Tuesday, January 30, 2007

ROCKIN' and makin' friends at the Grand National Roadster Show, Pomona, CA

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What an outstanding weekend!

I sold and autographed nearly a hundred copies of ROCKIN' this past weekend at the Grand National Roadster Show, "The Grand Daddy of Them All" (originally held in the Bay Area, now in its 58th year, and the fourth at the Fairplex in Pomona, CA under the direction of John Buck Enterprises). Nearly 150,000 people apparently attended on Saturday alone.

This show also featured the "75 Most Significant '32 (Deuce) Hot Rods," coordinated by, among others, Larry Erickson (senior designer at Ford, and designer of the Billy F Gibbons "CadZZilla" featured in ROCKIN') and Greg Sharp, historian and curator at the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum (also located at the Fairplex).

I met hundreds and hundreds of gearheads and rockers. Let me introduce you to four fine gentlemen.

Mike "Woody" Atwood (shown here in front of Rich Guasco's 1961 AMBR-winning rod) is the Captain of the Saucony Pacers Elite Development Racing Team, out of Chino Hills-Glendora, CA. He's also assistant manager of the Pacers Running Company, and a grad student in education-kinesiology-physical education. He and the team are gunning for the USATF club national championships. You can read more about Mike at www.PacersRunningCompany.com. He's also a longtime Mike Ness/Social Distortion fan as you can see, and has the shirt (and now the book) to prove it!

Mike Szuba is a member of the informally named "Rusty Nuts" car club back in Maryland, running a '47 Ford. He's also founder and director of the Jalopyrama event in Glen Burnie, MD, held annually to raise funds for the Providence Center in Arnold, MD which assists 450 developmentally disabled adults each day. You can learn more at www.jalopyrama.com. After Mike purchased his copy, I spontaneously decided to donate a book to this worthy cause, and Mike spontaneously asked me to sign his shirt, which I did there on his shoulder (he has the signatures of many famous rodders and drag racers all over the shirt as well).

Frank Schaefer (left) and Pete Hold (right) suddenly appeared before me, ranting and taxing me about an obscure song called "Hot Rod Queen," waxed by the very obscure Roy Tann in 1957. The song appears on the rarely seen and hard-to-find "Chrome, Smoke & Fire" picture disc set (1991) on the Blast First label that's a compilation of the best hot rod records as hand picked by artist Robert Williams (and all four sides are shown in ROCKIN'). Note to Frank: Tann also recorded the even more obscure "Your Driver's License Please."

PS, that's my booth you see. I shared it with legendary pinstriper and esteemed author Herb Martinez, and yes, it was a royal 'battle of the hot rod books.'

Much more in the next several blogs about my great, good time ROCKIN' at the Grand National.

2 comments:

Mike said...

Paul,
Great bumping into you again this weekend.

In addition to the rock-n-roll interest, my family and I are involved with car culture as well. We are a part of the Santa Cruz Woodie club, and help put on the annual Woodies on the Wharf, which has seen over 200 woodies on display in the past few years. For those who might be interested, it's usually held on the 3rd Saturday of June.

Mike Atwood via Paul Grushkin said...

here's what Mike Atwood had to say in an e-mail to me this morning:

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"Paul,

Cool book! I thought you might like to know that my family and I are also part of the Santa Cruz (CA) Woodie Club, and that we own '47 and '49 Woodies and a '50 International pick-up truck.

To answer your question about what I thought of the book, it's tough for me to give a complete analysis of ROCKIN' because I haven't finished it yet, but with that said, here's what I think:

It's a wealth of information, and one particular strength is that it's not exclusive to rock & roll but also explores the hip-hop and soul scenes. The graphic design and layout is outstanding--the pictures and colors have a synergistic effect that reinforces the theme: music and cars as individual expressions.

I'm surprised a book like this has never been written before--if one exists, I haven't seen it yet.

Thanks,

Mike"

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Well spoken, Mike. Thanks!