By Jeff Stolowitz
Did you know that The Daytona Beach Bike Week rally started as the Daytona 200?
Ed Kretz from California won the race riding an Indian motorcycle.
Next year will be 78 years and counting this event is a tradition, a USA tradition much like the Thanksgiving Day Parade in NYC.
Can you imagine that being cancelled or moved to Long Island?
Well much to our chagrin, in a less than stellar move by the Daytona Beach News Journal we have learned that it was true, that the City Council voted to stop vendors from participating on Beach Street. This was via an article they published during the middle of Bike Week.
The article has caused many to think about returning. One traffic officer even thinks Bike Week was canceled. She obviously didn't read the article correctly. The timing of the release of this article begs questioning.
The deal with Brown and Brown and the city stinks to high hell, it reeks of collusion.
It is not sitting well with residents, business owners or Bikers from around the world.
Pat Rice and his paper published the story smack dab in the middle of the event.
Shame on you all, we know what your up to next. Our sources tell us of plan to cancel Bike Week on Mainstreet using the guise of having to rebuild the bridge and a very shoddy redevelopment plan. Are City and County managers in bed with developers? A classic land baron maneuver.
Bike Week 2018 by all accounts was cold, colder than normal. However if you were here the entertainment was incredibly hot.
Behind Daytona covered Bike Week like it was the greatest show on earth and it was.
We plodded along into the event determined to show everyone the great enthusiasm and support and entertainment there is on Mainstreet.
To start here is list of bands that we saw.
It may just have you saying a jaw dropping wtf.
Jeff Vittolo and the Quarter Mile Rebels
Microwave Dave and the Nukes
Cat 4 Band
NY Rockabilly Rockets
For Behind Daytona opening night was at Main Street Station with the NY Rockabilly Rockets who will be opening for Dick Dale at the now opened Hard Rock Hotel, unbelievable the Hard Rock Hotel in Daytona Beach. By all accounts the hotel is beautiful, even if the politics behind it are ugly.
Smaller acts such as Dave Alexander and Ashley Young. played gigs all over town at places like Burgey's Tiki Hut and Sunsetters Riverfront Bar and Grill
Bands such as the gritty Microwave Dave and the Nukes could be heard almost every day at Main Street Station and then there was the Cherry Bombs a group of beautiful woman who performed on stage with dancing, fire play and more.
When the Moonshine Bandits took the stage with Michael Ballard of Full Throttle Saloon looking on, we were asked to go on stage and take photographs. A definite highlight for all of us. The Moonshine Bandits absolutely killed it. New, refreshing with a West Coast feel something not seen here in Daytona till now but you may have seen them if you've ever been to Sturgis.
We felt like we were part of the show thanks guys that was pretty awesome.
We also witnessed Rock and Roll history as Nova Rex an 80’s Glam Rock Rock Cover Band and part of Roll Hall of Fame played. Kenny Wilkerson the original member was on fire. Kenny’s Jacket is now hanging at the Hard Rock Hotel. For those into memorabilia the Hard Rock has a plethora of it.
Diesel with the venerable Ronnie Rodriguez on vocals and local phenom of Nirvanna a Tribute to Nirvana, Clayton Sturgeon rocked Full Moon Saloon multiple nights playing to a raucous audience.
While attendance was down, up went the sounds. Star 69, Cat 4 Band, Selwyn Birchwood. Regardless of where you went great music could be heard.
Calling all Led Zeppelin fans… their music was played more than anyone's by everyone
But Blandini a band headlined by Jeff Blando and a drummer by the name of Zoltan who wowed the hell out of the crowds, but it was their renditions of Led Zeppelin my favorite band of all time that got everyone in the spirit.
There was Leaving Eden yes they played Zep.
We got to take pictures from the second-story balcony of Victory Tattoo
You're also able to give you drone coverage from Ormond Beach to Cackleberry Campground up and down Main Street from the roof to the river.
Tropical Willie's Chopper Show was a hit
as was the Tito’s Handmade Vodka Miss Bikini USA Contest at Main Street Station
There was no lack of great eats either whether it was at Sunsetters Riverfront Bar and Grill, Burgey's Tiki Hut, Off The Hook at Inlet Harbor, Cocina 214 Daytona or Sazòn Latino Restaurant in Port Orange and Smoked Turkey Legs, Gator Bites, Pulled Pork and meat on a stick from the food vendors made you phat. One of our favorite vendors was Rocco's Pizza Truck who served up a mean version of Parmesan Garlic Fries.
Let's not forget the bikes and the characters and there were plenty of them.
The Good the Bad and the Ugly as we encountered Outlaws, Pagans, Mongols, Enforcers, lions tigers and bears Oh My! There nuns flipping the bird, cops and firemen also. We thank them for what they do, as they kept everybody safe as they could.
A big shout out to the hero Uber drivers picking up and dropping off everyone.
Unfortunately there's always one stick in the mud and this year it was the Daytona Beach News-Journal dropping the story in the middle of Bike Week about Bike Week shutting down which nobody wants to see. While progress is necessary and we understand that at Behind Daytona, there is always a compromise that can be made. We hope that everyone can return for another 78 years.
We're looking forward to Biketoberfest. We heard that the lineup of entertainment is already set.
See everybody next time Behind Daytona
For more photos of Bike Week you can visit us at https://www.facebook.com/BehindDaytona/ or https://www.facebook.com/STKNTHE80sRockPix/ on Facebook.
The Local Report