photo by Lornography at Coney Island USA
So I, your Right Reverend Tommy Gunn, have been writing a book in addition to presenting at conferences and the like — but a lot of that has been on hold as your FreakShow Deluxe worked to reboot itself once again.
“What?! AGAIN!?,” I hear you crying out there upon reading that last sentence.
Look – the last big restructuring really came back in 2004, after I moved your FSD from where it started in Ohio to Hollywood, where we opened The Empire Amusement Hall. That really was a while ago… I need to create “Examining 10 years of FreakShow Deluxe (part 6),” but in the meantime you can read this to catch up: Examining 10 years of FreakShow Deluxe (part 5)
The company has hit a time now where a fair amount of our family who has been with us has been doing this for going on 10 years (if not more). But their lives are NOT the same!! Things change – people change – life changes… and with those changes, some of our folks need to focus on other things besides your FSD, and we want them to have the opportunity to do so. Additionally, there have been some additions to our family – and it is time for them to move to the forefront.
So, with all the retirements going on (our company members switching to OG (aka Oh Gee!) Status, and some new patched members coming to the forefront, AND a restructuring of the company, along with creation of several new divisions within your FSD (namely, The Skeleton Crew, The Koffin Krewe, and The Voodoo Krewe). There is a lot of work to do. A lot of thinking – and then writing – then thinking again… plus a new executive staff to work things out with, too.
The Koffin Krewe Logo
is being created now
It is the process that is the hard part. The analogy I used to explain it to someone yesterday was that I am effectively building a motorcycle. From the ground up. And, even though I have built motorcycles before – this one is to be an improvement on the last one I built.
This means the structure paperwork is, in this analogy, is the putting together of all the pieces. The framework, the wheels, the motor & pre-fabricated pieces, and then determining what the new pieces are that I need to manufacture myself. There’s a certain amount of time that I put things together – step away to look at it from a distance… maybe even walk away for a bit to think about what I am doing. Sometimes, I have to stop working on the new bike to bang out some parts or get some things going for jobs that are already on the books — things that have to be squared away before we reveal the new creation.
At this point, there is a sprocket I need that I have to create for a specific purpose. So I research a bit, but then I have to take raw material and then pound it into the configuration that I need to fit where it is supposed to and do the job it is meant for.
The process is time-consuming and difficult. Eventually, the planning portion has to stop and the bike moved into the next steps.
Now – here is where my competitive spirit comes in: at the same time I am working on this new bike, there are other bikes out there on the road. Some are pretty cool, some are pretty fast – some are copies of other bikes I built, and some are totally original – but other people are out there with their bikes… and I wish mine was out there, too. Especially because I know that my bike is going to be much better. Perhaps it will even be considered game-changing!
So, yes, I am a bit jealous of the bikes that are out on the road right now. Then I have to remind myself that the new bike will be game-changing, and even when it is, some people have different tastes, and maybe even like one of those other bikes over mine (even though, obviously, mine is superior). And then I get back to business.
Because it does not end with designing the bike, creating new parts, and initially putting it together. Oh no…
Once most of the designing and fabricating is done – then the whole thing has to be disassembled and sent off for paint, chrome, and/or powder coating… Which means it goes into someone else’s hands to do some of the work on it. The big question – will everything happen like it is supposed to during this stage? If something goes wrong – am I prepared for that and how to fix it?
Then, when all of the pieces have come back, the whole bike has to be reassembled (looking for all kinds of problems along the way), and this time extra things are added like the wiring. Does everything go back together like it is supposed to? Did I forget anything, or mis-measure anything? Do the layers of finishing (paint, chrome, sealer, etc.) add anything that now means things do not fit together like they are supposed to?
And, FINALLY, with it all together we get to fire it up and see what happens. Did it fire? How does it do on the test drive? There is going to be a break-in period on the motor. Some bolts are going to need to be tightened (maybe sprayed with some Lock-tite, if it seems they are going to be a problem), parts adjusted, lubed, sparked… you get the idea.
Now that it is broken in, NOW we get to ride it! Try and see how fast it will go. How tight it can take a corner. How cool does it really look and sound when it is moving… and when it is standing still.
Of course – now that it is done, I can see a few things I might like to change about it. That color is not really what I was thinking of – that chain is not exactly where I would like it to be – maybe I do not like that style taillight after all.
Soon, it is time to build the next bike…
Many thanks to Pat at Led Sled Customs for the insight into what it takes to build a bike. Led Sled has been a friend and sponsor of FSD since our companies started at the same time in 2001. Check out their amazing products at: http://www.ledsledcustoms.com
Also, do not try to build your own bike (or sideshow) from my analogy here… it won’t work.
FreakShow Deluxe – DO NOT Try This At Home