Sunday, March 22, 2015

Day in The Dirt 2015

Went to the annual Day in The Dirt at Ellesmere Speedway yesterday but it got rained out. We went last year and raced our bikes, but this year I didn't wanna risk getting hurt and not being able to go ride around the USA in 3 weeks! So I decided I'd go and film Joe and Bad racing instead. We got up early, drove all the way there, fucked about for a while, and then drive home. Pretty uneventful, but I wanted to try and do something with the footage because I'm still trying to suss out this Go Pro thang!? Filmed in glorious Shake-O-Vision... of course. (Soundtrack borrowed from the one and only Andre Williams – 'Bacon Fat', 1956)

Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Elusive Third Bike

Here then we have the third and final DR for our trip. James Tucker got this sorted for us in the weekend. He was slightly worried about it cause the guy selling it was some young punk, but hey it was cheap! And I'm pretty sure if SeƱor Tucker bought it it's gonna be ok cause methinks he has some pretty high standards? Higher than ours anyway!

This will be Joe's bike for the trip, I'm riding what James affectionately calls the 'Garage Queen', and Malcolm's on the dirty old dirtbike one. Apart from color they'll actually all look fairly similar once our mods, esp large tank on my one, have been done anyway. Here they all are together at James' place:

Pretty exciting seeing them sitting there waiting for us! Can't wait to hit the ground in LA and get to James and Colleen's place!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Our American Steeds (DR 650s... two down, one to go)

This USA/Baja trip is getting close and we have recently purchased two DR 650s via an agent of sorts in LA. A Mr James Tucker is our man on the ground over there, and he's been a real blessing in terms of getting our shit together for this trip. Funnily enough some guy I was emailing via Craigslist about buying his bike put me onto James, who I found through the ADVRider forum. It was kinda nerve-wrecking sending all our money to some guy we'd never met, but we'd checked his credentials (as much as you can from the other side of the world!) and he seemed legit! Actually he's more than legit, he's a god-send! He knows his DRs inside and out as him and his missus have a couple that they rode down to Argentina.

So yeah these are our first two bikes. The stock-standard white one will be getting a bigger 5.3 gallon desert tank, and we're looking at other bits and pieces now like luggage racks. I was keen to chuck an aftermarket muffler on mine, but just discovered the one I was looking at would have to be repacked fairly often given the type of riding we'll be doing, so fuck that!

Anyway the search is on for the third and final bike. All going well James Tucker will have our paperwork in hand when we get off the plane in LA! So excited I'm having trouble sleeping, it's like being a little kid again...

HFoS in Amsterdam!

Athenaeum Nieuwscentrum in Amsterdam is stocking/selling Head Full of Snakes! See their website here (and tell me what it says if you can read Dutch!?). If you're in this part of the world (and I know I've sent a few to Holland in the past) go get copies from them!

Also they interviewed me about the project. Interview is here.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Oliver Sacks 'On The Move'

Thinking about getting Oliver Sacks memoirs, 'On The Move: A Life' to read on our trip around USA/Baja? The blurb –

"When Oliver Sacks was twelve years old, a perceptive schoolmaster wrote in his report: “Sacks will go far, if he does not go too far.” It is now abundantly clear that Sacks has never stopped going. From its opening pages on his youthful obsession with motorcycles and speed, On the Move is infused with his restless energy. As he recounts his experiences as a young neurologist in the early 1960s, first in California, where he struggled with drug addiction and then in New York, where he discovered a long forgotten illness in the back wards of a chronic hospital, we see how his engagement with patients comes to define his life.

With unbridled honesty and humor, Sacks shows us that the same energy that drives his physical passions—weightlifting and swimming—also drives his cerebral passions. He writes about his love affairs, both romantic and intellectual; his guilt over leaving his family to come to America; his bond with his schizophrenic brother; and the writers and scientists — Thom Gunn, A.R. Luria, W.H. Auden, Gerald M. Edelman, Francis Crick — who influenced him. On the Move is the story of a brilliantly unconventional physician and writer — and of the man who has illuminated the many ways that the brain makes us human."

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Brit bikes doco

This is a really good 1hr BBC doco on British motorcycle culture. Really great to see something on motorcycles on the internet that is longer than 5 minutes, informative and watchable!

I was totally obsessed with the whole 50s/60s Rocker scene when as a teenager I got my first bike in the 1980s. Little did I know then that it (well cafe racers at least) would become such a big fad again now! It's nice to be reminded of what I liked about this stuff in the first place. I still think, despite being such easy hipster fodder, that the cafe racer is the ultimate motorcycle of the 20th century. Choppers get fucked!

