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Posts Tagged ‘Aerosmith’

Harley's line Lake front road

Harley’s line Veterans Park

Many of you know riding is all about the camaraderie of the group.  For many it’s the main draw of having a motorcycle.  Fortunately we’ve got a great group of riders with years of experience and haven’t had the kind of chaos that can be associated with large group-riding.

That’s important because navigating around Milwaukee is like being a pro-snowboarder on Black Diamond bumps that go up, and those concrete cracks that go down and then being shot out of a half-pipe to change directions in mid-air.  I’ve never, ever seen Interstate, streets or roads so bad.  They are horrible!

The 110th post card photo

The 110th post card photo op

I ask folks about the roads and they would claim “allocations for street repair have gone up every year.”  My question is where did all those funds go?  Harley-Davidson doesn’t need a test track.  They can just drive across town and based on the conditions of the road check to see what fell off, was worn out or destroyed!

But, I’ve digressed…

The only thing that could have drowned out the V-twin roar in Milwaukee was the music.  Wow, five years ago, 45 bands played the Summerfest grounds across two days.

Summerfest

At Summerfest for Kid Rock Concert

This year for the 110th, Harley-Davidson added an additional day plus 21 more bands.  The motor company also expanded the number of headliners. Instead of building a separate venue in Veterans Park, as it did in 2008 for Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band and Foo Fighters, Harley opted for more headliner options, with Toby Keith on Thursday, Aerosmith on Friday and Kid Rock on Saturday.  Then H-D leveraged the Marcus Amphitheater for even more musical acts to play on five stages.

Pano of Milwaukee Skyline

Pano of Milwaukee Skyline

And they say classic rock is dead?!  Sure, not only are the children of the baby boomers pushing thirty, but there’s a whole new generation of kids who have never experienced free-form radio or sitting in front of the stereo listening to full length albums, and if you’re even in the slightest into music then Milwaukee was nirvana.

Near the Art Museum at Lake Front

Near the Art Museum at Lake Front

I captured a video of ‘Wille’ G., Bill Davidson and Karen Davidson, thanking all 110th Anniversary attendees for coming and they provided an introduction to the exceptional Kid Rock concert which also featured John Fogerty, but there was so much more.

There was the Doobie BrothersZZ TopDierks Bentley and Brantley Gilbert.  There was Chance the Rapper and Springsteen-inspired punk group The Gaslight Anthem.  The “Sons of Anarchy” star Katey Sagal, performed with her band The Forest Rangers.

Group at the H-D Museum

The group at the H-D Museum

And many local area acts ranging from Celtic punk group Whiskey of the Damned to Gabriel Sanchez and the Prince Experience. There was even a Mexican pop rock band Moderatto, which played at the Miller Lite stage.  There were acts including Shooter Jennings and North Mississippi Allstars who were booked for performances at the Harley-Davidson Museum and the bands such as Sick Puppies and Puddle of Mudd who played at the free street parties.

Bridge near H-D Museum

Bridge near H-D Museum

I’ve listed just a few and if that wasn’t enough competing with itself, the local Harley-Davidson dealers had bands playing all 3-days, including Aaron Lewis of Staind at the House of Harley-Davidson and Grand Funk Railroad at Hal’s Harley-Davidson.

Our group went on the factory tours and talked with H-D reps about Project Rushmore, the 2014 model year touring bikes that received significant refinements to shortcomings that us owners have lamented for years. H-D has encapsulating over 2,400 new part numbers, and customers were sourced for input on updates that included liquid-cooling, touchscreen GPS, infotainment, improved venting, aerodynamics and ergonomics.  The new touring motorcycles have a lot to offer and props to H-D for rolling out enhancements beyond the typical new paint schemes!

Pano of the H-D Museum

Pano of the H-D Museum

We also pre-purchased tickets to experience the museum which featured the first known Harley model in existence from 1903.  The museum has a truly fascinating collection of bikes, displays and some curious homage to Harley’s influence on pop culture and racing.

Inside the archive area of the H-D Museum

Inside the archive area of the H-D Museum

The history tour doesn’t gloss over the AMC troubled times as they were as much a part of the motor company’s legacy as were the high points.

Prior to departing the city we stopped at the Miller Brewery and enjoyed the tour, refreshments and talking to one of the workers who was working the weekend doing a network upgrade.  We got the inside scoop on the number of cases each employee has for a monthly allocation as well as where the employee pub is located for afterwork libations.  Sounded like a fun job!

The brewery tour.

