Here we go again folks and I have some brilliant news, well it was brilliant for me anyway. On Saturday I spent the day at the Riders Edge Harley Davidson centre in Wales. This was a gift experience which was given to me as a birthday present by the wonderful and beautiful Catwoman for my 50th birthday back in January. You have to bear in mind that I have never been on a motorbike in my life. So to say I was a little apprehensive at first would be a major understatement. Let’s just say that I made sure I packed a clean pair of under crackers…….just in case!
Anyway being a complete novice I spent the morning, around three hours riding a 500cc machine around the private roads within the Royal Welsh Showground at Builth Wells. Whilst I never fell off once I came close a couple of times! I guess I pictured in my head having to lean right over when taking corners, but that’s for the speed freaks, at the speeds I was doing taking a corner upright was easy. Incidentally while it felt much, much faster I don’t think I got above 40 mph. For me the coordination required to change gear with your left foot while not looking down at all was very difficult. But when you think about it it really shouldn’t be. I mean I don’t look down when I change gear in the car so why should I need to when riding a motorbike? Well perhaps because I’m not using a gear stick with my hand but trying to change it with my foot. But by the end of the morning session I had reached the dizzy heights of 5th gear twice and stalled less than ten times in total and as I said earlier, I never fell off or crashed once! The last part was a great result for me as I fully expected to take a few spills.
So after just three hours on the saddle they sadly weren’t going to let me loose on a fabulous Harley on my own. However I did get a pillion ride on a gorgeous Harley Davidson machine under the control of one of the Rider’s Edge expert instructors, Ian. Having never even ridden pillion before that too was also a great experience for me. Cruising around some wonderful Welsh countryside. Great weather, great views and remarkably attractive sheep, well at least I would imagine they are attractive if you’re perhaps Welsh or a Kiwi.
I would like to take this opportunity to say a big, big thank you to all the folks at Riders Edge. Especially Clive, who was my instructor in the morning and also Ian with whom I rode pillion in the afternoon.
In the meantime and as this is really a music related blog let’s steer it back in that direction! Can you guess what today’s theme might be? Well it’s a bit obvious really isn’t it? Today’s theme is Motorbikes! Here are a few motorbike or motorbike related songs with a morsel of trivia about each of the artists or songs
“Motorcycle Emptiness” – Manic Street Preachers. This was the fifth single to be taken from the band’s Generation Terrorists album in 1992. The lyrics are inspired by a book about biker gang culture called Rumble Fish which was written by S E Hinton
“Motorbikin’”– Chris Spedding. This 1975 Top 20 hit was Spedding’s biggest and he is perhaps best known as a sought after session guitarist. He has played with many artists including; Bryan Ferry, Roxy Music, Elton John, Brian Eno, Jack Bruce, Nick Mason, John Cale, Katie Melua, Harry Nilsson, Tom Waits, Paul McCartney, Jeff Wayne and even the Wombles! He also famously played on and produced three demos for the Sex Pistols in 1976. The three songs were “No Feelings”, “Problems” and “Pretty Vacant”
“Funky Moped” – Jasper Carrot. This was a surprise hit for Mr Carrot in 1975. The single was backed with a risque monologue based around the 60s TV series the “Magic Roundabout“, which at the time I thought was bloody hilarious! he also has a thespian daughter; Lucy Davis who played Dawn in the Office. She was excellent in that series don’t you think?
“Silver Dream Machine”– David Essex. At the age of 23 in 1971 David took the lead role in the musical Godspell on the London Stage. I actually went to see that show as part of a school trip in 1972 when he was still in it. Our coach was delayed because all the girls on the trip had gathered outside the stage door to scream and get his autograph. It was around the time he released his first major single “Rock On”. My first serious girlfriend; Gay Topsom, was a big David Essex fan and I remember buying her each of his singles as soon as they were released. I never had enough money to stretch to an album. But we were together for two years from 1975 to 1977 so I guess that’s a fair amount of singles. She left me for a guy who was slightly older and more importantly had a car! But you know what I’m over that now and if you’re reading this Gay, I forgive you 🙂
“Bat Out Of Hell”– Meatloaf. Meat was born Marvin Lee Aday on 27th September 1947 so he will turn 62 in a couple of weeks. get your cards written and sent now folks. Jim Steinman the producer and I suppose you could say creator of Meat’s landmark Bat Out Of Hell album was apparently trying to get something that sounded like a cross between Wagner, Phil Spector and Bruce Springsteen. Well I for one reckon he succeeded. What do you think?
“Born To Be Wild”– Steppenwolf. This band hailed from Toronto and many credit their recording of the iconic “Born To Be Wild” as the first Heavy Metal record, although just as many disagree. It has had a long association with motorbikes, very likely due to its inclusion on the soundtrack to the movie Easy Rider which starred Peter Fonda
I am sure that you can think of plenty more so fire away folks!
Oh Bill you look so lovely when you suck in those cheek and pert those lips, Oh my that helmet helps do the job!!
PS Looked like a great day, I never new you were a biker, I’ll have to stick to my peddles, been out today, what is it next:
Queen – “I want to ride my bicycle.”
Willie Nelsons – “On the road again”
“Les Bicyclettes de Belsize” by Englebert Humperdinck
I’m glad that you still find me so attractive 😉 and that you like my helmet!!!!
Actually I’m not a biker, that really was the first time I have ever been on a motorbike
Not a bad choice of songs, well except for Mr Humperdinck
Have you seen humpy on youtube, its amazing
oh the sound quality and the sideboards
and then theres Tom
you cant argue with that!
I must have a go at one of those weekends, only ever ridden a motorbike at uni, a mate of mines bike, just a few hundred yards. the leathers look good as well, might do it with julie and louis, now theres an idea
Humpy moves like an Action Man who has had his joints melted together after being left next to the radiator and yes those sideboards could be used to house a large number of asylum seekers no doubt! Tom however moves like a genetically modified slinky on a dance floor constructed mainly of vaseline, possibly with ants and pepper down his Y-Fronts too!
You should give the bike thing a shot!
By the way I’ve ordered the tickets for Luke’s band Steal The Smile supporting Zebrahead on 1st November, I hope you’re still up for that!
yes man, are you coming to stay?
I certainly am if that’s ok with you and Mrs H 🙂
Looks like you had a great time! Me, I’m far too chicken shit to get on a bike, though I’ve got the proper motorcycle jacket (and I’m walking all the time).
How about “Big Red Indian” by Westworld for your list? Can’t find anything on youtube for the particular song, but there are plenty of Westworld videos there. My favorite? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vV-_RftLP4M
I can’t think of any motorcycle songs KaTe recorded… =)
And there’s “Motorcycle Boy” by Courtney Love (I think that was the band’s name, not the infamous singer): http://www.songmeanings.net/songs/view/3530822107858776437/
If the truth be known I was extremely chicken shit, but I’m glad I did it. But you’re one better than me, cos you’ve got the jacket LOL. I haven’t heard anything of Westworld in years. I’ve never heard of motorcycle boy before!
As for Kate, sadly she was never a biker chick, although I can picture her in leathers 😉