Thanks Jimi for the link.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Article on 'Colors' magazine

Found this fairly informative write up on 'Colors Motorcycle Magazine' here today. It was a very short-lived (1970–71) thing and is really hard to find these days. I've cited this publication before in terms of precedents for Head Full Full of Snakes. In particular the use of color, the kind of dilettante compositional quality, but also the fact it was a very grass-roots publication that aimed to document something that wasn't going to be dealt with elsewhere, and was made by the people who it was also essentially aimed at... rather than a larger publishing company. It didn't last long but was, I believe, influential in 'Easyriders' being started, and obviously that became fairly huge (while turning into something quite different too, in my humble opinion!).

Thursday, January 29, 2015

USA and Mexico trip (part 1)

Started to make some loose plans last week for our upcoming ride around the West Coast of the USA, down into Baja and across to Mexico. Planning to document this trip and people we meet etc for the next issue of Head Full of Snakes. It may even end up being an 'American' issue (although haven't really talked to Stewy about that yet!)?

We're leaving in April, and while I'm planning to be away for 3 months the other lads (Malcolm, Joe, Darren) are doing a bit more than a month with me. We've been speculating about bikes for ages now. Originally I was thinking I'd buy something old, ride it round and bring it back. Then when these guys came on board we ended up thinking about getting newer more reliable bikes and riding a lot further. At that point we were thinking about newer Harley's, or even Hinckley Triumphs.  However we also started thinking about going to more and more remote places, and especially into deserts. This combined with my lack of funds (due to the fucking house sucking me dry!) has meant that lately we've been looking at 'big' dirt bikes.

The more we've been looking the more excited I'm getting about the prospects these bikes offer, even though it's obviously quite a shift from my original ideas for the trip. All my research seems to point to one bike – the Suzuki DR 650. Been checking heaps of forums etc, and where we'd been thinking about Honda XR650s originally, it sounds like the DRs are better for what we'll be doing in terms of on-road/off-road activity...

Something like this. There's a few already kitted out on CraigsList/Ebay, including this fucking awesome one here (below) with it's 8 gallon tank! ...
image 1

But it's a bit pricey for us at over $7k NZD! We'll picking up bikes in either LA or San Fran I guess so we're focusing our attention there in terms of buying. I've heard there can be problems for foreigners buying motor vehicles in the States, but apparently California has more lenient rules???

If there's anyone out there reading this who has any info at all that might help us on our way it'd be bloody awesome to hear from ya!? Info about buying bikes in Cali would be awesome, as would any info about great spots to ride on the West Coast, Baja, or Mexico. Again we're pretty keen to get off the beaten track where possible...

Will keep updates coming and will be documenting the trip to some extent on this blog I guess!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Death by Audio (Oliver Ackermann)

I was lucky enough to meet/visit this guy and get one of his pedals when I was in NYC in 2006. I think about him and his set-up now and then, so it was cool to see this short vid and be reminded that yes, yes he was pretty fucking choice.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Born Too Late 5

Born Too Late 5 is on real soon... 17th of Jan up in Auckland (actually just outside Auckland in a place called Kumeu). It's a fucking great show put on by some real top cunts and I've heard it may be the last one??? I dunno? Anyway I'm gonna be there and hopefully also gonna run a stall and sell some Head Full of Snakes mags. Been planning on riding up on the Norton, which is going great at the moment, but the bloody house renovations have me all fucked up, and I may end up just flying up to save the time. Regardless I'll be there, I'll have mags, and it'll be a great day out... see ya there.

More info here: BTL5 on Facebook

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Shakin' Evil Limbo Party (Introduction by Joe Wilson)

New band The Shakin' Evil Limbo Party playing our mate Joe Wilson's birthday party in the mountains last night...

Monday, December 1, 2014

The Hex Waves Halloween Show

I've been busy renovating our shitty old house lately and have barely touched a motorcycle. Have played a couple of shows though, one being this kick-ass Halloween party at the Henries warehouse. This is our newest song too, captured by our mate Warren on his phone or something? Thanks to Anna Dean for leaving her awesome multicolored spinning lightbulb behind!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Interview on Design Assembly

Here is an interview I just did for the folk at Design Assembly... in which I spill some beans about the whole Head Full of Snakes business...

