Friday, July 2, 2004

Biker Jerky

I think it's odd that Marlon Brandon would die this week, of all weeks.

Around Independence Day in 1947, a bunch of dudes on motorcycles came this little town. They clashed with Hollister residents about as much as anyone from the real world does. But Life magazine ran with the story. The beefed up the conflict and, some say, staged photographs like this one:

I'm told this photo, which I'm posting without permission, was taken somewhere on the streets of Hollister. I can't tell where it's supposed to be. I've been told it's fake.

This Hollywood producer named Stanley Kramer reads this issue of Life and decides it would make a good movie. Thus, "The Wild One" is born. This legendary 1953 movie about rebel motorcycle thugs is based on stupid, little Hollister. Anyway, a lot of cool stuff came out of this movie, which I was surprised to find only has a 6.9 rating on IMDb. The main moto-thugs are called the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, just like the band. And then there's this awesome exchange between this girl and the main rebel:
— "What are you rebelling against, Johnny?"
— "What have you got?"
Good stuff. But easily, the most remarkable thing about "The Wild One" is that Marlon Brando stars in it. It's fifty-one years old now. It commemorates an event, real or not, that happened fifty-seven years ago. Whether the magazine article and "The Wild One" blew this out of proportion or not, he's basically responsible for this event that draws 100,000 leather-clad sacks of dried meat to Hollister every fourth of July.

But he's dead now, so I guess I got the last laugh.

On a humorous side note, I can walk down Main Street and buy t-shirts that say "Hollister, California" on them but have screaming skulls or eagles or wolves and shit like that. I wonder if I could pass them off as limited edition Hollister Co. stuff.

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