May 17, 2012

What Would Fonzie Do?

the fonz for diamond & rust!

by Diamond Tim

In the beginning, Marlon Brando rode his Triumph Thunderbird into the small California town decked out in black leather and near the birth of Rock-n-Roll. Since then motorcycles, black leather & Rock-n-Roll go together like a bacon, lettuce & tomato sandwich…I guess the mayo could be the girls. ;-)

3 out of those 4 can get out of control ( not the black leather ) and unless you “catch” something Cheap Trick warns you about in “Surrender”, the motorcycle will kill you if you make the wrong move, but even worse, if somebody else makes the wrong move on you…no matter how great you ride…you’re gonna bleed.

I’ve been around many a bike & bikers all my life…not consistantly, but as part of a healthy rock-n-roll lifestyle its hard not to have friends that do, even if you don’t…I did. I mean c’mon, you’ll never see Motley Crue or KISS posing with a Pinto!…Or Judas Priest’s Rob Halford roll out on stage on a bicycle! Sure it’s good for the environment, just not for the image. ;-)

My first bike was given to me by Homer Scott in 1975. It was a black Harley Davidson 350 on/off bike…which meant it could do dirt & street which was a rarity for a Harley ( back then ). One day I come flyin’ down Bellevue Road southwest of Nashville taking a short cut through the neighbor’s grassy-knoll covered in dew & hitting the front brakes…yes friends, I tasted the sweet morning grass with a mixture of mud & blood to wash it down and a nice little red mark ‘cross my face…you know like David Bowie’s Aladdin Sane album cover…go look at it…I’ll wait…

I motocrossed a little bit too…once as I laid in the mud after falling from a jump, like I was laying in bed watching dozens of bikes taking flight from the back of my headboard landing all around me. It was if the Wicked Witch sent the winged-monkees on Kawazaki’s & Suzuki’s to torture me…over the years I would still ride now & then but not so off the hook but rather more like a rebel with a cause…the cause to not get hurt!

BUT…In the mid 80’s twixed my time in Florida, back to Tennessee I got into a little bit more than just a taste of morning dew but of blacktop. I had a girlfriend, Linda Williams on my bike & 1 helmet with the “live free, die young” attitude of the “true rocker”, so I gave it to her ( the gentleman that I am ) & I was like, “my step-father’s the Sheriff of this town, they wont bust me ridin’ without a helmet!” Then I took a gravel road too fast wiping out and throwing me head first into the sidewalk…I actually thought I was ok, even though it wasn’t very “Bond-like” and she a bit shakin & stirred but fine… When I felt a liquid warmth I never felt before flowing from the top of my skull over my face. I thought it was sweat or maybe more like maple syrup ( as those cartoon birds were flyin’ around my face ) until I saw red drops dripping like a loose washer on a faucet…and then the scream, not mine, hers!…well, ok mine too. 2 huge gaps on the top of my skull…I tell ya I looked like “Carrie” by the time the ambulance came. A few headaches & alot of staples made me finally see the light although it was my own stupid fault…I still have some hair grafts over the staple scars because it wont grow on scars, otherwise I’d look like I’m sportin’ a croooked mohawk! That’s’ kinda punk, but I’m an old school rocker…If I was Herman Munster I might have been cool with it. LOL…But I was thinning a bit anyway so it worked out in my favor ( for vanity sake ) LOL, hey I’m a rocker not a lawyer! To make fun of someone wanting to improve themselves from an accident is like laughing at chemotherapy or a prostetic hand, but there are those that don’t understand & have a head sickness that can never be altered, except by a really good shrink…or better yet, a labotomy…maybe I should’ve had one! LOL. I have a buddy out there that has a prostetic as a result of a motorcycle accident…we’ve had an argument or 2 through the years & I would never be classless enough to use that as a last ditch effort for venting vulgarities against him…that rat bastard. ;-)

Another old school rocker like me is my buddy Jamie Simmons, bassist for the fabulous Simmonz brothers, a fave band out of Nashville since the glorious 80’s! He was recently in a motorcycle accident and I do believe it was at the indiscretions of the automobile driver. He’s in the hospital as we speak & I say Godspeed Jamie! You’ve got the support of your great brothers, your family & a multitude of friends. He’ll be fine…I just gave him a pair of special Eddie Van Halen flip-flops to walk out of the hospital with. That’ll make anybody get better. ;-) Love ya brother!

