Savage Roads

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Mann, the myth, the legend...David Mann

Who is David Mann? The MANN who single handily defined and captured the outlaw chopper lifestyle in paint and is most well known for his prints in each issue of Easyrider Magazine, starting in issue 3 and ending in 2003 due to poor health.

The wild lure of the West Coast drew him and buddy Al Burnett so they peeled rubber to Santa Monica California. While cruising the seaside community he stumbled across Bay Area Muffler and there he discovered completely insane chopped Harleys. Dave was immediately hooked, much like the rest of us.

He returned home to buy his first bike, a 1948 Panhead. At the same time he created his first artistic creation, “Hollywood Run.”

It represented the wild, unleashed, Hollywood outlaw lifestyle. Riding his Panhead with his first painting tucked under his arm, he entered the 1963 Kansas City Custom Car Show.  That car show launched Dave’s artistic/biker career. He had the only custom-bike entry in the show, so for his creative efforts the judges initiated a new class and trophy specifically for Dave. 

In addition, a Sioux City, Iowa, club member named Tiny noticed Dave and took him under his wing.  Tiny took a Polaroid of his first painting and sent it to the eccentric Ed "Big Daddy” Roth, the California custom car creator and publisher of the first chopper magazine. Dave painted several posters for Big Daddy Roth.  In 1965, David went to work for Dave Poole, who taught him the precise craft that Dave has incorporated into his fanciful art for the last 30 years. 

In 1971, Dave discovered a new magazine with a twist—Easyriders!  It was the first full-fledged, lifestyle-related bike rag. Since the third issue, Dave has followed—and in some aspects led—the industry by capturing the essence of a changing lifestyle on the center- spreads of Easyriders.  Regarding the future of custom bikes, David said, “I see many builders going the way of the full-fendered bikes, and I love ‘em. But, like you, I will always be a chopper rider at heart.” Sadly, in 2004 David passed but he will eternally be remembered for defining the chopper scene so perfectly.


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