JESS BECK | Go Venue Magazine
After being denied yet again (even though we have press passes), we decided to leave Buffalo Chip in the dust to do what we came out here to do – shoot concerts! We spent most of the 11th finding a new location to park Charlie, our newly acquired 35-foot 1982 Tiffin Allegro RV, and found one spot open at the Sturgis RV Park located just two blocks off the main drag in Sturgis, SD. I could go on about how much better the amenities are here than they were at the Chip, but we’ll save that for later. Although one thing I will mention is the hospitality in the new spot is phenomenal – this is the best place we have stayed throughout our journey up here so far! We’ll do a review of this place before we leave because it’s just spectacular.
So we park the RV, and Jade makes a phone call.
“Who are you calling babe?” I ask her.
“Judd Hoos,” she said. “I know the drummer, and they play here every year at the Loud American just off the main strip! I’m gonna see if we can shoot ’em.”
And we did just that – that review will be in a separate article.
Since the band didn’t play until 8pm, we did what we do best – walking around and absorbing the culture of the city that for one week in the year remains what feels like the true final frontier. A lawless wasteland of debauchery that would rival Vegas any other time of the year.
Just use pasties – but you better make damn sure they either glow in the dark or have more rhinestones than the back of Brett Michael’s jeans.
All of them.
Eh…more of a suggestion than a requirement in most places.
All of those too – sometimes even in spots you wouldn’t expect.
But it’s absolutely insane how respectful everyone has been – and like, not just nice, right? But NICE NICE. Bikers often get this reputation for being hardened badasses, and while that’s true for the most part, everyone loves a photographer team who’s sole mission is to make THEM look great.
And these bikes are incredible. There’s so much customization to these things that you could literally spend an entire encyclopedia on the modifications that have been done to just one of these bikes – and there’s thousands and thousands here. Bikes with antlers, bear skin seats, bikes with skulls sticking out of the sides…it’s incredible to see what can be done to these machines.
Another thing that’s very prevalent here is the respect and honor for military veterans and military personnel. Almost every booth, from the Jack Daniel’s Tent to local vendors have something honoring either fallen military heroes and/or retired and active duty military, and that’s been really cool to see firsthand.
After walking the streets for a few hours capturing portraits (which is like a playground out here – I’m like a kid who got lost in a candy store because there is just so much to look at and so many people to see), we had lunch at the Loud American, which has some of the best brisket I’ve ever had in my life.
One highlight for me was when we found a fella with a sign that said “COOL SHIT THIS WAY” and then he proceeded to show us his cool shit. He runs a company that’s just getting off the ground that provides campers a waterproof wick to start fires with. “As long as you’ve got a spark, you can make fire anywhere. The wick burns for about 2 hours, and it’s got a pulley on it to put it out when you need to.” Check out Whiskey & Wilderness for more information on this cool start up!
There is also a fella out here looking for a wife, and according to his cardboard sign, cooks beat looks, so if you know anyone who might be suitable for this man, let us know within the next few days, and we’ll try to set them up on a date!