AMERICA ANTIQUES & DESIGN | THE LITTLE LAMBERTVILLE, NJ SHOP THAT’S BIG IN JAPAN

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It’s been a personal pleasure of mine getting to know David Teague and Ginger Hall, proprietors of America Antiques & Design, and Compromise Lodge (Ginger’s upstairs vintage hideaway inside America Designs). Their shop full of vintage and custom treasures is nestled in at 5 S. Main Street, Lambertville, NJ– the bucolic Bucks County sister town of New Hope, PA sitting just across the Delaware River. David & Ginger are as unassuming and low key as they come, yet draw a loyal and very notable following. Creatives in the world of furnishings, fashion & film come from around the globe in appreciation of the couple’s discerning eye and uncommon taste level. For anyone looking to get off the homogenized grid and have a true experience of eclectic discovery and one-off finds– this is the place.

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David Teague of America Antiques & Design in Lambertville, NJ.

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EAST MEETS WEST | SHINYA KIMURA ZEN AND THE HEART OF MOTORCYCLES

In 1962 I was born in Old Town Tokyo

I was brought up surrounded by the smell of oil and steel, and the sound of machinery

I think this is why this life suits me well

I have Images but I am not inspired by any particular thing

I don’t draw either

I cut steel or bend aluminum listening to how I feel at that moment

I use my own hands and break my back making the bikes

I believe that speaks to peoples emotions and makes them want one

SHINYA KIMURA

A bike should look good on its own– but it’s incomplete until a person rides it

For me a motorcycle is more than art

It’s something that brings out my instincts– the wildness and vulnerability in me

It feels nothing like how violent it looks from the outside

It’s very serene

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SHINYA KIMURA

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The ground and the sky are so white, there is no boundary between them

I have never flown, but it feels like flying in an airplane using a reciprocating engine

I can’t tell you how peaceful it is

–SHINYA KIMURA

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SHINYA KIMURA — image via Troy Critchlow/Sideburn Mag

The video after the jump is not to be missed…

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TSY’s FAVE FIVE ON SOUTHSIDERS MC | ICONIC BIKES THAT MADE HISTORY

Our friends over at SouthSiders MC run one of the hands-down, best bike sites going, and were kind enough to feature TSY in their ongoing feature called “Your Favorite Five”, which pretty much speaks for itself.  Picking just five bikes is near impossible, so there may be a sequel coming up…

\Via SouthSiders MC–

Blogs have become an incredible tool of communication, bringing over a decade a level of power to the multimedia publishing that print barely reached in a century.

Nevertheless, the rules remain the same : real & exclusive content, real writing, real photography make the difference that provides readers and not zappers. The Selvedge Yard is among the best true web publications. Based on the fascination for “Americana” and the American style, his maker, Jon Patrick is also a fashion contibutor to the Italian men’s fashion ruler GQ. Jon’s roots are plugged into the American Movie History.
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Some for beauty, some for brawn – all for their importance. How do you pick five? Should I stick to the classics, so its apples to apples? We’ll see…

Harley Davidson XR-750

Harley Davidson’s dominating, and sexy as all hell, flat track racer. First introduced in 1970, and seriously upgraded in 1972 as the aluminum “Alloy XR”, it not only became an icon on the dirt track, it was also Evel Knievel‘s weapon of choice. With its classic H-D orange/black graphic appeal and clean, uncluttered form – it’s a bike for the ages.

Husqvarna 1970 400 Cross
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Husky’s icon that became synonymous with another icon – Steve McQueen. Featured in his 1971 film, On Any Sunday, Husqvarnas were the most badass and beautiful motocross bikes of their day, with their 400 Cross becoming a highly coveted classic. The legendary Malcolm Smith tore it up alongside McQueen on an innovative eight-speed Husky 250, which he also used to handily dominate the competitive off-road circuit. Hell yeah, Husky!

1953 Triumph Blackbird

In the 1950s, there were more Triumphs sold in the U.S. than any other country. Their top-end Thunderbird 650cc vertical twin, with a little tinkering, could top out at 130 mph. A great bike, but fairly limited in offering. They were available in one color only – blue. So when public demand cried-out for a black Triumph, they finally released the Blackbird in 1953 – and it still slays me every time I lay eyes on her. Another important note – Brando, a motorcyclist himself, rode his own ’50 Thunderbird in the iconic film, “The Wild One”.

