Dialing up the sizzle factor
Pegging the cleavage-to-chrome ratio
Long Beach, Calif., July 18–19—The city of Long Beach was already beginning to clean up its image when the legendary British ship, the Queen Mary, steamed into its retirement home at 10 a.m. on December 9, 1967. At that point, things really began to change.
The seedy port side of town—a side that included the decaying carnival midway freak shows of the Pike, an infamous battery of tattoo shops, and a never-ending parade of “drunken sailors”—was about to get a serious facelift. Big-time hotels and high-end restaurants began to squeeze out the rickety roller coasters, bearded ladies, ink slingers and hot dog stands.
And the Queen reigned over it all.
With this majestic ship as the backdrop, the annual LA Calendar Motorcycle Show provides one of the most scenic settings in all of SoCal for a bike event. With the mammoth ocean liner to the east, the impressive Long Beach skyline and the city’s bay to the north, and a summer sun overhead, the Queen Mary Event Park was the perfect forum for two days of nonstop entertainment, fun and just hanging out.
Just as the Queen Mary was named after a woman of power and strength, the main focus of this particular event is its celebration of female beauty, charm, charisma and ability. From the bevy of hotter-than-hot models to the rockin’ all-girl bands to the seductive dance troupes, it’s all about the babes.
There is also the custom bike show, and the $86,000 Calendar Bike Building Championship, and a few other things that involve guys—but the main thrust of this soirée is purely testosterone-fueled.
“The first annual ‘Calendar Show,’” writes photographer and producer Jim Gianatsis in the event’s press release, “was actually a backyard BBQ party at my house with some of the bike builders and calendar models, which included Playboy Playmate Teri Weigel flipping burgers on the grill. Within two years the party had grown to an open event at the Santa Monica Airport so all of our fans could share in the fun and excitement.”
It obviously got a lot bigger, and a major part of that growing “fun and excitement” is the yearly premiere of the three FastDates.com calendars: a triad of potently provocative pin-ups that make a calendar’s clinical purpose of logging in the day and date pretty much irrelevant.
My personal favorite is Garage Girls 2010: Beautiful Models Hard at Work, which features photos of “the only friends you’ll ever want to loan your tools to.” But, hey, the other two offerings—Iron & Lace 2010 and Fast Dates 2010—are equally artistic, aesthetically appealing, and drool-inducing.
In addition to the vendor rows, the booths where gorgeous models sign posters and calendars, and the gaggles of custom and show bikes everywhere, this titillating little affair schedules more back-to-back-to-back onstage entertainment than I remember seeing at any other event. This weekend show’s 17 hours of operation had very few moments of dead air.
Appearances by celebrities and performers like singer/songwriter/actress Elizabeth Nicole, and the Purrfect Angelz dance divas, were interspersed with cool chick bands.
It’s always the music that especially catches my ear and sensory input mechanisms.
I appreciate a promoter’s genuine care in selecting decent artists to supply an event’s soundtrack, and the LA Calendar Motorcycle Show did it up right. The shoreline was continually rocked by all-girl bands like Absinthe Women, Whole Lotta Rosies (AC/DC tribute), Cockpit, PajamaBand (featuring Calendar Kitten Jayme Langford), and Mary Fall & Chain Reaction.
I’ll give the promoters credit for something else as well: a couple of interesting “heads up” that were noted in the event flyers. From personal experience I know that promoters have to jump through a million bureaucratic hoops to pull events off. They have to bend over for all kind of local regulations. It’s never easy to make all the authorities happy and meet all of the financial and regulatory obligations in order to put on a successful and entertaining wing-ding. The LA Calendar Show’s flyers did have the unfortunate, frequently-seen ban on colors; but they tagged it, almost apologetically, stating that the policy would be “strictly enforced by the Long Beach Police.” It may have been a bit like Pilate “washing his hands of the blood,” but I prefer to think that it was a lament that this rule was locally imposed and out of their hands.
They threw in a similar heads up about Long Beach’s apparent penchant for handing out citations for loud pipes. They even included a suggested route around the city proper where “you will not risk being ticketed.”
Those are the kinds of things that spark a head-shaking melancholy and a longing for at least a little of the wildness and lawlessness that used to define this area of Queen City.
But with a beautiful July sun warming away any thoughts of trouble or mayhem, the 18th annual installment of the LA Calendar Motorcycle Show went off without a hitch; two days of babes and bikes beneath the shadow of a very, very big boat.