If you’ve ever been in the shop, you know – this dealership has served as a giant scrapbook for the Alaska motorcycle community since it’s beginning. Everything from the stuffed polar bear on the third floor to the muddy photos of 80’s rally’s on the first floor. Tourists leave gifts, celebrities sign photos, Barry brings stuff back from his travels, and sometimes stuff just shows up!
The other day Barry handed me a stack of magazine pages that he identified as “a collection that a good customer gave him awhile back”. Our conversation: “Do you know who David Mann is?” “nope” “well he’s really famous”.
So maybe you guys know who he is. I didn’t though, so here’s a mini story:
Photo retrieved from: http://www.davidmannart.com
David Mann was a Biker Artist. He passed away in 2004. Once called the Norman Rockwell of the Biker world, David’s work portrayed the biker lifestyle from his personal experience using stylized realism. Many of his paintings were featured as two page spreads in Easy Rider and Biker magazine. In the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, many motorcycle customizers would look at David’s paintings and then actually build the bikes he designed. His most famous piece is called Ghostrider which was featured in Easy Rider in 1983 (below).
Below are only a few in the stack that Barry handed me:
David created his first painting in 1963 which was purchased for $85 by Ed “Big Daddy” Roth, the famous car customizer and publisher of Chopper Magazine. This was the start of David’s career and he went on to do 10 more paintings for Roth.
Two days ago Barry shared another piece of the scrapbook with me, an Ed Roth poster which was signed by the Big Daddy himself (below). Barry explained that he has always been a big fan and that when he was a kid he would would try to draw that kind of stuff. I love how that kind of stuff comes full circle around here.