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Posts Tagged ‘Jesse James’

Screen Shot 2016-08-10 at 10.42.54 AMNot long ago Jesse James of West Coast Chopper (WCC) fame left California for the more gun-friendly state of Texas.

On the motorcycle front there’s no denying that he is a master marketer and craftsman.  But, motorcycle craftsman to custom firearms entrepreneur?  Not everyone was thrilled.

Keep in mind that it’s been 16 years since Discovery channel chronicled his every move in Motorcycle Mania.

Meanwhile, some in the firearms community were reluctant to accept his custom line of guns (JJFU — Jesse James Firearms Unlimited) as anything other than being overpriced “customization.”  But, hand-made firearms blended with multiple layers of different metals in Damascus style craftsmanship is an art form and now with months of product backlog after a couple years of forging his own work, those allegations don’t hold true.

Now the National Rifle Association announced a new licensing deal with Jesse James that will venture into Second Amendment-themed apparel with a branded clothing line called NRA Originals.

The Jesse James “outlaw persona” has without a doubt gathered a fan base over the years and one the NRA is looking to tap into.

Photo courtesy of NRA Originals web site.

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Eric Bischoff Web Site

You might be interested to know that if it wasn’t for Hulk Hogan, we wouldn’t have The Devils Ridea parody TV show about an outlaw motorcycle club that is produced for the Discovery Channel by Bischoff Hervey Entertainment.

Yeah, I did it.  I just connected the dots of Lex Luger, Ric Flair, “Hollywood Huckster” and the Giant… to a semi-glorified American motorcycle TV show.  It’s a long read, but click HERE for the details.  I’ve previously laughed at the Devils HERE.

It turns out that Eric Bischoff, one of the Executive Producers of The Devils Ride along with Jason Hervey, was instrumental in redefining the WCW wrestling landscape with clowns, midgets and other outlandish characters and has now applied his wrestlemania ‘magic’ to a TV show about the world of motorcycle clubs and the sometimes simple-minded members of San Diego’s — The Laffing Devils (LDMC).

Clearly with today’s lowest common denominator of TV viewers we face a real crisis in mainstream society’s media preferences.  The measurement bar was on the floor, but everyone wants it lowered!  Just when you think it’s become increasingly difficult for producers to insult the intelligence of the American public the Discovery Channel announced this week that the Laffing Devils is officially a hit after only six episodes and it has been renewed for a second “season.”  Is it futile to hope that none of the original cast members return?!  For Discovery Channel, David Pritikin is Executive Producer of The Devils Ride.

David Pritikin – Discovery Channel Executive Producer of The Devils Ride.

As the competition for the stupidity dollar grows ever more fierce The Discovery Channel has repeatedly stated that the television show is about a “real” club.  They even brought in the real and apparently retired Hells Angel Rusty Coones.  Coones is the former President of the Orange County (California) charter of the Hells Angels.  Back in June 1999 he was arrested on federal drug charges and sentenced to eight years in prison. One of his defenders with an 8-minute attention span limit was celebrity bike builder Jesse James who married Sandra Bullock, then divorced, but in his spare time somehow made some Hollywood business connections. After he got out of prison Coones with the help of James connections made some show business connections, too.

So for viewers who need to be spoon-fed credibility, one episode of The Devils Ride featured Coones sending a group of Laffing Devils to repossess a bike for him in Las Vegas. It’s unconfirmed, but one could speculate that Coones was compensated for his appearance.  With a lot of free time in prison Coones continued to play the guitar and also began writing songs. He now plays lead guitar for a heavy metal group named Attika7 and is an owner at Illusion Motorsports.

No-one is better at pandering to an outlaw image or their bad tendencies than Kurt Sutter, so the Attika7 songs have been placed in episodes of the Sons of Anarchy (SOA) TV show.  Meanwhile Coones appeared in a second episode to play with his band in the Laffing Devils’ new club house where they all seem to smoke expensive cigars while sipping expensive glasses of wine.

Thank you Discovery Channel you complete me!

Clearly it’s all about this symbol —  $$$ — because the old fashion stuff like ethics, morals and honor are way down on the list for a TV producer.  It’s interesting to note that the trademark registration for “Sinister Mob Syndicate MC” was filed by Bischoff Hervey Entertainment Television, LLC of 1754 14th Street in Santa Monica on May 18, 2012. That application listed Tommy “Gipsy” Quinn, the founder of the Laffing Devils as the last listed owner of the mark. However, that application was withdrawn and re-filed on May 24, 2012 without Mr. Quinn’s name.  I smell a new round of t-shirts and hoodies for the very lucrative stupid-person market.

