grover Jackson, Tim Wilson and Mike Shannon made the black Jackson V. And it was Karl Sandoval that actually made the famous Randy Rhoads Polka Dot Flying V. However Karl did work with Grover Jackson and Wayne Charvel for about a year or so. The guitar was ordered on 7/3/79 and completed on 9/22/79. It appeared to be a solid body neck-thru or set-neck construction, but was actually a Danelectro neck that had been glued to a Flying V body! The bow-tie fret inlays were simply routed on either side of the existing dot inlays. The pick-ups were DiMarzio PAF’s, Schaller tuners were installed, and white Gibson Les Paul control knobs were used.

Soon after Randy Rhoads brought the Flying V home the headstock was broken accidently when the strap was not secured to the guitar. Kevin DuBrow was there when it fell and Randy was devastated. He had worked very hard to save the money to buy the V. Karl Sandoval re-painted the neck after the repairs were done for free. Rumors have circulated that Randy had a lot of tuning problems  because the Danelectro neck didn’t have a truss rod, but there sure are a lot of pictures that have been published with Randy playing this guitar. Randy did change the bridge, nut, knobs, and pick-up rings from chrome to black.” –via jacksoncharvelworld.net

Van-Halen-and-Quiet-Riot-poster Kevin Dubrom Randy Rhoads guitar Quiet Riot randy rhoads ozzy randy rhoads jackson guitar Randy_Rhoads_1982_3_William_Hames randy rhoads gibson les paul guitar randy rhoads photo randy rhoads jackson v guitar randy rhoads acoustic guitar randy rhoads les paul guitar randy rhoads dot guitar randy rhoads guitar Randy-Rhoads-7 randy rhoads gibson guitar concert Randy-Rhoads-with-Quiet-Riot-1975

DOES ‘RUSH’ REFERENCE THE BLACK SPIDER THAT FATALLY STRUCK SEBRING BACK IN 1957?

Formula One World Championship
“Niki Lauda had raised concerns about the safety of the track at the German Grand Prix at Nürburgring, but couldn’t convince other drivers to join him in protest. Due to a reported rear suspension failure, coupled with a wet track, his car swerved off course, hit an embankment, and burst into flames. Trapped inside the car, Lauda inhaled toxic gases and suffered severe burns to his entire head, including his scalp and eyelids. Lauda lapsed into a coma and nearly died. Yet just six weeks later, he was back on the track—and on James Hunt’s tail.” via
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This past week, Lee Raskin (motorsports historian, author, and vintage racer) wrote and said he’d recently gotten some racing friends together for a Rush viewing night in Baltimore. He shared his educated theory on a deeply intriguing scene that seems to nod to an old school racing superstition. So with all due respect, esteemed Director Ron Howard, there’s a question that begs to be asked here…
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Does Ron Howard’s ‘Rush’ Portray Real Racing Superstitions? — written by Lee Raskin
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This drama-filled bio-pic focuses on the 1970’s ‘red line’ battle for supremacy between Formula One drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauda — on and off the track. Over the weekend, I saw Ron Howard’s movie, Rush…and it’s a definite podium finish!
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Mid-way through the film, the tenth Formula One race of the season takes place at Nurburgring with Niki Lauda leading James Hunt substantially in the point standings. The scene opens with a large black spider crawling along a concrete support in the paddock area. The spider disappears as the camera lens expands to pre-race activities of the leading championship contenders, Niki Lauda and James Hunt.

niki lauda james hunt

I doubt that many in the audience even saw that spider or if they did, gave it little or no thought. I wanted to yell out a warning about that black spider to actor Daniel Buhl (Niki Lauda) and Chris Hemsworth (James Hunt.) But it was thirty-seven years too late!

I knew about black spider premonitions. My mind did an immediate back-flip to an interview that I once had with the late John Weitz, a renowned men’s fashion designer and former SCCA sports car driver from the 1950’s, who told me about his own ‘racing superstitions.’ There was one that he would never forget.

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Sebring 1957 team members L to R: John Peterson, Bob Ballenger, ‘Wacky’ Arnolt, Phil Stewart, Bob Goldich, Bob Gary, John Weitz. — John Weitz/1957 Sebring photos: Lee Raskin Archives 

“We were at Sebring in 1957. I was a first year member of the Arnolt-Bristol Racing Team. On the morning of the twelve hour race, I noticed a huge black spider on the pit apron. Spiders to a German mean bad luck and even death.” John confided to fellow Arnolt-Bristol team driver Bob Ballenger that he is superstitious and that he and the team will have to be very careful during the race.

john weitz mike hawthorne sebring 1957

JJohn Weitz in #38 Arnolt-Bristol being overtaken by Alfonso Mena in the #9 D-Jaguar, Sebring 1957 Sebring 12 Hour race – John Weitz/1957 Sebring photos: Lee Raskin Archives
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Weitz recalled that the twelve hour race begins with the Le Mans start and goes exceedingly well for the Arnolt-Bristol team as Sebring veteran Ballinger gets off first, followed by Weitz and then ‘Wacky’ Arnolt.

The team finds itself slugging it out for class honors against the two-litre AC Aces, Morgans, and Triumph TR3’s. The race strategy was simply to maintain a consistent pace with all three cars finishing the event. Everything goes well leading into the first scheduled drivers’ change just after the fourth hour.

