Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Often some song comes on that I am so excited to hear, a song from my past that I never tire of Thought I'd list a few of them. It's not in order of importance, nor is it complete, just an off-the-top list:
1) Rock Lobster- B-52s: an epic song with drama, nonsense, sound effects, cowbell, and a narwhal!
2) Bedsitter- Soft Cell: a honest song where so many people can see themselves. I am no music theory student, but there is something about the notes that are used in that song that are melancholy.
3) Tears (full arrangement)- Chameleons UK: One of the best concerts I have been to; "And the days were long and slow, But were we wiser then? I couldn't say, I wouldn't know..."
4) Well I Wonder- The Smiths: Morrissey is never afraid to reveal vulnerability. Chicks dig it. ;)
5) Radio Clash- The Clash: Smokin'
5) Sweet Soul Music- Arthur Conley: Yeah-yeah!
6) 25 Miles- Edwin Starr: "I, I, I, I, I'm so tired but I just can't lose my stride"
7) I Love You Honey- Patsy Cline: twangy with a fiddle
8) Groove is in the Heart- Dee-Lite: Irresistible
9) Sleepwalk- Johnny & Santo: Perfect.
10) Reggae in Your Jeggae- Fun to sing along, even with my terrible singing voice
11) Peace Frog- The Doors: Get's them dancing at a party, really. Try it.
Got any to share?
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
While rally season may be winding down, there's no reason why you can't start planning for next year. Pottery Barn's Teen store has their Quilted Speaker Messenger Bag on sale for a cheap $14.99. It comes in gray or pink. Add your iPod and 2 AA batteries and you've got a portable boom box. A fun way to menace cars as you sit at a stop light playing "Baby Got Back", "Immigrant Song" or "Pum-Pum". And when you get to your destination, you can enjoy some tunes, too. Get it now for x-mas and pay less than $7 for personalization.
Blog entry soundtrack: "Belly of a Whale" by Burning Sensations
Monday, October 27, 2008
Upper Playground, who produces the Scooter Geek shirt listed earlier also sells a shirt with a pig riding a Vespa Ape (pronounced "ah-pay" FYI). The design incorporates the stinger end of a wasp, the top jaw of the skeleton looks like the front fender. Cool! Not sure what the pig is doing on top, but he's cute nonetheless.
The made a cute little video to go along with it, too.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
This just in from the Piaggio PR team:
Leno surprised an appreciative audience at the 2009 national Piaggio Group Americas dealer meeting in Palm Springs, CA, introducing dealers to 11 of the latest Vespa, Piaggio, Aprilia and Moto Guzzi products, including the all-new Vespa S 50 and Aprilia SMV 750 Dorsoduro. A long-time and outspoken ambassador of motorcycling and a fan of the Piaggio brands, Leno also personally evaluated the Aprilia Mana 850 and the three-wheel Piaggio MP3 250 scooter for JayLenosGarage.com.
Biz partner Mike forwarded this link to a funny shirt that some may find offensive, others may wear it with self-effacing pride. When I was in high school we used to sneak up to University of Santa Cruz and "geek" on their UNIX system. We used geek as a verb, you know geeking, geeked etc... SO being a scooter geek should be no skin off my nose. A fun gift for the hopeless scooter geeks.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
I love magnetic stuff and this tray is super-cool. If you don't have one, go out and get one. It is super-valuable when working on your scoot. No lost hardware. I have had one for years, but saw this hanging in Sears and it reminded me to post abut it.
It came in oddly handy once when my housemate and I had a clothes dryer that wouldn't stay closed. We out the magnet over the door, straddling the door and dryer body. It kept it closed no matter how much laundry was in there. ;)
But for keeping things tidy in the garage, it works great. Makes a good holiday gift for scooterists who do their own work, even plastic scooter owners.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Another scooter-like gift for kids [the holidays are a'comin, ya know] is the Bimba Scooter by Pastel Toys. It comes in pink or blue and you can get it on Amazon for $95. If you like scooters and low-tech, then this is the toy for your kids.
Blog entry soundtrack: "I Put a Spell On You" Credence Clearwater Revival
Monday, October 20, 2008
Manhattan Toy has released a plush ride-on toy for kids.
It's called the "Sit-Upons Scooter" and is for kids ages 18+ months. Supposedly kids can actually scoot along on it, but it might just be fun to sit on while watching TV. It measures 18" high and retails for $150.00.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
I always liked her. And now there's another reason: Uma Thurman rides a Vespa. Turns out that it is not only better than a car, she can avoid the congestion fee that London charges to reduce traffic.
