Friday, August 29, 2008

Congratulations Sarah and Marco

Sarah Miesse, PR for Body Glove International, got married today to Marco Lalau down on the beach in Manhattan Beach.  I took photos of the ceremony and all the standard family and wedding photos afterwards.  Congratulations to the newly married couple.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

James Dean First and Last Bike

At the age of 15 James Dean was given a 1947 CZ 125cc motorcycle by his uncle and guardian, Marcus Wislow. He would race that bike on an improvised track behind Marvin Carter's motorcycle shop. James' uncle bought the CZ from Marvin. Dean later on traded in his CZ for a Royal Enfield 500cc vertical twin that he ended up burning a valve on the way to back to New York. While that bike was being worked on he ended up trading it in and paying a extra $400 for a maroon and gold striped 1952 Indian Warrior TT. He would store that bike in New York at the Greenwich Village garage where Steve McQueen worked as a part-time motorcycle mechanic. The two would bond over their love for motorcycles.

James Dean would use part of his advance from the movie "East of Eden" to buy a used red MG TD and a shell blue 1955 Triumph T110. He ended up trading his T110 for a 1955 Triumph TR5 Trophy, VIN TR559196. This was also shell blue and Dean went on to make a few modifications to it. He installed upright handlebars by Flanders, removed the muffler and installed a older, 6T-style rider seat. He flipped the passenger seat backwards just like Marlon Brando did on his 1950 Triumph 6T in "The Wild One."

During the late 1980's, Marcus Winslow Jr, went on a quest to locate Dean's last bike, his 1955 Triumph T5 Trophy. He found the bike in Minnesota and bought it back. The bike was restored back to how James had it. The 1947 CZ is in an unrestored state and at the Fairmount Historical Museum.

James Dean on his 1947 CZ
James Dean's Triumph in front of the house he grew up in.

From the book "Legendary Motorcycles"

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

442nd Regimental Combat Team

This is also posted at the entrance to Manzanar.

The motto of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team was “go for broke.” It’s a gambling term that means risking everything on one great effort to win big. The soldiers of the 442nd needed to win big. They were Nisei - American-born sons of Japanese immigrants. They fought two wars: the Germans in Europe and the prejudice in America.

The regiment consisted of two groups of Japanese, the "Buddhaheads" from Hawaii and the "Katonks" from the mainland.  In the beginning the two groups didn't get along because the "Buddhaheads" never realized how the "Katonks" families were imprisoned in the camps.  Military high command were almost considering disbandoning the 442nd because they didn't think they could fight overseas as a unit.  So the Army decided to send a group of Buddhaheads to visit the camps in Arkansas.  After seeing the camps, Camp Jerome and Camp Rowher, with all the barber wire, guard towers and machine guns, the Buddhaheads understood.  As word got around about the camps the Buddhaheads gained a whole new respect for the Katonks.  From that time on they became united-like a clenched fist.

The 442nd Regimental Combat Team was the most decorated unit for it's size and length of service, in the entire history of the U.S. Military.  They earned 9,486 purple hearts, 21 Medals of Honor and an unprecedented eight Presidential Unit Citations.

Manzanar Relocation Center Plaque

This plaque is posted at the entrance of Manzanar.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Dennis McPhail Art

Was at Doug Dorr's house today getting some extra shots of his car.  This piece of art is hanging in his house. Created by Dennis McPhail for the Mooneyes show.  It was in a art auction and Doug had the highest bid.  Which is a steal for what he got it for.  I wish I had a piece from Dennis like that.


Check out the new issue of The Horse Back Street Choppers Magazine.  Article written on Denver Dan by Nelson Kanno and my photos are featured in the September 2008 issue.  On newstands now.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Submitted by Greg Browning

2nd Annual F.T.B. show trophy

When I was over at Denver Dan he pulled out this trophy and said this is his favorite trophy he ever got.  Here's the story behind the trophy as told by Denver Dan:

The quick story behind that trophy is this..... it was about 1994 or 95...The Blessing of the Cars had become a little to mainstream.....sanitized. There were also some issues with the promoters of the event and my old friends in The Shifters car club...(doing burnouts, donuts, etc...but its a hot rod show!!) so they decided to host their own event in Orange County, to be held on the same day...and to call it "Fuck The Blessing"
I believe it was the 2nd annual "F.T.B." and it was a really big turnout....the best part is that it was almost all friends/ friends of friends....all people who were really into the whole deal....good vibe great weather....anyway, when the awards went out I got the "Best Bike" award..which ruled on alot of levels....first it was oldstyle, a true "trophy" homemade, out of spare parts..(headlight mount bracket, spring, old m/c trophy top, etc) of the Shifters had put it together specifically for the best bike...secondly...of all the other bikes and people there (it being a close knit crew) I received the award.  Just a good day, fond memories with old friends...