Now WE NEED YOUR HELP!!! On July 14th, 2012 in Sumner County, TN. The Gallatin Roughnecks Biker Club ( made up of Police, Firefighters, EMT’s, etc. ) are gonna have a big motorcycle rally & benefit ending with a sweet rock-n-roll jam all in the name of Jamie Simmons so please get out there & show your support & give to a great cause! You can get more detailed info at MikeSimmonsBand.Com.

Now I got nothin’ against a good auto as I have a motorcar ( as a Beatle would say ) as do most of us, but the Biker has rights to & you have to be extremely vigilant & considerate…or else! Like, I’ve got a couple of friends in the Hell’s Angel’s ( names witheld to protect the innocent…me.) & the last thing you want is to accidentally scratch his chrome.

I really got to thinkin’ about all the famous Rock-n-Roll folk who died or were seriously injured in motorcycle wrecks like Billy Idol, Bob Dylan, Mark Knopfler, Steven Tyler, Peter Fonda was born to be wild, the great Buddy Holly acting Gary Busey, even Ann Margret shook it with Elvis, in 2000 she got a broken arm & 4 broken ribs! Worse than that is death…Here’s a forgotten great, Don Rich! I thought he was one of the greatest with Buck Owens back in the day…I met him when he was doin’ Hee Haw in 1973, then the next year, he was gone…just gone. How ’bout Barry Oakley & Duanne Allman!? The Allman Brothers Band guitarist was killed in a 1971 motorcycle accident in Macon, Georgia, when he crashed into a semi-truck that had pulled in front of him. Oakley, the band’s bassist, was killed in a 1972 motorcycle less than a mile from the spot where Allman had suffered the same fate a year earlier…can you believe it?!!!

So a couple of years ago I’m leaving a Renaissance Festival south of Nashville & I’m stuck in a line of traffic on a narrow 2 lane highway…I see a group of heavy-duty bikers coming the other way clear & free doin’ the speed limit, nice & legal, when they pass me & I happened to look in my rear view mirror when I saw an impatient motorcar decide he was gonna turn left into a driveway to go back the other way. I had a terrible feeling I was about to witness an amazing feat…as the idiot in the car turned, the very large Harley broad-sided him and I watched a 300 pound man clad in leather fly 30 feet into the air & land in the street. I jumped out of the car & ran over to him. Totally in shock and disbelief this giant of a man turned into a 12 year old boy that wrecked his 10-speed. He was scared to death as I held his hand. Amazingly there was no blood, but he didn’t move an inch except for the worry in his eyes & the tears of confusion. I didn’t leave his side until the medivac helicopter came in…I stayed with him until the chopper took off…I never saw him again. I hope he made it.

Motorcycles & the men & women who “live to ride” really do “ride to live”! It’s in their blood! It’s what makes them truly happy & to forget the daily grind. These are my kinda people although it might be awhile before I get on a hog again. Prayers for the Biker & watch out for them! Keep ‘em safe, while you stay safe! For the girls, the black leather & the motorcycle are the foundation of true Rock-N-Roll!

Remember my friends…May is National Motorcycle Awareness month! Enjoy this new video of a song I recorded in 1987 that’s just right for the occasion. ;-



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    I remember that wreck and never noticed anything different except you became crazier! A rubber room would have been a better place for you to rest and relax, instead of unleashing you on the innocent villagers ! LOL..BTW, I’ll try to make that Jamie Simmons Benefit as well and let my fellow truckers know ! Thanks for the info TIM..!

    • Yes sir…I was put into the rubber room & they left me in there until you helped me escape….funny thing is, they never came lookin’ for me? ;-)
      Thank you TD.

  3. Tim, another excellent article and timed well to coincide with motorcycle awareness month. I am sure thankful you survived your accident years ago, as I am thankful Jamie Simmons is on the road to recovery from his. Some we know weren’t so lucky. Thanks again for this article, job well done!

  4. Toni Heath

    Diamond!!! You once again amaze ME!!! So talented!! You make me laugh too!! Your colorful writting is so fun to read!! Thank You Thank You Thank You SO Much for Putting Jamie Simmons Benefit Show in for him. He is doing so well so far as bad as it was! Long way to go but I must say you are such a thoughtful Friend to everyone you know! Thanks for writting such great stuff!!! Love ya Toni Heath!

