“Indian Larry: Chopper Shaman” Author: Dave Nichols with Andrea "Bambi" Cambridge

“Indian Larry: Chopper Shaman” Author: Dave Nichols with Andrea "Bambi" Cambridge
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From the Publisher Motorbooks, MBI Publishing

A stunt man and side show performer made famous by the Discovery Channel, Indian Larry Desmedt is best remembered for his remarkable custom motorcycles, his wild tattoos, and his love for building and riding rolling art. This book, by those who knew him best, offers a closer look at the life that made Larry into the “chopper shaman” so many admired. Full of photographs that document a uniquely colorful life, the book follows Larry from his humble beginnings to his unlikely stardom, tracing his short career as a bank robber, his time in prison, his spiral downward into heroin addiction, and his rebirth in 1994 as the spiritual bike builder revered by so many—and running through it all, the love of hot rods and motorcycles that finally brought him happiness.

 

Review: By Richard “Too Low” Haas

Television’s “Biker Build Off” is where most of us first met Larry Desmedt, more commonly known as “Indian Larry”.

While most builders of choppers were concentrating on the long, low and lean approach, Indian Larry seemed to have an aversion to extended forks and huge rear tires. Instead, he was bringing the “old school” look back to motorcycles, and the biker world was ready for it.

Author Dave Nichols gives us a pretty thorough look at Indian Larry from the viewpoint of him as a “shaman” or somewhat mystical character in life.

From Larry’s early years, right up to his tragic death in August of 2004, Mr. Nichols maintains that Indian Larry’s life was so far out of line with the “mainstream” that, surely, he was fulfilling a destiny that was laid out by higher powers, much as a Swami or Guru has no choice but to be a window to the other side.

Photographer Michael Lichter, who has had his work continually published in Easy Rider magazine, provides the beautiful, full color documentation of Indian Larry’s wild and crazy life, from his passion for tattoos to his work with a Coney Island Thrill Show that eventually took his life. Indian Larry’s wife, Bambi, also furnished some of the photography and shared many of the lesser-known stories of Larry’s life with author Nichols.

Indian Larry was a very colorful character, from his membership in the New York “Polar Bear Club” (taking a swim every New Year’s Day in the icy cold waters of the Atlantic Ocean), to his penchant for riding his scooter laying back with his arms crossed and his legs crossed on the handlebars. This photo-filled book covers it all. A very worthwhile read. 

-Richard “Too Low” Haas

Photos From Book

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You can pick one up Today at any of your local bookstores or go online to www.motorbooks.com