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Bob Goldich in #39 Arnolt-Bristol losing control in the Esses, 1957 Sebring 12 Hour race – John Weitz/1957 Sebring photos: Lee Raskin Archives

At 40 laps, the three team starters, Ballenger, Weitz, and ‘Wacky’ bring their Arnolt-Bristols into the pits for fuel and the scheduled driver change. ‘Wacky’ turns his number 39 Arnolt over to the team captain, Bob Goldich, who goes out quickly on his four hour ‘stint.’

On his first lap around the 5.2 mile road course, Goldich misjudges his entering speed at the ‘esses,’ slides off the track and loses control as the Arnolt does a one and a half revolution roll…landing upside down with Goldich pinned underneath. Rescuers rush to his aid, the car is righted, and Goldich is pulled from the wreck.

bob goldrich 1957 sebring race crash

Bob Goldich in #39 Arnolt-Bristol rolling over in the Esses, 1957 Sebring 12 Hour race – John Weitz/1957 Sebring photos: Lee Raskin Archives

Bob Goldich is killed instantly.

Minutes later, word of the fatal accident becomes official. ‘Wacky’ Arnolt withdraws his remaining two cars from the race and they are directed to the pits. John Weitz told me, “No one said a word. All the team drivers and crew were absolutely stunned at the death of Bob Goldich. ‘Wacky’ was in complete shock.“

bob goldrich fatal crash sebring 1957

Bob Goldich pinned under #39 Arnolt-Bristol as rescue volunteers arrive to assist – John Weitz/1957 Sebring photos: Lee Raskin Archives

It was the first racing fatality ever at Sebring.

John went on to say, “I wish I had paid even more attention to my superstitions with that black spider. Maybe things could have been a little different for Bob Goldich.”

wacky arnolt sebring 1957 race

A stunned “Wacky” Arnolt learning of Bob Goldich’s fatal accident at Sebring – John Weitz/1957 Sebring photos: Lee Raskin Archives

Since watching Rush, I haven’t been able to let that Nurburgring black spider scene go. The spider wasn’t coincidental–it was intentionally written into the script by Director, Ron Howard and writer, Peter Morgan. But why? Did Howard know something about John Weitz’ black spider experience at Sebring 56 years earlier? Could there have been more to this perpetual spider superstition going on at the 1976 German GP at Nurburgring prior to Niki Lauda’s horrific accident? Why wasn’t the Rush audience let onto this racing superstition as well?

Ron Howard, please tell us what the heck you were thinking?

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Written by Lee Raskin, copyright 2013– Lee Raskin is a motorsports historian, author, and a long-time Arnolt-Bristol and 356 Porsche vintage racer. He has written extensively about James Dean and his racing endeavors with his Porsche Speedster. and ultimate death behind the wheel of his Porsche 550 Spyder. See: Porsche Speedster TYP 540: Quintessential Sports Car (2004); James Dean At Speed (2005)

Sources:

‘Rush’, the movie/ IMDB

‘Wacky’… a true story. Lee Raskin, Copyright 2009

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SCUDERIA FERRARI FROM SILVERSTONE TO MONACO | LIFE MAGAZINE, MAY 1956

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THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN | BRITISH RACING LEGEND BARRY SHEENE

1970 12 HOURS OF SEBRING RACE | STEVE MCQUEEN’S BRUSH WITH VICTORY



HELL ON TWO KRAZY WHEELS | VINTAGE EVEL KNIEVEL IN HIS HARLEY HEYDAY

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Evel Knievel shared a long and colorful history with Harley-Davidson– professing that his very first motorcycle was a Harley that he stole when he was just 13 yrs old. Legend has it in 1960, Evel Knievel strapped his day-old son Kelly to his back for the boy’s first motorcycle ride. The 22-year-old Robert (not yet the larger-than-life Evel) Knievel fishtailed the brand new Harley on their maiden ride home from the maternity ward to the family trailer in Butte, Montana. He was so shaken by almost wrecking with his newborn baby in-tow that he promptly sold the bike.

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A great shot of Evel Knievel showcasing the beauty of his white leathers with navy and red trim. Knievel was buried in a leather jacket like the one you see here when he passed away in 2007. Pal Matthew McConaughey offered this eulogy– “He’s forever in flight now. He doesn’t have to come back down. He doesn’t have to land.” And yes, McConaughey was probably stoned. A bit of an odd pairing if ever there was one, but I ask you– Who doesn’t love Evel Knievel? 

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Evel Knievel

The iconic daredevil Evel Knievel poised on his Harley-Davidson motorcycle. Knievel’s surviving 1972 Harley-Davidson XR-750 is now on display at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. Knievel also donated a leather jumpsuit, cape, and boots that he wore during jumps. –Photo by Ralph Crane

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Evel Knievel pulling a wheelie on his epic Harley-Davidson XR-750 stunt motorcycle of steel, alloy, and fiberglass that weighed-in at about 300 lbs. The Harley had enough power that it could be geared to allow Evel to take-off from a dead stop in 4th so that he could approach the ramp and build speed without shifting, eliminating the risk of missing a gear. It’s also been suggested that Evel’s throttle was setup by his mechanics to turn clockwise instead of counter-clockwise. That way when he landed the throttle would roll off to idle, instead of wide open– because the impact of landing made his wrists and hands roll in the counter-clockwise direction of the grip. 