Read the blurb from The Daily Mail.
I am so excited by this cool scooter build-off! I hope it really brings out some awesome scooters. Kings Classic used to be the rally that people used to unveil the customs that they had worked all year on. Then, Vegas High Rollers became the event. It kind of slacked over the past couple years, except for a few sweet bikes. I am hopeful that this competition will bring out a great crop of bikes.
According to the site:
Our goal is to facilitate and promote the restoration of vintage Lambretta and Vespa scooters. The Put Up or Shut Up National Scooter Build-Off competition will serve as the perfect showcase for dramatic restorations from vintage scooter owners, clubs, and shops from across North America and beyond, who in the end are rewarded for their hard work.
and who can argue about that?
I know a few of the committee members and several of the participants. So, I'm sure that the teams are capable of some awesome work. Join us in Vegas next March to see what happens!
Blog entry soundtrack: "It's Different for Girls" by Joe Jackson
Saturday, October 18, 2008
This is going to be one of my holiday picks in the next issue. It was sent to me by Joel Gion, scooterist and member of The Brian Jonestown Massacre and the Dilettantes. Note to self: We should feature him in an upcoming issue...
You can get the CD on Amazon for $19.99. According to the description:
Hey, cool cats and kittens! Are you feelin' it? And I mean REALLY feelin' it? If you don't know what I'm talking about, then it's time to get hip to the jive with this crazy collection of coolness called Blue Mambo. It's a groovy UK-only collection of tuneage from the Blue Note roster that will add meaning to your mambo. 18 tracks including dope cuts from Stanley Turrentine, George Shearing, Tito Puente Jr., Peggy Lee, Jimmy Smith, Stan Kenton and many others. It's a cure for the unhip and a meal for the hip. Now, I'll ask you again...are you feelin' it? EMI. 2000.
That is one cool cat! I suspect someone has tattooed that one his/herself. ;)
Friday, October 17, 2008
His unmistakable voice was heard on songs such as: "Reach Out (I'll Be There)" and and "Baby I Need Your Loving," some of the greatest songs of the Motown era.
My Favorite Four Tops Songs (in order):
1. Reach Out (I'll Be There)
2. Baby I Need Your Loving
3. Bernadette "BERNADETTE!!!"
4. Standing in the Shadows of Love
5. Ain't No Woman (Like the One I've Got)
6. It's the Same Old Song
7. Shake Me, Wake Me (When It's Over)
8. I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)
One of the things I enjoy about "traditional" scooter rallies is the soul music that is played at shows. I love to cut the rug to some old-fashioned soul.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Here's a news photo of Liev Schreiber and Naomi Watts riding a Vespa. But there's actually three people on board as Watts is seven months pregnant. She doesn't look very comfortable. I've been stuck in NYC traffic, so even preggers, I would probably take the scooter, too. Ah, but I wouldn't wear flats and a dress. Not even in my baren-ness would I do that.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Alton Ellis, King of Rocksteady, has died at the age of 70. The story as run in the UK' Guardian:
By David Katz, The Guardian,
Tuesday October 14 2008
Hailed as the king of rock steady, Alton Ellis, who has died aged 70 of cancer, was the first singer to popularise the style that formed the bridge between ska and reggae, and one of Jamaica's best-loved vocalists. Blessed with a distinctive voice whose emotive tones were particularly expressive, he was a constant presence in the island's charts for much of the 1960s and early 1970s. Although he never reached the pop charts in Britain, he maintained a strong fanbase here, not only among the Jamaican immigrant community that thronged to his concerts, but also among the wider population of British reggae fans, many of whom were drawn to his music following the "two tone" ska revival of the 1980s.
Born in downtown Kingston in 1940, he was raised in the heart of Trench Town, the west Kingston ghetto district that would later be home to Bob Marley and the Wailers and countless other Jamaican vocalists. At Boys' Town school, Ellis excelled at sports and music, and often broke into the school in the evening to teach himself to play the piano, sometimes spending entire nights at the instrument.
Many of his peers were reaching the stage through the weekly talent contests held by the journalist Vere Johns, but Ellis was too frightened by the competition to appear on his own, so in 1959 he formed a duo with a friend called Eddie Perkins. While Ellis worked by day on a construction site in Stony Hill, the duo made their first recording, a slow love ballad called Muriel. Produced by Clement "Sir Coxsone" Dodd, founder of Studio One, the song was an immediate success that topped the Jamaican charts.