Photo’s courtesy of Eric Bischoff web site and Twitter

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Hollywood (circa:1921)

In Hollywood, morals clauses began cropping up starting in 1921, when silent-film star Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle was accused of raping and accidentally killing a young actress at a wild party in San Francisco.  A series of scandals led to popular outrage and calls for censorship.

A morals clause allows a buyer to bail on a contract if a star’s conduct is detrimental to the buyers interest.

In the late 1940s, morals clauses provided a convenient out for studios looking to get rid of suspected communists in Hollywood.  For example Ring Lardner Jr. was among the “Hollywood 10” who were notified that their studio deals were being dumped under the morals clauses.  These days there are other forces that push on top stars as an actor who has a ‘history’ can be much riskier to employ because bond companies generally don’t want to insure a motion picture or TV show that depends on such a person.

And speaking of morals, communists and conduct being “detrimental to a buyers interests” we have TV personality of defunct West Coast Chopper fame and Austin Speed Shop owner, Jesse James –  a heartwarming story of a man who dresses up in Nazi garb (a joke he states), cheats — repeatedly — on his universally beloved wife with a tattooed stripper, the Amish-raised Michelle “Bombshell” McGee, but turns it all around and gets engaged to yet another tattoo enthusiast, Kat Von D (a.k.a. Miami Ink).

So in a world where words speak volumes, Gallery Books, a Simon & Schuster imprint determined that a Jesse James memoir is what you’ve been waiting for and is going to hit bookshelves later this year.  James who writing experience is limited to, uh, well, nothing I can think of will write the tell-all book for those fans that want to know all the details about re-hab, his infidelities and how he found true love.  The memoir is called “American Outlaw” not to be confused with the movie of a similar title, but it looks like bad is good again!

And speaking of tattoo chronicles… Kat Von D has her own illustrated diary that offers up an intimate look at her life and art.

Photos courtesy of Kat Von D, and Ralph Barton/Vanity Fair (circa 1921).

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Halloween Motorcycle Ghosts

As Halloween approaches, I decided to ponder: What strikes fear into the hearts of Harley-Davidson executives all over the land?

To answer that question, I peeked into a crystal ball, reviewed the Christine O’Donnell ad on “witches” and met with a couple carneys on voo-doo to peer into the subconscious of the motorcycle company’s most powerful execs and see what goes bump in their night.

To be clear: Some of these nightmares clearly stretch the bounds of reality, but some have a level of plausibility. They range from trivial worries to scenarios that could bring down an entire company. Read on to find out about Harley-Davidson executives’ nightmares:

CEO Starts Shooting Black-and-White Commercials: An attempt by Keith E. Wandell (CEO) to humanize the company, explain its brand value and reverse the damage which was done by the glaring hole in his garage when he admitted after being hired in 2009 that he didn’t ride a Harley-Davidson or even have a motorcycle endorsement — he has since rushed out and bought one, placed a yellow one on display in his office, obtained a “Rode Mine to Sturgis” patch and rumors are he’s ordered a 2011 model.  The CEO as pitchman in commercials is not exactly a new concept.  Just look at Sprint who seemingly cornered the market with classy, black-and-white appearances and what it did for them.

H-D Factory Employees Ride BMW: The nightmare manufacturing scenario is this: Matthew S. Levatich (President and COO) calls an all-hands meeting and scores of manufacturing personnel show up riding BMW’s new K1600. Not only would it be a rebuke of the company’s own philosophy, but it would be another sign that H-D’s bet on union workers in WI., was at a dead-end.

H-D Restarts Side-Car Manufacturing and No One Buys Them (Again): John A. Olin (CFO) doubles down on the H-D investment as the marketing efforts were not enough to sell a sidecar-challenged public the first time around, but this time side-cars will have a renaissance comeback.  Or the company hopes so.

H-D Brand Falls Off Top 100 List: Mark-Hans Richer’s (CMO) continued branding efforts to market motorcycles that boasts history over flash results in Harley dropping from the Top 100 Global Brands.  In 2010, H-D went from #73 to #98 — a 24% drop in popularity and brand value. Finding another Malcolm Forbes or Jesse James out there who can provide their personal endorsement will help improve the motorcycle brand value and might keep it on the top 100 list?  In the mean time more advertising is in the pipeline that will lead the public to think that if you own this product you too will be cool.

Fed’s Apply GM Like Pressure On H-D To Be Green(er): Jon Flickinger, (President & COO of Buell) says that H-D being a “tree-hugger” is not the first thing that comes to mind. But, just as President Obama has told our CEO during their lunch meetings, the greenhouse standards will become tougher and H-D will need to aggressively adopt new ‘green’ codes for its factory and dealer network inorder to meet the U.S. Green Building Council’s L.E.E.D. certification.  In addition they will add a new electric motorcycle to their product line, based on the Sportster Family.  Lastly and for good noise measure the company will implement California’s, SB 435 law early — on all 2011 models — which requires all street motorcycles built after 2012 to have EPA-labeled exhausts.