1940 Indian Scout

This beauty once belonged to none other than, you guessed it – Steve McQueen. Here you see the motorcycle company’s iconic Indian Head logo on the fuel tank. I personally prefer the pared-down Scout over the heavy-looking Chief, but they are beauties too. By the 1940s, Indians began to sport stunning paint jobs with up to 24 colors available, and several two-tone options – making them some of the most beautiful bikes ever produced.

Harley-Davidson Captain America Chopper

Growing up in the ’70s, there were 2 bikes that were emblazoned in my mind – Evel Knievel’s H-D XR-750, and Easy Rider’s Captain America Chopper. The vision of Peter Fonda, it was built by (I love this part…) a Black brother – Ben Hardy from Los Angeles, starting with an old ’52 Panhead Hydra-Glide bought at a Police Auction. It became an instant icon that brought choppers to the forefront of motorcycling, and really raised the bar for custom builds. Two were built for Easy Rider – one survived. Hell yeah, Captain America!

It’s hard to stop at five, I feel a “Part II” coming on…

JP

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ARLEN NESS’ SECRET WEAPON DURING THE ’70s CHOPPER BOOM | JEFF McCANN

Jeff McCann, who discreetly signs his works with his hidden signature “Motorcycles Forever” got his first bike back in ’65, at the age of 20.  An accomplished artist, McCann began customizing motorcycles a few years later, and soon found himself with a steady side-gig of painting and customizing friend’s bikes.

By the 1970s, with his incredible skills and the Easy Rider chopper boom in full force, McCann was in hot demand.   He opened his own custom bike shop in the San Francisco Bay area – as did Arlen Ness. Arlen, a master builder, was also a good painter– but nothing like McCann. McCann also brought serious design, photography, and printing skills to the table–  contibuting heavily to the first Ness catalog and logo.  It was a partnership that benefitted both sides, and that lasted for years.  McCann’s saved personal images and memories of that time are truly priceless–

Catalog Cover Shoot. Jeff McCann ~ This is a full view of the setup in my garage for the cover shoot for the second edition of our parts catalog. That’s me waiting to see if the photographer needs the bike moved, which is also why I am in my stocking feet so as not to mar the paper drape. I purchased two white paper background drapes and taped them together to get a wide enough “infinite” background for the bikes and models.  After advertising in the local newspaper want ads we hired two women who were inexperienced models but eager to work with the local “chopper guys”.  Scanned from a 37 year old 35mm negative shot by John Reddick in September 1972.  You can see the calendar this session produced here.

Theme Girl Julie. Jeff McCann ~ In the fall of 1969 my friend Chris and I decided to open a retail store selling “Chopper parts”. We had built and sold 4 custom bikes that year and all our friends were asking how to buy the parts mail order. Ed Roth published “Choppers” magazine which contained ads including one for AEE Choppers of southern California. We had purchased parts from them for my first panhead chopper that same year. Deciding on the name ” CJ custom cycle parts” we made a business plan and went to the bank for a start up loan. To say the bankers laughed at us would be exaggeration but they declined our request. I complained of their shortsightedness to my co-workers at the newspaper and Fran Walling, a fellow artist in the display advertising department, offered to loan me the money from part of her husbands life insurance settlement. We agreed to pay her 1% more than bank rate on a two year repayment plan.

And so with $5,000 in the bank we rented a small store front and made plans for a January 1970 opening.  The plan was for Chris to man the retail store on the weekdays while I worked full time at the newspaper, then on Saturdays I would be behind the counter. We really had no clue how the profit margin of a retail parts business should have worked, both of us had only high school educations and in 1969 I was 23, married with an infant daughter and Chris was 19 and two years out of school. To say we were more lucky than smart is an understatement.  This photograph of Julie, our theme girl, wearing our logo t-shirt was taken on January 10,1974 by John Reddick.  Exactly four years to the day after we had opened our first store and at the height of our business success. Scanned from a 35 year old 35mm negative.

Wheel Truing Shop. Jeff McCann ~ Work area in our first Stockton store, note the vise holding a threat rolling machine attached to a reversible drill. We cut the blank spoke to length with a small bolt cutter, ground the end round on the small grinder next to the vise, and then inserted the blank into the roller. The sign says we charged $28.88 for a set of spokes custom made and chromed to fit your application. Hundreds of wheels were laced and trued each year by either Chris or Kurt Bacon, a highschool kid who hung around my garage paintshop at home. He worked after school at the store and got school credits for “work experience” on his report card. After graduation he came to work for us full time and was a valuable employee and friend. Scanned from a 1971 b/w print.

