The Legendary Biker Leather Jacket
Feel The Legend
A quality biker leather jacket serves as more than a shroud for protection against the elements. Every angel likes to have their halo propped up by impish horns from time to time and a great leather motorcycle jacket can be just the ticket.
This article explores three of the most legendary biker jackets in pop culture history. But, more than that, we are going to look inside the jacket and see what the characters who wore them represented in the psychological furball we call life.
Slide into a biker jacket and feel the transformation!
An Angel Buried In A lEather Jacket
The forerunner of all that is legendary in leather biker jackets was the double stitched Schott Brothers Classic Mortorcycle Jacket sported by Marlon Brando, a.k.a. Johnny Strabler, in The Wild One.
The Wild One was the original biker film directed by Stanley Kramer. But, the movie was layered with characters that on the surface were mindless beasts, and under closer examination had very complex and tortured qualities. Johnny Strabler being the most human of them all. The wandering rebel, looking for his soul and trying to hide it all in the same snarl. Johnny was the penultimate chaotic good character, never meaning to do much harm and trying to do right as he saw fit. His jacket was well worn and just the look of it said it had many stories to tell, some not too wonderful but not all together hateful.
When we see that jacket, we think of how we would ride with Johnny, bit would feel uncomfortable if he came into our cafe.
Escapism Is Freedom
Peter Fonda's character Wyatt, in the movie Easy Rider, was someone who broke the bonds of society and all that was tied to it as he trekked cross country as someone most people felt that had obtained the ultimate freedom. A freedom that was taken from him violently in the closing sequences of the film.
What was really inside that black racing style jacket was a lost soul. A person who was looking for something, but didn't know what it was, yet everything he wanted to find, in the freedom of the road, seemed to be just beyond his fingertips. That freedom was hampered by various agendas that crept into his soul as a reminder of the fact that we will always be tied to something, even if it is our own tortured selves.
Wyatt's jacket represents the wanderer, drifter, nomad, and one on a walk about. Someone we all admire and feel a deep sorrow for at the same time. Someone we only want to be partially like.
Leather Encased Balls
Who of us that were around at the time, can forget the anticipation seeing that red, white and blue (mostly white) jacket and cape fly magically over buses, fountains, cars, and almost anything that would stand still? Mostly we watched to see if those leathers would land unscuffed.
We also watched because Evel Knievel demanded it us to. Evel was balls personified. Famous for his crashes and bravado, Evel was the ultimate showman. The P.T. Barnum of the 1970's. Here was a man that created his own legend by pretending he was several different members of the press, so that he could get his first Vegas jump.
For the entirety of his career, Knievel body surfed on our need to be thrilled. We would cheer when he landed and gasp when he failed, either result would have us talking for weeks. How many of us built ramps in the allies and streets to jump our banana seated bikes across, because of that leather jacket and the man who wore it?
Who Wore Your Favorite?
Which Of The 3 Characters Wore Your Favorite Leather Biker Jacket?See results without voting
Where Do I Fit In?
In no way would I ever posses the kahungas that Evel Knievel did. Not on purpose anyway. I have been forced into certain situations that took a lot of steel nerves to find my way out of, but to do it on purpose would be beyond my personal comfort.
At some point, I would really like to try and achieve what Wyatt was attempting in Easy Rider, but that would take a lot of preparation which seems almost sacrilegious to breaking away and finding true freedom. Freedom would seem so anti-climatic if I knew it was coming andI was waitng patiently on the corner, whistling.
For me, the Johnny Strabler jacket would be the best fit. These days, I am more prone to saying "screw the world and it's conformist views". I wasn't always that way, I fell into the rat pack early and took a long time to break free from it.
These days, I more the big fearsome looking Frankenstein's Monster that will walk over and help a frightened elderly black woman down an escalator while everyone else stands around and whispers. I'm also the same guy that gets targeted in bars, and will eventually make friends with those who saw me as a threat.
Is it the biker leather jacket, or is it the man?