After recording a couple of follow-ups for Coxsone and My Love Divine for Vincent "Randy" Chin, the duo was forced to disband when Perkins travelled to the US, where he appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show. Ellis worked as a printer for the next year and a half, forming a short-lived new duo with John Holt, cutting Rum Bumpers in 1965. He then continued recording for Coxsone, notably duetting with his younger sister, Hortense.
Moving to the Treasure Isle stable of Coxsone's arch-rival, Duke Reid, Ellis then assembled a backing harmony group called the Flames, scoring one of the biggest hits of 1966 with Dance Crasher, a song decrying the "rude boys" who were wreaking havoc in Jamaica's dance halls. Soon after, still backed by the Flames, Ellis cut Girl I've Got a Date, named by many as the first rock steady recording, and later Rock Steady, the first to refer to the genre by name. Other notable tunes cut for Reid in this period included an original called Breaking Up and brilliant cover versions of Johnnie Taylor's Ain't That Loving You, Chuck Jackson's Willow Tree and the Delfonics' La La (Means I Love You), all of which are confirmed classics frequently covered by others in the decades that followed.
In 1967, Coxsone poached Ellis back from Reid, sending him to the UK to tour with Ken Boothe and the Soul Vendors. Further gems followed, such as A Fool, one of many songs inspired by the tempestuous relationship with his first wife, Pearl, as well as the album Sings Rock and Soul.
After spending several months in the US, Ellis then moved to Canada, where he was largely based for the next three years, working the nightclub circuit as a soul singer. Back in Jamaica in 1970, he scored big with his rendition of You've Made Me So Very Happy, made famous by Blood Sweat and Tears, as featured on the Coxsone-produced 1970 album Sunday Coming, and the following year, the spiritually eloquent and politically relevant Deliver Us, recorded for Lloyd "Matador" Daley; Big Bad Boy, another anti-rude boy song recorded for the producer Keith Hudson (and apparently inspired by him), was another big hit.
In 1973, Ellis moved to the UK, where he continued to record, issuing the excellent self-produced Still in Love in 1977. Although based in the UK since then, he made notable recordings in Jamaica for Sonia Pottinger during the late 1970s and the album Many Moods of Alton Ellis, released by Earl Morgan of the Heptones in 1980. Sporadic recordings continued for UK-based concerns such as Fashion Records and Jamaican producers such as King Jammy, while the series of annual Rock Steady Revues he presented in London were always eagerly anticipated, as were his live appearances in general. In recent years, despite health concerns, Ellis headlined several festivals in the US and Europe.
In 1994, Ellis received the Order of Distinction from the Jamaican government in recognition of his vital contribution to the island's popular culture, and he is to be given a state funeral. He is survived by numerous children from different relationships and many grandchildren.
• Alton Nehemiah Ellis, singer, songwriter, producer and concert promoter, born September 1 1938; died October 11 2008
Listen to a podcast at Heartbeat Records featuring, Feeling Inside. And another featuring I'm still in Love with You.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Check out this press release on Bike Biz which announces new "accessories" and a 26" wheel bike, by which I think that means bicycle. Hmmmmmh... I bet it will be exactly what Lambretta fans have been craving. :P
"Legendary Italian scooter brand Lambretta had been lying dormant for over 30 years until UK-based brand entrepreneurs Fine White Line Ltd secured the worldwide rights to the Lambretta brand."
So these are the people tanking this brand name!
I'm not sure who benefits from the use of the Lambretta name. From where I stand you either recognized the name and love the brand, thus new, cheap and totally divorced designs and products will ring false. OR you don't know the brand which seems to make the implied cache irrelevant. The only way to win is to find:
1) people that are so "brand-conscious" that they will take anything with the Lambretta name on it regardless of its relation to the actual appropriateness of the products or
2) people to "educate" about the brand's cache and relevance.
If ther are any UK readers out there, I'd love to hear your opinion on what you feel has beeen done with the Lambretta name. It seems that the license-holder will slap the name on anything. How does that go over in the UK? To me it feels like buying a "Gucci" bag on the streets of New York for $20. Empty.
Blog entry soundtrack: "I Used to Love Him" Lauryn Hill
In the past I posted on the winning scooters from Vespa South Africa and it looks like they are continuing the contest this year.
The annual Art Vespa Competition is open for entries. The design competition does not have a theme and it allows you to dress the two-wheeler according to your idea of style.
