ROBERT PLANT’S POOCH & TOLKIEN | THE INSPIRATION BEHIND LED ZEPPELIN’S LYRICS

robert plant led zeppelin merle strider motorcycle

Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin and his beloved ‘Strider’, named after J. R. R. Tolkien’s character ‘Aragorn’ from ‘The Lord of the Rings.’ 

Bron-Y-Aur Stomp was penned by Robert Plant and Jimmy Page back in 1970, and named after the tiny cottage in Gwynedd, Wales where the band holed-up after coming off their North American tour. The rustic, old home (with no power or running water) was a welcome escape to refresh the road-worn band and inspired several epic songs for Led Zeppelin III, including Bron-Y-Aur Stomp. “There ain’t no companion like a blue-eyed Merle,” was Robert Plant’s tender, lyrical nod to his sweet lil’ pooch, Strider in this song. Tolkien references can also be heard in a few other Led Zeppelin songs– Ramble On, The Battle of Evermore, and Misty Mountain Hop. 

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VINTAGE RACING AT PENDINE SANDS | PHOTOGRAPHY OF BASTIAN GLAESSNER

Photographer Bastian Glaessner shot these incredibly cool pics of vintage hot rod racing at the legendary Pendine Sands. His eye and unique style has created a strong signature that feels rich and nostalgic. The images are so stunning, I could stare at these all day…

BastianGlaessner_PendineSands2015_09The Selvedge Yard

“I was super chuffed when Neil Fretwell of the VHRA recently invited me up to the rugged Welsh headland that holds the infamous ‘Pendine Sands’ for a weekend of vintage racing. Since the early 1920s cars have pelted down this 7-mile stretch of fine golden grains to chase automotive speed records. On this early July weekend a mad crowd of hot rod racers from all over Europe had assembled their beasts at this historic spot. By the time I got there Friday after dark, the field around the Museum of Speed was brimming with glorious pre-1949 rods, glistening in the moonlight, begging to be let loose on the endless stretch of tidal sands below.” ~Bastian Glaessner

BastianGlaessner_PendineSands2015_22The Selvedge Yard

“Come Saturday morning and first the Welsh weather gods got their own. Heavy winds and some blistering downpours overnight meant racers had to be patient a little while longer whilst the team of helping hands were busy getting the course up and running. Once the fences were up, the 110 yard timing section established and the mile long track cleared of stranded giant jellyfish, the show got underway. As if on cue the sun popped out from behind the clouds, crowds gathered on the beach and with a mighty “ROOOAR…” our cars rolled out onto the sands to line up in the pits. What an exciting display of vintage sheet metal that was!” ~Bastian Glaessner

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THE ART & HISTORY OF THE HOBO COIN LIVES ON IN SILVER PISTON JEWELRY & GOODS

steve west silver piston nickel sterling hobo jewelry

The Selvedge Yard is proud to offer Silver Piston jewelry in our online shop here.

“As a kid growing up in the 70s and 80s, I was always intrigued by old buffalo nickels. I used to get them from my grandfather and would eventually spend them on candy. As a jewelry maker, they’re a cornerstone to a lot of my jewelry. It all started a couple of years ago when I bought a bag of them off eBay to see what could be done with them. One day I was in the studio working on a half inch wedding band for a friend. Since I had more silver I made one for myself and then it happened…

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PHOTOGRAPHY OF KARLHEINZ WEINBERGER | THE 1950S ROCKER REBEL YOUTH OF ZURICH

KARLHEINZ WEINBERGER REBEL YOUTH ROCKABILLY BELT

Karlheinz Weinberger’s photography is often described as, “What happens to white Switzerland when black music is played by a white man, and then radioed across the Atlantic to Europe.” While there are clearly strong homoerotic overtones present and some may judge and decide to look no further… I’m drawn to the strong fashion stance and attitude of rebellion in these kids that is driven by the American music and movie scene of the time (Elvis, James Dean, Gene Vincent, etc.) that they masterfully embraced and evolved into there own subculture, Halbstark or “Half-Strong.” Almost 50 years later, it still inspires.