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“I guess I thought I was Elvis Presley. But I’ll tell ya something–

all Elvis did was stand on a stage and play a guitar.

He never fell off on that pavement at no 80 mph.”

– Evel Knievel

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1975 — Evel Knievel on his Harley-Davidson XR-750 gearing-up for the Wembley stadium bus jump.

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Evel Knievel outside the Harley-Davidson factory with a trio of bikes.  via

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Evel Knievel signing an autograph for a young fan – Hell, who wasn’t a fan of Evel’s back then?!

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1975 — Evel Knievel promo shot on his Harley-Davidson XR-750  for the Wembley stadium bus jump.

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1973 — Evel Knievel and AMA Hall of Famer Roger Reiman,who in later years became Evel’s head mechanic in-charge of his stable of Harley-Davidson XR-750 stunt bikes.

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1970s shot of badass daredevil stuntman Evel Knievel on his Harley-Davidson XR-750 motorcycle.

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Great shot of Evel Knievel in white leathers on his Harley-Davidson XR-750 motorcycle.

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1975 — Evel Knievel on his Harley-Davidson XR-750 gearing-up for the Wembley stadium bus jump.

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1975 — Evel Knieve’famous  motorcycle jump of 13 Greyhound buses at Wembley stadium, UK.

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1975 — Evel Knievel, on his Harley-Davidson XR-750, jumping 140 feet at 90 mph over 13 buses at Wembley stadium. He barely cleared the last bus, and crashed on landing. Knievel suffered a broken hand, pelvis, and compressed vertebrae.  –Photo by David Ashdown / Keystone / Getty Images

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1975 — Stuntman Evel Knievel crashing his Harley-Davidson XR-750 motorcycle on landing following a successful 90 mph jump over 13 buses at Wembley Stadium.

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1975 — Evel Knievel crashed on landing following a successful 90 mph jump over 13 buses at Wembley Stadium. Knievel promptly announced to the crowd that he was done– there would be no more jumps. Still shaken, he stated to the crowd that they were “the last people in the world who will ever see me jump. I will never, ever, ever, ever jump again. I am through”. Injuries and all, Evel Knievel stood and insisted to be taken off his stretcher and walk out of the stadium. Once out of the stadium he was placed back onto a stretcher, loaded into an ambulance, and then rushed to the hospital. – Image by © Bettmann/Corbis

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1976 — So much for no more jumps! Here’s Evel Knievel successfully jumping 10 vans at Worcester, Massachusetts on his H-D XR-750. 

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1977 — Evel Knievel loading his .38 Smith & Wesson handgun in a New York City hotel room. After receiving kidnapping threats against his children Evel began sleeping with the loaded gun every night.

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WHAT I’VE LEARNED: EVEL KNIEVEL | For Esquire magazine, 2007

You can fall many times in life, but you’re never a failure as long as you try to get up.

Loving someone doesn’t mean that you can love her for six days and then beat the crap out of her on the seventh.

Women are the root of all evil. I ought to know. I’m Evel.

This country has become a nation of the government, by the government, and for the government. Our politicians are destroying us. We need a revolt!

When you’re mad at someone, it’s probably best not to break his arm with a baseball bat.

Heaven is a place you can go and drink a lot of draft beer and it don’t make you fat. You can cheat on your wife and she don’t get mad. You get a beautiful female chauffeur with nice, hard tits — real ones. There are motorcycle jumps you never miss. You don’t need a tee time.

Anybody can jump a motorcycle. The trouble begins when you try to land it.

The Internal Revenue Service is more ruthless than the Gestapo. Abolish the IRS! Stamp out organized crime!

I don’t believe in hell. I don’t believe in gods or Jesus Christ or sacred cows. I don’t believe in that big, fat-assed Buddha. Show me one piece of Noah’s ark. Show me one piece of the tablets that Moses was supposed to have brought down from the mountain. People need a crutch. They need to make up stories. I don’t want to do that.

You can be famous for a lot of things. You can be a Nobel-prize winner. You can be the fattest guy in the world. You can be the guy with the smallest penis. Whatever it is, enjoy it. It don’t last forever.

One day you’re a hero, the next day you’re gone.

People say they take responsibility for their own actions all the time, but that don’t mean they really do.

I think that all of these so-called born-again Christians should ask their preachers why they don’t hand out organ-donor cards. If you donated a kidney or a heart or an eye or whatever to your fellow man to keep him alive, you couldn’t be closer to God than that.

You can’t forbid children to do things that are available to them at every turn. God told Eve, “Don’t give the apple to Adam,” and look what happened. It’s in our nature to want the things we see.

If God ever gives this world an enema, he’ll stick the tube in the Lincoln Tunnel and he’ll flush everybody in New York City clear across the Atlantic. And that would just be a start.

We must tax the churches. Freedom of religion is bullshit when it’s tax-free.

You are the master of your own ship, pal. There are lots of people who fall into troubled waters and don’t have the guts or the knowledge or the ability to make it to shore. They have nobody to blame but themselves.

I’ve done everything in the world I’ve ever wanted to do except kill somebody. There are a couple of guys I know who need shooting. They represent the rectums of humanity.

If you don’t know about pain and trouble, you’re in sad shape. They make you appreciate life.

Everything in moderation is okay, except Wild Turkey.

If a guy hasn’t got any gamble in him, he isn’t worth a crap.

