By Greg Hambarssoomian
The Sun – San Bernardino County September 9, 2002
Combining the art of music and the art of motorcycles, Harley-Davidson is throwing itself the birthday bash of the century.
Harley-Davidson is celebrating its 100th anniversary with a 10-city extravaganza. The Open Road Tour kicked off in Atlanta, made its way to Fontana over the weekend, and will come to an end in Milwaukee on August 31, 2003.
During the tour, many friends Harley has made over the years are coming along for the ride.
In Fontana, Harley riders and fanatics from all along the West Coast flocked to the California Speedway, where they were treated to the sounds of such major recording artists as Stone Temple Pilots, Billy Idol and The Doors.
Opening on Friday night were Los Lobos. They brought out their Tex-Mex sound and really got the crowd going.
Earl Scruggs and his mighty banjo gave the audience a taste of southern bluegrass. He performed one of his biggest hits, “The Ballad of Jed Clampett,” the theme to “The Beverly Hillbillies.” The crowd sung along in glee to this good ol’ favorite.
Closing out the night were The Doors. Joined by Ian Astbury (The Cult) on vocals and Stewart Copeland (The Police) on drums, The Doors rocked the house. “This is the first public performance of the 21st century Doors,” said keyboardist Ray Manzarek.
Proving they can still get away with anything they want to, The Doors began their set with “Roadhouse Blues” and ended it with “Roadhouse Blues.” On the second performance of the song, Waylon Krieger backed up his father Robby Krieger on guitar.
Saturday’s line-up offered a more modern sound.
The Canadian band Default started the day with a bang. Their one-hour set impressed the crowd and surely made them a few new fans.
Another Canadian band, Nickelback, began 20 minutes early with an explosive performance of their hit “Woke Up This Morning.” They went on to give the crowd a spectacular show with all the pyrotechnics.
Billy Idol took the audience back in time to the 1980s. His first song was “Cradle of Love” and immediately the crowd was transformed. It was amazing to see how many Billy Idol fans are left in the world.
Saturday night came to a memorable end with the intense Stone Temple Pilots. Singer Scott Weiland was like a kid in a candy store bouncing around from one end of the stage to another. Their performance of “Plush,” their first radio hit, was the best example of why they are a band that will never just fade away. Their energy is unmatched by most bands.
Harley-Davidson has been a major factor in American culture for decades now. The Harley logo has been seen in movies, on clothing, and on the road. This past weekend in Fontana proves that deep down inside, everyone has a little Harley-Davidson in them.