KARLHEINZ WEINBERGER REBEL YOUTH DENIM DUDES GANG

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ATOMIC MID-CENTURY VINTAGE FESTIVAL | PHOTOGRAPHY OF BASTIAN GLAESSNER

Photographer Bastian Glaessner shot these incredibly cool pics of the UK Atomic Festival described by the organizers as– “…an international line-up of bands & DJs playing in spectacular indoor venues, traditional flag-start drag racing, air displays, jiving, bopping & strolling, an enormous big-top with a 6,000 sq ft dance floor, a pre-1963 car show and drive-in movie, poodles, roller skating… and the best festival atmosphere ever!” Bastian Glaessner atomic-1

“On slight short notice I headed up north last weekend to meet up with a bunch of UK retro heads that got together on an old 30s airstrip outside Northampton to celebrate the annual Atomic bash of serious vintage fair. This mid-century-inspired festival had everything the gentleman drag-strip connoisseur’s heart might desire– a field full of polished pre-’63s metal to draw you in, plenty mean Rock ’n’ Roll fuzz booming from the speakers of the multiple stages, the gravity defying riders of the Demon-Drome of death spinning their 1920s Indians up the 30 foot wall and last but not least a glorious stretch of glaring concrete that just begged the rod riders to be raced!” ~Bastian Glaessner

Bastian Glaessner atomic-22

“Despite the somewhat grey skies the eclectic mob turned out in style! Bombers, raw jeans, pomaded hair and neat pressed curls as far as the eye could see. From gear-heads to knuckle freaks, young-guns to old-timers, everybody made an effort and rocked up spotting their most stylish attire. It all made for a photographers dream really.” ~Bastian Glaessner

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DANNY JOHNSON’S EPIC TWIN-ENGINED HARLEY-DAVIDSON GOLIATH DRAG BIKE

“Me and some buddies of mine had traveled to Daytona hoping to see Leo Payne. There were rumors he was going to come there and kick ass. All the fast street bikes parked on Main Street to show off your stuff and get up races but there was no Leo Payne. One sinister looking Sportster was parked there when we arrived. It looked like a Cafe racer. After looking at more “fast looking” bikes I went back to be with mine. Soon a guy came up and started looking my bike over thouroughly. It had twin Linkert carbs and Dytch big bore cylinders on it, a dead give-away. This guy asked who it belonged to and I proudly raised my hand. “Want to go out in the country and race” he said. That’s what I’m here for I said. He went to get his bike ….and it was the Cafe looking bike. It was about 10:00 pm as we headed out and at least 25 bikes went with us to watch. We found a long straightaway and decided it was good. The guy asked if I wanted to start from a dead stop or a rolloff. I said a rolloff. We were both side by side at about 20 mph when we turned the throttles at exactly the same instant and the other bike jumped out to a bike length lead on me and it stayed that way through all the gears up to about 130 mph, the fastest my bike would run with the gearing I had and besides it was pitch dark on that lonely highway. I was VERY disappointed to have lost as we rode back to downtown Daytona, trying to get back before the law got to us. As we parked I introduced myself and he said “I’m Danny Johnson.” It was the beginning of a friendship that lasted until his death.” ~Frank Spittle via

Danny Johnson Harley-Davidson Goliath drag bike

“A Mind Shredder, two Harley-Davidson engines, each stretched out to 107 cubic inches, power this 460 pound Goliath. The thing has already devoured a quarter mile in 8.51 and its teeth haven’t been honed. Does the monster have a seven second future?” Motorcycle Journalist, Sandy Roca, on Danny Johnson’s Goliath, ca. 1973

DANNY JOHNSON IRONHEAD HARLEY-DAVIDSON DRAGSTER

Danny Johnson’s rolling flame burnout on a single Harley-Davidson Ironhead drag bike.

