Sunday, April 20, 2008

Riding With James Dean - Joan Jett

By Cindy Jacobson and Autumn Meredith

Joan Jett - Riding With James DeanCindy: The other night me and Autumn went riding around on my Honda Shadow, just cruising around San Francisco, checking out the night. We decided to hit North Beach so when we got to downtown I zipped up Grant and parked in the alley right next to Vesuvio's. We walked over to Broadway to see what was happening at some of the clubs. The Stone had a bunch of metal bands we'd never heard of so we just kinda hung out for awhile.

Autumn: When we were walking back down Broadway we went past this sports bar and we could hear Joan Jett's "I Hate Myself For Loving You" blasting out the door so we stopped and looked in the windows. They had one of those big screen TVs to show Giants and 49ers games on. But tonight they were showing MTV and there was Joan in tight black leather.

C: Just like us!

A: She looked so cool. I love Joan. She could be my sister.

C: This sister thing is getting a bit out of hand. But I suppose it's a bit understandable with you cause you're an only child.

A: If anyone is going to be my sister it might as well be Joan Jett.

C: We watched the whole video from outside this bar. A couple of guys playing pool were eyeing us. One of them winked at me. Then we continued back down the street, passing all the surreal strip joints. There's these fast-talking guys standing at the entrances trying to coax people inside. "Hey come on in here. No cover. Talk to a real live naked lady."

A: Beats talking to a dead naked lady...

C: Some of the clubs have girls at the door.

A: And you know those girls are cuter than the ones inside.

C: This one guy with a straw hat and cane came running out at us and said, "Ladies get in free. Step this way."

A: We did not step that way.

C: If you've never been to San Francisco there's a scene in the first Dirty Harry movie that shows what this part of North Beach is like.

A: We decided to go up Grant and hang out at Caffe Trieste.

C: And who should be there but old George, my biker friend.

A: George is so cool.

C: He rides a Harley, a Shovelhead. 74 cubic inches of all American power and freedom. Caffe Trieste is an old Beatnik hangout and George was living in San Francisco back in the Beat era. We told him about the Joan Jett video and how she's on the cover of Outlaw Biker, and he told us all these great old biker stories. Afterwards the three of us went down to City Lights and George told Autumn which Beatnik books to buy.

A: I've been reading some of that stuff lately. Kerouac, Ferlinghetti, those guys.

C: Then we went across the alley where my bike was parked and had a couple of beers at Vesuvio's. After that George shot off into the night on his Shovel and me and Autumn followed on my rice burner, thinking about Joan Jett.

A: And riding with James Dean. Just like in the movies.

C: A couple of black streaks on the boulevard.

A: Yeah. Joan Jett is all about the night and dark alleys and black leather and not taking any shit from anyone.

C: Standing up for yourself, not hiding. Being strong. Being yourself. And that's what we're all about.

A: Which is why she's my sister.

7/18/1988, unpublished

"Riding With James Dean" is on Up Your Alley by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts (Amazon link)

1 comment:

Red said...

Where did all the You Tube videos go that featured Joan Jett's song, "Riding with James Dean"?