Secret Motorcycle Design Found At Museum Teambuilding Scavenger Hunt: Willie G. (Chief Designer) celebrates his design team accomplishments in an elegant 1920’s style glam and glitter – “the new beginning of the motorcycle” – party with everyone’s family in attendance that was hosted by the H-D Museum.  Some H-D employees dressed in the era of 1920’s to 1930’ in their caps, knee socks and knickers to remind people what it was like during the ‘roaring’ yesteryear. The feeling was eerie and mysteriously exciting all at the same time.  The employee’s children participated in a pencil and paper design contest of which an 8th grader defined the motorcycle shape that will be used to create all future motorcycle styles.

Merger Madness: Joanne Bishmann (VP Communications) is weaving a compelling story and spinning the news how Harley-Davidson is pressured into a merger in order to save the company from further manufacturing cuts and/or collapse.  H-D sells 49% of its shares to Daewoo Corporation in exchange for a much needed influx of capital and to pay off the $6B in debt.  Hyosung Motorcycle director, Mr. Ji Jas Ryong (pronounced “jus wrong”) says “We do not expect to change anything with the famous look of the H-D product, other than the logo, in fact we consider it an honor to include it along side Hyosung premium sport bike line.”

What are your thoughts?  Are there other H-D nightmares out there?

Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures (Ghost Rider) This blog post is satire and entirely fictitious.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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They are an old school gang.  They are extremely violent.  Beatings and black eyes are standard.  The group has turf where they make their money with drug sales and other enterprises and while in pursuit of those sales they are very territorial with much of the violence being against adversarial clubs. No one knows that an undercover ATF agent infiltrated the organization and are about to “green-light” a takedown of the worst of the worst criminals.

If you didn’t now better you’d think I was referring to a seminal moment in American law enforcement history, illustrating the courage and determination to take down an outlaw motorcycle organization.  I’m not.  I’m talking about the FX television series “Son’s of Anarchy,”  which begins the third season tonight.  Creativity and careers means viewers will continue to tap into a fantasy… who doesn’t want to be a biker outlaw, right?

Open a refreshment and escape to the little Charming town sans cookie-cutter condos with foreclosure notices as the club bashes some heads into concrete and piles up the bodies.  The series isn’t your typical script where the writer-producer phoned it in and wrote a review saying so. I’ve never met writer Kurt Sutter (@sutterink), but media reports state he is arrogant, rants about authority, and was denied by Emmy.  I think he is a shrewd marketer of misbehavior.  Any “noise” he generates in the blogosphere helps in terms of show profile.  And isn’t that all that matters in the end?!

It’s more expensive than ever to create a hit that few people care about.  Last season “Son’s” drew an average of 4.5M total viewers (Nielsen Co.).  Clearly not insignificant, but in this overexposed wave of Idol insta-stardom it has a minor place atop the TV media pile.  Season 3 picks up with:  A member of the True IRA club who has stolen the infant son of Jax Teller in retribution for… I don’t remember now.  The same Irish dude also terminated Half-Sack in one of the episodes.  Then Gemma shot Polly for kidnapping her and enabling a rape and then… now I’m confused as the plot line has more turns than a day time soap opera.  Where is that URL to the Son’s Wikipedia page?

I hope Sutter remains true to the setting without becoming stereotypical in Season 3.  We know it’s hard work as you deal with everybody’s prediliections.  After all, Jesse James has taught us the all important lesson of keeping our infidelities to a manageable number and the OCC boyz have shown that the first step in turning your life around is to do the right thing for your family.

I don’t have a Kurt Sutter man-crush, but here are some previous SOA blog posts made over the last 2 years: OMG New Media Darlings: Men of Mayhem; Bikes, Bullets & Brawls; Mail Room of Life; Bottling Ideas; Be Good & You’re Lonely; Sutter Shout Out; Season 3 Ideas

Photo courtesy of FX/L.A. Times/Gary Friedman.

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Harley-Davidson Facebook "Wall"

“Messy” Jesse wants to reunite with Sandra.  Mel “The Raging Ranter” Gibson is on the phone, again [THREE EXPLETIVES DELETED BY THE EDITOR DUE TO BEING VULGAR!!].  Bristol and Levi are back together.  The American Idol summer tour starts soon and The Bachelorette is close to selecting her dream man!  As if there is such a thing because Maricar “The Whip-Cracking” Dominatrix has been passed around more than a lumberjack camp salt shaker!

