Harley's 100th Party - West Coast Style
The 100th anniversary of Harley Davidson has come and gone - as well as the big party in Milwaukee [See Don Crafts' article.] - but here in the great state of California, a coalition of SoCal HD dealers [ Harley4fun.com ] had thrown a party for those that didn't, couldn't, wouldn't, or DID attend the party in Milwaukee - this time in the Frank Bonelli Park at San Dimas, California.
This certainly was a good 'ol Harley party, with loads of chrome and a fist full of classic rock bands to entertain the masses. Vanilla fudge rocked us with the appropriated Superme's hit, "You Keep Me Hangin' On." Dave Mason, of Traffic & Fleetwod Mac fame, kept us "Feelin' Alright" with his stock of classic rock hits. And headlining the whole event was Eric Burdon and the Animals - another mid-70s staple of early rock radio. "House of the Rising Sun", "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood", "We Gotta Get Out of This Place" and "See See Rider". You all know the tunes, you just don't remember who all performed them... we know the story... and if you were there and having as much fun as I had, you still don't know who sang what.
All and all it was a great time, as you can see from the photographs, but there were a handful of things that could have made it better. The organizers hadn't expected the turnout they received. It was obvious by the length of the line for the ONE food vendor. The lack of shade wasn't necessarily the planners fault, since the greater LA region isn't known for its great forests, however, some tents could have been erected to help the folks keep cool - esp those having to endure the uphill beer line!
A classic car show within the boundaries of the gig, and a few of the newly released 2004 Harleys gave us something to look at between band sets and standing in lines. I even saw a pair of name-brand "Umbrella Girls" pass by me while I was standing in line and I think they were eaten by the crowd, because I never saw them again. Luckily, there were a few other traveling models around the place to snap yourself a picture of, while sweating in the sun. Overall there were more topless men than women around the place. Men that didn't need to be topless, according to my girlfriend, but it was stinking hot so she had to deal with it!
Top all the music and hot bodies off with seeing not only the Batmobile but George Barris himself, having a group of new friends sing me a happy birthday, finding my non-harley ride safe in the parking lot at the end of the day, and I'd say it was a pretty good party. Not something you would expect of a centennial party - could have been bigger - but a great Sunday in the sunshine. Note to the organizers: Please don't try to bring it back next year, anniversaries are supposed to be special. I don't wanna see the Woodstock 1999 thing all over again.