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Posts Tagged ‘Open Road’

long-road4I’m going to just put this right out there.

I’ve grown tired of this special level of dampness and moisture falling from the sky!

After a teaser dry and summer-like start – yeah, the usual shrill voices started to whine about a drought after two days – May took a sharp right turn and began dumping winter rains and providing us with well below average temperatures.  Earlier this week we had 1.19 inches of rain at PDX that not only set a record for the date, but was the rainiest day of 2013.

Adding to the buckets of moisture were 7 reporting stations in the state that set record low maximum temperatures with Portland recording a high of 50 degrees, smashing the previous record of 55 degrees.  It tied the record for the 3rd coldest maximum temperature since record keeping began in 1940.

I was thinking about this and noted the condition of my wiper blades while getting gas at the local Shell station when the kid from “Cali” stated he was just starting to get use to the two weeks of sun and a couple days of rain.  Being somewhat agitated about having to endure weeks of the Portland Fluoridista ad’s, I reminded him of the fact that in Oregon we don’t fluoride our water, we don’t get out in the rain (or sun) to pump our own gas and we never, ever vote for sales tax.  I didn’t intend to go-off on mini-rant and realized that I should have been satisfied that the kid put out his cigarette in a timely manner and stopped texting on his cell phone long enough to take my credit card and put the spiked-price fuel nozzle in the tank.

If you’re not from here, you won’t understand.  But, I’ve digressed.

This weather reminded me how much I appreciate summer riding and that I’m longing for the immensity of the open road and voices in the wind.  I’m ready for it to be here already!

Photo taken by author.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog
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Let’s be clear.  Lady Gaga (a.k.a. Stefani Joanne Anglina Germanotta) grates on me.

Her lifetime achievement of ten songs are not only a derivative, but uninspired.  More on music later.

She’s been everywhere: award shows, gay-rights rallies, magazine covers, stadiums, YouTube, Letterman, SNL, Grammy’s, etc.  She consistently makes headlines for wearing outrageous outfits – a meat dress here, a spiky scepter there – and for spouting sound bites such as, “I can mentally give myself an orgasm” or “I smoke a lot of pot when I write songs” … it’s gag-a, gag-a all the time.

She is clearly a celebrity overexposed and should just go away.  But, her “little monsters” are goo goo over gaga and won’t let that happen so, what to do?

Call Mark-Hans Richer to suggest he create and capitalize on a “Sputnik Moment” as President Obama evangelized.  So here it is… drum roll please…the headline would read: Harley-Davidson signs Lady Gaga to an endorsement deal!  I can’t think of anyone else other than Lady Gaga who cuts across multiple gender identities, social boundaries, is an erotic taboo breaker, a mainstream manufactured product who claims to be singing for freaks, the rebellious and the dispossessed.  If there ever was a Harley-Davidson brand ambassador she would be it!

So, I put the question out to the Northwest Harley Blog think tank (a.k.a. my pet cat Smurf!) and the name H-D: Lady Gaga Edition rose to the top.  A close second was Lady Gaga: Dare To Be Different clothing line.  Honestly I think Lady Gaga’s fashion style is weird and qualifies her for worst dressed, but what do I know?  My fashion wardrobe is mostly black t-shirts.  However, the youth crowd demographic — which H-D desperately seeks – see’s her as agent provocateur.

Now I could wax on about some ideas of a limited edition, “Bites of Enlightenment” Sportster model with Beef Jerky strips as the paint theme or “The Fame Monster” FatBoy model complete with a “Glam” accessory kit like a hair bow, hat, sunglasses, gloves and even a couture neck brace!   But you’d likely think I’m just grousing and I wanted to get back to music.

Speaking of, there’s no cheating music.  Let’s be clear, you can imitate, you can rip off what’s been done before, but there is no short cut.  There’s a schism between “performers” and true artistry.  The artist stories are all the same.  They bought records and practiced in their basements until they were good enough to get a gig.  Then they gigged long enough until someone noticed.  Then they got a chance and some broke through.

The Eagles - 1973 on BBC

Speaking of breaks.  A reader emailed me a video.  My jaw dropped.  It was an Eagles performance on the BBC.  It was like being transported back to 1973 instantly.

So for all you Gaga haters out there the clip begins with “Train Leaves Here This Morning.”  What’s stunning is the band is sitting on stools singing all the music.  ALL the music.  Incredible harmonies.  There’s no one in the background, nothing electronic-fied or on tape.  The 4-part harmonies are almost perfect.  And when something is almost perfect you get “chicken skin.”  Hell, Bernie Leadon is wearing a UCLA t-shirt which was likely the first thing in his suitcase.  It was about the music not the look.  Randy Meisner smiles when singing “A Certain Kind of Fool” and when Don Henley sings “Witchy Woman” it takes you back to the first time you ever heard it, when you had no idea who he was.  This is a band.  Remember bands?

This is not Glee.  It’s not a look-a-like tribute to Madonna.  It’s like stumbling onto the Dead Sea Scrolls.  You can be broke and still sing “Take It Easy” with the wind in your face on the open road and you’re right where you want to be.  It’s reminiscent of a time where radio was about music, not commercials.  This is the way it use to be.  Something that exists in the mind of the artist/players not some stylist standing in front of the mirror perfecting your ‘do.

Photo courtesy of Lady Gaga, The Eagles, BBC and various publishers.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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I often get ask… “What it’s like to ride a motorcycle”…. It’s F-R-E-E-D-O-M, pure and simple.

And speaking of freedom on this Independence holiday.  There is nothing as therapeutic of an experience and hopefully you slung a leather jacket and celebrated the freedom of the wind in your face with the world passing under your wheels on this 4th of July.

Photo courtesy of HD.

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