Born to Ride

I was five when I first felt the magic...

Grebo Gurus

Fast forward about ten years. Like most places in the mid-70s, my hometown was very tribal. The working-class kids were predominantly rockabillies and skins, the National Front having a strong presence. This pretty much covered the council estate I grew up on...

My First Bike

So, bikes meant a couple of things to me. They got you a foot in the door, at least, with the tribe, and they got you out of trouble. Much safer to ride around the streets than walk or peddle. I’d already been kicked off a bicycle by a gang and beaten up on the way home from a gig. Two held my arms while two others hit me. It felt like being raped.

No Limit (1935)

No Limit is the first of eleven films Formby made for ATP, and it’s probably the best. This is Formby unfiltered, fresh off the stage: anarchic, cheeky, a bit blue, a working-class hero and very northern. No Limit is his Jailhouse Rock.

Fiery the Angels Rose

This potentially suicidal aspect of motorcycling is ever present; it’s in the appalling accident statistics, the blind spot of every car driver, and the temptation to still overtake everything on the road as if you’re playing a computer game. It is also the foundation of a much broader cultural code, an Oroboros of influences from fact and fiction...

The Geometry of Fear: Joseph Losey's The Damned

‘I never expected a thing like this to happen to me in England.’

‘You thought England was a land of old ladies knitting socks. The age of senseless violence has caught up with us too.’

Once a Jolly Swagman

Following on from my previous point about the lack of serious films covering any aspect of motorcycle racing, here is one of the good ones, if not the best...