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Posts Tagged ‘Paul Sr.’

Happy New Years!

Now that the champagne toasts are made and the ball dropped, it’s time to start thinking ahead:  What’s your riding resolution for this year?  Will you ride your motorcycle more often to work?  Take that epic journey or stay close to home?  Will you buy a new ride or enhance the existing one?

Before going forward let’s take a quick look back.

Over the years I’ve posted the occasional summary of the more popular and least liked stories from the past 12 months.  It’s not my “helper-monkey”, but the good folks at WordPress.com state their rankings algorithm is based on how many people read a particular article.  The average is the sum of views divided by the number of days and its gets even more complex if you are the sort of person who likes to verify computations.  I don’t.

The final tallies can be a little mystifying, to be honest.

Are readers giving a “thumbs-up” because they liked the content of the article or just the topic itself?  I don’t find these summaries a really useful exercise because some of the better written articles (IMHO) will sometimes have the fewest views.  It’s the old adage that writing about or reposting the nip slips, exposed undies and ever-presence dysfunction from the celebrity train wrecks for the whole world to see will bring a whole lot more views if that’s your goal.  But, if nothing else, the summary does provide a snapshot of what struck in my readers’ collective fancy during the past year.

In 2011, I posted 88 new articles (about 7 per month).  That brought the total archive on this blog up to just over 800 posts.  I uploaded 165 pictures (or about 3 per week).  The busiest day was September 25th (during the Vagos and HAMC shooting in Reno) with 1,120 views on an article I posted in 2008 (HERE).  Clearly the social behavior and the attraction of the events in Reno was a big draw, but I’m mystified why the more current article (HERE) had fewer views?  Maybe it’s a SEO thing.  I also want to provide a shout-out to the large number of UK viewers who consistently visit the blog.

Here are the 2011 most viewed highlights:

Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs Flying Colors in Oregon
OCC Family Feud Ends
Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs Are New Media Darlings
Vagos MC Meeting In Grants Pass
Harley SAMCRO Limited Edition Motorcycle
Harley-Davidson’s SwitchBack
Vintage Motorcycles – Honda CB750
Harley Engine History
“Green Nation” Busts On Saint Patrick’s Day
No Angel
The Day Laughlin River Run Changed
Men Of Mayhem
A “Legend Bell” Full of Mystery
Harley Snubbed In Benjamin Button Movie
Operation Black Rain Nets Oregon Mongols

I enjoyed this past year—and I hope you have, too.  If I’ve done my “job” right as editor of this blog, then your visits will have helped make your motorcycle hobby a bit more meaningful.  Hopefully you’ve become closer to your motorcycle and grown your relationship with friends that you’ve met on the road.

Happy 2012!

Photo’s courtesy of WordPress.com and Northwest Harley Blog.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog
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Since the first day when Federal Agents raided the Bay Area Laboratory Cooperative (BALCO) back in September 2003, the ‘steroids scandal’ has engulfed some of the biggest names in sports and brought increased scrutiny to the illegitimate nature of pharmacy law.  This link provides more information on the MLB debacle.

Now we’re learning from Times Union about a connection with James M. D’Amico, a dentist from Cape Coral, FL., who had a revoked dental license while prescribing “nutritional supplements” a.k.a. steroids and human growth hormones.  This case, prosecuted in South Florida has ties to a steroids-distribution investigation launched four years ago in Albany and recently brought to light one of Mr. D’Amico’s high-profile clientele as none other than Paul Teutul Sr. of Orange County Chopper (OCC) and ‘American Chopper’  fame.  According to Mr. D’Amico’s seized records, Paul Teutul Sr. received 73 prescriptions at a cost of over $51,000 from August 2, 2002 to October 3, 2006.

Now I’m not a dentist, but clearly there must be a lot of legitimate uses for steroids in a dental practice for 73 prescriptions?!