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TSY’s FAVE FIVE ON SOUTHSIDERS MC | ICONIC BIKES THAT MADE HISTORY

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HARLEY-DAVIDSON | AMERICAN IRON, INGENUITY & PERSEVERANCE, PT. II

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RALPH “SONNY” BARGER | AN OUTLAW’S TALE OF HARLEYS, HIGHWAYS & HELL

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DOROTHY STRATTEN’S EARLY DAYS | CUSTOM AUTO AND BIKE SHOW MODEL

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Dorothy Stratten – Playboy Playmate of the Month for August, 1979 & Playmate of the Year for 1980.

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Anyone who lived during the time of the brutal killing and tragic loss of Playboy Playmate Dorothy Stratten, probably will never forget how utterly shocking and saddening it truly was. It spawned 2 movies (including the gripping classic, Star 80), books (including ‘The Killing of the Unicorn’ by Peter Bogdanovich, her boyfriend at the time), and many songs written in her memory. Fellow Canadian Bryan Adams actually co-wrote 2 songs about her. The crime is no less shocking today, and we are left with her story of a young girl who seemingly had acheived the American dream of fortune and fame, only to have it violently stolen from her, along with her young fragile life, by an insecure, low-life punk, whose name is not even worth mentioning. RIP Dorothy Stratten. You live on.

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DOROTHY STRATTEN PAUL SNIDER PHOTO

“The Medieval Knight stands bold in its shining armour as Miss World of Wheels, Dorothy Hoogstraten (AKA Dorothy Stratten) dubs Ron Bergsma, who is one of the ‘Macho Man’ contestants from Universal Olympic Gym at the World of Wheels Custom Car Show, August 16th, 1978.” –Photo by Paul Snider.

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Dorothy Stratten in a bikini with the 1979 Firebird Trans Am custom-built by legendary George Barris and that starred in the Steve Martin film “The Jerk”. 

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OK, I couldn’t resist… here’s a photo of John Travolta with “Firebird Fever” signed by George Barris. “The most famous Pontiac Firebird ever to hit the streets was designed by famed car customizer George Barris who is also responsible for the ‘Batmobile’, the ‘Munster Koach’, the ‘General Lee’ and the ‘Monkee Mobile’. Hollywood promoters wanted to create a special car that would fit Travolta’s superstar image and tied into ‘Saturday Night Fever’. ‘Travolta Fever’ was built to promote John Travolta and his rising career. In 1980, when Travolta inspired a nationwide country music craze with ‘Urban Cowboy’, George Barris transformed the interior of ‘Travolta Fever’ with an ‘Urban Cowboy’ theme complete with appointed cowhide seats and an authentic saddle for the center console. ‘Travolta Fever’ is also equipped with NASCAR-inspired, sculptured fender flares and a large rear whale tail. Revell, the famous plastic model maker, produced and sold scale model kits of the Barris customized Firebird. In fact, John Travolta’s ‘Firebird Fever’ was one of the first celebrity car model kits ever offered by the company. After a short time of being shown on the West Coast, ‘Travolta Fever’ made its way to the Midwest, where it was leased from Barris by American car and custom hot rod designer Darryl Starbird and featured in several of his shows.” via

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Dorothy Stratten posing with the 1979 Firebird Trans Am wide-body custom-built by none other than the legendary George Barris, and that starred in the Steve Martin film “The Jerk”. Barris built it, and the “John Travolta Firebird Fever” Trans Am, side-by-side at his shop. “FF” sported a high-performance Pontiac 455 engine, custom interior with Recaora seats, custom flared fenders, Racemark steering wheel, T-roof with tinted panels, opening “Shaker” hood, rear “Whale tail” spoiler, Hooker side pipes, real rubber Firestone S/S radial tires, colorful “Fever” decals, custom instrument panel. “Firebird Fever” was released in conjunction with Revell’s matching 1/25 scale plastic model kit to capitalize on Travolta’s mass popularity at the time. Photo by William LaChasse, via Autoculture

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Dorothy Stratten – Photo by William LaChasse, via Autoculture

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Dorothy Stratten with a Harley Panhead chopper – Photo by William LaChasse, via Autoculture

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Dorothy Stratten signing autographs at a car show  – Photo by William LaChasse, via Autoculture

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1980 Playboy Playmate Dorothy Stratten and that low-life pimp husband of hers, Paul Snider. -

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Dorothy Stratten and the man she left Paul Snider for — film director Peter Bogdanovich. He was so grief stricken at her loss, that he stopped film-making to write a book about her — The Killing of the Unicorn – and then years later, after cultivating her from the age of 12 yrs old, he married Dorothy’s younger sister, Louise.

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The Passions of Peter Bogdanovich | People Magazine, 1989–

She was, director Peter Bogdanovich would admit, an obsession. Blond, delicately featured, a Playboy Playmate of the Year, Dorothy Stratten was so beautiful she seemed luminescent, as if lit from within. A year after he first met her in 1978, when she was 18, Bogdanovich cast her in a movie and, though she was married, they soon became lovers. “I could hardly believe that she really existed, that she wasn’t a dream,” he later said of their affair. “There was something miraculous about Dorothy Stratten.”

