JAMES HUNT | WHEN PLAYBOYS RULED THE WORLD AND THE RACETRACK WITH A RUSH

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James Hunt on the winner’s podium (L to R): Patrick Depailler (FRA) Tyrrell, second; race winner James Hunt (GBR) McLaren; John Watson (GBR) Penske, third. French Grand Prix, 1976. — Image © Phipps / Sutton Images / Corbis

I’m stoked to see Rush this weekend– the much anticipated film by Ron Howard on one of Formula One’s most talented and notorious drivers ever, James “The Shunt” Hunt. The seemingly insatiable ladies’ man was estimated to have had 5,000 trysts in his lifetime. History tells of a wicked weekend where buddy and fellow (motorcycle) racing legend Barry Sheene tallied 33 BA stewardesses lined-up at the door of their Tokyo Hilton suite. It’ll be interesting to see if Chris Hemsworth is able to capture his wit and charm, and if he can keep his muscles from overshadowing the memory of Hunt’s lean, lanky frame hard-earned by a physical exercise regiment consisting largely of driving, and shagging. The perfect primer for Rush is the documentary When Playboy’s ruled the World which accurately and colorfully takes you back to the glory days of Hunt & Sheene when driving was dangerous, and sex was safe. More epic photos of James Hunt in action after the video…

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ELVIS AND HIS GOOD OL’ MEMPHIS MAFIA MEET THEM LONG HAIRED BOYS FROM LED ZEPPELIN

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Sept. 7th, 1976 — Joe Esposito (Elvis Presley’s Memphis Mafia buddy) wearing a Led Zeppelin 1975 Tour T-shirt at the Holiday Inn hotel with Elvis in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. 

I Was There. And more… as told by Elvis Presley’s step-brother

“I was 14 years old when Led Zeppelin came to Memphis in 1969. As the youngest step-brother to Elvis Presley, I was living at the Graceland Mansion. My divorced mother Dee Stanley married Elvis’s widowed father Vernon Presley on July 3, 1960. Anyway, I went to the concert with a friend and was blown away. John Bonham playing his solo on Moby Dick, Jimmy Page stroking his Les Paul with a fiddle bow, John Paul Jones laying down heavy bass, and of course the driving voice of Robert Plant. While growing up as Presley’s step-brother I was no stranger to great music. But it was Led Zeppelin that became MY MUSIC while growing up the King.

I started touring with Presley in 1972 when I was 16. I always had Zeppelin’s music with me. In 1974 while at the LA Forum Led Zeppelin came to see Elvis. Later that night after the show Robert, Jimmy and John Paul came to Elvis’s suite at the hotel across the street from the Forum. I met them as they came off the elevator and walked with them to Elvis’s room. I introduced myself, shook their hands and got their autograph. Of all the people I met during my life with Elvis, it was only Led Zeppelin’s autograph that I asked for.

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FRANCE’S FAIREST EXPORT– FRANCOISE HARDY | IMMORTAL BELOVED STYLE & MUSIC MUSE

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Francoise Hardy on the ‘Grand Prix’ film set seen wearing co-star James Garner’s helmet, 1966.

Francoise Hardy was a wistful breath of fresh air during the sex, drugs & rock ‘n’ roll of the 1960s. Mysterious, sweetly naive, and utterly desirable. She was adored by Bob Dylan, Nick Drake, Mick Jagger, David Bowie, and more. The incredible enduring images of Hardy, particularly those by famed photographer Jean-Marie Perier (who shot her donned in Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Andre Courréges, and Paco Rabanne), made her an instant and timeless style icon. With her faraway gaze and lazy smile, Francoise Hardy is like a melancholy dream that you simply don’t want to wake up from. Her unease with fame and adoration is at times clearly evident in her photos– serving only to make her even more alluring.

Francoise Hardy on the ‘Grand Prix’ film set

Francoise Hardy resting in a Formula One race car during the filming of Grand Prix, 1966.

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Francoise Hardy Playing In The Film 'Grand Prix'

Francoise Hardy sitting on a Formula One race car during the filming of Grand Prix, 1966. –Photo by Francois Gragnon

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Francoise Hardy perched atop a Honda motorcycle is an all-time internet #babesonbikes favorite.

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HELL ON TWO KRAZY WHEELS | VINTAGE EVEL KNIEVEL IN HIS HARLEY HEYDAY

Evel Knievel shared a long and colorful history with Harley-Davidson– professing that his very first motorcycle was a Harley that he stole when he was just 13 yrs old. Legend has it in 1960, Evel Knievel strapped his day-old son Kelly to his back for the boy’s first motorcycle ride. The 22-year-old Robert (not yet the larger-than-life Evel) Knievel fishtailed the brand new Harley on their maiden ride home from the maternity ward to the family trailer in Butte, Montana. He was so shaken by almost wrecking with his newborn baby in-tow that he promptly sold the bike.