The brewery tour

If you were unable to make the ride home to Milwaukee it’s difficult to realize the full scope of the celebration from a couple of blog posts or photos.  Our group was fortunate to have participated in the event and being there provides a unique perspective on how welcome and appreciative the residents of Milwaukee made us feel.  Sure I ranted a bit about the roads, but the highways were absolutely jam packed with Harley’s of all shapes and sizes pointed towards “home” in honor of a company for the most part that has excelled for 110 years.  Not many can say that about their history!  Regardless of where we live or where we ride, there were a few days in 2013 that bonded us all together with the heritage of a HOG.

Since 1988, Harley-Davidson started throwing these hometown birthday celebrations every 5-years.  The 110th has to be one for the record books in terms of attendees,  fewest accidents, number of musical acts and from my vantage the number of smiles on attendee faces.

Thank you H-D for a great 110th celebration!

Thank you H-D for a great 110th celebration!

Thank you Harley-Davidson for a great celebration and here’s to another 100+ years!

The 110th Anniversary Homecoming – Part 1 (HERE) and Part 2 (HERE).

110th Anniversary Accident Stats:  The final numbers are not published yet, but I found these initial statistics encouraging.  Approximately 100,000 riders arrived in the Milwaukee metro area over a 6-day (Aug 29 – Sept 1) celebration timeframe.  There was an average of 4.9 motorcycle accidents per day.  There were 28 motorcyclists transported to the trauma center during that timeframe.  There were no reported deaths.  Wisconsin is a helmet-optional state.

Photos by author.

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110-PostereditedSlicing open champagne bottles with a giant sword is an unlikely refinement that we’ll see during the 110th Anniversary.  That is unless you have a need for a new-motorcycle christening and want to get your hard-partying samurai going.

We’re about 50 days out from the big celebration where the Harley-Davidson 110th Anniversary team (marketing, general merchandising, communication, legal, etc.) have been negotiating rights to feed photos and sound to television stations for broadcast.  Not to mention all the work in venue agreements, performance contracts, vendor contracts, photographic rights, recording issues, publishing deals, leases and the list goes on and on.  Add to that the trademark team that’s traveled around to make sure the H-D marks are properly used and not infringed, and that when folks like me arrive (“customers”) we’re not buying counterfeit merchandise thinking H-D is selling inferior gear!  Yeah, there will be some tired H-D employees who will be looking forward to taking some time off after Labor Day!

I want to thank the H-D employees in advance.

110th Anniversary Commemorative Ticket + Museum Pass

110th Anniversary Commemorative Ticket, “Koochie” + Museum Pass

I received the 110th Anniversary tickets over the weekend.  I opted for the higher priced commemorative package thinking what was coming was gift-worthy or an elegant picture stand.  The package was small enough and arrived via the mailbox.

Unfortunately, the Harley-Davidson Anniversary team neglected to take a page from Apple and pay close attention to the unboxing experience.  When it arrived did it make me smile?  Sure.  Did it create a long-lasting positive experience?  No.  Hey, why sweat the small stuff, right… it was only $118!  And the aroma discharge from that “Koochie” thing is like having a set of motorcycle tires stored in your living room.  Nothing says your awesome like the smell of tire rubber in the house!

110th Anniversary Celebration Schedule Guide

110th Anniversary Celebration Schedule Guide

I’m not sure who from Harley-Davidson sat in a conference room, doing the most mundane task of simply opening an Anniversary sample package to see what the emotional response would be by customers.  But, I’ve digressed.

The 110th “ride home” is just around the corner and starting feel real.  Earlier this week Harley-Davidson announced a NEW two-day party ($79) pass.  It gets you into the Summerfest Grounds any two of the 3-days.  The music headliners (Aerosmith, Toby Keith, Kid Rock (each sold separately)) are an incremental $24.50 purchase.  There is a $95 three day pass and the upsell commemorative package.  I’ve also seen a Chrome Ticket Package online at $522.15 which must pay for a lake-front rental given that unobtanium price.  To be candid, I’m a little overwhelmed with all these pricing options being tossed around on the web, but it does eliminate potential negative feedback for not having enough pricing options.

And how about that “official” Harley-Davidson 110th Anniversary Mobile App (HERE).  Yeah, I’ve allowed H-D to use some memory space on the iPhone to buzz and blink me with updates over the next 50+ days.  Even if you’re not attending the anniversary event, I suggest downloading the app because H-D will be talking to your phone (via the app) and you can enjoy the festivity updates from the couch and avoid “social envy” while tweeting about all the $$ you’ve saved.

Ever wonder what’s it like when motorcyclists take over a town?   Noisy!

Poster photo courtesy of H-D and colorized by author.  Photos taken by author.