I’m thinking that free speech isn’t free because I have to REALLY work my brain to tune out all of this so-called “news”…

And speaking of short attention spans.  Yesterday, Facebook hit a new milestone; it reached 500 MILLION monthly active users (i.e. within the last month, 500M unique users have logged in).  That’s not the same metric as the number of registered users/accounts on a system i.e. Twitter’s 100M registered users, it’s 500M monthly active users.  That’s huge.  Also from the stats zone approximately 70% of Facebook users are from outside of the U.S., they average 130 friends, are connected with 80 pages (groups and events), post 90 pieces of content each month and spend over 700 BILLION minutes per month on the site.

Harley-Davidson Facebook "Info Page"

In a world of readily-available stimulation, where you can flip the remote or click a different link if you don’t like what you’re experiencing now, it’s really darn difficult to keep the attention of the public with mediocre product.  Motorcycle companies address this problem by adding bells and whistles, by doing their best to dazzle web surfers.  But this is akin to a wreck on the highway, you slow down to check it out, then you forget it.

So what about Harley-Davidson’s social media activity?  Is it an original that sparks rider inspiration or do you think it’s just another rendition of syndicating corporate messages?  I became interested in that question which brought to mind whether social media and specifically the Harley-Davidson Facebook page makes riders dumber?  Or smarter?  The H-D Facebook page has more than 956,000 fans.  I don’t think it’s a big stretch to suggest that some of the interaction with/or the overzealous status updates reflect more on folks who are in self-destruct mode, either by being excessively confessional or who foolishly post the bizarre and want to be in the limelight for 5-minutes of fame as dumbing-down riders.

Harley-Davidson Facebook "Events Page"

Don’t get me wrong, I like Facebook, I’ve reconnected with old friends and can easily keep in touch with current ones.  But motorcycle companies are fighting for your attention.  And people get angry if you jump in front of them with classic “stiff” marketing and demand it.  It’s like begin cut off on the highway.  You want to beep the horn or project the middle finger, you’re anything but open to being nice to the driver.  The internet democratizes access to information.  Suddenly the largest cost driven American motorcycle manufacture looks no better than a smaller independent motorcycle manufacture or the one-man customizer.

Yes, if someone’s truly interested, if they’re hooked, they’ll give you untold hours of attention.  But you’ve got to be good.  People don’t dedicate time to train wrecks, they invest in quality.  But that’s harder to come by.  Which is why some companies seem to blame the audience rather than look internally at their mediocre offering.

Photos courtesy of H-D and Facebook.

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Maybe a more appropriate headline is “The Biggest Loser: Jesse James?”

West Coast Choppers CEO, Jesse G. James alleged infidelities surfaced this week.  It took the news cycle off Health Care for about 5 minutes.  But, could Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), “a pervasive pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration, and a lack of empathy” have played a part?   I have no factual information suggesting James has NPD, but the symptoms seemed relevant.

Here’s the 411.  A tattoo model by the name of Michelle “Bombshell” McGee (I don’t make this up!) has told In Touch magazine that she had an eleven-month affair with Sandra Bullock’s husband (i.e. Jesse James), while the actress was filming The Blind Side in 2009.  In the interview Ms. McGee stated that she was told that James and Bullock were no longer together:

“I would never have hooked up with him if I thought he was a married man. He gave me the impression they were separated.”

Quick to see the “Tiger Effect”, Mr. James issued an apology earlier today to his wife and three children, taking full responsibility for the lapse in judgment:

“The vast majority of the allegations reported are untrue and unfounded. Beyond that, I will not dignify these private matters with any further public comment.  “There is only one person to blame for this whole situation, and that is me. It’s because of my poor judgment that I deserve everything bad that is coming my way.  “This has caused my wife and kids pain and embarrassment beyond comprehension and I am extremely saddened to have brought this on them. I am truly very sorry for the grief I have caused them. I hope one day they can find it in their hearts to forgive me.”

Reports out of L.A. suggest, “Miss Congeniality” has left the couple’s SoCal home and canceled her appearance at the U.K. premiere of The Blind Side.  Who would blame her?  For Jesse’s part, the shame caused him to abruptly shut down his official Twitter account and cancel a previously arranged meeting with custom builder Cyril Huze.

Unfortunately all this breaks at a time when James is in a bitter battle with his ex-wife and porn star Janine Lindemulder over the custody of their daughter.  Sure this post borders on entertainment gossip, but Jesse James is a bell weather celeb in the custom motorcycle industry.  Ignoring it would be irresponsible.  Let’s hope for the best.

UPDATE: 02 April 2010 — It’s being reported that Mr. James has checked himself into Sierra Tucson in Tucson, AZ.  It’s a “re-hab” center which is all the rage these days among celebrities for seeking treatment from sex addictions to alcohol abuse.  It’s hard to not be cynical when they blame what often  looks like phony addictions to escape the media spotlight.  I wish him a speedy recovery.

Photo courtesy of In Touch Magazine.

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