Friday, December 2, 2011

Metal Church With Jesse James - Parts 3 and 4

We were guessing with Jesse James bike build off on Discovery Channel that he would be working on a new show for the channel and our theories were proven correct. Discovery is a great channel overall, but we have always wondered why they kept the American Chopper show on for so long, as the show is more about high paid advertising and family drama rather than about motorcycles or custom builds. We completely rationalize with the idea that the corporate advertising pays for the channel and gives them the ability to produce more shows, but to what detriment? The family squabbles made a mockery of the Teutels and it became just another soap opera, same as ESPN. Not that their builds were something we enjoy or would ever ride, but imagine yourself as a teenager and thinking on a career path. By being able to see a machinist, builder, fabricator, mechanic etc. as a viable career choice, they are missing a huge opportunity to truly grow their market share. Mike Rowe's Dirty Jobs portrays all sorts of tough jobs that are being done and are providing an honest living that aren't cubicle driven.

America has forgotten how we got started and what made us great. Many have forgotten what it is like to fix the random item that breaks at the home or how to do an oil change. College is not always the solution or striving for the proverbial white collar job. Trade careers are continuing to diminish as we are losing our industrial might which is sad. Hopefully with Jesse James new show, Discovery will once again focus on craftsmanship instead of drama. The same as most should focus on his amazing skill set compared to his personal life.

Granted many folks are voyeurs and live vicariously through others, so we ask this. Instead of watching life go by, become an entrenched part of it. If ya don't know how to dial in four carburetors, learn. If ya can't bend sheet metal or weld, go to your local community college and take some classes. Life is too damn short so go out and make something happen that you can call your own.

Leave a legacy and something to be remembered by, take the high road and make it work.

Jesse James TIG Welding - Photo from Cyril Huze Blog
Cyril Huze posted an interview with Jesse about the build off coming up next week with the Teutels and you can read it below or link back over to the original article.

Link to original article and photos on

Jesse James, Paul Junior and Senior duel in the ultimate TV build-off on the Discovery Channel and you are about to decide who is the best builder. In advance of the 2-day TV event (Episode “Chopper Finale” December 5 at 9 pm when the 3 customs will be revealed, Episode “Chopper Live” December 6 at 9 pm to vote and see the winner), Jesse James took some time to answer my questions…ramping-up the smack talk against the Teutuls… A couple of revelations, too.

Cyril. Although I can’t show pictures of your bike before Monday’s and Tuesday’s episodes, can you explain to my readers your approach for this build-off, what type of bike did you build. Jesse. I just wanted to build a bike purely for myself. I wanted a style and materials that “I” want. At the end of the day I’m keeping this fucker, so I might as well do something that I will dig.

Cyril. How much help did you get? Jesse. Ha! The only real help I had was unloading the truck of raw material coming in the door of the shop. Really I had Bacon with me the whole time helping run parts and this and that. Which I could not have done without him. Jeff Decker and Cole Foster also stopped by for a couple days to help out. It was so great doing this with my friends.

Jesse James getting proper measurements for ride comfort - Photo from Cyril Huze Blog

Cyril. Do you think that the bikes you build today are very different from the ones you were known for years ago? Which way? Jesse. I think this is a big step out of my comfort zone. It’s leaner and meaner and uses a lot of materials and skills that I have been afraid to work with in the past. Mostly because I wasn’t that good at working with them. I think I needed to push myself on this build. Just to prove that I can do what I do from my new shop at home. 17 years of having the power and resources of West Coast Choppers in my back pocket. Now that is all gone. Time for me to prove that I was really the driving force behind all of it. I have to admit I was a bit nervous hanging it all out there on my own.

Cyril. Do you have a personal and/or professional gripe with those 2? Jesse. I doubt if I would piss on either one if they were on fire :- )

Cyril. Would you hire any of them in your Austin shop? To do what? Jesse. Absolutely Not. I have 19 y.o. kids at my Austin Speed Shop that would work circles around any one of them…

Cyril. Your definition of a great custom motorcycle? Jesse. Frame, Motor, Trans, Small tank, Brakes and lots of Love. Minus a reference point.

Wooden mold for a custom tank by Jesse James - Photo from Cyril Huze Blog

Cyril. Do you think it’s possible that one of them, or both, surprise you with a bike your really like?

Jesse. I really wish and hope one of them would build something Bad Ass. Something I would tip my hat too. Sadly I think we all know it will just be more of the same. They really want to beat me so they will be emptying the parts room. Welding as many wings, and scoops, and fins as possible.

Cyril. It seems that it will be a popularity contest more than anything else. Can a bad boy get more votes than 2 “family men”?  

Jesse. Yeah, Jr. started trying to mooch votes and couple weeks ago. Pretty Lame. I have an idea! How about we show people the bikes first, then ask them to vote.

Cyril. There are ultimately 2 possibilities for you. Tell me why you will win? Why you could lose? 

Jesse. I think there are actually 3. I think this is my chance to remind people what I really do. I think there is a large amount of people that think I’m famous just because I married a Hollywood actress. I really hope to show people that since Monster Garage ended that I have done nothing but devote myself to my skills. I really think that I am 100 times better now. I hope people see this and I inspires them to follow there passion like I have.

Cyril. Does the result really matter to you? 

 Jesse. I’d love to win, but if I don’t it will not change my feelings about my bike, not even 1%. It’s a Bad Motherfucker, and I love it!

Cyril. With the result of this competition, is your return on the Discovery Channel with your own show on the line?  

Jesse. We start filming an All New Series in January for the Discovery Channel.

Cyril. What kind of TV show you prefer to have? Building? Teaching? Entertaining? 

Jesse. Bigger Better Monster Garage, Time to Put Discovery on the map again and cut a new Groove in Television.