No Colors Allowed

no colorsby.  Editor Scott Cochran

I didn’t see the notices taped on the front of the entrance doors to the Charlotte Convention Center when I arrived early Saturday morning to man our booth at the Easyriders Bike Show this past January.

Sylvia was in Atlanta working a different show, and I was working Charlotte.

It wasn’t until late that afternoon when I saw them. I made a mental note to investigate the reason for their posting before the show ended.

However, working the booth by myself, I never had that opportunity and, as far as I could tell, the dress code (no colors) had not caused a decline in attendance.

I did think it was ironic that you could get in with a Sons of Anarchy t-shirt but nothing else that appeared to be “club related.”

The following week it became apparent there was more to the story than what I’d assumed.

I reached out to a source inside Easyrider and was told, “This is not a matter that needs any input from the general public or rights groups. If someone is not involved in this it would be best to MYOB.” (mind your own business.) Easyriders Events are neutral ground, we do our best to serve the lifestyle, cultures and subcultures of the motorcycle world. Easyriders Events does not get involved with club business, our only concern is for cohesive coexistence between the general public and the subcultures during our events.”

A few days before the big Columbus Show, Easyrider Events issued a public statement that said in part, “Easyriders Attorneys have been able to provide us with the approval to ALLOW COLORS for all clubs except ONE. The Club that is not allowed knows who they are and will not be admitted into any Easyriders Events………ever. “

For the record, Easyrider Events has been an advertiser in this magazine. I’m friends with the promoter and several of the writers for the magazine. This is a small industry and everyone knows just about everyone.

But, that’s not why I’m taking Easyrider’s side on this one.

The reason is their 40 years of unwavering support for the biker lifestyle.

The motorcycle landscape has changed in the four decades since Easyriders first hit the newsstands in the 70’s. Some of the progressive changes can be credited to its founder Joe Teresi and the magazine’s staff in the early days who gave the “tattooed, long haired bikers” a magazine they could call their own. A magazine that celebrated the rebellious freedom of the two wheel lifestyle.

All that, and a fair amount of incidental nudity. But that’s what goes on in this lifestyle among consenting adults. They didn’t create it, they just reported it.

More importantly, Easyrider Magazine was one of the few, if not the only newsstand motorcycle magazine who aggressively supported motorcycle rights, and helped galvanize MRO’s into formidable opponents of overzealous McCarthyish state and Federal lawmakers.

Joe Teresi himself testified in Congress against laws that would have made it illegal to modify motorcycles.

Teresi and others worked to establish and support fledgling A.B.A.T.E. chapters across the country, often paying their expenses with profits from the magazine, out of pocket, or with donations from advertisers.

Easyriders customers are the hard-core “biker” lifestyle readers and riders. The guys and gals who attend ABATE meetings and have been discriminated against time and time again, in one form or another.

So there’s no doubt in my mind that posting a “no colors” sign was a decision that was made to protect the general public first, and the organization and brand second.

Probably the most outrageous (and stupid) accusation leveled against Easyrider Events is their decision was “profit motivated.”

Think about it for a minute. Easyrider Events took a public relations black eye to protect the moms, dads and kids who attend their events. They knew a small but vocal group intended to stir up trouble and disrupt attendance, (and possibly become violent) but they made the tough call, and I respect them for that.

I’m glad I wasn’t the one who had to make that decision.

Until next month, ride safe, and always take the road less traveled.

Top 5 Best Selling Motorcycle Gifts

Home5.  Sons of Anarchy T-Shirt.   Chances are you, or someone you know is a fan of the FX drama, Sons of Anarchy.  OK.. we hear you..we  don’t watch “those” fake biker shows either.  But, the truth is, somebody out there is watching…and a whole lot of somebody.  According to Entertainment Weekly, in the second month of last season,  4.6 million viewers tuned in and the showw was up 14 percent from last week and ranking as the fifth season’s best rating since last month’s premiere.  So click the link, buy the shirt and gift it to that hard to buy for biker in your family.

4.  St. Christopher Ride With Me Pendant. $29.00 (on sale was $50)  We’re not superstitious, but we also believe that having a good luck talisman never hurt anyone, wether it’s ride bells or an image of St. Christopher, the patron saint of travelers.  It’s one of the best “neutral” gifts you can give the motorcycle rider in your family.  It’s the right size and color, and you don’t have to remember which brand they ride.

3. Home DIY Neon Lights:  While we believe the best looking neon lights are the ones installed by the professionals, this do-it-yourself kit for $60 is a great way for the gear head on a budget to light up his or her ride.  Again, this gift is “brand neutral” and will work equally well on Harley-Davidsons Road Kings or Yamaha sport bikes.  Comes with two 5 Inch, Two 6 Inch, and Two 12 Inch Flexible, Waterproof Strips, 1 Year Limited Warranty and Free Lifetime Technical Support

2. Battery Tender I know we’re harping on this “brand” neutral theme, but frankly, it seems the best selling Christmas gifts for bikers are the ones that can be used by all riders.  The Battery Tender is a gift that will be appreciated by gear heads of all types.  Whether he or she owns a motorcycle, boat, RV or ATV, anything that tends to sit idle for long periods of time will fall victim to a dead battery if it isn’t “tended.”   At $34.00, this gift will be appreciated for years to come.

1. HomeGo Pro Hero Camera  The best selling, best loved gift of any motorcyclist is the Go Pro Hero camera.  Pair this with the optional wi-fi backpack / remote  combo and you will never miss another “gotcha moment.”  We know riders who mount this camera on their handlebars and shoot video as they ride for use in the unfortunate event some idiot pulls out in front of them and they need evidence to show the road conditions, their speed and the fact that the driver should have easily seen them coming.  Other carry it to Sturgis, and Daytona for “video” reference of their adventures.

 


SOA Actress Wins Golden Globe


Katey Sagal wins Golden Globe for her portrayal of Gemma in Sons of Anarchy

After being completely shut out of last year’s Golden Globe awards, Sagal took the stage after she was announced and said she had not expected to win this year, but had a speech ready. “I’m so shocked, but I am prepared,”

Sagal gave credit to her husband, “Sons of Anarchy” creator Kurt Sutter. She went on to humorously point out in her acceptance speech, “Sweetheart, I love you. I’m so glad you’re the boss of me.”

Full Story on Clutch and Chrome

Sutter to Echostar: “Whores”

Dish network Son's Fans upset over dispute

Hollywood CA  The creator / director of the FX biker drama Sons of Anarchy announced on his twitter feed that the show has been picked up for a fourth season, but that’s little consolation for the millions of Dish subscribers who discovered in October that Son’s had been pulled from the network in a carriage dispute.  Kurt Sutter, never one to mince words, called the satalite company “whores.”

Sutter says, “DUMP DISH!” You’re already paying more for FX than every other cable/satellite company in the free world.  Echostar are whores.  Get out now.

A Fox statement called its proposal “fair and in line with the tremendous value we provide” and said “Dish has asserted its subscribers do not value our channels and has made a decision to go forward without them.”

Dave Shull, Dish Network’s senior vice president of programming for Dish Network, said in a statement that his company’s customers shouldn’t “be held hostage in order to finance Fox’s irresponsible acquisition of sports rights,” especially in a tough economy

There is no doubt that if the dispute with Dish isn’t resolved, Sons of Anarchy and other FX shows will suffer a ratings decline.  Currently Dish has over 13 million subscribers.  FX network is using the web to get its message out that Dish is being unreasonable.  The website www.getwhatyoupaidfor.com was created by News Corp to give their side of the dispute.