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A great shot of Evel Knievel showcasing the beauty of his white leathers with navy and red trim. Knievel was buried in a leather jacket like the one you see here when he passed away in 2007. Pal Matthew McConaughey offered this eulogy– “He’s forever in flight now. He doesn’t have to come back down. He doesn’t have to land.” And yes, McConaughey was probably stoned. A bit of an odd pairing if ever there was one, but I ask you– Who doesn’t love Evel Knievel? 

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HURST RACING TIRES ~ SINCE 1961 | MADE BY HAND IN OREGON CITY, OR

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Here’s a cool video by Ray Gordon on the story of Hurst Racing Tires– owned and operated by Cody Adams & Steve Adams since 2005 in Oregon City, OR. They make each tire by hand, using the original equipment acquired by Ron Hurst himself when he started making racing tires back in 1961 to supply the local racers in San Diego, CA. You get a real appreciation that some things are just better when done by hand, using quality materials and time-honored craftsmanship.

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BO DIDDLEY & THE CLASH, 1979 US TOUR | EVERY GENERATION HAS THEIR OWN LITTLE BAG OF TRICKS

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1979, Cleveland — Bo Diddley opened for The Clash on their US tour – Image by © Bob Gruen. In 1979, Joe Strummer and Paul Simonon of the Clash asked that Diddley open for them on the band’s first American tour. “I can’t look at him without my mouth falling open,” Strummer, starstruck, told a journalist during the tour. For his part, Diddley had no misgivings about facing a skeptical audience. “You cannot say what people are gonna like or not gonna like,” he explained later to the biographer George White. “You have to stick it out there and find out! If they taste it, and they like the way it tastes, you can bet they’ll eat some of it!” via

The Clash where huge fans of Bo Diddley, as many of the formative British bands (and American too) of the ’60s and ’70s were– The Rolling Stones, The Who, The Beatles, The Yardbirds, and many more. Bo Diddley joined The Clash as their opening act on their 1979 US Tour– opening up a radical, young, new crowd to the sound of the man many consider to be one of the most important pioneers of American Rock & Roll music. Bo Diddley himself made no bones about stating that HE was THE beginning of Rock & Roll. Bo Diddley not only influenced sound– he also influenced the attitude, energy, and look of Rock & Roll for decades to come. Look at the pics here, I see the bold plaids that Diddley and other Rockers of the ’50s wore (Plaid was for hipsters, not squares, in the ’50s..), that emerged again strongly in the ’70s through the Sex Pistols (great credit due to Vivienne Westwood), The Clash and others. You can also see and hear where Jack Black got the lion’s share of his game from– no doubt Bo Diddley. The man is a legend and has never gotten his due, and the due that came, came too late. He had a well-earned chip on his shoulder, and even insisted The Clash pay him upfront, as he’d been screwed over so many times before.

“I was the cat that went and opened the door, and everyone else ran through it. And I said– what the heck, you know? …I was left holding the doorknob” –Bo Diddley

Bo Diddley

ca. 1950s — Norma Jean “The Duchess” Wofford in white blouse, Jerome Green squatting in front with maracas, and Bo Diddley with his signature rectangular Gretsch guitar. Bo and his crew were the badasses of their generation, just as The Clash were in theirs. – Image by © Michael Ochs

“If you can play– all you need is one amp, your axe, and you. “ –Bo Diddley explaining his feelings about The Clash’s monstrous wall of sound during their 1979 US tour.

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ZIGGY STARDUST | YOU’RE JUST A GIRL… WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT MAKEUP?

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Brian Duffy photograph of David Bowie for the Aladdin Sane album cover, 1973. “Bowie’s sixth studio album marked the birth of the ‘schizophrenic’ character Aladdin Sane who was a development of the space-age Japanese-influenced Ziggy Stardust. To create the compelling album cover image, Bowie collaborated with photographer Brian Duffy and make-up artist Pierre Laroche. The result was one of the most recognizable images in popular culture– a ‘lightning flash’ design which has been reproduced in multiple forms world-wide.” via

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Look, there are those that revere Bowie as an ahead-of-his-time visionary who revolutionized Rock ‘n’ Roll. And there are those who see him very black & white, as a plodding opportunist who coldly studied what was happening around him (heavily borrowing from  true innovators at the time like Marc Bolan), and then expertly went about merchandising himself for mass commercial consumption. Both are fucking true. Bowie is an epic genius who learned through years of toil, trial, and error how to create a magical out-of-this-world persona and artistically sell it to us on a silver platter. No one has done it better in recent memory, and it’s unlikely that anyone in our lifetime will top him. Period. End of story.

