Bonhams on November 12,2011 will auction off several popular artists and other famous names personal motorcycles and cars. The list ranges from Guns-n-Roses , Godsmack, Elvis, Fonzie to Madonna ,‘k.d. lang’ and Hot Rod builder Rick Dore. Check out the entire lot to be auctioned off here. So if you have a little play money then you might just be able to own one.
Owned by Matt Sorum of Guns N’ Roses and Velvet Revolver
2008 Harley-Davidson Heritage Softail Custom
Frame no. 1HD1JD5168Y012238
Rock drummers don’t get much more hard-hitting than Matt Sorum. Four seven years, from 1990-97, he laid down the beat for Guns N’ Roses, one of the all-time great groups, mixing punk, blues, heavy metal and hard rock to sell some 100 million albums worldwide. He joined the band after original drummer Steven Adler was fired. Lead man Axl Rose credits Sorum with saving the band at this very difficult time, pretty heady stuff for a one-time percussionist in the Mission Viejo (California) High School marching band. Sorum gained national attention in 1988 backing up-and-coming singer Tori Amos, then in ’89 became touring drummer for The Cult. Guns N’ Roses came calling a year later. Predictably, a disagreement with the volatile Rose led to Sorum’s departure in ’97. In 2002 Sorum joined up with fellow ex-GN’R bandmates Slash and bassist Duff McKagan to form the super-group Velvet Revolver. Their single “Slither” was named Best Hard Rock Performance at the 2005 Grammy Awards.
While Sorum has more radical customs in his garage, the bike on offer here is a milder, rider-quality 2008 Heritage Softail. It runs a hopped-up motor, aftermarket exhaust pipes and slightly lowered suspension, but is fully road-ready, showing just 2000 miles from new.
Every self-respecting rock star needs a motorcycle, and Sully Erna, founder and frontman for the heavy metal band Godsmack, definitely qualifies. Formed in 1996 the band, described by Rolling Stone as “hard as nails and cranked to 11,” has sold more than 15 million albums to date. Godsmack has released five studio albums, three of which went to number one on the Billboard 200 charts. The band also has 19 top ten hits, including 15 songs in the top five, was named Billboard’s Rock Artist of the Year in 2001 and has received four Grammy nominations. Erna is lead vocalist and primary songwriter but also fills in on guitar, harmonica and drums.
Erna, a rider since age 14, owns three motorcycles, including a radical $100,000 chopper featured in the band’s video “Speak.” This milder, more rideable custom started out as a stock 1998 Heritage Softail complete with windshield and saddlebags, but has gone through three major styling makeovers over the years to arrive at the high-barred custom seen here, much more appropriate as a rocker’s ride.
TV characters don’t get much cooler than Arthur Herbert Fonzarelli, better known as “The Fonz” on the long-running ABC sitcom “Happy Days” that aired Tuesday nights from 1974-84. At its ratings high point the show was watched by some 40 million Americans, who tuned in to see the adventures of 1950s Milwaukee high-schooler Richie Cunningham (Ron Howard), his family and friends. Originally a bit player, Fonzie as portrayed by Henry Winkler become the show’s big breakout star. So iconic was the loveable biker and ladies man that TV Guide named him as number 4 on its “50 Greatest TV Characters of All Time” rankings. When the show was finally cancelled, his trademark brown leather bomber jacket was acquired by the Smithsonian Institution.
But what of The Fonz’s other prop, his Triumph motorcycle? As often happens with vehicles used in television and movies, once production shut down it seems to have wandered off, lost to the mists of time. So it was with the “Happy Days” Triumph, until Cycle World writer Wendy F. Black was assigned to track it down for a story in 2000. Her quest started with the kingpin of all things having to do with Hollywood and motorcycles: Bud Ekins, racer, stuntman, provider of car and bikes to the studios.
According to Ekins, there were actually three Triumphs, all 500cc Trophy models of various years, used on the show, two of which had indeed gone missing – stolen, raced into the ground or sold off for parts. But Ekins not only knew about the third and remaining Triumph, he had originally supplied it to Paramount Studios after yanking off the front fender, bolting on a set of buckhorn handlebars and painting the gas tank silver. The Fonz, after all, would not ride a stock motorcycle. Ekins also pointed the magazine writer north to Oakland where the sole remaining Fonzie bike had been since 1990, hiding in plain sight, stored unceremoniously at Mean Marshall’s Motorcycles. Shop owner Marshall Ehlers purchased the bike from Ekins not for its star power but for the model’s race history, its all-alloy engine and its sparse good looks. At one point he even considered restoring the Trophy back to showroom-stock spec.
Happily that didn’t happen and now one of the world’s coolest Triumphs, untouched since it last rolled across television screens 27 years ago, is ready for its second act. A portion of proceeds from the sale will be donated by Bonhams to aid Henry Winkler’s charitable work in support of children with dyslexia.
From Bonhams Website www.bonhams.com