Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Today in motorcycle history, April 17, 1982


  The New York Times reported that singer/songwriter Billy Joel was injured in a motorcycle accident on Long Island Thursday, and he is reported to be in ''quite good'' condition yesterday after major surgery at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York.

   Dr. David L. Andrews, who performed surgery on Mr. Joel's right wrist and left thumb for two hours, said the singer should regain ''full activity in regard to his occupation'' in three to four months.

''He'll be fine,'' said Elizabeth Joel, the 32-year-old performer's wife. ''We're all highly relieved. He's in excellent spirits, he feels great, but his hands hurt.''  His hands will get well enough to divorce her and marry Christie Brinkley in 2 years time.

   According to Sgt. Ted Avinila, of the Suffolk County police, Mr. Joel was riding his 1978 Harley Davidson through the intersection of New York Avenue and West Ninth Street in Huntington, L.I., at about 5:40 P.M. Thursday.

   He said the bike struck a car driven by Cornelia Bynum of Huntington when she made a turn onto New York Avenue.  The Pianoman was taken to a nearby hospital, then by helicopter to Presbyterian Hospital.  He was said to be in a New York State of Mind.

  As usual, the driver of the car was not hurt.



Today in motorcycle history, April 16, 1969



  American International Pictures (AIP) releases the biker film "Hell's Belles".  Directed by Maury Dexter and starring Jeremy Slate, Adam Roarke, Jocelyn Lane and Angelique Pettyjohn.  Music by Les Baxter.


  The most interesting part of this "biker" film are the characters involved in the making of.  Shall we...


  Maury Dexter had previously entertained worldwide audiences with The Day Mars Invaded Earth,  Surf Party  and The Mini-Skirt Mob.

  Jeremy Slate (born Robert Perham) who's acting career included major roles in four "outlaw biker" films in the late 1960s: The Born Losers, The Miniskirt Mob, Hell's Belles, and Hell's Angels '69.  As the leader of the Born Losers Motorcycle Club, Slate is a ruthless yet likable character who takes on Billy Jack.  In Hell's Angels '69 (which he wrote the screen story) Slate played a man who uses the Hells Angels as unwitting dupes in a plan to rob a casino in Las Vegas; several real-life members of the Hell's Angels — including Angels president Ralph "Sonny" Barger, Terry the Tramp and Magoo — had significant speaking roles in the film.  Slate broke his leg during filming and never rode a motorcycle again.

  Adam Roarke (Richard Jordan Gerler) rode into the theatre's with roles in Hell's Angels On Wheels, The Savage Seven and Nam's Angels.  Adam worked consistently in film and television, though mostly in small roles.  His "breakout role" came in 1980 when he portrayed Raymond Bailey, a self-important leading man whose stunt double was played by Steve Railsback in The Stunt Man.  Peter O'Toole befriended Roarke during filming, and the two became drinking buddies.  Unfortunately, Roarke was unable to keep up with O’Toole, and was hospitalized with 'delirium tremens' before shooting was concluded.  Word spread around Hollywood quickly, and Roarke had difficulty finding work as a result.

  Jocelyn Lane was born Jocelyn Bolton in Vienna, Austria. At the age of 14, she moved to Britain where  her older sister, Mara Lane, was a well-known British model in the 1950s.  Jocelyn became a working model in the United Kingdom by the time she was 18, using the pseudonym Jackie Lane.  She began appearing in several British films beginning in 1955 with the travelogue April in Portugal.   Lane moved to Hollywood in 1964, she began to be credited with her full first name.  Her resemblance to Brigitte Bardot worked to her advantage so much that she was featured in the September 1966 issue of Playboy magazine.

In 1965, she co-starred with Elvis in Tickle Me and later appeared in several roles in Hollywood films (such as the "biker chick" Cathy in Hell's Belles).  She retired in 1971, having married Prince Alfonso of Hohenlohe-Langenburg in Marbella, Spain, in February 1971.  In 1984, her marriage to Prince Alfonso ended in a divorce in which she received a million dollar settlement.  She claimed that the sum was "not really fitting for a princess".  You bet.

  Angelique Pettyjohn.  Oh, Angelique...born Dorothy Lee Perrins.  During the 1970s, she worked as a burlesque star in Las Vegas.   She was photographed by Robert Scott Hooper for the February 1979 Playboy pictorial "The Girls of Las Vegas".  Angelique became quite popular at the Star Trek conventions and in 1979 Hooper photographed her in her "Shahna " costume from the episode "The Gamesters of Triskelion".  They produced two posters, one in her complete costume and one nude without all the costume, that she sold at the conventions.  During the early 1980s, she would make use of her buxom figure in such hardcore adult films as Titillation, Stalag 69, and Body Talk under the pseudonyms Angelique, Heaven St. John or Angel St. John.  She later appeared in such cult classic features as The Lost Empire, Repo Man, Biohazard  and Mike Jittlov's film The Wizard of Speed and Time.

  Les Baxter.  Many tales swirl about this man's musical history.  Much too much to go into details here.  Baxter worked for the film industry in the 1960s and 1970s.  He worked on movie soundtracks for American International Pictures where he composed and conducted scores for Roger Corman's Edgar Allan Poe films and other horror stories and teenage musicals, including The Pit and the Pendulum, The Comedy of Terrors, Muscle Beach Party, The Dunwich Horror, and Frogs.  Howard W. Koch recalled that Baxter composed, orchestrated and recorded the entire score of The Yellow Tomahawk in a total of three hours for $5,000. 

  Les Baxter has a motion picture star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6314 Hollywood Blvd.


  It seems to me that there should be a movie made based on the people that made this movie.