Saturday, November 24, 2012

Kick-Ass Music On A Friday Night!

Last Friday was the 6th Anniversary party for The Bottletree Cafe here in Birmingham and it seems they had a show that was booked with me in mind. My all time favorite band is Southern Culture on the Skids and I try to see them every time they come to town. The last time I saw them was a couple of years ago so I was ready for another dose of SCOTS goodness. To make it even better Bottletree booked a band called Banditos as the opening act. To say they were good would be like saying water is wet. Allison and I absolutely loved watching them play and are planning to catch their next show in town.

Once Banditos left the stage my favorites hit the stage running and put on a great show as usual. It was full of the usual Rockabilly/Surf/Country fun that they always bring as well as the required antics of getting the crowd involved. There was even a Cramps cover tossed in and some Link Wray as well. I was lucky enough to get there early and be right up against the stage for all of this fun, although that spot did lead to me getting a hard shot right to the eyeball with a chunk of chicken during 8 piece box. Even with the pain that caused I still had a great time and can't wait for the next show. Allison had to get up early and go to work Saturday so I didn't get to hang out after the show but I did pick up a shirt on the way out. Check out the pics and get ready for your next chance to see either band. The stage lighting at Bottletree is pretty basic so the stage lighting is not good for pics. I got a few of them to come out OK, but I finally gave up and made the rest black & white so that you can actually see their faces.


Banjo player and sometimes singer.

This girl was crazy on stage and a lot of fun to watch. The bass player stayed in the dark background and looked like he stepped right out of a Dave Mann painting.

I think I saw her face for a total of 3 minutes the whole show.

The rest of the guys.

FINALLY got a look at her without hair aall in her face. Damn she can sing though!

The lead singer and he has a great voice as well.

The lead guitar player. This guy could wail on that telecaster and sings as well.


Dave is a great drummer, the man doesn't even sit down, he just stand there and plays his ass off!

The always lovely Mary singing her song.

Another shot.

I love all the expressions Mary gets while they play. Sometimes it's just the way she looks and sometimes it's her acting silly. I'm telling you this is one of the most fun bands ever.

Mary acts along with a lot of songs, in this case she was acting up and saw my camera so she posed just for me ;-)

This lady is at EVERY SCOTS show I go to and has gotten to know the band quite well over the years. Mary asked her to get up on stage with her and help sing "House of Bamboo".

At this point in the show the lights got redder or something because my pics are so red I tried to make them look good and had to give up and convert them to B&W. I kinda like it because they seem more dramatic to me.

Mary again.

Singing something else.

I TOLD you she makes faces!

Once again.

Looking all dramatic in this one.

Rick and Mary playing their show.

Rick giving it hell on that Danelectro. I've said it before and I'll say it again, Rick Miller is THE most under-rated guitar player in music today.

AND he's quite the showman.

You can tell Rick still loves to play shows.

Classic Rick guitar face.

Having a good time during 8-piece box.

Girls love to get on stage and throw stuff.

Doing a jig. right around this time is when I caught the chicken chunk with my eye.

After a couple of songs for an encore they left the stage and we headed home. Like I said, they are a fun band and a lot of fun to watch. Check em out when you can.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Bama Swap & Drag

Wow! I have been slacking lately and am way behind with this page. Hopefully I can get caught up over the holiday this weekend. I guess to start with I'll tell you about the great time I had over the Veterans Day Weekend. Ricky  (Rick's Cycle Shop) & Michael Lewis (Violent Choppers) decided a while back that we needed a good swap meet here in Alabama so they decided to make it happen. If I remember right this is the third time to hold the swap and it was the biggest and best one so far. The site is a drag strip in Section, Alabama and is a great place to play. During the day the track is open and everyone was free to make as many passes as they wanted to. You could race someone or go by yourself. All that mattered was that you had fun and got through safe. The swap itself catered to motorcycles and old cars. There was a lot of good deals to be had, but since all I need is an oil tank I didn't find much. I DID have a good time though hanging out with folks.

JT and I rode up on Sat morning and met up with my fellow Inbreds as well as Roadside Marty from Florida, the Hate City Customs crew from Atlanta, AJ, Josh, Josh's Wife from Mississippi and I can't forget Brian from Gadsden. I also got see one of my favorite photographers Benji Laney (MotorCulture Art & Design) and the rest of his cronies including the world famous Flounder. I finally met spACEy from Mississippi after seeing his posts on the Back Talk forum for a million years and talked to him about stuff for a while.