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BIKES, BIKINIS, BEER & BEACH PT. III VINTAGE DAYTONA BEACH BIKE WEEK

Holy Handlebars, Batman!  Regis Decobeck has blessed us all with another installment of old-school Daytona Beach black & white images from ‘74 – ‘78.  Regis picks up where – BIKES, BIKINIS, BEER & BEACH II VINTAGE DAYTONA BEACH BIKE WEEK– left off, with more eye candy that’s sure to either take you down memory lane, or give you that sick feeling that you were born too late.  Either way — Enjoy y’all.

Circa 1974 – 1978 ~ Another Kustom WTF, Daytona Beach ~ image by Regis Decobeck

Ca. ’74 – ’78 ~ Bikers window-shopping (AMF, not Harley’s Golden years…) Daytona Beach ~ image by Regis Decobeck

Ca. ’74 – ’78 ~ Dig the aggressive ink on the thigh, Daytona Beach ~ image by Regis Decobeck

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BIKES, BIKINIS, BEER & BEACH PT. II VINTAGE DAYTONA BEACH BIKE WEEK

Part II of an amazing rewind back to old-school Daytona Beach courtesy of Regis Decobeck, who was there to capture these incredible black & white images from ’74 – ’78.  Thank God for that.  Regis saw the original post – BIKES, BIKINIS, BEER & BEACH | VINTAGE DAYTONA BEACH BIKE WEEK – and generously offered-up these priceless gems for the enjoyment of our TSY readers.  God bless ya’!  Enjoy y’all.

Circa 1974 – 1978 ~ Krazy Kustom Rat Wagon, Daytona Beach ~ image by Regis Decobeck

Circa 1974 – 1978 ~ Kustom Tank Paint Job, Daytona Beach ~ image by Regis Decobeck

Circa 1974 – 1978 ~ Kustom Trike-ness, Daytona Beach ~ image by Regis Decobeck

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NUDIE COHN | RHINESTONE COWBOY

 

The Legendary Country Western tailor to the stars — Nudie Cohn.

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Circa 1970’s, Los Angeles, CA– Hands of Nudie Cohn the Rodeo Tailor  –Image by © Jeff Albertson

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Nudie suits have been worn by just about everyone who is anyone in the world of Country/Rock music. Simply put, he made Country cool with his one-off original creations that bedazzled a long list of diverse celebs– John Wayne, Gene Autry, George Jones, Elvis, Cher, John Lennon, Ronald Reagan, Elton John, Robert Mitchum, Pat Buttram, Tony Curtis, Michael Landon, Glenn Campbell, Hank Snow, Porter Wagoner, Hank Williams Sr., and groups such as, America, Chicago, ZZ top, and the Flying Burrito Bros (Gram Parsons’ “Gilded Palace of Sin” suit is considered the Sistine Chapel of Nudies).  To own a Nudie is to own something special; collected by fashion and music hounds alike– Dwight Yoakam, Ben Harper, Lenny Kravitz, Perry Farrell, Jeff Tweedy, and other A-list Rockers of today keep the Nudie flame burning, and even inspired a few of them to create their own line of signature clothing.

The man behind the amazing rhinestone-studded, hand-embroidered suits was none other than Mr. Nudie Cohn– arguably, the larger-than-life 5-foot-7 Russian Rhinestone Cowboy is the most influential and innovative fashion designer and tailor to ever bless the world of Country music.  And he couldn’t stop at clothing– he put his Midas Touch on everything around him– especially his customized fleet of Nudie-fied GM cruisers that he used to promote his LA based Nudies Rodeo Tailors shop on Lankershim Blvd.  Of the original 18 cars, the whereabouts of only 9 are known today.