  5. Toni Heath

    Diamond!!! I LOVE Fonzie!! You once again amaze ME!!! So talented!! You make me laugh too!! Your colorful writting is so fun to read!! Thank You Thank You Thank You SO Much for Putting Jamie Simmons Benefit Show in for him. He is doing so well so far as bad as it was! Long way to go but I must say you are such a thoughtful Friend to everyone you know! Thanks for writting such great stuff!!! Love ya Toni Heath!

  6. Nice article Tim…….Jamie is one of the few Bass players in this town that I myself admired….Not just for his bass playing but his kindness towards people…..He is a great guy as is his wife…..So thankful God didn’t take him…..

  7. Barbara Klose

    Wow! Just like your Mom, I too, thought it was just a fender bender car wreck that you were injured in … I don’t remember you telling me anything about a Motorcycle …

    Other than riding Vespa’s on the Beach down in Florida, I’m scared of those things!
    That is, ever since my Dad, who owned a Honda 350, took his bike out for a “Sunday Spin” down Highway 70, spinning off onto some dirt road near Newsom Station in Bellevue. When he finally made it Home, I didn’t know he was hurt, as I was sitting at the Kitchen Table with my back to the Patio Door … You know how Dads have that thing called “Selective Hearing,” well, this was one of those moments … I called out to him a few times and he never answered … so, I thought I’d better go check on him to make sure he made it Home in one piece … He hadn’t … He was scraped up pretty bad on his arms and face, but nothing major … Needless to say, Mom made him sell that Honda 350 about a week or so later … LOL! I’m definitely going to make it back Home to Nashville this Summer for Jamie Simmons Roxk ‘n Ride Event … I believe he actually got to come Home this past week but his Rehabilitation still is ongoing…. Keep the Faith, Jamie! If you need any help organizing the Benefit, please feel free to let me know … = )

    • Thanx Babs! Yeah, grown men don’t like to cry over spilt milk if they dont have to, in my case blood…you don’t want to blame the ride itself, so you dont have to give it up! That’s why your Dad kept it quite too ’cause your Mom made him sell it! For me it wasn’t my wipe-out that nipped it in the bud because it was my fault in my control, but seeing the other biker flying in the air that shook the fear in me…when you see it from that perspective of something you have no control over, then it wakes you up & puts on the brake.

  8. Tim Heath

    Hey bro after meeting u today I have a new known respect for ur message board in RE: motorcycle awareness month as I pulled up on my steel horse today I understand now the conversation we had,after riding home a I think about what u were talking about.I ride everyday as if im invisable as an old man told me many yrs ago. Riding free is what it’s all about however in remebrace of Memorial Day! ur provided this life that we live in Freedom. because of our VETS!! All that being said it was very coolie cool meeting u today and now understanding our conversion with me I remind u of 1 more band BON JOVI Wanted Dead or Alive!! I will attend the Jammie Simmons ride and look fwd to all that ride with me..Peace Diamond see u soon!!

  9. Derek Stephens

    Awesome article DT!! Love reading these!! Keep up the great work! ;-)

  10. Hello Atlas Jams Readers & Diamond & Rust fans!!! I’ve recieved many complimentary private emails on my columns ( along with public comments and I THANK YOU ALL! ) and lately I’ve had inquiries about more info for the Jamie Simmons benefit, so here’s the update as of this very minute! ( thanks Mike Simmons ) ~

    Saturday, July 14, 2012
    12:00pm until 10:00pm
    Gallatin Roughnecks MC support a motorcycle ride for Jamie Simmons.
    The starting point and registration will be Godwhy Church in Hendersonville TN.
    The concert and auction will be at The Mercy Lounge that evening.
    Benefits go to Jamie Simmons to help after his motorcycle… accident earlier this year.
    Jamie and Angie will be there! Wooooo Hooo!!

    There will be a registration fee for the ride which includes the concert.
    We will ask everyone who rides to sign a standard waiver before the ride.
    Registration starts at 12pm. Kickstands up between 1 and 1:30pm.
    We are shooting for 5pm doors at Mercy Lounge.
    If you don’t ride please attend the concert and auction that evening. We are grateful for all donations past, present and future.

    Please help support the cause & I absolutely love my loyal readers!!!
    Again, a sincere “thank you” for your support of the greatest online worldwide music/entertainment magazine Atlas Jams! And a big sincere “thank you” to editor Dawn for giving me such freedom on my many “Diamond & Rust” columns!
    Rock on my friends! ~ Diamond Tim

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