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Manzanar Relocation Center

On the way to Mammoth Mountain just before the City of Independence there is a place called Manzanar.  My father was born there and my Grandpa, Grandma, Uncles and Aunts spent 3 years of their lives there.  This was because in the Spring of 1942 during WWII the American Government forced all Japanese living on the west coast and other areas to relocate to these "prison" camps.  It was done so fast that most families had to sell everything they had and for very cheap upon entering these camps.  So most families had nothing  when they were released. My dad's family were one of the "lucky" ones in that their neighbors watched and took care of their home while they were detained.  I took a few photos of Manzanar while we were up there last week.  We used to stop there all the time with my dad and  he would tell us about the place.  Back then they had it all closed off and you couldn't go on the grounds and see things.  They have since opened it up and have restored and marked the place with signs giving you a sense of where things were.  There is a museum next door but we were to late to visit it so we just drove around inside and looked around.  I will post more photos later in the week on Manzanar.
Original photo shot by Ansel Adams during the time the camp was occupied. Circa 1943
My photo of the sign they have restored to it's original state.
The original Military Sentry Police Post.  You originally were only able to go a little past this post before.  It was also in it's original state and could walk inside the post. They have refurbished the post and now have locked doors on it.

Picture of the entry way.  When they first open the whole place to the public years ago now, my aunts and uncles went back to visit the place and went to the area where they lived.  When they got to the spot they found marbles still in the dirt where one of my uncles used to play.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Brawny Built

Was over at Brandon Holstein's today and shot some photos of his "Rusty Nail" he built for a customer.  I will have more photos to post along with Brandon's comments about the building of it.  Stay tuned.

Cool Birthday Gift

Cool birthday gift given to me by Chopper Dave and his girlfriend Dre.  Belt buckle made by Chopper Dave. Thanks guys I love it.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Dave's Panhead

These are some shots I took awhile back at Dave's shop. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


One of the guys that helped me out when I first started shooting photography is Mike Balzer.  Mike is a local guy from Hermosa Beach and is always willing to answer any questions  I had when it came to shooting surfing.  Mike has been shooting surfing and motorcross for several years and has photos that appeared in all the surf mags and for RacerX mag.  Mike was a die hard and held onto shooting film for as long as he could.  He finally switched over to digital and it was like starting all over for him.  He knew how to shoot but was lost when it came to bringing his photos to the computer.  So I've been giving him tips on what to do with his photographs on the computer.  It's the least I can do for all that he's done for me.  
Bruce Irons in Indo
Cheyne Magnusson at Manhattan Beach Pier

Holly Beck at Burnouts
All photos by Mike Balzer

Monday, August 18, 2008

Biggest Fish Ever

Just got back into town tonight from a weekend trip with the family for a little r&r. Drove up to Mammoth Mountain and did some fishing. We fished Saturday morning and caught 2 small trouts. Then went to Lake Mary later that day and got nothing. Went back to Convict Lake on Sunday morning and caught zero. Tried again Sunday night and still zero. We were leaving on Monday so we decided to try one more time in the morning and leave later that afternoon. When we got to Convict Lake around 8:30 the winds were howling. Like victory at sea out on the lake. I did expect much since it was so windy. So I got the poles set up with the powerbait white balls and dipped it into the powerball corn sauce!!! Threw the line out for my daughter and not less than 5 mins later she got a bite. I told her to reel it in and she was having the time of her life. (This was her first time fishing). I finally saw it close to shore and couldn't believe it. She hooked a big one!!!! I've never caught a fish that big at Mammoth or anywhere for that matter. A lady next to us had a tape measure and it measured 21" long. We stayed a little while longer and caught 3 more. Those were pretty much the standard size that was getting caught. We stopped at the bait store on the way out and had them weight it and they took my daughters picture with it. It ended up weighing 3 lbs 11 oz. Not bad at all. Made the whole trip worth while. What a way to spend a fishing trip with my daughter and wife on her first fishing trip ever. Enjoyed the clean mountain air, but now I'm back in the smog infested city.

Convict Lake-South Shore Side
The catch of the day.  Probably the biggest catch I'll ever see.