There’s an incredible account by Glenn O’Brien in the recent issue of Out Magazine. Gay or straight, get over it, go buy it, and devour the entire spread on David Bowie. It is brilliant. You can read a chunk of it here after the jump. Now go– oh, you pretty things.

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“David Bowie (AKA Ziggy Stardust) wearing a sensational creation by Kansai Yamamoto. Born in Yokohama in 1944, the Japanese fashion designer was only 27 when he held his first international fashion show in London in 1971. The Japanese division of RCA records made MainMan aware of Yamamoto’s work and Bowie purchased the “woodlands animal costume” from Kansai’s London boutique– which he wore at the Rainbow Concert in August 1972 and which was later remade by Natasha Korniloff. Bowie subsequently viewed a video of a rock/fashion show that Kansai had staged in Japan the previous year and reportedly loved the costumes which were a combination of modern sci-fi and classical Kabuki theatre. Kansai and Bowie met in New York where he gifted Bowie two costumes during the 2nd US Tour. Kansai was then commissioned to create nine more costumes based on traditional Japanese Noh dramas for Bowie to pick up in Tokyo in April 1973. These were the flamboyant androgynous Ziggy Stardust costumes Bowie wore on the 3rd UK tour in 1973.” via The Ziggy Stardust Companion –photo by Masayoshi Sukita, the David Bowie archive

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David Bowie as Ziggy Stardust –photo by Mick Rock via

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GLADYS INGLE AND THE 13 BLACK CATS | HOLLYWOOD’S HI-FLYING HELLRAISERS

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Hi JP,
Your latest post about the Air Fast images really hit a cord with me. Coming from a predominately Air Force military family, almost every male relative has flown a plane at some point or another, and having been schooled in aviation history and legend my entire life I find endless stoke in those images. I thought I would share a few stories with you that might tickle your flying wings.

Firstly this chick [Gladys Ingle] has more balls that all your subscribers combined, including me!

All the best,

Eric Lindeman

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Well Eric wasn’t just whistlin’ Dixie! Gladys Ingle definitely had balls to spare– Maybe she had 13 pairs! She was the only female member of Hollywood’s 13 Black Cats aerial daredevil stunt troop. They flew “Jennys”– Curtiss JN-4 biplanes with an abundance of struts and wires to grip, making it ideal for stunt-riders and wing-walkers. Gladys earned her fearless reputation by changing planes in mid-air without a parachute or safety gear. Legend has it she performed her wing-walking stunts hundreds of times. She’s a young and spry woman of 25 or 26 years old in the below pics– amazing. One popular stunt had Gladys performing archery atop a Jenny biplane in midair. She went on to live a long and healthy life, passing away in 1981, at 82 years of age. I’d love to know more about the incredible Gladys Ingle, so please reach out if you’re in the know!

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Gladys Ingle transferring from Bob McDougall's airplane to Art Goebel's

Wing-walker Gladys Ingle transferring from Bon McDougall’s airplane to Art Goebel’s airplane with no parachute or safety gear. In 1927, after several aerial stunt and wing-walking deaths, parachutes were finally required by law.  –courtesy  San Diego Air & Space Museum Archives. Keep reading and you’ll see an amazing video of her in action…

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STEVE McQUEEN AKA HARVEY MUSHMAN RIDES AGAIN | VINTAGE SI

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A great article from 1971 unearthed from the Sports Illustrated archives– Steve McQueen discussing desert bike riding with Bud Ekins & Malcolm Smith, Racing in the 12 Hours of Sebring with Pete Revson, The Great Escape, his son Chad, and much more.

McQueen even recalls exactly when he was bitten by the off-road bug– “Well, I was riding along Sepulveda with Dennis Hopper when we saw these guys bopping and bumping through the weeds near there, off the road. It was Keenan Wynn and another guy on these strange machines, dirt bikes they called them. We asked Keenan if he could climb that cliff. ‘Watch this,’ he says. Varoom! Right up to the top. Dennis and I were standing there with our eyes out to here. The very next day I went out and bought me a 500-cc Triumph dirt bike.”

Read on friends, read on.

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Steve McQueen riding his Husqvarna 400 motorcycle. Below is an article from SI magazine, 1971.

