THE PHOTOGRAPHY OF PULSATING PAULA | A VISUAL RECORD OF NEW JERSEY BIKES & INK

Pulsating Paula tapped TSY with her eye-popping photographic archive of the New Jersey bike and tattoo crowd she shot back in the ’80s & ’90s. These images speak of authenticity, grit, and good times. Looking at these raw, honest shots what speaks to me is that life itself is f’ing good, if you have the nuts to truly go out and live it. It’s not the stuff. You need to show up, be authentic, truly appreciate family & friends, where you are and what you have. When you do that you realize you have all you need.

pulsating paula 1970s 1980s biker babe tattoo

“Born in Jersey City. Moved to New Brunswick when I was 8. Got married to my first lay in 1973. 10 years later he bought me a camera, a Canon AE1. I still have it. Started taking photos of biker parties and tattoo events. Sent them into ‘Biker Lifestyle’ magazine who later Paisano publications took over. They came out with ‘Tattoo’ magazine first of it’s kind ever. Between the Biker and Tattoo magazines I had thousands of photos published. The 10 minute set up of my photography studio consisted of 2 flood lights that burnt the shit out of any poor person in front of them, and a 6×9 foot black cloth I got from Kmart that was tacked onto a wall. Never considered myself professional ever. I just loved doing it with every fiber in my body. I know the wonderful people I met and places I been in this journey will live on forever in my photographs. I’m so glad I was there with you.” –Paula Reardon (aka Pulsating Paula) 

pulsating paula 1970s 1980s harley sleeping biker

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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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BIKERS, CIRCA 1983 – 1985 | THE PHOTOGRAPHY OF ANN-SIMMONS MYERS

Kind and patient persistence does pay off. Ann Simmons-Myers, the photographer behind these amazing images that follow, finally after 3 months agreed to allow TSY to publish her Biker series dating back from 1983-1985. It’s very close to her heart, understandably, and I’m so grateful to be able to share these with you now. Ann, thank you very much. And Corrina from LA, thank you as well. These images are just incredible glimpes of authentic “livin’ the life”, taken I believe in Tucson, Arizona– my hometown back in the ol’ school days.

ann simmons myers Dr D Madd's 357

Dr. D Madd’s .357, 1985 — Photograph © Ann Simmons-Myers

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1966 BARRED OUTLAW MOTORCYCLE MAGAZINE | BRUTAL! FRANK! VIOLENT!

barred outlaw magazine

From the archives of Nostalgia on Wheels comes this lil’ peek at Barred Outlaw Motorcycle magazine– a biker exploitation rag written not for riders, but for voyeurs looking for what makes those bad boys tick. Think of it as a primer for squares on bikers. There’s just enough laughable, inaccurate and hyperbolic writing that when they do actually mention the true 1%’er  MC’s it kinda lacks any sting. Hell, they can’t even get the year right for when The Wild One (the Godfather of all biker exploitation flicks) was filmed… ca. 1960??? What I do love about the magazine is the use of images, the layouts, fonts, etc. It is pure gold for the design-minded among us. It’s kinda refreshing compared to all the stripped-down aesthetic out there right now.

barred outlaw motorcycle magazine

BARRED OUTLAW MOTORCYCLE SPECIAL– ANGELS FROM HELL! Today’s rebels on wheels, living a legend of violence and excitement. Their love is hate…for everything and everyone– but each other!

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“TAKE NONE GIVE NONE” | A FILM ON THE LEGENDARY CHOSEN FEW MC

CHOSEN FEW MC MOTORCYCLE CLUB

In 1959, the Chosen Few MC officially formed out in LA on the cusp of the chaotic ’60s. As they tell it —“The 60s was a hell of a time. With the Civil Rights Movement, The Viet Nam War, Flower Power & Free Love. Sex, Drugs, and  Rock & Roll. Also the Crazy World of the Outlaw Bikers…When you talk of the Outlaw Bikers you automatically think of ‘Them Crazy White Boys’ doing what a lot of folk wish they could do. Live Life Like You Want & Fuck You And Your Rules. Well Guess What? There was some crazy Black bikers who felt the same way, and didn’t give a Fuck. Thus was born the Black Outlaw Bikers!”

Now there is a documentary film on the Chosen Few to be released that tells their story. Hearing these guys speak about their brotherhood and love of riding in the above trailer gave me chills. If you like what you see, like their page, follow them on twitter, leave a comment on their site— all that social media shit that says YES, GIVE IT TO ME! I WANT TO SEE IT!

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‘YOSEMITE’ SAM RADOFF | KUSTOM KING FLAMECOLOGIST, STRIPER & SCULPTOR

yosemite sam radoff

‘Yosemite’ Sam Radoff started customizing cars at the tender age of 12 yrs old– way before he was even old enough to drive! That was back in the mid ’50s, and he went by handle ‘Little Sam’ then. Some 45 years later Radoff is one of the most respected flamers (I love his ol’ crab claw flame jobs), pinstripers, and metal sculptors the kustom kulture scene has ever known. Dr. ‘Yosemite’ Sam, PhD (Phlame Doctor) has also produced custom motorcycle and pinstriping shows across the country.