In just five months, however, the director’s dream became a nightmare: Dorothy’s estranged husband, crazed by her decision to leave him and marry Bogdanovich, raped her, killed her with a point-blank shotgun blast to the head, and then killed himself. Her murder left Bogdanovich desolate, devastated. “I haven’t been dating,” he said, 16 months after Dorothy’s murder. “I’m a widower. I don’t know if I can ever love as totally and completely as I loved Dorothy.” He gave up making movies to write a book about her death, and he became devoted to Dorothy’s mother, Nelly, and her 12-year-old kid sister, Louise.

Too devoted, some said. He sent Louise, an insecure, pudgy girl with none of her sister’s delicate features, to a private school and to modeling classes. He bought her a baby grand piano and took her along on trips to Paris and Hawaii. He gave her a gold-and-diamond necklace and, when she graduated from high school, a Pontiac Trans Am. In 1986, he gave her a movie role.

Two weeks ago, Bogdanovich married Louise, now 20, in a small ceremony in Vancouver, renewing speculation about just when his interest in the girl became more than that of a close family friend—and about just what it had become. Skeptics suggested that Louise’s motivation had a practical side; her marriage to Bogdanovich would solve a chronic problem she’d had coming from her native Canada to work in the States. Those who know the couple discounted that—and saw in the relationship an eerie reprise of the director’s intense love for Louise’s sister, Dorothy.

When allegations of a romantic attachment between Bogdanovich and Louise first surfaced in 1984, when she was 16, they were silenced by a slander suit filed by Louise and her mother. (The suit was later dropped.) Some of those who know Bogdanovich best expressed little surprise at the marriage. Polly Platt, Bogdanovich’s first wife and mother of his two daughters—who were friendly with Louise during her frequent sojourns in L.A.—says the pair “had been together for a long time.”

But Louise’s mother, hearing of the marriage at her home in Vancouver, was distraught. “I feel he wants her because of a guilt trip,” she said. “This happened to my other daughter, who got her head shot off, and it’s gonna happen to this one. He didn’t do it, but he was involved. If he is in love with one daughter, how can he be in love with the other daughter?”

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1979 — Dorothy Stratten working at the Century City Playboy Club. RIP

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BO DIDDLEY & THE CLASH, 1979 US TOUR | EVERY GENERATION HAS THEIR OWN LITTLE BAG OF TRICKS

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The Clash Bo Diddley 1979

1979, Cleveland — Bo Diddley opened for The Clash on their US tour – Image by © Bob Gruen. In 1979, Joe Strummer and Paul Simonon of the Clash asked that Diddley open for them on the band’s first American tour. “I can’t look at him without my mouth falling open,” Strummer, starstruck, told a journalist during the tour. For his part, Diddley had no misgivings about facing a skeptical audience. “You cannot say what people are gonna like or not gonna like,” he explained later to the biographer George White. “You have to stick it out there and find out! If they taste it, and they like the way it tastes, you can bet they’ll eat some of it!” via

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The Clash where huge fans of Bo Diddley, as many of the formative British bands (and American too) of the ’60s and ’70s were– The Rolling Stones, The Who, The Beatles, The Yardbirds, and many more. Bo Diddley joined The Clash as their opening act on their 1979 US Tour– opening up a radical, young, new crowd to the sound of the man many consider to be one of the most important pioneers of American Rock & Roll music. Bo Diddley himself made no bones about stating that HE was THE beginning of Rock & Roll. Bo Diddley not only influenced sound– he also influenced the attitude, energy, and look of Rock & Roll for decades to come. Look at the pics here, I see the bold plaids that Diddley and other Rockers of the ’50s wore (Plaid was for hipsters, not squares, in the ’50s..), that emerged again strongly in the ’70s through the Sex Pistols (great credit due to Vivienne Westwood), The Clash and others. You can also see and hear where Jack Black got the lion’s share of his game from– no doubt Bo Diddley. The man is a legend and has never gotten his due, and the due that came, came too late. He had a well-earned chip on his shoulder, and even insisted The Clash pay him upfront, as he’d been screwed over so many times before.

“I was the cat that went and opened the door, and everyone else ran through it. And I said– what the heck, you know? …I was left holding the doorknob” –Bo Diddley

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Bo Diddley

ca. 1950s — Norma Jean “The Duchess” Wofford in white blouse, Jerome Green squatting in front with maracas, and Bo Diddley with his signature rectangular Gretsch guitar. Bo and his crew were the badasses of their generation, just as The Clash were in theirs. – Image by © Michael Ochs

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“If you can play– all you need is one amp, your axe, and you. “ –Bo Diddley explaining his feelings about The Clash’s monstrous wall of sound during their 1979 US tour.

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1979, Cleveland — Bo Diddley opened for The Clash on their 1979 US tour. I love seeing Mick Jones in his red tartan plaid shirt, and then looking down at the photo of Bo Diddley and crew rocking them back in the ’50s, and looking extremely badass. – Image by © Bob Gruen  

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Bo Diddley and His Band

ca. 1950s, New York — Bo Diddley, Jerome Green on left playing maracas. – Image by © Michael Ochs. Back in the 1950s, plaids like this may have been accepted among the Hipsters, but it was a different story in Middle America where it was still thought of it as the fabric of a counter culture movement– outlaw fashion. via

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“This group the Sex Pistols pukes onstage? I don’t necessarily like that. That’s not showmanship… They gotta get themselves an act.”  –Bo Diddley

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Bo Diddley opened for The Clash in 1979 on their US tour, here on their bus. – Image by © Bob Gruen 

