A little while back I wrote a story called ‘The Sound of Music’, my friend Bernie on his motorcycle at Willow Springs and on stage playing guitar with his band ‘Turn 9’. The synergy of the two.
Last weekend while celebrating a friends birthday over some of Kentucky’s finest, we expanded the idea…matching up classic guitars with classic motorcycles or maybe iconic guitars and motorcycles. We started with a Gibson Les Paul mated with a Matchless G50 Single, perfect. A Fender Telecaster with an early model Harley Sportster..well, maybe? Then another perfect fit hit us, an Indian Chief with a National Steel guitar.
As the evening continued on and more Makers Mark was consumed, the match ups got better and more difficult. Now the disclaimer here…nobody in this discussion was riding or driving…we all have very tolerant,wonderful and sober wives.
I put this concept out to friends and got some good match ups..interestingly enough though, most of of the pairings involved Harley Davidson. Fender guitars used to place ads in magazines such as Surfer in the 1960’s featuring their guitars alongside either a woody, a Triumph Bonneville, even a little Honda step through..you remember them..”you meet the nicest people on a Honda”, and of course, a Harley Davidson Sportster.
Then the e-mails started coming. After sorting through them I pulled a few that I thought interesting. My friend John Wayne, yes thats his real name, is the best automotive exhaust guy just about anywhere..he knows sound and flow..his pairing was his own 1965 Harley XLH and his Gretsch Country Gentleman guitar. I liked it. Josh Chinn submitted his chopped ‘67 Triumph alongside his Fender Sunburst Telecaster, he even painted the bike to match the guitar. Next up was Susan Elliot from Chicago, her match up was her dad’s old Martin acoustic and his old Harley Electra Glide. She couldn’t remember the year of the bike or the guitar, they have both been sitting in her garage for almost 20 years since her father passed away.
And lastly…and certainly the best… Ian Livingston of Casitas Springs California..I hope you’re ready for this one…a 1959 Gibson Flying ‘V’ guitar and…and…his 1967…Vespa. I kid you not. I laughed so hard I scared my dog, but then, it made perfect sense. Why would that make sense you ask?? Ian used to live in Europe, played in a band and raced scooters. Too cool.
This is only the beginning of this train of thought..there have been a good number of friends who have come up with great motorcycles and music ideas. Some are old and worn out and some intriguing. Let’s see where this train takes us.