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GOING THE DISTANCE
"AIN'T NOBODY GONNA KICK MY MOTORCYCLE"
Photo by Genghis
KICK HER AT YOUR OWN PERIL: The thing I love the most.
Click on this link and watch the video, then come back to this article:
ROLLING STONES LISTENING TO SONNY BARGER
Startling, wasn't it? I never was a Rolling Stones fan--never liked 'em, but I was still startled to see how young they looked in that video following the1969 Altamont incident. I've gotten used to seeing how shriveled up Jagger looks recently, in the publicity leading up to the Stones' final tour that's comin' up. That should be good. There's just sumpin' stupid about a 70 year old, prune-faced guy rompin' around a stage like an epileptic off his dilantin.
It was equally startling to hear Sonny Barger's young voice , before it had changed from his throat ailment. Don't forget, Sonny's call-in to the show was over 40 years ago.
I've gotten used to hearing his gravelly voice the way it sounds now in YouTube clips I've seen.
We don't need to rehash the Altamont incident, in which the Hells Angels were wrongly blamed for violence that led to a death of a concertgoer. This little blip in biker subculture history has been replayed and analyzed a kajillion times over the years, and the concensus (at least in the biker subculture) is that the Stones' actions, bad vibes and crappy karma led to that death. The Stones arrogance, self-importance and negligent attitude toward the crowd was the major contributing factor to the violence that began in the crowd.
What I did find particularly interesting, was what Sonny had to say, because I related to his sentiment, totally. There are times when pearls of wisdom drop from the ether, that cause that "Ah ha!" moment, when a listener or reader realizes the profundity of what was said---and the absolute truth of it. In this case, Sonny's comments focused in on the love a biker has for his bike, and how that love is universal for all bikers----or should be. Any biker who doesn't feel this way about his Harley, should have his Biker ID confiscated for further review.
Here is the relevant part of Sonny Barger's commentary in that phone call-in to the radio show:
".....Ain't nobody gonna kick my motorcycle....when you're standing there and lookin' at something that's your life, and everything you got is invested in that thing and you love that thing better than you love anything in this world....you see a guy kick it, and you know who he is....you're gonna git him....."
Bikers have long been portrayed by straights as sexual misfits who perceive their motorcycles as some sort of phallic symbol between their legs, an overcompensation for feelings of sexual inadequacy. I've always had a good laugh at these citizens, who would resort to extreme pop psychology to pigeonhole us as sick weirdos. I can take that, because it is such a patently defensive and ridiculous attempt at rationalizing their lack of understanding regarding our love for our stripped-down hogs.
I can even tolerate their characterization of us a dangerous tattooed menaces with IQs lower than our boot sizes, because let's face it: Some of us enjoy the notoriety that this image gives us. What I can't tolerate, is this following profile, that some in the mainstream would like to albatross us with (from an internet site):
Mechanophilia or mechaphilia is a paraphilia involving a sexual attraction to machines such as bicycles....motor vehicles. Motorcycles are often portrayed as sexualized fetish objects to those that desire them. It is treated as a crime in some nations with perpetrators being placed on a sex-offenders register after prosecution.....In 2008, an American named Edward Smith admitted to 'having sex' with 1000 cars.....Jordan Witham is a mechaphile, which means that he likes to have sex with cars. His 'partner' is a 1967 VW Beetle....Jordan explains, 'Sometimes I stroke her and kiss her bodywork, or rub myself up against her. If I've just been driving her, I have to wait for the exhaust pipe to cool down before I have sex, and I always use a condom because of all the dirt and dust inside'....."
A VW Beetle? What, he couldn't find a comely Porsche to screw?
I hope for Jordan's sake, that it was a consensual deal, or else he'd be labeled a vehicle-rapist as well. Also, was the Beetle over 18 years of age at the time, or was she jailbait? As for me.....so many straight pipes and so little time! Luckily for me, I've never had sex with Mabel's (my 1971 Shovelhead) straight pipes, or else I would've been technically in the company of luminaries such as Edward Smith and Jordan Witham. I also would have been faced with the tough choice of either the front pipe or rear pipe. It could've boiled down to a logistical problem: With the rear pipe, would the rear tire get in the way? With either pipe, would I have to lay the bike on her left side? After all, I'm no acrobat or carnival contortionist. What if I wanted to be on the bottom? Would my medical insurance cover being crushed by 600 pounds of bike?
While I am it, why stop at the exhaust?
How about her gas tank filler neck, or even the transmission filler hole. So many orifices, so little time!
I admit to giving my vehicles female names (aren't all vehicles including ships female?), talkin' to 'em and patting their fenders, but I guess I'll never cross the final frontier border of screwing 'em. There are some redlines that we machine peverts in the biker subculture won't cross. For the prudent and "more normal" of us, we'll stop at fellating the oil tank drain. I'll tell ya one thing though, that 60 weight burns like hell on the tongue and those delicate mucous membranes! Nope, I don't scew my vehicles.
Still, I wouldn't let anybody kick 'em.
I'm with Sonny of this one. Anyone who kicks my Harley or Vette is gonna get git. Or got.
What Sonny Barger described more than four decades ago in that radio interview, is nothing but the norm for hardcore bikers with respect to how they feel about their motorcycles. It is a devotion and love so deep, that it is incomprehensible to those who are incapable of it in the non-biker world.
The world is littered with people who don't have a clue about the dedication that is intrinsic in car culture and the biker subculture. I run into these types of people in Manhattan all the time, where motorcycle and car cultures don't exist as they do outside The City. When I mention that I ride and also own a car in Manhattan to such a person, the inevitable follow-up question from that person is, "Why?" Manhattan is a city full of Alicia Silverstones, when it comes to motor-culture.
Hey man, if I have to explain then you wouldn't understand, okay? Manhattan stands by itself as monolithically clueless about digging bikes and cars. The outer boroughs like Queens where I grew up, is more like the rest of America where motor-culture has a strong foothold.
If I had been brought up in Manhattan, I wouldn't be on a motorcycle now. All bikers that live in Manhattan were products of other locales, ex-pats from "The Rest Of America."
The Clueless In Manhattan have the same knee jerk aversion to motorcycles and cars as they do to guns.
I sometimes wonder if some bikers are also incapable of the feelings alluded to by Sonny Barger when he described the way he felt about his Harley as, ".....you love that thing better than anything in the world..." but that is another subject for another time. Later.