(Photo: Self portrait of Stuart and me at the Ilam Press at about 2am in the morning while printing issue #3)

Saturday, November 1, 2014

New Norton Seat

Here – finally!!! – is the new seat for my Norton. This has been a long time coming. About 5 years ago now I bought another Commando seat off TradeMe with the intention of using the pan the make a slimmer version. Earlier this year I gave that seat pan to Marty Winders (who made the T150 breadbox tank fit my Thruxton) and he cut it down for me, welded new sides on, made up new brackets, and painted it. He did an amazing job and got it sitting just perfectly I reckon. I then shaped the foam using the old original stuff and passed it onto my secret upholsterer. I'd been thinking about using leather for this (still dunno if that's a good idea?) and he had some lying around so I went for it. I spec'd up the diamond pattern for him and within a week I had it back.

I was gonna take this bike to the Smash Palace Bike Show but a couple of things prevented that happening, and in the end I think it's good I didn't cause it's nowhere near 'done'. If you've been following this at all you'll know that this seat is actually supposed to go with the Hi-Rider tank I got out of India last year (which I mentioned here). I've been super busy lately and also Marty went to Philip Island Moto GP so the tank didn't get done in time for the show. I'm not at all worried though, cause I'm keen for it all to get done right. And the seat I can surely say I am fucking happy with! I'm really liking the rear end of the Norton now, especially when you sit on it – I love how low, tight, and skinny it all is, without being/looking overly customized. I had been worried that that long rear loop in the frame should have been cut off, but I'm actually strangely happy with the way it all looks now with the new tail light and seat.

2nd Annual Smash Palace Motorcycle Show

So yeah the show was yesterday and it was pretty damn good. This video here about covers it... it's by Jonathan Mackie. I took some footage actually, on my new Go Pro, but turns out there's more to them than point and shoot and my footage sucks. It's all shaky for a start, and then with the wide angle lens my bloody fingers are always in the shot!? Anyway thankfully someone else was on it.

You'll see a very brief moment in this of us (well actually it was Malcolm and Bad) running our Head Full of Snakes stall. It was pretty great, we sat there in the shade, drank beers, and sold shit! Sold a bunch of mags, sold left over t shirts from the Melbourne launch (these sold out before we even had our signs up!), and then sold heaps of the official t shirts for the show which Smash Palace had printed just this week. They came out real good and can still be purchased at the bar if you're keen.

Great day in the sun!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Smash Palace show TOMORROW!!!

The perfect way to spend that Haloween hangover – the 2nd Annual Smash Palace Motorcycle show is on tomorrow! Last year's ruled and this one's looking like it'll be even better. I'm gonna be there with a stall selling our latest issue and some t shirts we had made that feature the cover illustration. You'll also be able to get these Smash Palace T Shirts (above) which I designed... with a nod to both Danny Lyon and Windhand.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

2nd Annual Smash Palace Motorcycle Show

I've just done the poster for the 2nd Annual Smash Palace Motorcycle Show. Last year's show was pretty fucking awesome (see photos of it here), and this year's will no doubt kick some ass too. It's being held in various gardens around Paddy Snowden's amazing old house in Linwood this year. I went and checked it out and it's an amazing setting for a bike show.

Anyway there's risographed posters going up around town (hopefully?) and a bunch at Smash Palace for any of you who want some. Also we are planning to get some big ones screen printed... which we were gonna do last year, but ahhh yeah...

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Melbourne Launch at the Kustom Kommune

Big thanks to everyone who showed up for our launch last night at the Kustom Kommune in Melbourne. And an especially big thanks to Geoff and Jimi from the Kustom Kommune for having us! It's a pretty sweet fucking set up they have there (much of which isn't in these photos).

I believe a bunch of bikes showed up outside but as I was busy selling and fraternizing I didn't actually get a chance to get outside for a look or to take any photos.

Anyway #3 is now officially launched. We will be posting out all orders so far immediately starting tomorrow!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Melbourne Launch THIS SATURDAY!

Ok, details for Melbourne launch above! Issue 3 is our best yet, and it's not just me saying that... so ummm trust me, or something. It has a flexidisc by Moon Duo, and interview with Matt Machine, and a story about how my ex gets fucked over by some dude in India. I don't know how it could be any better? Oh hang on yes, it's got a fucking black cover. Like it's actually black, not just printed black, and it won't get all dirty from having your scarry mits all over it.

As if this wasn't awesome enough I'm coming over for the launch too, so I'll be able to shake your hand, autograph your arm, and get a photo with your baby.

5pm Saturday 20 September
The Kustom Kommune
25 Easy Street

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Issue #3 available from our website NOW!

It's alive! Head Full of Snakes issue #3 can now be purchased from our website here.

Copies will be posted straight away after the launch in Melbourne next Saturday 20 September.