Saskatoon-based motorcycle blog captures international interest
Back in the late 1990’s, a group of kids from the Shellbrook/Shell Lake region of Saskatchewan started a punk band called Ass Control.
Formed from the ashes of past groups such as Chugging Brown and Potato Peeling Disaster, Ass Control was an entirely different sort of beast that was largely influenced by the then-prevalent Saskatoon hardcore/grind scene. With songs titled “3 Cheers For Beer” and “Uncle Scam” and a total harsh tokes thrash hardcore style, they pretty much ripped. The four-piece went on to release several cassettes before calling it a day.
And like so many punks from that era, lead singer Brian Jessop eventually hung up his microphone and settled into a family and a career. However, unlike many of his peers, Jessop runs a massively popular blog called 50’s Haze which focuses on vintage motorcycle parts, artwork and chopper lifestyle.
50’s Haze has since captured interest from cycle enthusiasts from around the globe, and feature industry people such as Dennett from Evil Good Underground and Paulo from Joe King Helmets among others. The blog also sells shirts with artwork from noted American cycle nut Gorgeous George.
Additionally, for those of you with an iPhone, Jessop maintains a well-appreciated Instagram account that features photos of bike parts in addition to bike dudes hanging out and enjoying life/beer.
Ominocity had the pleasure of catching up with Jessop and slinging a few questions about his blog and recent activities.
Ominocity: Why did you start 50’s Haze?
Brian Jessop: “I actually started a similar blog a few years ago basically as a place to post updates on the motorcycle I was building at the time. After about a year my friend Robin who was blogging about the same things asked if I wanted to join forces with him on 50’s Haze. We now use the blog not only as a place to showcase our work but also as an online market to sell vintage parts, t-shirts etc. and to showcase our friend’s bikes and skills to people across the globe.”
OM: You seem to have an audience that has expanded far beyond Saskatchewan – how do you account for 50’s Haze’s popularity?
BJ: “I guess we kind of fell into this ‘scene’ of vintage Harley Davidson choppers that is mostly based out of Southern California with followings across the US and Canada, Japan, Brazil, UK and all over the world. It’s a very supportive group of people and I guess people just dig what we’re doing. We’ve made tons of friends across the globe through the online interaction and parts buying/selling etc. There’s a ton of really cool, laid back people involved.
“It’s a far cry from the big money ‘WCC/OCC’ ‘90’s chopper craze that was televised to death.”
OM: So have you essentially created something of an online community for people interested in this sort of thing?
BJ: “Basically when I’m not chasing my kids around I’m bolting together 60-year-old Harley Davidson’s out in my garage or driving across the city to buy grungy old chopper parts from some old drunk. There is a large market for vintage motorcycle parts and there is a ton of really interesting old chopper parts from the ‘60’s and ‘70’s. I put them up on the blog for a decent price to help guys out and save them from the over-inflated eBay prices. I know when I help guys out they’ll usually get me back when I’m looking for something for my bikes.
It reminds me of the punk scene I was involved in as a teenager”
“There is definitely a strong online community for this sort of thing, and I am proud and happy to be apart of it. It reminds me of the punk scene I was involved in as a teenager. Positive people being creative. Helping each other out. No assholes, no attitudes.
“And the bikes are a fucking blast.”