But that's enough name dropping, basically we all walked around looking for deals and hanging out watching people blast down the drag strip. I only got one bike feature photographed, but it's a good one. The best thing happening on the track was Phil from Endless Cycles in Georgia. He was blasting around on what APPEARED to be a chopper, but apparently HE thought it was a dirt/drag bike. Every time I turned around he was jumping something, sliding the rear around or blasting down the drag strip. I think he had more fun that the rest of us combined. Things finally wound down and most folks packed up to leave. A bunch of us stayed and camped out for the night. It got cold, but my camping gear was up to the task. It was kind of wild though because a pack of coyotes and a pack of wild dogs roamed around getting into the trash while we were trying to sleep and then a couple of stupid roosters started crowing around 3 a.m. We finally got up, had breakfast at Cracker Barrel then headed on toward the house. All in all it was a great weekend and I can't wait for the next one.

Chewy, Jessica and Jeremy from Hate City. It's ALWAYS fun when they're around.

Not sure who this was, but he was trying over and over to race Nate on the knuckle and every time it seemed something happened to him.

Nate from Gadsden and his sweet old knucklehead. He rode up to the Bastard Bash with us and in general does not baby this bike, he rides it.

The world famous Bean're. Finally got a copy of his book and had him sign it. Apparently he CAN remember how to spell my name without my help. :-P

Larry, AJ, Brian and Chewy hanging out.


Michael Lewis and Brother Roadside.

This little guy wanted to make sure his ride was looking sweet for the ladies.

Inbred Bill looking for a deal. He found a couple of damn good ones too. AND Phil let him make a couple of passes down the strip on the Dirt/Drag/Chopper.

Yeah, Phil even managed to toss him self off the bike a couple of times too.

Sorry for the shortage of photos. I've been busy with work and am trying to edit pics on my tablet and it takes longer. I'll get back on the regular computer and post more pics later.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Trying This Out From My Tablet

I'm trying to learn how to do this from my tablet so that maybe I can actually keep this place updated a little better. Let's see how it works.
Bill Looking for Deals
Phil playing on his dirt/drag/chopper

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Gymkhana in Birmingham

Gymkhanas are a cool thing to do. I know some of y'all are thinking of the 80's karate movie, but that's gymkata. This is different. The idea is to set up courses in a clear lot and then try to ride them and get better at them all the while getting better at riding YOUR bike. In Alabama we have an internet group called that is a great site to visit to find some really cool rides in the area or just to talk to other folks who like to get out and wander. They are also connected with which is the American Motorcycle Gymkhana Riders Association. A few weeks ago these folks set up an event at the old Century Plaza shopping mall and invited riders to come out and have some fun as well as get better at riding. I've been talking about going to one of these, but JT finally got me to actually get out and do it. I'm glad I did. The day's weather was not great, but for real riders it was fine. It was overcast, cold and windy, but I've ridden in much worse so off I went.

When I arrived I was greeted at the sign up tent/entrance where I was asked to fill out a few basic forms and was given the run down on how things operate. The first thing you do is roll over to the practice/test area where you can run the circles they have set up to practice or even go make circles around a light pole if you're that bad at it. Once you think you're ready one of the folks running the event watch you make circles. The obstacle is a cone with a circle of cut in half tennis balls. You make circles around the outside of the circle both clockwise and counter-clockwise then you do it again on the inside of the tennis balls. Once you accomplish this and they are satisfied that you can at least control your bike they let you go over to the fun courses.

They had 3 courses set up for riders to ride. One was a small figure 8 and it was the only timed course. The others were a lot longer and more involved, but you ride them at your pace and the idea is to just become a better rider. The figure 8 is where you  can actually see your improvement though, it consists of 5 laps around the course and exit. My first run I did it in 1 minute and 7 seconds. I was being careful and got comfortable. My next run I did it in 47 seconds, the fasted time of the day was 33 seconds and it was on a small bike. I'm pretty sure I got the "most improved in one run" prize ;-) I also had one of the fasted times for a cruiser style bike. JT on his Nightster got his bike into the low 50's but the height of his bars slowed him down. He got faster when he leaned the bars back, but it felt weird and the point of this is to get better with the bike you ride in the configuration you ride it in.

Later on things started to wind down and a few people started to play, but even then things were done in a safe manner and at no time was anyone in any unnecessary danger from someone else's antics. Basically it was a fun day and I learned that I do know how to ride my beast and I plan to do this again on my Triumph and my Flyrite if I ever get them ready to ride on a weekend when they are running one of these. Check it out if you can and have some fun while learning some stuff too.

JT waiting to do a run on the figure 8

JT riding the figure 8, you can see someone on one of the other courses in the background.

JT on the 8 again the next course was long enough that more than one person could ride it at a time.

JT again

When you weren't riding you could stand around and talk about bikes or swap ideas on how to get faster.

Everyone is welcome as you can see

My bike resting after my run.

I wasn't the only one taking pictures.

There were 3 courses set up beside each other in this stretch of parking lot.

Everyone was having fun riding all kinds of different bikes.

One of the two fastest bikes of the day.

Looking across the courses.

It was fun to watch him ride this monster. It can lean much farther than most people think.

My last shot of the day. Like I said, everything was safe and we all had some fun.