Schott Perfecto leather Motorcycle jacket
It all started when I thought I’d lost my beloved leather bomber jacket. I’d bought the coat from a vintage store in Hollywood while there on a shoot. (That’s me wearing it behind the camera, checking out the composition of a shot.) I would later find my coat but by then it was too late. My addictive personality had been ignited…
I began scouring Ebay for other, even better examples of old leather jackets. Searching for anternatives to my vintage Vietnam flight jacket opened a closet door inside my head that would require serious filling, for while I quickly found a suitable replacement, I could not let go my desire for more. Like all obsessions or addictions, there is both an upside (something new and exciting) and a downside (the inability to stop). Since I am still enjoying the high with minimal consequences I want to focus on the upside.
There’s something about a leather jacket. It speaks to me. I think of Marlon Brando, who made the biker jacket iconic in The Wild One. Strangely, I don’t recall ever seeing the movie (my bad) but I saw him. And I saw that jacket. I think every man born in the 20th century did. Him and it became truly iconic.
Still, it wasn’t until I explored replacing my brown bomber that the category (especially biker jackets) truly infatuated me. Interestingly, I grew up watching Happy Days on TV and Fonzie’s leather jacket (also iconic) did nothing for me, perhaps because I saw Arthur Fonzerelli as more of a buffoon than a man to be admired.
Again, here nor there, because a more personal experience did me in. Upon receiving my replacement leather I also became turned on. The feel of distressed, busted-up material, its grain and fortitude, it’s suppleness in spots, made me think of the story behind it. Who wore this jacket? What kind of man was he? Like all romantics, I imagined only the best. The owner(s) of this jacket was a true man, a badass with a rogue’s spirit. I imagined the pack of cigarettes in his pocket and motorcycle keys dangling by his side. I saw in him (and it) the man, for better and for worse, I could never be. Damn my self-awareness!
I also discovered that the brown bomber jacket, as cool as it is, has nothing on the black motorcycle jacket. Not to disrespect the brave men and women who fought in our wars but here was perfection. Like the Fender Stratocaster, nothing says original American awesomeness like a black motorcycle jacket.