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Danny Gokey

Danny Gokey

Not the town famous for building the Harley-Davidson motorcycle, but I’m talking about Danny Gokey.   He made the top 3 on American Idol even after unleashing a cat scratch yelp that would have made Howard Dean (famous ‘Dean Scream’) proud!  The song he chose was one which Steven Tyler performed so well over the years… “Dream On.”

The iconic song was released as Aerosmith’s first single in 1973.  It achieved minor hit status on the initial release and climbed to #59 on the charts back in the day when radio meant something.  It made it to #6 when it was re-released in 1976.  Remember this was in the heady days of Thin Lizzy, 10cc, Ramones/Talking Heads and Steve Miller.

But I wanted to come clean as I did something I’ve never done before.  Anyone who grew up on Little Feat instead of Lil Wayne has probably done it. Maybe you were in a crowd of motorcyclists a little younger, and in a vain attempt to appear relevant you made the mistake of turning to a vernacular with which you were not comfortable.  Maybe you were even trying to be ironic, but still hip, when you blurted out, “’Sup, dawg?”

Sure it’s been made famous by Randy Jackson and is a non-descript term of endearment, but this so-called urban slang and phraseology only confirms that I just did a “drive-by” on African-American ethnic backgrounds.  It’s just another meaningless and hideous massacre of the English language they call ebonics.  Here’s the thing.  I don’t know about why I used it, but ebonic language is more often used by thugs or gangsta rap (like phat, hood, bounce, hoe etc.) artists as a way to express where they’ve come from or by youth at the suburban mall wearing the baseball cap sideways.  Neither of which I qualify.

I guess I was really feeling it last night.  Back to my peeples.. 

Photo courtesy Fox/Idol.

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red_wingAerosmith front man Steven Tyler was recently sighted at the New England International Auto Show.  During a press release he announced the Redwing Motorcycle company name (which he started) is no longer flying high.  The new name for the company is now Dirico Motorcycles which is named after Tyler’s brother-in-law (Marc Dirico) and the companies lead engineer.  It’s been widely rumored that Tyler received a “Dream On” letter from the Honda Motor Company legal staff. 

Steven Tyler

Steven Tyler

Biographer Laura Jackson reported about Tyler’s drug-fuelled ’80s and roller coaster life of excess – at one point spending over a million dollars on drugs – however, through numerous visits to rehab he has miraculously survived to continue performing and share his branding passions which range from Guitar Hero Aerosmith to custom motorcycles.  Don’t get me wrong, I think Tyler is one of the better singers of rock music and Aerosmith is in heavy rotation on my iPod.

But this celebrity branding thing is so 1980’s. The Dirico Motorcycles announcement is in my view a non-event!  Most of the stock motorcycle “enhancements” look to be superficial and a color palette with small details don’t equate to a $10K+ premium over an already inflated MSRP even from a rock and roll legend.  In this economy does anyone give a rip about the lifestyles of the rich and famous and their over inflated “works of art” viewpoints?

Read between the lines… this motorcycle company isn’t going to be about people who ink metaphors for their life into their own flesh.  If you live on the East coast, have seen a Redwing and have an alternate view I’d like to hear from you.

Photo courtesy of Redwing and Autoinsane.com web sites.

 

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I went online to check on CLUB H.O.G. 25 tickets.  They were suppose to go on sale today, however, they will now be free to H.O.G. members and one guest each. There was one part of the celebration that was previously announced was a paid concert featuring Aerosmith and Kid Rock.  Aerosmith canceled their performance at the H.O.G. concert due to medical reasons and does not have any other dates scheduled through the rest of the year. Due to this HOG will not be selling tickets for a separate concert inside Miller Park. Instead, Kid Rock will join the entertainment for CLUB H.O.G. 25 on the exterior grounds of Miller Park – a free event. Free is a very good price! 

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The H.O.G. group put up info (members only area) about the 25TH Anniversary Concert and Ceremonial Spectacular in Milwaukee, WI.   Their event is part of the 105th celebration at Harley Davidson. (Note: Photo courtesy H.O.G./Clay Patrick McBride) 

The H.O.G. event is Thursday, August 28th and includes a night of music and celebration with Aerosmith and Kid Rock. There is FREE admission to CLUB H.O.G 25 (the 25th Annual H.O.G. Rally) at the Miller Park exterior grounds (one guest per member). Just show your H.O.G. card and walk in.  But, you’ll need to purchase tickets for the music portion of the event. 

In keeping it so simple that even I can understand, the theme is the 25th anniversary so, concert tickets are just $25.  There are 40,000 seats available and will go on sale March 12th at 8AM CST.  

Set your timer if you plan to go.

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