The other ones look like Sardines next to the catch of the day.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Doug Dorr's 58 Pontiac Photoshoot

More shots from the photoshoot of Pinstriper/Artist, Doug Dorr's 58 Pontiac. Look for my photos to appear soon in either Ol' Skool Rodz or Car Kulture Deluxe Magazine.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Taylor Schultz Paint

I had Taylor Schultz write down his thoughts and process on painting this 93" Shovelhead being built over at Top Shelf Customs. Here's what Taylor had to say:

"Whats up , well where do I start when it comes to Jack's bike. The best thing anyone can do when it comes to me painting their shit is don't tell me exactly what you want, and when it came to Jack, he did what i like people to do. Which is he said, "Run with it." I knew what style he liked, which is the style I like, inturn it makes you get into the paint job a lot easier. After the bodywork was done and primed, I used a black base with mini flake on top and cleared it, sanded it down, and then began with the fun stuff. Laying out the panels is most critical part, then I began doing the kandy fades with a iwata hp-c airbrush, unmasking as I went so the first fade was darker than the last, masked the tank pockets off and I put a couple coats of kandy oriental blue mixed with sg-100 inter coat clear, then un masked and cleared again , then sanded, sliver leafed portions, striped that with blue and violet and re cleared it again. All using house of kolor products with their uc-35 clear. All in all a pretty fun process.

To see more of Taylor's work go to his myspace site.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Bruce Irons Late Drop At Pipeline

I shot this photo of Bruce Irons during the 2001 XBOX Pipeline Master. This was the second wave of the set and the first wave was taken by a Japanese surfer who ended getting a perfect 10 for that ride. This was a huge set where you can see it forming out at second reef. Bruce was paddling back out to the line up when the Japanese surfer caught the first wave of the set and as the second one came, Bruce just swung around and went. It was insane. Since I was there and I look at the photo the wave just seemed so much bigger and powerful than it shows here. It was total commitment on Bruce's part. He made the drop, but hit the boil at the bottom and it just bounced him off the board. He ended up winning the heat though and the event by beating Kelly Slater, then newly crowned World Champion CJ Hobgood and local pipe charger Jamie O'Brien. I've never seen anyone drop in on a wave like this since. It was incredible to see.

Steve Wise Pt. 1

Story submitted by Barry Lacour.

So, the other day I was talking to this guy at the shop about doing some work on his bike. We finish talking and the guy fires up his bike, pulls out of the driveway and takes off like he's in a race or something. I'm thinking, what a tool. Anyway, I walk back into the shop and Al says, wow, that guy was on it! So I said what I always say when someone does that. Yeah, he was doing what Steve Wise does. Then Al asked, why do you allways say that? Who is Steve Wise?

Well, in the early 80's, my friends and I would go out and ride this motocross track out in hills of Simi Valley. At the bottom of one of the hills was a parking lot and on Sundays, the lot was empty. So one Sunday, after watching one of the Superbiker races, we decided to add a few turns to our track in the lot. After about an hour or so of riding this track, we started to get a little more aggressive on the pavement. So, I'm coming down the hill and I see my friend Billy Kikuchi, laying on the ground in the parking lot. I ride up to him, I could tell he was in pain and he says, I think I broke my leg. Since I didn't see the crash, I asked him, what happened? He looks right at me and says, I was doing what Steve Wise does, can you take me to the hospital?

The Superbikers race was an event held in the early 80's at Carlsbad raceway. It pitted AMA professional flat track, road race, motocross and enduro riders against each other on a track that combined elements of each of the riding disciplines. Just like the Supermotard and AMA Supermoto deal at the X games.

Steve Wise won that event twice, 1981 and 1982. Steve was one of those rare motorcycle racers who really knew how to control any motorcycle, on the dirt or the pavement. He was one of the most versatile riders in AMA history. He started career as a motocross rider for factory Kawasaki and then factory Honda. By the time he was finished racing, he lined up and race with some of the best riders in the world, not just motocross riders. He was inducted into the AMA Hall Of Fame 2001. Here are some pictures of what Steve really did.

Wise, learning like we did, in a field, on a early Penton 175.

Steve Wise Pt. 2

Steve and mechanic Cliff White with his 1977 works Honda 125.
Steve behind the controls doing what he did.
In action during the Superbikes race 1982.
Superbikes winners circle with World Champion, Graham Noyce and Eddie Lawson.

On the cover of Cycle News.

Steve Wise Pt. 3

On the line in Daytona, Steve is #28 and Ferddie Spencer #19
Start of the F1 Daytona 200 getting ready to battle with #2 Kenny Roberts and #28 Eddie Lawson.
In the winners circle after the F1 race with Kenny Roberts and Eddie Lawson.
Doing what he does on the factory Honda 500cc two stroke F1 bike.

You can't do what he did without a few of these moments.