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HARVEY ON THE LAM

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By Robert F. Jones

By any name, Steve McQueen gets all revved up over dirt bikes.

Slamming one across the California Desert is now his Great Escape.

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The opening scene: California’s Mojave Desert at high noon. Dead silence. Through the shimmering heat waves, Mount San Jacinto seems to writhe on the horizon like a dying brontosaurus. The spines of the cactus at foreground right are in sharp focus, the gleaming spearpoints of a vegetable army. In the shadow of a boulder, sudden movement. A Gila monster raises its beadwork head and flicks its tongue, alert to the distant sound that is just beginning to insinuate itself into the desert’s quiet. A sudden, ululating whine, the invading noise rapidly gains strength as four distorted dots on the horizon weave closer. The dots take on color and shape s they approach: a quartet of red and chrome motorcycles, stunting and racketing through the puckerbushes, their riders vaulting the ridges and slaloming through the cactus at 70 mph. Their ominous, mechanical verve sends the Gila monster– descendant of the dinosaurs– scuttling for shelter. The camers zooms in on the lead rider’s face, sun-blackened and jut-jawed under his helmet. Up music and credits: hold onto your popcorn, folks–

Harvey Mushman rides again!

That scenario, or one like it, takes place nearly every weekend in the desert surrounding Palm Springs. Harvey Mushman is the ocassional pseudonym of Steve McQueen, movie actor and motor sportsman, when he goes a-racing. His companions on those fast, racking transits of the wasteland often include the best of the desert-riding breed: Bud Ekins or Roger Riddell, Mert Lawwill or Malcolm Smith. Now and then a smaller figure on a smaller bike trails behind, slower but only a touch less skillful in his handling of the desert’s harsh nuance– Chad McQueen, the actor’s 10-year-old son.

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June 13th, 1971 – Steve McQueen riding his Husqvarna 400 motorcycle in the Mojave Desert — Photo by Heinz Kluetmeier/Sports Illustrated/Getty Images

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THE ROLLING STONES ROCK WARHOL’S EAST HAMPTON PAD | MONTAUK, 1975

Andy Warhol cultural icon, and Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones – Image by © Ken Regan

It was spring of 1975, and The Rolling Stones were gearing up for their epic Tour Of The Americas (TOTA)– which they would later kick off  in NYC by performing “Brown Sugar” on the back of a flatbed truck driving down 5th Ave. Looking for a place to rest up, rehearse for the tour, and work on songs for their upcoming album, Black and Blue, the boys rented their pal Andy Warhol’s pad (for 5k a month), and got busy being themselves. Let’s just say their presence did not go unnoticed by their buttoned-up neighbors:

“Throughout April sensationally loud music welled through the windows, into the ruts and hollows over the tangled crab-grass of an estate in Montauk, Long Island. Residents of the Ditch Plains trailer park were woken in the night – yapping dogs, even wolves, the loud grief of coyotes. From East Hampton to New York the word spread with the ferocity of a brush fire: The Rolling Stones were rehearsing!”

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June, 1975 — The Rolling Stones, with guest percussionist Ollie E. Brown, outside their rehearsal room at Andy Warhol’s Montauk Church Estate – Image by © Ken Regan. Although the Stones tried to keep a low profile, their fans found their hide away. Andy Warhol remembered, “Mick Jagger really put Montauk on the map. All the motels were overflowing with groupies. Two girls with no hair and black cats on leashes followed them all the way to Montauk. Mr. Winters, the caretaker of the estate, found them hiding in the bushes!”

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June, 1975 — The Rolling Stones, with guest percussionist Ollie E. Brown, outside their rehearsal room at Andy Warhol’s Montauk Church Estate – Image by © Ken Regan. Following Mick Taylor’s leaving the band, Ronnie Wood stepped in to (try and) fill his shoes. Wood was still a member of the Faces while he toured with the Stones on TOTA, and recorded with them on Black and Blue. The Faces wouldn’t officially announce they’re breakup until Dec. 1975, and the Stones announced Wood as an official member of the band in Feb. 1976. “I remember learning 150 of their repertoire (laughs). I gave up trying to remember which key each one was in or the chord sequence to a lot of them. I did a lot of it by feel in the end, you know. Had to, it’s impossible to log all of those songs. It was intense– to get hit with all of those Mick Taylor lines, to echo what Brian had done, then to add my own bluesy input to it all.” –Ron Wood

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Below is a great little read from Montauk Life that recounts the days of Andy Warhol’s move to East Hampton, The Rolling Stones’ legendary visit to the Church Estate that Warhol owned, and other interesting tidbits of that time:

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