Three Vespa LX150 scooters will be wrapped in the best designs and displayed at the Design Indaba Expo in Cape Town from February 27 to March 1, 2009. The winner will also be announced during the expo.
Go to www.vespa.co.za for more information or send submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org before November 31, 2008.
Check out Art Vespa 2009
Monday, October 13, 2008
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Ben Sherman Great British Getaway
Scoot! Magazine #47 goes Lammy!
Our new issue in en route to subscribers and shops. We decided to do a Lambretta Tribute issue, of sorts. We didn't set out to do a complete history (it has been done and probably better than we could have), we didn't set out to do a repair manual (it's been done). Rather, we wanted to celebrate what we like about Lambrettas. So, you'll find the story of a cool model, info on models rarely seen in the USA, info on the Lambretta Club USA, and examples of custom Lambrettas that ride our streets.
Highlights from this issue:
An excerpt from The Lambretta Bible; a Lambretta history timeline; Lambretta Club USA Spotlight; 3 unusual Lammy Reader's Rides; Modscooters GP200 review; Lammys of the German-Speaking world; Lammy "Show Us Your Scoots" section.
Reviews:"A Tale of 250s" pits the Aprilia SportCity 250 against the SYM RV250; Coveralls Scooter Cover.
Rallies including Motogiro America.
Regular Features: Josh's Tattoo Corner, Scooter Collector, Rally Calendar, Classified section, and more!
As I mentioned, issues are currently in the mail. If you don't have a subscription or can't find it for sale near you, order it from our store.
Blog entry soundtrack: Jefferson Airplane---Today
Rally Events that I Find Boring
* Never-ending slow races
* Gymkhanas so easy that a newbie twist-n-go scooterists can do them
* Hours spent standing around
* Long speeches
Rally Events that I Would Like to See:
* Tough gymkhanas that take real skill
* Drag racing (see photo above by markusmichael in Germany)
* Skill competitions such as engine assembly, trivia
* Classes on how to fix or customize a scooter
* Team competitions like scavenger hunts or stage racing
* Lots of interesting, well-run rides
The photo (shown above) that I saw on Flikr reminded me of my pet peeves. Sorry for venting... : )
Saturday, October 11, 2008
EagleRider to include Vespa scooters in rental line-up.
from Powersports Business:
EagleRider added Piaggio and Vespa scooters to its motorcycle rental line-up that already includes Harley-Davidson, Honda and BMW motorcycles, reported EagleRider.
Beginning Oct. 11, EagleRider will start renting Piaggio and Vespa scooters at its Los Angeles, Las Vegas and San Francisco locations. Beginning Oct. 15, EagleRider’s Orlando location will carry the scooters.
“Strong Vespa Scooters sales growth in 2008 coupled with increasing gas prices makes the addition of the Vespa line-up a necessary choice,” Chris McIntyre, president of EagleRider, said in the release. “Vespa is a world famous lifestyle brand that will be a great complement to our prestigious rental fleet of Harley-Davidson, Honda and BMW motorcycles.”
In the area where I live, my friend Josh's Vespa chopper is legend. Josh took and old trashed scooter and turned it into a showpiece. As a machinist he created all sorts of custom parts, and added the right touches to make it a mini-chopper; cool not campy.
The era of this scooter in our midst has come to an end. Josh has put it up for sale on eBay.
I'm sad to see it go, but all things must come to an end. The bike has appeared in both Scoot! and Scootering magazines. It's a super fast bike. I hope that whomever buys it takes good care of it and rides it often. It is a true showpiece that has performance, too.
A fond farewell to Josh's Chopper!
Friday, October 10, 2008
This year, AGSR returns to Florida. If you are a scootin' gal in the area, plan to attend. Even if you go alone, you'll meet lots of fun ladies.
Date: Oct. 18th-20th,2008
Sixth Annual All Girls Scooter Rally
* St. Augustine, Florida
The Sixth Annual All Girls Scooter Rally
The All Girls Scooter Rally wishes to invite women riders to enjoy a
weekend of scenic group rides, beach fun, and margaritas. Sunny St.
Augustine, Florida, October 18-20, 2008. If you want to come early or
stay late, you"re welcome to do so.
Friday night - 80"s night at British Pub
Saturday night - Pajama party my hotel room
Make your own hotel reservation at Holiday Inn Anastasia Island,
904-471-2555. Address is 860 A1A Beach Blvd. St. Augustine, FL 32080.