Despite his vast exposure, he is not widely a household name like Ed ‘Big Daddy’ Roth, Kenny Howard AKA Von Dutch, Dean Jeffries, George Barris, Arlen Ness— but those in the know recognize and respect Sam Radoff as being just as important. His legendary work and countless awards over the years speak for themselves.

yosemite sam radoff paint

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VINTAGE MENSWEAR | A COLLECTION FROM THE VINTAGE SHOWROOM’S BOOK

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I was pretty stoked when Doug Gunn sent me a copy of — Vintage Menswear — A Collection from the Vintage Showroom — as I’ve long been an admirer. Being in the menswear trade myself, London has always been a favorite stop for inspiration, and there’s no better place to be inspired than The Vintage Showroom. The collection is insane and beautifully presented, covering everything from academia, sporting, hunting, motoring, military wear, workwear, denim– it’s no surprise that they are one of the most complete and prestigious vintage dealers in the world. Of special interest to me are all things related to motoring as you see below including vintage leathers, Barbour, Belstaff, etc., and all the great snippets of the history, construction, and function behind the pieces.

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CHAMPION CAR CLUB JACKET, 1950s– “This is a simple, zip-up cotton jacket with fish-eye buttons at the cuffs and a short collar. What it signifies, however, is so much more. The hand-embroidered, chain-stitched imagery on its back places it squarely in the 1950s, at the height of the hot-rodding craze in the US. Hot-rodding was said to have been driven by young men returning from service abroad after World War II who had technical knowledge, time on their hands, and the habit of spending long days in male, if not macho, company. Rebuilding and boosting cars for feats of both spectacle and speed — often 1930s Ford Model Ts, As and Bs, stripped of extraneous parts, engines tuned or replaced, tires beefed up for better traction, and a show-stopping paint job as the final touch — became an issue of social status among hot-rodding’s participants. This status was expressed through clothing too. There were the ‘hot-rodders’ of the 1930s, when car modification for racing across dry lakes in California was more an innovative sport than a subculture, complete with the Southern California Timing Association of 1937 providing ‘official’ sanction. But by the 1950s, hot-rodding was a style too.  decade later it was, as many niche tastes are, commercialized and mainstream, with car design showing hot-rod traits.”  –Vintage Menswear, Douglas Gunn, Roy Luckett& Josh Sims

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49 YEAR RIDE – GENERATIONS ON THE ROAD | A FILM BY MARC BENCIVENGA

“Steve Leandro has been building and riding bikes since the late ’60s and has inspired many over the decades dedicated to his passion.  I was able to uncover some Super 8 footage from 1974 of the ‘Run To the Redwoods”, which he was a part of, and some 1972 Super 8 footage of the influences in Steve’s life to create a piece that I believe acknowledges Steve’s humble beginings and honors his current impact on those who love an old Harley.”  –Marc Bencivenga, filmmaker

1969, Santa Rosa– Tony Aeillo and Austin Hall (a still from– 49 Year Ride – Generations on the Road)

Another great short film by Marc Bencivenga called 49 Year Ride – Generations on the Road.  Steve Leandro of S&J Motorcycles opens up about coming up in the motorcycle scene when he was young, his shop and love of bikes, and passing the torch on to his grandson Zak who he’s able to share his love of bikes and builbing with. Marc also shot another great short– A Prayer For Cool which we featured on TSY a while back. Enjoy.

Steve Leandro’s grandson Zak who clearly already has been bitten by the bike bug.

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SCOTT TOEPFER’S ORIGINAL BLACKBIRD PHOTOGRAPHY | DENIM ON 2 WHEELS

Good friend Scott Toepfer shot some amazing images for the TSY x PRPS x TRIUMPH Blackbird limited edition jean were all the buzz at the event held at Fast Ashley’s Studios in Brooklyn, NY. Those of you poor souls who were unable to attend deserve a gander too because they are that good. Looking forward to doing this again!

The Black Flag tribute on the helmet is simply strips of everyday black electrical tape. Brilliant. Blackbird event original image by © Scott Toepfer photography

TSY x PRPS x Triumph Motorcycles limited edition Blackbird 14 oz jean — Blackbird event original image by © Scott Toepfer photography

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“LIVING THE LIFE” | EPIC OLD SCHOOL BIKER POETRY BY SOREZ THE SCRIBE

“Ricky’s Beach”, circa 197? from “Living The Life” –Image by © Doug Barber

Having featured the photography of Doug Barber (AKA Q-Ball) in “Living The Life”, it’s now time to honor the epic biker poetry of Eddi Pliska (AKA Sorez the Scribe). Like I said, his scribes throttle, brake, and pull no punches and together with Doug they have created a 1%er’s masterpiece that is truly one of a kind. Sorez’s work has graced the pages of Outlaw Biker Magazine, Easyriders, and he’s a member of the Highway Poets Motor Cycle Club– “America’s Only Bike Club Of Published Journalists.” 

Sorez’s love of the biker lifestyle started at the tender age of ten yrs old when he picked up his first copy of Easyriders, and at thirteen he got his first bike– a Harley-Davidson 350cc Sprint that he walked ten miles to his home and repaired himself. Sorez never finished high school– instead learning life on the streets, and finding family and friends in the clubhouse– some still brothers some 30 years later. He’ll always remember on caring teacher telling him on his way out– “Don’t ever give up writing. One day your works shall be read.”

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