JOHNNY CASH & SAN QUENTIN | SETTING HAGGARD STRAIGHT & THE UNSEEN PHOTOS

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Photographer, Jim Marshall, stated the this shot of Johnny Cash warming up for his 1969 concert at San Quentin Prison is, “probably the most ripped off photograph in the history of the world… There was a TV crew behind me and John was on the side of the stage. I said ‘John, let’s do a shot for the warden.’” Well, that was all the motivation Johnny Cash needed to look straight into Marshall’s lens and emphatically flip him the bird.

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The first prison concert Johnny Cash ever played was at San Quentin back on January 1, 1958. Little did Johnny know that In the audience was a young man from Bakersfield, CA who’d go on to become a Country Music star in his own right with the hit Okie from Muskogee — Merle Haggard. People talk a lot about New Year resolutions, but for Merle this would be the real deal — he decided to straighten out his act, and try to carve out a music career for himself like Johnny Cash. And he did, even appearing later on The Johnny Cash Show twice. Just goes to show that wherever you are, and whatever you’re facing, never stop believing that you can turn things around.

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WHEN PLAYBOY INFORMED SEXY DESIGN AND MADE THE BACHELOR PAD A CULTURAL ICON

Debuting in 1953, Hugh Hefner’s Playboy magazine represented the ultimate liberated lifestyle for men of the 1950s, ’60s and beyond. Some called Hef’s imaginative, artistic spreads on architecture & interior design nothing more than self-indulgent, male sexual fantasy cloaked under a flimsy cover of so-called culture. For the man that wanted to be (or fantasized of being) the master of his own hedonistic domain — Playboy was his blueprint. And Hef perfected his own personal blueprint for tapping directly into the wallet of a new consumption-based male ideal that thought (and bought) with their crotch. The Playboy man now sought the aspiration of sleek, modern design that Hugh brilliantly linked with the primal desire of getting laid.

Whatever the angle, it cannot be denied that scores of men were introduced to, and educated on, the finer points of Mid-Century Modern Design and the masters behind the movement that is now an iconic part of our history. And the Bachelor Pad, dripping with sexy, come-hither vibe, an inhibition-busting bar, and the latest modern marvels to dazzle her, was born thanks to Hef — who literally fleshed-it-out and showed us just how good it could look, make you feel, and improve your net worth with the ladies.

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GEORGE SMITH SR. FOUNDER OF S&S CYCLE | TALE OF THE H-D KNUCKLE DRAGSTER “TRAMP”

The story of a young man’s need for speed that would lead to the founding of the legendary S&S Cycle Equipment is chronicled in these amazing archival images on their website. They show founder George Smith Sr. as he builds his Harley-Davidson Knucklehead racer called “TRAMP” that became the testing ground for innovative after-market performance parts that are now the gold standard for the industry– S&S Cycle.  

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1941– George Smith Sr. pictured here at just 19 yrs old on his 80″ Harley-Davidson Knucklehead. He would go on to found S&S Cycle Equipment with Stanley Stankos in 1958. (via)

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THE NYC DISTINGUISHED GENTLEMAN’S RIDE

A DARK DAY FOR NEW YORK CITY | Story Chris Logsdon | Photographer Jason Goodrich

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2014 NYC Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride | Photo by Jason Goodrich @thejasongoodrich

A quiet Sunday morning on Greenwich Street in New York’s West Village is rudely awakened by the roaring sounds of the two-wheeled kind. It’s another sunny September day in 2013 as a large group of enthusiasts, dressed to the nines, don their motorcycles and set out to raise awareness for men’s prostate cancer. This is the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride.

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THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL | PHOTOGRAPHY & FILMS FOR FLAUNT MAGAZINE BY SCOTT POMMIER

“Style is one of those things that’s nearly impossible to define and even harder to quantify, but when you see someone with style nothing could be more obvious. These photographs and films were shot for FLAUNT magazine’s denim issue. I was looking to shoot a fashion story that had some movement, because to me style is about so much more than how you accessorize, it’s about how you move and how you carry yourself.

A while back I saw some shaky footage of some gals trick-riding at a rodeo and was really captivated by it. It was beautiful, strange, athletic and dangerous. That’s a pretty good starting point for interesting pictures, so earlier this year a small crew of us travelled to the Riata Ranch which is at the base of the Sierras in a small town called Three Rivers. There we shot some of the best trick riders on the planet dressed in an eclectic mix of denim, bondage gear, shearling, fur and leather. Thanks to everyone who helped out, the Riata Ranch Cowboy Girls and Flaunt.” 

-Scott Pommier

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THE LEGENDARY ARMOND BLETCHER | FALLEN HELLS ANGEL OF UNHUMAN PROPORTIONS

“Hell’s Angels love to fistfight. There’s never a shortage of drunks or foolhardy motherfuckers willing to take us on, and  a lot of times we’ll take on each other. Armond Bletcher stood  6″8″ and weighed 350 lbs. He was so strong he could pick up a couple motorcycles  and put them on the back of a pickup truck. In the early ’70s Armond could bench 705 lbs., but he had to arch his back to do it. He was never in competition, but he took steroids and was unbelievably big.”

–Ralph “Sonny” Barger

ARMOND BLETCHER EASY RIDER

Jesus-H-Christ this was a big ass dude. Depending on who’s telling it, Armond Bletcher was somewhere between 6′ 3″ – 6′ 8″, and tipped the scales around 300 – 350 lbs. A friend of the Fresno Hells Angel, and a feature favorite with the staff at Easyriders magazine, Armond was literally a giant among men and a controversial figure to this day. There are many colorful tales– It’s reported that as a doorman he got away with shooting a man to death, that he was a known hitman, also Frank Sinatra’s bodyguard, and that he took horse steroids to achieve and maintain his enoromous size.

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THE LEGENDARY BIKE BUILDER TOM FUGLE | SCOTT POMMIER’S FILM TELLS IT STRAIGHT UP

So, you may have already seen this incredible short film on motorcycle builder Tom Fugle originally shot for Born Free, but there’s a newly added epilogue that’s not to be missed. Tom’s story, succinctly captured by Scott Pommier, has resonated with so many out there that it has become a powerful tribute to a man truly considered to be a living legend.

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SHINE ON YOU CRAZY DIAMOND | REST IN PEACE ROBIN WILLIAMS GENIUS OF MANKIND

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Actor & comedian Robin Williams outside the Comedy Store, 1978 – photograph by Wynn Miller for Time & Life Pictures

The news of Robin Williams’ passing yesterday hit me unexpectedly hard. A lot of cultural icons have come and gone during my lifetime, but none in recent memory have felt as close and raw as this. All at once I was overcome with shock, disbelief, confusion, loss, and grief. I’ve always loved Robin Williams, but I now know that I didn’t truly appreciate all that he meant to me until suddenly he was gone.

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