Friday, 15 October 2010

New Metal

I've worn jewellery for about as long as I've ridden bikes and got turned on to the classic biker skull ring after seeing Jake "The Captain" Turner sporting two full fists of assorted skull, stone and eyeball rings. I remember clearly standing at Chelsea Bridge and being offered the Great Frog ring by a girl whose name escapes me right now. She rode a big old Suzuki and if I remember correctly played Oboe in a proper orchestra. She had some problems, depression I think. Later, possibly in a fit of depression, she asked me to give the ring back to her. I said no; I'm not a bad guy and while I wanted to be cool about it, the deal was sound at the time, the ring was mine. Anyhow the deal was struck and I turfed over the cash and got my prize. It was a bit shabby when I got it and would only fit my little finger but I wore it a bit. Strange thing was- every time I wore it something really shit happened to me (curse of the Oboe girl?). Eventually I put it aside as I was rapidly running out of lives. Many years later I decided to get it resized with a thicker band, thinking it would look better on another finger and possibly the reworking would fix the curse. The jeweller thought I was mad, I agreed- I thought I was mad too. However, it worked; curse lifted and I've worn it ever since.

The middle ring is from Portobello Market and is a monkey skull with a bone for a band. Girls hate it, many times I've been told it's ugly and "couldn't you find a nicer one?"- nope, I like it. When I bought it I just knew there wouldn't be another one like it and I was dead proud of my new ugly monkey skull ring. Some time later I was out with the Mean Fuckers and saw Matt Davis (pre Dice Magazine) with the exact same ring on. Oh well, I was in good company at least.

The right hand ring and newest of them just landed in the post today... The Mean Fuckers ring, and I'm touched Jake thought to ask me if I wanted one and I'm proud to own it. I never really counted myself as a Mean Fucker because I was still on Jap bikes at the time but we sure hung out and we rode together. Happy days with a like minded bunch of guys not hung up on the whole macho biker thing. They are a smart bunch of cookies who ride some very cool old scoots with a straight up mellow attitude and I'm pleased to call them friends. Among many other things they introduced me to Von Dutch years before the first (albeit very cool) clothing range hit Johnsons in the Kings Road never mind the bullshit populist cult that was to follow. They got my lazy ass off Jap bikes and onto Classics. Craftsmen, designers, artists, they shared an interest in the details that make some shit better than other shit; music, clothes, bikes, etc.
I left London many years ago and they're about the only thing I miss about the big city- tearing down Gower Street from rockin at the Russell Arms to drink crazy expensive Cappuccino at Bar Italia while dodging Black Cabs driving like arseholes on Old Compton Street, talking shit about old bikes. Mfffmf.

(On a side note: check out Crazy Pig Designs. Armand Serra, creator of the famous Great Frog skull ring, set it up after leaving the Great Frog. He is very diplomatic about his former employer so it's not my place to gossip.)

1 comment:

  1. Interesting stuff, but remaining diplomatic The Great Frog have got some pretty spectacular new designs;-