Maybe Paul Sr., was overwhelmed in the fiercely competitive custom motorcycle business and realized it’s not enough to be smart and charismatic — you need to have bigger, stronger and faster moving biceps than all the other also ran’s — and as a result looked to nutritional supplements to build the one-of-a-kind choppers in record breaking time.

According to the Albany NY based Times Union web site article, the D’Amicos prescriptions to Teutul were processed by Orlando’s Signature Compounding Pharmacy, whose operators remain under felony indictment in Albany.  Robert G. Calson, a Sarasota, FL., physician who pleaded guilty in Albany three years ago to insurance fraud for his role in that case, also prescribed supplement drugs to Tuetul through Signature.

In connecting the dots it wouldn’t be a big leap to assume that some of that ‘American Chopper’ yelling for prime time was more related to “roid rage” and it’s possible that this doping scandal is truly the end of the road for the Teutul dynasty.  Translated: The threebie that isn’t.

More blog posts on the “Ragin Teutuls” HERE.

Photo courtesy of Automated Trader

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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The title is a reference to an interview process which is called voir dire, a French phrase translated as “to see and speak the truth.”  Another way to say it is democracy in action.

I’m talking about Paul Teutul (Sr.) and his son Paul M. Tuetul (Jr.) of OCC/American Chopper fame.  Like rock stars, they are.  A key part of building the custom motorcycle scene for mainstream America.  They weren’t in it for momentary good times, they wanted world domination from the outset.  I’ve blogged about them previously HEREHERE and HERE

But their working landscape turned toxic, and rather than resolve the dispute they remained lockjaw-ed, rigid, corporate minded and took the low road of “I’ll get mine and F you” kind of thinking.  The problem, me thinks is greed.  The perpetual rock throwing finally hit the White Plains, NY., courthouse where an oral argument before a four-judge panel on Paul Junior’s appeal from a lower court ruling against him, enforcing Senior’s “option” to purchase Junior’s 20% interest in Orange County Choppers (OCC) for an amount to be determined by the court in an appraisal proceeding.

For the uninitiated here is a recap, in January 2009, after a nasty, made for TV, on-air power struggle in which furniture somehow became airborne, Senior fired Junior.  The two entered into a letter agreement that allowed Junior to continue working at OCC and avoided cancellation (and breach of contract) of their television deal with Discovery Channel, which owns The Learning Channel on which American Chopper is aired.   Junior rejected the option exercise, following which Senior brought suit to enforce it.  In April 2010, Orange County Supreme Court Justice Lewis Jay Lubell ruled in Senior’s favor (read the decision here). It’s a complex issue about fair market value and when it comes to valuing shares of close corporations for which there is no ready market, requiring agreement as to basic assumptions such as the date of valuation and the applicability of discounts.

Whatever your impressions are of the TV show and the Teutul’s antics, I’d think sitting in a courtroom and watching the legal experience unfold to determine your monetary fate separates the men from the boys.  Having had my disproportionate share of legal issues I’d never predict the outcome of an appeal, but it’s likely a decision will be handed down before end of year.

I personally like my custom bike builder hero’s to take me above this worlds problems!  That’s why I quit watching anything Teutul and instead was riveted by the rescue of the Chilean miners.  Everybody threw in together.  I was impressed by the technology, the fortitude.  We applauded the human spirit and believe that problems can be solved.  But not in Teutul land.

For those interested in learning more about the case, here are links to the appellate briefs:

Junior’s main brief (36 pages)
Senior’s opposition brief (25 pages)
Junior’s reply brief (15 pages)

Links courtesy of the excellent New York Business Divorce Blog and attorney/author Peter Mahler.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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At least on television!

The Orange County Chopper press machine couldn’t catch-up.  A daunting task considering the category-5 storm of controversy and problems for the Teutul family this past year.  Egos, fame and dysfunction causes problems in a family?  There’s a shock!  How will the motorcycle industry survive without them?!

