God-on-earth’s two-wheeled chariot

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This is the rolling shrine that Turner Prize-winning performance artist, transvestite and former housemate of Boy George, Grayson Perry, used to chauffeur what he believes is the living embodiment of God, his teddy bear, from England to Germany. The Kenilworth AM1 was named after Alan Measles, the teddy/god, who also chronicled the trip on his blog.

The trip took place between Grayson’s hometown of Chelmsford and Backnang in Germany. Twinning is a bizarre lovey dovey European concept where random towns in one European country put another random town’s name on their signs. It’s supposed to stop them from killing each other after football matches or something. We suppose road trips have taken place for more tenuous reasons.

Grayson describes the Kenilworth AM1 as, “Mexican Day of the Dead meets Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.”

Alan Measles, who sounded distinctly bored and more than a little inconvenienced by the trip, noted that Grayson did struggle a bit with such a heavy bike with no rear suspension on the Autobahn. Grateful that he made it home in once piece, Alan Measles noted, “he’s an ‘artist’ and all that ‘transgendered’ nonsense so I filed my feelings under ‘wimp’ and moved on.”

The trip apparently included a lap of the Nurburgring, which Alan Measles notes Grayson was able to complete in “a respectable sub-30 minutes.”

Alan Measles even took time to ponder modern motorcycle culture, saying, “I thought it might be time to cast my Edwardian ursine eye over the world of motorcyclists or as they often refer to themselves, ‘bikers’, (shudder). Now when I started my relationship with all things internal combustion, motorcycles were cheap transport for the common man and Grayson as a child played at being either a mod or a rocker. Motorcycles in them days got you to work and when the kids came along you added a sidecar.”

“Now biking seems to be on the whole a lifestyle choice along with other adrenaline activities like bungy-jumping and surfing. Satellite dish installers and call centre managers dress up as Buzz Lightyear or Marlon Brando or Dennis Hopper. They kit their bikes out to attack Brands Hatch, the Sahara desert or Sunset Strip whilst mainly using them to ride to the nearest biker gathering. Aesthetically the machines veer between stealth bombers, garish sports shoes, juke-boxes and props from Lord of the Rings (the musical). In a way its sweet, men are having fun showing off. But just as women on the whole dress to impress other women, men ride big shiny powerful bikes mainly to be looked at by other men, more specifically other bikers. This manifests itself in the style of the bikes they speak an expensive language really only understood by fellow aficionados the references are to motorcycle history or other fields of macho engineering.”

Upon reaching Backnang, the artist and his God took part in the opening ceremony of an art festival in which the mayor made a public speech thanking Grayson for embarking on the ride. Does anyone else get the feeling that Grayson Perry is simply taking the piss?

Alan Measles

  • pauljones

    There are days where I wish it was possible to embed pictures in the comments, as words pretty much fail me here.

  • 2ndderivative

    Alan Measles approves of me commuting on my bike? I feel so validated!

  • telekom

    Total genius. I always thought GP was a very funny and intelligent artist, but I didn’t know he was also a motorcyclist… Brilliant. Thanks for posting this HFL.

  • http://www.thisblueheaven.com Mark D

    He should add a side-car and take the Pope for a ride.

  • jayspeed

    This may be one of the best things ever written on HFL: “Satellite dish installers and call centre managers dress up as Buzz Lightyear or Marlon Brando or Dennis Hopper.”

  • ike6116

    This is basically what I see when I see a pirate. Same church, different pew.

  • http://www.urbanrider.co.uk UrbanRider

    I was fortunate or perhaps unfortunate enough to sit through a 90 minute lecture by Grayson when he won the Turner prize.

    I came to the conclusion then that we were from different planets, this does nothing but re-inforce that conclusion!

  • http://pics.zenerves.net/index.php?gallery=vehicules tropical ice cube

    Hmm, gosh, there’s this shiny reflection on the gas tank… Tell me, it is actually written ‘Humidity’ all over it, right?

    • Andy Keech

      i think that’s “humility”

  • slowtire

    Wow…..the mind altering chemicals this dude must use.

    • slowtire

      Call Pee Wee Herman, you found his dad.

  • Andy Keech

    ” As the death toll on during public open days running apparently at 1.2 per week” – from AM’s blog of day 2-3

    holy sweet fuck the ring is knocking ‘em off at a rate like that? it is unimaginable to think of the public sentiment toward acceptable and responsible risk in light of the tremendous push back against racing here in north america recently.

  • ferrix

    Alan Measles is a false god. ALL HAIL THE HYPNOTOAD!

  • Deltablues

    I really wish he would come to Little Rock on this motorcycle. Truth is, no one would bother him. He would scare the scariest pirate. And frankly, he has more protective gear on than the guy I pass riding the 30g full-dress Harley this morning in I-30 who was donning denim shirt and velcro tennis shoes…no gloves or helmet.

  • 1chi

    Brilliant.
    This is my favorite article you’re posted so far.

  • dbqfan

    All Harley riders are fags anyway so they should like this piece of crap.

    • http://www.thisblueheaven.com Mark D

      The dude is married and has a daughter. Pretty sure he’s not a “fag”. He just likes wearing women’s clothing. I’m sure he’s not the only guy riding a Harley with something frilly and lacy on underneath!

  • Tirapelli

    The King of Pirates!!!

    look at that fart-looking exausts!