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So how did Bo reflect back upon his 1979 US tour with The Clash? I think he summed it up pretty well when he stated that, “Every generation has its own little bag of tricks…” Watch the video below–

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No mention of Bo Diddley would be complete with a nod to The Duchess

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Born Norma-Jean Wofford in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, she began her career in 1962. After the departure of his first female guitarist, Peggy “Lady Bo” Jones, wherever Bo Diddley played, he would hear discontented whispers in the audience– “Where’s the girl? Where’s the girl? That’s when I got The Duchess,” he told his biographer. “I taught her how to play guitar, and then I taught her how to play my thing, you know. Then, after I hired her in the group, I named her The Duchess, and I says, ‘I’m gonna tell everybody we’re sister and brother.’ Part of the reason I decided to go with that little lie was that it put me in a better position to protect her when we were on the road.” via

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Lending her inimitable style to the grooves (and sleeves) of 1962′s “Bo Diddley & Company” and 1963′s “Bo Diddley’s Beach Party” albums, she accompanied him on his first tour of England that same year, where her guitar prowess created a stir equalled only by that of her skin-tight gold lamé cat suit. Asked by one dauntless investigator how she managed to get into it, Norma-Jean responded by pulling out an over-sized shoehorn. Eric Burdon later immortalised her in the Animals’ “Story Of Bo Diddley”. via

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LEGENDARY CLASH STYLE | FROM PUNK ROCK ROUGH TO SARTORIAL SMOOTH

HOW TO CLASH ART, MUSIC & STYLE | STYLE HALL OF FAMER PAUL SIMONON

VICIOUS WHITE KIDS | THE SEX PISTOLS TAKE ON ROCK ‘N ROLL & THE SOUTH

THE FILTH & THE FASHION | VIVIENNE WESTWOOD’S ’70s SEX RAG REVOLUTION

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ROCK & ROLL LEGEND EDDIE COCHRAN | 50 YRS GONE, BUT NEVER FORGOTTEN



ZIGGY STARDUST | YOU’RE JUST A GIRL… WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT MAKEUP?

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Brian Duffy photograph of David Bowie for the Aladdin Sane album cover, 1973. “Bowie’s sixth studio album marked the birth of the ‘schizophrenic’ character Aladdin Sane who was a development of the space-age Japanese-influenced Ziggy Stardust. To create the compelling album cover image, Bowie collaborated with photographer Brian Duffy and make-up artist Pierre Laroche. The result was one of the most recognizable images in popular culture– a ‘lightning flash’ design which has been reproduced in multiple forms world-wide.” via

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Unless you’re living under a rock (which may be the case if you depend on TSY for current affairs), there’s no way you could not feel the intense media blitz that’s happening around all things David Bowie. The release of the new single and album “The Next Day”…the 40th anniversary of Ziggy Stardust…the “David Bowie is” exhibit at London’s V&A…even the whole androgyny thing that’s sweeping the fashion scene bears his mark. Bowie is everywhere you turn, for chrissakes.

Look, there are those that revere Bowie as an ahead-of-his-time visionary who revolutionized Rock ‘n’ Roll. And there are those who see him very black & white, as a plodding opportunist who coldly studied what was happening around him (heavily borrowing from  true innovators at the time like Marc Bolan), and then expertly went about merchandising himself for mass commercial consumption. Both are fucking true. Bowie is an epic genius who learned through years of toil, trial, and error how to create a magical out-of-this-world persona and artistically sell it to us on a silver platter. No one has done it better in recent memory, and it’s unlikely that anyone in our lifetime will top him. Period. End of story.

There’s an incredible account by Glenn O’Brien in the recent issue of Out Magazine. Gay or straight, get over it, go buy it, and devour the entire spread on David Bowie. It is brilliant. You can read a chunk of it here after the jump. Now go– oh, you pretty things.

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 who revolutionized Rock ‘n-

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“David Bowie (AKA Ziggy Stardust) wearing a sensational creation by Kansai Yamamoto. Born in Yokohama in 1944, the Japanese fashion designer was only 27 when he held his first international fashion show in London in 1971. The Japanese division of RCA records made MainMan aware of Yamamoto’s work and Bowie purchased the “woodlands animal costume” from Kansai’s London boutique– which he wore at the Rainbow Concert in August 1972 and which was later remade by Natasha Korniloff. Bowie subsequently viewed a video of a rock/fashion show that Kansai had staged in Japan the previous year and reportedly loved the costumes which were a combination of modern sci-fi and classical Kabuki theatre. Kansai and Bowie met in New York where he gifted Bowie two costumes during the 2nd US Tour. Kansai was then commissioned to create nine more costumes based on traditional Japanese Noh dramas for Bowie to pick up in Tokyo in April 1973. These were the flamboyant androgynous Ziggy Stardust costumes Bowie wore on the 3rd UK tour in 1973.” via The Ziggy Stardust Companion –photo by Masayoshi Sukita, the David Bowie archive

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David Bowie as Ziggy Stardust –photo by Mick Rock via

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David Bowie as Ziggy Stardust –photo by Mick Rock via

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David Bowie as Ziggy Stardust for the Pin Ups album and promo material, 1973. –Photo by Mick Rock via

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David Bowie (as Ziggy Stardust wearing an eye patch) performs “Rebel Rebel” on the TV show TopPop in Hilversum, Netherlands, 1974. This was Bowie at the end of his Ziggy era. (Photo by Gijsbert Hanekroot/Redferns/Getty Images) via

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David Bowie as Ziggy Stardust –Photo by Mick Rock via

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David Bowie as Ziggy Stardust –Photo by Mick Rock via

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David Bowie as Ziggy Stardust rocking the famous platform boots from his Aladdin Sane tour.