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Circa 1970’s, Los Angeles, CA– Nudie costomized each of his many cadillacs, protecting his work with plastic. This one is decorated with silver dollar coins and 14 various guns. –Image by © Jeff Albertson

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ULTIMATE ROCK ‘N’ ROLL ON WHEELS | THE 1970’s VAN CUSTOMIZATION CRAZE

Once upon a time — or more accurately, back in the 1970s — the van reigned supreme. Riding-in right on the heels of the fading muscle car era, the custom van became the ultimate self-expression vehicle– tricked-out and personalized to show all the world just how your bad self rolled. They were badass, man–  a portable pampered pad that allowed you to take all your extra-curricular activities of sorts (legal or lotharious) on the road– and there were custom shops on every corner back then that would customize your ride with a kick-ass sound system, lighting, shag carpeting, Captains chairs, beds, bubble windows, louvres, spoilers, mag wheels, custom horns, CB radios– and don’t forget to top it all off with a one-off airbrushed paint job depicting your choice of Wizard, Warlock, Wave or Western scenic. It may be time for a comeback, folks– especially with the home foreclosure rate being what it is…

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ED “BIG DADDY” ROTH | RAT FINK KING OF SOUTH CALI KUSTOM KAR KULTURE

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Ed "Big Daddy" Roth

Ed "Big Daddy" Roth

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Probably best known for his iconic “Rat Fink” cartoon creation (I’m personally not a fan of Rat Fink, or any rat for that matter…) Ed “Big Daddy” Roth (3/4/32 – 4/4/01) is synonymous with SoCal’s Kustom Kulture & Hot Rod craze of the late 1950s & 60s.   He had a deep bag of tricks– an all around renaissance man skilled as a barber, cartoonist, display merchant for Sears, and expert auto painter / customizer.   He’d been to school for auto engineering and served a stint in the Air Force from 1951-’55. After the service, Roth supported the wife and five kids workin’ for the man at Sears– until ’58 when Roth finally opened-up shop full-time (working with “The Baron” and his grandson Kelly) and was well on his way to stardom. Insane fiberglass bodywork, and intricate custom paint jobs were his speciality. Legendary Kustom Kulture contemporaries of Ed Roth’s included Sam & George Barris, Dean Jeffries, and Kenny Howard, AKA Von Dutch.

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Ed "Big Daddy" Roth's business card

Ed "Big Daddy" Roth's business card

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Ed "Big Daddy" Roth on a custom Harley-Davidson chopper.

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Ed "Big Daddy" Roth's shop

Ed "Big Daddy" Roth's custom shop --Roth Studios.

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ed roth sticker

"SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL FUZZ" --Ed "Big Daddy" Roth

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SUMMERTIME STREET CRUISIN’ | RETRO CALIFORNIA TWO-WHEELIN’ FUN

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Chopper bike

1970s Homemade chopper bike-- love the pack of smokes tucked just within reach on the forks.

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Back in the day, you most likely graduated from your Schwinn Stingray straight to a 10-speed– the big leagues, baby. Maybe there was something in-between, a hand-me-down 3-speed or 5-speed– but more than likely you just made the big jump.  I remember some pretty crafty adaptions– like wood blocks taped to the pedals to get you over the hump until you grew into the bigger bike.

And there were always guys like our friend above– that guy whose old man or older brother was a welder, or maybe he was a metal shop junkie himself.  Anyway, he’d build some crazy bike, and it’d become his signature– he’d be that guy with the wild ride.  The two would become inseparable in your mind– even years later when the bike was long gone.  The guy had to have a mustache too– that was like an unwritten rule.  You just couldn’t have a wild bike guy without the ‘stache– it wouldn’t work.

Man, those were the days– not like today.  It wasn’t like most teenagers had cars, the way it seems now. If you were lucky, you got to drive an old family car that maybe you even shared with your siblings.   Spoiled kids got cars, the rest of us dealt with getting rides, pedaling our bikes– or we busted our humps at a job to buy a used car. You didn’t get everything handed to you then– we called it character building. Today it’s all about immediate gratification and convenience, for the kids– and the parents who don’t have the time or interest to mold their kids.  Maybe that’s one reason personal character is becoming scarce.  Nobody wants to bother with learning or earning.  Just give it to me.

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Love this shot-- California chill beach style at its best.  Schwinn ten-speeds ruled back in the day.

Love this shot-- 1970s California chill beach style at its best. Makes me want to throw-on a pair of OP shorts and head for the beach on my Schwinn.

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Criusing on an old Schwinn ten spped bike.  I remember everyone turning their handlebars back like that-- or flipping them around completely.

1970s California criusin' on an old Schwinn ten speed bike. I remember everyone turning their handlebars back like that-- or flipping them around completely. He kinda looks like a young Tom Cruise.

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