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19th annual LA Calendar Motorcycle Show

By Bill Hayes

A boatload of fun

And a bodacious ‘babe factor’

Long Beach, Calif., July 18—The LA Calendar Motorcycle Show—a summer feast of bikes, babes and great music—began a couple of decades ago as “a backyard barbecue party” at the house of photographer and producer Jim Gianatsis. Presented by motorcycle attorneys Brown & Koro, the event itself is officially described as being designed to celebrate “the annual world premier of the new 2011 FastDates.com Calendars with the incredible bikes, builders and models featured in the calendars.”

OK.

But to me it’s also a kind of an elevation in the social status of biker events. It’s the difference between eating the “Moons Over My Hammy” special at Denny’s or a perfectly cooked center-cutfilet at Fleming’s. I mean, really, here’s this event—it’s in the shadow of the venerable and still-elegant Queen Mary, acrossa picture-perfect, yacht-lined, blue-water bay from the skyline of Long Beach, and taking place in guaranteed-ideal summer weather with extremely reasonable facsimiles of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit models at every turn.

It’s a bit special.

Sure, we’ve all been to a million events—some that we’ve spent an entire weekend at; sleeping in the dirt or in a cramped tent in a sleeping bag (or under some Hefty bags with our leather jacket for a pillow) hanging out with new “friends” who wind up looking a little rougher in the wake-up light than they did in the post-party shadows of 2:00 a.m.—and then spending the day in hideous heat watching 300-pound guys competing in the “big belly” contest. Well, that’s always fun and all, but every now and then it’s good to climb up a rung or two and savor a touch of class.

This is the run for that. The “babe factor”—a major theme of this entire shebang—is worth the price of admission by itself.

The full and complete name of this show is The 2010 LA Calendar Motorcycle Show & Music Festival. Let’s first examine the “music” part (in terms of that babe factor, of course).

All the musical acts are female. Women. Chicks. Bands of feminine rockers like Emily Jaye and Frentik; singer/songwriters Elizabeth Nicole and Katie Cole; and some seriously dirty deeds done by the all-fem AC/DC tribute band, Whole Lotta Rosies. The dance team of the Purrfect Angelz and the “world’s most beautiful magician,” Krysten Lambert, keep the babe factor rolling between the live tunes.

The “motorcycle” part is also well-represented. The show bikes are everywhere—as are their builders; artists like Shinya Kimura, Todd Silicata, Russell Mitchell, Kenji Negai, Jim Giuffra and Ron Simms. The competition for the $86,000 in cash and awards in the Performance Machine Best of Show Award and in the Iron Works magazine-sponsored Calendar Show Bike Building Championship attracts the big boys.

But the “calendar” part is the true heart of the babe factor. The three 2011 offerings from FastDates.com are another example of climbing up a rung or three—they are a huge improvement over those dumb “Dilbert” or “Ziggy” square desk calendars. It may be the best use of the monthly grid since Pope Gregory XIII first set it up in 1582. Iron & Lace, Fast Dates and Garage Girls: Beautiful Girls Hard at Work are really a juicy buffet of sophisticated art involving the appreciation of the female form in the most stylish of ways. Last year my favorite of the triad was Garage Girls but this time around my leanings went toward Iron & Lace—the “Calendar Kitten” named Apple definitely had appeal…

As we started to roll home, the day’s last blast from the Queen Mary’s massive air horn boomed across the entire shoreline in a loud, royal reminder of just how unique, special and very classy this event is.

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