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David Bowie and Mick Ronson on stage during the Ziggy Stardust tour, December 1972 / January 1973. Bowie is wearing a pair of platform shoes decorated with palm trees by Pelican Footwear, New York. –Photo by Mick Rock via

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David Bowie as Ziggy Stardust –Photo by Mick Rock via

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David Bowie on stage in Scotland during the Aladdin Sane tour, 1973. –Photo by Mick Rock via

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David Bowie on stage in Scotland during the Aladdin Sane tour, 1973. –Photo by Mick Rock via

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Lou Reed, Mick Jagger and David Bowie, Café Royale, 4th of July. 1973. “After the very last Ziggy gig at Hammersmith Odeon on 4 July 1973, came the Ziggy Farewell Party in Piccadilly. All kinds of characters showed up, including Ringo Starr, Jeff Beck, Bianca Jagger and Lulu, but David spent much of his time chatting and laughing with Lou Reed and Mick Jagger. From all the photos I took, you can see how focused they were on each other. Later Mick and Lou even danced together (I have the photo). The most famous photos are the ones with all three of them in a kind of cuddle and the shot of Lou and David about to kiss. This shot has only been published once previously.” –Photo by Mick Rock via

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David Bowie with Cyrinda Foxe, 1972. “Cyrinda travelled with us for part of the first Ziggy Stardust US tour. She’s the blonde in the now classic Jean Genie video that I directed. She was spawned by Warhol’s Factory and was a light-hearted fun person to be around. This shot is from a series of photos I took in some old bar in the Hollywood Hills. David liked it because it looked like something from an Edward Hopper painting. One of the shots was copied as an illustration for the original US Jean Genie single release ad. Recently it has been used on the picture disc limited edition re-release of the single, but in a colourised version.” –Photo by Mick Rock via

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David Bowie prays at the window, 1973. “Backstage, Scotland, May 1973. I’m not sure that he’s necessarily praying, but he’s certainly in deep contemplation, thinking no doubt about the continued vertical trajectory of his career! It’s one of my favourite shots of Bowie, although it took some 30 years for it to be published in my book collaboration with David, Moonage Daydream in 2002. It’s taken before the show, and from the light streaming through the window you can see that it’s still daylight. Quite often on that tour the gigs were in the early evening starting around 6pm.” –Photo by Mick Rock via

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David Bowie in make-up, 1973. “David was very adept at applying his make-up and did it himself mostly in those days. Lindsay Kemp had taught him the rudiments in the days when David had studied the art of mime with him in the late 60s. On his trip to Japan earlier in 1973 he had had met with Tamasaburo, the Japanese Kabuki star, who had given him a lot of tips on how to apply Kabuki-style makeup. David brought back with him a whole array of exotic make-up. In Moonage Daydream he writes, ‘I used to enjoy doing the make-up. It felt relaxing and put me in a kind of serene state before the show.’ The slew of photos I have of him applying make-up bear witness to his focused demeanour.”  –Photo by Mick Rock via

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BOWIE RONSON

David Bowie lunch on the train, 1973. “Taken on the train up to Aberdeen for the first gig of David’s final Ziggy tour, 15th of May, 1973. Another image that got lost in the archive until it finally surfaced in Moonage Daydream. I have a slew of photos on the train and in the stations of David in that amazing jacket. But the favourite one for fans is this one. Of all my limited edition fine art prints, this may be the one that has sold the most. Maybe it’s got something to do with the ridiculously ‘glam’ look of the magic duo and the obviously mundane nature of their British Rail lunch – lamb chops, boiled potatoes, peas with the bread rolls and pats of butter. But also perhaps something to do with the warm conspiratorial way they are looking at each other. They had the rock scene by the horns and they were savouring it!”  –Photo by Mick Rock via

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Who wouldn’t want to be there when Bowie met Warhol for the first time?

For OUT magazine by Glenn O’Brien

In 1971, David Bowie was having his Greta Garbo moment. On the cover of Hunky Dory, he looked a bit like her and sang a song called “Oh! You Pretty Things.” That was his vibe when he came to visit Andy Warhol at the Factory, on September 14, 1971. He was with his manager, Tony DeFries. They were in town to sign with a new record company, RCA, and Bowie wanted to pay homage to Warhol. Andy had been a hit in London in ’71 with his play, Pork, and Bowie had recorded a single, “Andy Warhol,” and he wanted to sing the song to Andy in person.

I don’t know if they had an appointment, but I remember someone saying, “There’s somebody here named David Bowie to see Andy.” I had been reading about Bowie and had heard The Man Who Sold the World. It had Bowie with long curly locks reclining odalisque-style in a vintage dress on the cover, and it only reached 105 on the Billboard charts. The Factory was the world’s HQ for drag queens at the time, and I thought that Bowie was jumping on the bandwagon. But something was in the air; hippies were wearing feather boas, and, unbeknownst to us, the New York Dolls were rehearsing somewhere. I said that Bowie was pretty famous and that we should, of course, let him in.

