Article By: Jack Shit
Originally Published In The November 2012 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine
I went in to the 72nd annual Sturgis Rally in the worst physical condition of my life, and I paid the price for it. Going to bed at 6 a.m. or later and waking up at 10 a.m. to do it all over again really took its toll on this fat, old bastard! I have a policy of never leaving the property during a rally and trying to never, ever sit down while working. The team that I work with at The Spoke has come to notice this style of working and saw how it takes a toll on me. They wanted me to have a place I could go, have a bit of peace and quiet and re-group. So, they created “The Jack Lounge” as a spot to just chill and a place for our most special of guests to plop their asses down. With regard to never leaving the property, I broke that rule this year, but only once! My buddy Keith Deninno scooped me up, borrowed a car and we raced over the mountain and in to town to show our respect for Chris Callen and to congratulate him on 15 amazing years of the magazine.
This rally, we tried to stir the pot, so to speak, and took a different approach to the live performances featured on the main stage. We brought in Joe Nichols, who is a huge country star, Kyle Turley who has toured with Hank III, Nightranger, Kentucky Head Hunters and the one-and-only Uncle Kracker. The crowds were great and I knew we had made some winning decisions by the comments from each and every person. What really blew this rally out of the water for everyone at The Spoke were the after show parties. Each night, when the “big show” ended, we instantly moved the party into the main bar, and what parties they were. For the first time, we welcomed Palmetto Moonshine to Sturgis, and if you want to have a hell of a party, just add a thousand or so jars of shine to it. These guys even brought with them the world’s first ever, moonshine powered bike, and twice they lit the bike on fire while doing big, smoky burnouts. Our friends from All Year Gear showed up at The Spoke with enough free shit to give more than 50,000 Spoke visitors some kick-ass gear!
We had the great honor of once again being the home to both the American Motor Drome Wall of Death and the Vietnam Memorial Wall. We not only had Rolling Thunder on site bringing much needed attention to the POW/MIA issue and raising both funds and awareness, but we were also blessed to have PB Customs moving some tickets to raffle off their Military Tribute bikes. The proceeds will go to benefit the families of veterans. The folks from the Choppin’ Block have made their mark on The Spoke as well and hosted a top notch bike show. They too raised a whole bunch of money for Cathy’s Help, Jim Duggan’s Cancer Charity and they even raised some to help my beautiful wife Diane in her fight with Multiple Sclerosis. We kicked off our first annual Miss Broken Spoke contest to rave reviews. There were two things that I believe to be the real “heroes” of this rally: the pool of course, which was packed to the gills each day, and the 3 chain swings installed by our own U.S. Marine bartender, Chris!
For the first time ever, I was able to hang around for the after-rally dinner with the entire staff and this ended up being a night that anyone who was there will never forget, but I’ll leave that for another day! This was hands down the very best time I’ve ever had at a rally and I want to thank each of you who made this possible. People often say to me, “You have the greatest gig on earth,” and you know what, I have to agree! More than the party, more than the bikes and more than the depravity that is Sturgis, it is the people that I get to meet and the friends I only rarely get to see that truly does make this the greatest gig on earth! See ya in Daytona.