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BILLIE HOLIDAY’S SWEET MISTER THAT CHASED HER DOGGGONE BLUES AWAY

There was a lot of love between Lady Day Billie Holiday and her beloved pooch, Mister. She had other dogs in her lifetime– a Standard Poodle, and pet Chihuahas she bottle fed and whisked around in her pocket– but none as close to her heart as Mister. He was widely thought to be a Boxer, but there are some who disagree saying he was perhaps an American Staffordshire Terrier. One thing is clear, he was a loving and protective companion, and trusted by Holiday above all others– humans included. It’s no wonder these touching photos mean so much to Billie Holiday fans and dog lovers alike. He would chaperone her to the clubs where she performed, and stood watch over her in the backstage dressing room. Billie would sing to Mister, and reward him by cooking him juicy steaks. 100 years after her birth, she is still bedeviling our ears with her sweet, sorrowful tunes and haunting us in pictures. RIP Lady Day, and her sweet Mister.

billie holiday mister

Originally included in a 1949 cover story for Ebony magazine, this photograph shows Holiday at home in her Harlem apartment cooking a steak with her beloved boxer, Mister. The article, titled “I’m Cured for Good,” came after numerous incidents with the law due to Holiday’s ongoing struggle with narcotics. This was the first time Leonard had ever met the singer. “On arriving, I was greeted by a woman in an apron and housedress,” recalled Leonard, “whom I initially mistook for the maid, until I realized she was the great Billie Holiday.” –Photographer Herman Leonard via

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Portrait of Billie Holiday and Mister by William Gottlieb at the Downbeat in New York, Feb. 1947

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LAUREL CANYON DAZE | CSN, JONI MITCHELL, JACKSON BROWNE, MAMA CASS, THE EAGLES

The epic tales of Laurel Canyon’s heyday continues to linger like the warm smell of colitas rising up through the air… It’s here that the SoCal sound was born out of an era of relaxed morals (fucking sex), folks expanding their mental horizons (drugs), and a wave of eclectic misfits coming from all over to launch, reinvent, or escape their musical careers (rock ‘n’ roll) in this sleepy, smoky, winding hippy enclave. And the women, Mama Cass & Joni Mitchell, were the (wise and worldly beyond their years) matriarchs watching over over this peaceful, easy-feeling, community headquartered on Lookout Mountain. Henry Diltz was a friend and photographer to many in the scene those days, and his visual record and memories of these times is priceless.

“When I first came out to L.A. [in 1968], my friend Joel Bernstein found an old book in a flea market that said, ‘Ask anyone in America where the craziest people live and they’ll tell you California. Ask anyone in California where the craziest people live and they’ll say Los Angeles. Ask anyone in Los Angeles where the craziest people live and they’ll tell you Hollywood. Ask anyone in Hollywood where the craziest people live and they’ll say Laurel Canyon. And ask anyone in Laurel Canyon where the craziest people live and they’ll say Lookout Mountain.’ So I bought a house on Lookout Mountain.” —Joni Mitchell

Joni Mitchell home Lookout Mountain Avenue Laurel Canyon 1970 © Henry Dilitz

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THE PHOTOGRAPHY OF PULSATING PAULA PART II | 1980s DAYTONA BEACH BIKE WEEK

The last time TSY posted the epic Photography of Pulsating Paula the interwebs superhighway stream was so strong it blew the plastic housing clear off my Commodore 64. I’ve since upgraded to a refurbished Apple III and am ready to roll. With Daytona Bike Week fresh on everyone’s mind, let’s go back to a time before many of you were born– the 1980s. Not the strongest era in terms of aesthetic, but these are bikers. And luckily for them they’re largely immune to vapid societal fashion trends and fancy pants grooming. What you get is straight-up lettin’ it all hang out, livin’ the life Daytona. You don’t like it, stick it.

PULSATING PAULA BIKER PHOTOGRAPHY CARLO 1982 MOTORCYCLE

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PULSATING PAULA DAYTONA BEACH BIKE WEEK HARLEY PANHEAD BABE

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“MAD MAX” BUBECK & HIS INDIAN CHOUT | HELL ON HYBRID WHEELS

max bubeck hr indian chout motorcycle

Max Bubeck sitting on his 135.58mph hybrid Indian Chief/Scout that he rode at Rosamond Dry Lake on June 27th, 1948. The Fred “Pop” Shunk-built “Chout” is as lean and mean as a straight razor except, for two badass methanol-fed Schebler carburetors that look big enough to pluck poultry. Bubeck’s “Chout”, sporting custom cams and a single speed gearbox, still holds the record for the world’s fastest unfaired Indian motorcycle.

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