David had long hair and was wearing huge Oxford bags-style trousers, a floppy hat, and Mary Janes with one red sock and one blue — he was clearly aiming for a sort of eccentric androgynous look. I was immediately struck by his eyes, with their electric pupils. I was also struck by David’s wife, Angie, who looked more boyish than David and had quite a presence, and by the contrast of Tony DeFries, who looked like a Sicilian Elvis impersonator. Not very glam.

Bowie had studied with the famed mime Lindsay Kemp and had toured with Kemp’s company, so he certainly had the best mime credentials, but none of us knew quite what to make of the mime he performed for Andy. Then he sang “Andy Warhol.” I don’t think Andy could tell whether it was an homage or a send-up, with its rather ambiguous lyrics, but everyone was very nice and polite. I’ve recently seen the silent black-and-white video [of the visit]. The Factory’s video technique was even worse than its film technique, and I’m curious about the conversation I can be seen having with Bowie, my hair almost as long as his. I recall David asking me where he could get a copy of the Index Book and I recall that I had no idea what that was.

I don’t know what Andy thought of that day — probably not much, but he had that sense of judging a person’s self-esteem, and I think Bowie passed on that count. The next time I saw him was in London. RCA Records had gotten behind him big time, and, in 1972, they shipped a bunch of editors and writers over to see his new incarnation, Ziggy Stardust. It was a total transformation, with Bowie gone futurist with radical red hair, makeup, and Japanese designer clothes. It was fantastic. He was a new dandy prototype, a Beau Brummell for the publicity millennium. I saw the band play a great concert in a medium-sized hall in Aylesbury, and I hung out with David and his very friendly wife, Angie. We went dancing at Yours and Mine, a hip disco under a Mexican restaurant and, yeah, I danced with David Bowie. Fabulous!

Read the complete story here…

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“David Bowie is” — Victoria and Albert Museum

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ROBERT REDFORD ON TWO WHEELS FINDS HIS PROMISED SUNDANCE LAND

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 A very cool little insight below about how Robert Redford first stumbled upon his higher calling in life while riding his bike. Further proof that Four wheels move the body– but two wheels move the soul! More on Sundance later…

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ca. 1972 — Robert Redford, looking very Jeremiah Johnson here, on his Yamaha dirt bike — Image by Orlando Globey

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Robert Redford stumbled upon what would become Sundance while riding his motorcycle from his home in California to school at the University of Colorado in the 1950s and saw the totemic 12,000 foot Mount Timpanogos. “It reminded me of the Jungfrau in Switzerland,” he says. “It stuck in my head.”

He later met and married a Mormon girl from Provo, came back, and bought two acres of land for $500 in 1961 from the Stewarts, a sheep-herding family who ran the mom-and-pop Timphaven operation. Redford built a cabin and lived the mountain man life here with his young family when he wasn’t on set making his early films.

By the late 1960s, developers were beginning to change the face of Utah. Redford scrambled– using some movie earnings and rounding up investor friends to purchase another 3,000 acres, heading off a development of A-frames that would have been marched up the canyon on quarter-acre lots.

“I was determined to preserve this, but it was not bought with big money. That kind of development was the reason I left Los Angeles. So I bought the land and started the Sundance Institute before there was anything here. I was advised that I was out of my mind. But I wanted the perfect marriage of art and nature.”  

–By Everett Potter for SKI magazine, 2008

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ca. 1972 — Robert Redford, looking very Jeremiah Johnson here, on his Yamaha dirt bike — Image by Orlando Globey

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ROBERT REDFORD LAUREN HUTTON MOTORCYCLE PHOTO

Robert Redford and Lauren Hutton on the set of 1970′s Little Fauss and Big Halsy (a film that Redford would rather forget…) – Image by Stephen Schapiro

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Lauren Hutton And Robert Redford In 'Little Fauss And Big Halsy'

Robert Redford and Lauren Hutton on the set of 1970′s Little Fauss and Big Halsy (a film that Redford would rather forget…) — Image by Stephen Schapiro

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Robert-Redford-by-Orlando-Globey

ca. 1972 — Robert Redford on his Yamaha dirt bike — Image by Orlando Globey

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‘YOSEMITE’ SAM RADOFF | KUSTOM KING FLAMECOLOGIST, STRIPER & SCULPTOR

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yosemite sam radoff

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‘Yosemite’ Sam Radoff started customizing cars at the tender age of 12 yrs old– way before he was even old enough to drive! That was back in the mid ’50s, and he went by handle ‘Little Sam’ then. Some 45 years later Radoff is one of the most respected flamers (I love his ol’ crab claw flame jobs), pinstripers, and metal sculptors the kustom kulture scene has ever known. Dr. ‘Yosemite’ Sam, PhD (Phlame Doctor) has also produced custom motorcycle and pinstriping shows across the country.

Despite his vast exposure, he is not widely a household name like Ed ‘Big Daddy’ Roth, Kenny Howard AKA Von Dutch, Dean Jeffries, George Barris, Arlen Ness– but those in the know recognize and respect Sam Radoff as being just as important. His legendary work and countless awards over the years speak for themselves.

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yosemite sam radoff paint

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yosemite sam radoff motorcycle 126

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yosemite sam radoff motorcycle 120

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yosemite sam radoff motorcycle 118

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yosemite sm radoff motorcycle 122

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yosemite sam radoff motorcycle 124

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