Catching Up With Jesse James During The Lone Star Rally
Article By: Jack Shit
Originally Published In The April 2014 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine
If you’ve never been to the Lone Star Rally, then I suggest you make plans to attend. Where can you find a place to ride and party that as you roll your bike’s back wheel to the curb, cock the bars left to park, you catch a dolphin breach the top of a wave in your mirror and not have sand in every crevice of your scooter? This would be my second chance to attend the rally and this year I had the great honor and privilege to represent Cycle Source and Grease & Gears TV. We were going to capture the very best of it all for you — our readers and viewers. We managed to find some very cool bikes that will be featured in upcoming issues, we rode with and interviewed amazing singer Jared Blake, rocked out with our great friend Jasmine Cain, pulled off a killer bike show, met some stone lunatics from a town called Doolike, but of all the things we got to do and people we had the pleasure to meet with, the highlight had to be spending time with Jesse James and his lovely bride Alexis DeJoria, both outstanding in their chosen fields. The fine folks who put on this incredible party realized that the hot rod culture and the bike culture are morphing together in one way or another and thought it would be a great idea to have Jesse come on over from Austin and judge the hot rod show and do a meet and greet with his fans.
Now you folks know that this guy has been run through the wringer; his personal life exposed and examined under a microscope by the entire world for nothing more than a relationship gone sour and I think that sucks. People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones is how I look at these things. The first day that Jesse was scheduled to be there he was caught in traffic for hours behind a horrible accident and even though he was late, the line continued to form and snaked its way across the entire lot. For a guy who stepped away from the limelight and got back to doing what he loves, fabricating and building, the crowds were insane. I don’t think I would have stood in the blazing sun that long to meet anyone, but virtually no one left that line and once he was able to get there, he signed anything anybody wanted and took pics with everyone on line. I’ve seen celebs go through this process and be basic pricks about it, but Jesse seemed to have a genuine air of gratitude about him, talking with each fan and not just running them through like cattle.
The schedule was tight and just getting a minute or two on camera with people can be damn near impossible at times and this looked to be one of those times. Penny did her best to secure us an interview, but it was going to be quick. The original plan was to have our own Will Ramsey from Faith Forgotten interview him, but then we thought, what could be better than doubling up on Jesse and hitting him with questions from both of our perspectives. If memory serves me correctly, we had Jesse for a good 30 minutes. Each time I go to Texas, my good friend Buddy Johnson loans me a sick, one-off bike, built with nearly all WCC parts, but built in a style completely opposite of Jesse’s. When he saw it, he flipped out. He even took the time to not only sign the oil bag, but to snap a ton of pics with his phone. We went on and on about each and every detail of the bike. You talk about a guy deeply involved in his business; he remembered the original order for the parts because every part ordered was in a qty. of two. He flipped out over the fact that someone used his parts, to build their own style of bike and not his. I believe this really opened him up to hang with us. We weren’t local news channel 3 clambering for his time because he was once married to a movie star; we truly appreciated his skills and what he’s accomplished, and he recognized that. Together we covered bikes, hot rods, materials, inspiration, goals, being vilified & relentlessly hounded, the future and his new fire arms’ company; yes you heard me, Jesse James Firearms’ Unlimited. When asked about the name, Jesse simply said, “I just love the sound of J.J.F.U.” Thanks for taking the time with us Jesse and Alexis.