E-book about the Bikecentennial 1976. An incredible story about a coast to coast bicycle tour through the USA. The story, the photographs, the nightmares, the maps. About Georges Boulon, Lazy Louie, about Harlan County, Bob Dylan and Motor Psycho Nightmare. About the Navajo's, the desert and the Grand Canyon. About The Last Waltz and The Band. A journey into the music of people like Gram Parsons and Gene Clark and into the backcountry of the USA. Written in 1976, re-edited in 2011. 110 pages PDF. English.
"A fascinating tale"
In 1976 I went to the USA to participate in the Bikecentennial, the bicycle tour coast to coast through the backcountry of the USA. This all because of 200 years USA on the 4th of July. It was all about showing the participants the other side of the USA, the history, the country. The same year The Band would do their bicentennial tour with the same intention. In a documentary about the making of their second album (many years later), Robertson and Helm, speaking separately, talk about how they wanted to recapture the sound of an America that had long since disappeared along with the railroad. But I didn't know about their tour, neither did they about mine. If I hadn't met these blokes in San Francisco to go out for a ride, I would never had seen The Band ever live.
After this trip of mine I went to see The Last Waltz in the local cinema in 1978. I even did that several times in a row that week. At the time I thought this was the definite end of The Band and I never heard of them again for many years. It was Robbie Robertson who had convinced me about the fact it would be over forever. I cherished my vinyl discs and the fact that I had seen them live in Santa Cruz. Until one day I found these clips on Youtube. Clips of the reunion of The Band and of solo gigs by Rick Danko and Richard Manuel. I learned about The Ramble's of Levon. And I started to get interested again in the history of The Band. So only in 2011 I discovered This Wheel's on Fire by Levon Helm and I found out among other things, about the story behind The Last Waltz and about the bicentennial tour 1976 of The Band.
That was the moment it all came together. Had this all been coincidence, or should it have been that way? Anyway, when I prepared my trip my motive had been "Meet The Future", but after all these years and discoveries I describe it now as: An incredible story about a coast-to-coast bicycle tour through the USA. The story, the photographs, the nightmares, the maps. About Lazy Louie, about Harlan County, Bob Dylan and Motor Psycho Nightmare. About the Navajo's, the desert and the Grand Canyon. About The Last Waltz and The Band. A journey into the music of people like Gram Parsons and Gene Clark and into the backcountry of the USA.
The beautiful thing about the History is, among other things, that everything you write today, as a journalist, columnist, blogger or writer of whatever, tomorrow it will be History.
And the nice thing about a digital publication is that when you include all the sources in it, they can all be consulted, online and live. That is different from an old-fashioned analogue edition of a document with footnotes. Then you know the source, but it is not at hand. With the digital version, everything is accessible with a single mouse click.
Anyone who might think that these e-books are in the store will be disappointed. They have been processed as PDF and until now only available for the real enthusiast. I don't really have a great ambition to get them published, but anyone who might be interested is always welcome to inquire about it.