It’s over.  After 6 years American Chopper skids to a stop.  The TLC series based on the Teutul’s custom-built motorcycle business was often like watching the drug cartels fight over a street corner in Puerto Palomas without guns.  Defiant Paul Jr. threaten the stability and the thrash was plainly visible as he co-opted to Seniors intimidation.  There was no blueprint for fixing the show, salaries were spent on expensive black t-shirts and that “we’re too powerful” attitude meant viewers re-discovered other reality TV shows.

No more shows of $50K solar-powered customs for corporations that spin the media to look green.  No more frustrated “artistes” motivated by monied interests and profiteers.  Rumor has it that Paul Jr. makes a life changing announcement tonight.  If that’s not publicist spin to beg attract viewers.  Call me crazy, but I suspect it has something to do with Celine Dion’s Vegas deal which begins a new 3 year run at Caesars Palace beginning in March 2011.

For me it became obvious way back when Vinnie departed that it was a downward trend and empty vessel.  Was the shows self-destruction a surprise to anyone?  The fights looked less scripted and a lot more about anger, then the pillow-talks with Paul Jr’s wife about the break-up and starting his own business, Mickey’s stupid is, as stupid does act then rehab and now it ends like they always do — in a court room disputing money.  Let’s celebrate.  Tonight is the final episode.

When you spend money like a rock star and all that’s left is an echo chamber in the form of a multi-million dollar shop…nothing but a lot of “indecipherable chatter” remains.

UPDATE: January 14, 2011 — Updates and new post on Senior vs. Junior HERE.

Photo courtesy of Picasaweb

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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Sunday you awake from a 40 year coma.   You want to know what’s new in America.  What do you do?

Watch Super Bowl XLIV of course and absorb the musical half-time extravaganza!  You’re dumbfounded and thinking déjà vu?  What kind of hole have I fallen down?  Relax.  Just be glad you missed the Grammy’s and Pink flying high in the sky.  If that wasn’t all wet!

Nothing better than a “parade of legends” while shucking a crawdad in the middle of this gumbo-like stew of sports, celebrity, excess and Americana – have you noticed that the half-time events just get exponentially worse (Lewis Black)?

Will XLIV be the BSBE (best Super Bowl, evah)?  WHO knows.

I say who cares!  Last year we had Bruce Springsteen.  He grossed more than $200M on the road and became just another commercial production.  Previously we had Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones, U2, Tom Petty, Aerosmith and don’t forget Super Bowl XXXV (Baltimore 34, New York Giants 7 in Tampa).  What stood out the most from that game was the courageous performance of Styx.  They performed before the game, accompanied by hundreds of dancers in white unitards that had giant sails sewn into the backs, which they flapped in unison during the chorus of “Come Sail Away.” If that wasn’t the saddest display of a musical gig we’ve ever seen at a Super Bowl.  That is until the game in Houston, where “Two Tickets to Paradise,” Eddie Money performed before kickoff next door to the actual stadium.

I think the reason these halftime shows suck is because it requires a unique, powerful talent to compress the funk and energy of a 2-hour performance down into a 15-minute set. Most artists can’t handle it.  And how about Super Bowl XLI (Indianapolis 29, Chicago 17 in Miami)… it had a dream-like quality to it.  There were the 250-pound men dressed in skintight and wildly colorful parakeet bodysuits lined up in the end zone before the Cirque du So-lame pregame show. And don’t forget Jesse Jackson’s thoughtful interview on the South Beach boardwalk 100 feet away from a guy dancing around in nothing more than a Boston Red Sox thong.  Classy.

So you can say what you want about the hype, the money and the misplaced priorities of Super Bowl week (it’s all true), but if the game can’t create any kind of public response then it’s up to Harley-Davidson and the Maxim Super Bowl Party!  The VIP list includes the Harley-Davidson Drag Racer Valerie Thompson, the original Go Daddy Girl Candice Michelle, and of course Indy Car Racer Danica Patrick. Even the Teutels from Orange County Choppers will do a drive by and unveil “The Go Daddy Chopper.”  I’m sure to boost ratings they’ll have Hooter girls explain football or force Paul Sr. to sit between two would-be cheerleaders, balancing an ice cream sundae in his lap (from the all you-could-eat buffet), a video game controller in one hand and an ice-cold beer in the other, while playing “Madden.” Thank me later for a ‘Captain Obvious’ moment, but that my friends, is what Super Bowl advertising is all about!  Even the Ringling Bros. elephants don’t work it this hard.