Ask for second floor rear of building near back stairs--fastest way to
beach access. Flying into Jacksonville is the closest airport.
for info contact: christine.wysocki at gmail dot com
Blog entry soundtrack: Jesse Sykes & The Sweet Hereafter-- The Dreaming Dead
Thursday, October 09, 2008
Sunday, Oct. 19, 9am-3pm
Crystal Springs picnic area
Griffith Park Los Angeles
"Spectators free!! Learn about sidecars and see some of all the best and most unusual sidecars in the world. Call: Doug Bingham 818-780-5542"
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
According to a newsrelease that went out today, Vectrix is starting to catch on with more than just Leonardo DiCaprio:
Middletown, RI-based Vectrix Corporation just released its first year results with triple-digit growth. It has sold more than 1,000 of its two-wheel vehicles. It’s expanding its product line in 2009 and has the largest dealer network in the U.S. of any electric vehicle maker.
**The market is ready for electric vehicles, as most of Vectrix’s growth occurred in the second half of its financial year – April 1-September 30, 2009 – growth of 380% over the first half of the year.
**Vectrix has 160 dealer points worldwide, about half in the U.S., growing from just a handful earlier in the year.
**Vectrix is the first highway legal all-electric two-wheel vehicle. It travels 62 MPH, 0-50 in 6.8 seconds and is large enough to carry two people comfortably. It was designed for urban commuting and sales success shows people want them – it gets the equivalent of 357 MPG.
**High gas prices, eco consciousness and rise in the two-wheel industry (66% increase in scooter sales) have paved the road for Vectrix’s success.
Americans are ready for more fuel-efficient ways to get around. So I think that even an expensive scooter like the Vectrix will have its buyers. Eventually the price will come down and this type of scooter will be more widely available. An electric scooter could have 100% clean energy if its power were derived by wind energy, for example.
It has been a few years since I attended a Worshiping the Beast rally, but it's nice to see that the river boat is back. If you are within driving distance to Sacramento, CA hangout with the wonderfully fun Burgundy Topz scooter club. Those boys are great!
Worshipping The Beast 22 The Boat is Back!
Date: Oct. 17th-19th,2008
* Sacramento , California
Burgundy Topz presents Worshiping the Beast 22! Scooter show, scenic rides and a helluva party on the River City Queen charter boat!
RSVP your $40 ticket at paypal.com for your boat rally pack before it"s too late.
Details at www.burgundytopz.com
Monday, October 06, 2008
Thursday, October 02, 2008
Dunno how I missed this cute shirt. What a fun idea! Mustn't have sold that great if it is now on Zappos, but get one while you can. Sizes 2/3 to 7/8 for $33 comes with 3 felt-tipped markers for customization.
So, I found this on the Ben Sherman site. Doh! Only $29. get it from the source!
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
Another urban developer has jumped on the low-mileage-vehicle-giveaway bandwagon.
Vintage Development Group announced this week that it will be giving a free Vespa scooter to those who buy a home at one of two Cleveland developments: Battery Park in Detroit Shoreway or Chester 82 near University Circle.
If a customer doesn't want the scooter, they can opt for $5000 worth of upgrades to their new home, Vintage said.
Plain Dealer file photoThose who buy a loft at Bluestone in Cleveland Heights are eligible for a free Smart Car -- or cash knocked off the purchase price.
At Battery Park, prices range from $169,900 and $314,900 for condos and single-family homes.
I love Paul Frank stuff, especially that cheeky monkey, Julius! Now the company has put out a cute "Voting is Easy" poster which has Julius riding his scooter to vote. Does PFI have a direct connection to my brain? Scooters, Julius and voting? Sweet!
According to this post from Chronicle Books' blog:
Through October 20th, Paul Frank Stores and HeadCount are going to make signing up easier than ever by registering voters on-site. In addition, HeadCount staff will be on hand to discuss the voting process. (As a special bonus: Everyone who signs up gets 20% off most items in the store and 10% of the stores proceeds will go back to HeadCount, a non-partisan group. All college students with a valid ID get 30% off. Spend $50 or more and receive a special, limited edition T-shirt celebrating the 2008 election and voter participation.)
Download the poster here and place it in your workspace and let people know that voting is super important!
From Retro-To-Go (a great vintage lifestyle blog)
Someone has re-purposed old scooter tires into seats. Might be a fun project. Wonder if you could fit them to bar stools? Do the still smell like rubber and get your pants blackened?
Have you ever tried to recycle old scooter parts? I tried to turn bunk pistons into planters for cacti, but the notches on the sides made it hard to old enough soil. Probably would work with a larger piston.