Article and Photos By: Xavier Muriel
Originally Published In The February 2019 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine
Hello, Lords and Ladies of the motorcycle realm. Well, once again, old man winter has made his way back again, forcing us to do the very thing we dread. Putting away our toys for a few months. But alas before we know it, the time will come to break them out again, displaying what we have been so busy working on those cold, wet months in hibernation. It seems that all across the boards of the Social Media sites all my buddies are busy prepping and ordering what they need to get the job done. Here in Texas, we are usually very fortunate in that we can pretty much ride till January. But not this year once it got cold it’s remained that way. So, like all the rest of my buds, I’ve gotten busy on another build to pass the time and get my juices flowing. Who knows what I’ll come up, that’s the fun part, waiting to see the final result.
Before old man winter dug his claws into me, I was super fortunate to be asked to attend this year’s SEMA show held in Las Vegas. Now, if you’re not familiar with SEMA and wonder what it is. Well grab a cold one and sit back and let me tell you a story. SEMA stands for Speed Equipment Manufacturing Association. In short, if it has to do with anything automotive, it’s there. From the smallest of plastic fasteners to full-on working garages are on display in all their glory. Held over four days at the Las Vegas Convention Center and adjacent buildings this event was unlike anything I’ve ever seen or experienced! To give you an idea of how massive it really is, they have an app to guide you through the maze and mayhem of it all. Attendees come from all over the world.
Now I’ve been to many, many music and motorcycle trade shows but they all pale in comparison to this giant. It’s said that if you were to walk the entire show, it would cover over 20 miles! And trust me by the second day of walking and walking and walking I had had enough. I had to strategically map out all the vendors I wanted to visit and jump in the flow of thousands of people all the while tracking my GPS like all the other folks and while hoping to not run someone down. The first three days are industry folks only in attendance and the fourth and final day is open to the general public. I don’t even have to tell you what kind of madness that creates.
The whole reason I was there was because my painter the highly talented BuckWild Designs had been asked by Sherwin Williams, the parent Company of Matrix paint, if he could get a few of his customers bikes there. When he asked me if I was interested in shipping my bike for display, of course, I said yes! I first met Buck when he contacted me about painting a drum set. I had seen his work before and was blown away by it so to be asked to, provide a kit for his talent was a no-brainer. He said he’d done everything under the moon, bikes, cars, boats even peoples, garages but never a drum set. When I drove to his shop to meet him personally, we discussed ideas, and I told him “All I want is metal flake gold and an East L.A. Cholo theme’’ the rest is up to you. Well, I went back out on tour and had forgotten about it. Eight months later, he called and said they were ready. When he pulled it out of the box, I just about fell over. It was unlike anything I had ever seen on a drum kit. The color and detail were out of this world. That kit went out immediately on the Kid Rock Tour and was such a hit with everyone that from that day he’s been my painter.
Back to my conversation with the powers that be at Sherwin Williams, I proposed that I bring Grace which he painted, the drum kit and myself out to the SEMA show to hang out in their booth and talk paint, music, and motorcycles for four days and that’s exactly what I did. I had such a blast meeting so many new people and running into some folks I hadn’t seen in some time. It’s a small, small world when you run into the guitar player from Pappa Roach’s Father whom I hadn’t seen since the last time the two bands were on tour with each other back in 2012, and as always, he’s such a vast assortment of Automotive knowledge and a huge source of inspiration. The trip brought along a slew of commitments such as a photo shoot in the desert for the 2019 Sherwin Williams Calendar and a huge party at Counts Kustoms compound in which a snare drum that was generously donated by Yamaha Drums and painted by Buck, as well as many other artists, were raffled off for a Children’s Charity. I was asked to stop by Dany’s rehearsal with his band Count 77 and say hi. I had a ball talking music and motorcycles with the reality tv star and his band. A great guy to say the least and throws one hell of an industry party.
I don’t usually dig Vegas much, considering I’ve been there so many times with the band and being there for week was crazy in itself but it does help to have great friends there, and it makes the time so much more fun. (Thanks Capt and Goldy for making it an incredible time). As I made the 20-hour drive home to Texas, I revisited the past seven days and found nothing but complete gratitude for the entire experience and the new friends I made. Having my latest build in the company of such great bikes and a world class event was truly humbling. Thanks again to Kim Wilson, Buck Wild Designs and Sherwin Williams for the honor, the invite and the memories. Until next time Be Kind To One Another.