And the game?

I wanted the Vikings, but now I’m pulling for the Saints. Nothing against Manning…  I love Tabasco!  And if that wasn’t enough of a reason the Manning’s already have two Super Bowl rings and something happy coming out of the Superdome might erase the vision of Katrina’s squalor.  Besides does anyone do a parade better than New Orleans?

UPDATE: February 8, 2010 — The advertising was lame!  Game was okay.  The team and the city that needed it most won!  As for The Who...let’s face it… their credibility went south after they sold out to the TV crime drama, but I hope I’m still rocking like Roger and Pete when I’m in my sixties.  Who’s next?  I say pull in John Mayer and Keith Urban as a pair of modern classics.  Here is Billboards top 10 half-time shows.

Photo courtesy of The Who

All Rights © Northwest Harley Blog

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Jeff Cockran

Jeff Cockran

You know Jesse James as a custom bike builder (WCC), publisher (Payupsucker Publications), television host (Monster Garage), Hollywood celebrity (wife Sandra Bullock), car builder, welder and restaurateur (Cisco Burger), but did you know he’s got some serious “behind-the-scenes” legal trouble?

Contrary to popular opinion I’m not a big Jesse fan even though he did visit the U.S. Troops in Iraq before Obama!  Clearly he has talent and has built some interesting bikes.  However, his chumminess with the Hollywood elite while casting himself off as an everyday bloke working for the blue collar common man as a “glorified welder” is an insightful commentary and somewhat disingenuous as the bad boy C.F.L. industry personality.  These days the whole biker experience (as “media darlings“) has become gimmicky and any day I expect to see a “Chopper Deal or No Deal” game show on TV.

Having had my share of legal issues in this litigation-base society I’m not judging Jesse because I think he’s done a lot for the industry, but it does look like a negative trend or downward spiral…he’s being sued for breach of contract by Keats McFarland & Wilson LLP — his former lawyer for more than $327K in unpaid fees.  And he’s being sued for breach of contract by Michael B. Jones for more than $422K in the failure to deliver a custom 1949 Cadillac. Last year Jesse was in another law suit with the Sheet Metal Workers Union over a trademark infringement when he co-opted their image on popular WCC calendars that were sold in Wal-Mart.  And capping off a year plus of legal fun he was fined $275K by CARB for selling motorcycles with engines not approved by the state.

Sucker Punch Sallys

Sucker Punch Sallys

All of this is adding up to some serious coin and has to be cutting into the Monster Garage residuals!  Most important is the question of “Where is the chopper industry going?” 

We witnessed the sponsorship implosion from Billy Lane’s accident.  Is Jesse on the same collision course?  We have OCC and the Teutels, but they’ve become wealthy growing into grander and more upscale shops while doing corporate built-off’s.  Not to get personal, but even Paul Sr. looks to be sitting around the lounger too much because either his bicep tat’s are starting to droop or Hi-Def TV is not kind to body builders?

What we need is another Indian Larry personality.  Another larger than life ambassador for the industry to make an entrance onto the TV scene and become an inspiration.  Is Jeff Cockran of Sucker Punch Sallys our next ambassador?  I think he’s one to watch…

What do you think?  Is it the slowdown of the economy, or the fad of TV choppers wearing thin, or did the greed of the custom builders over charging customers simply cause the market to crash?

UPDATE: November 12, 2008 – More legal issues with Mr. James and WCC who are being sued by Fortune Fashions over a clothing line which was to be sold thru Wal-Mart.   Jesse pulled the deal, hired a key employee and then decided to sell direct to Wal-Mart anyway.  Legal docs HERE.

Photo’s courtesy of SMWIA and SPS web sites.

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