Print this page

David Mann Benefit

Written by  July 31, 2004

David Mann is a Kansas City treasure and a motorcycling legend. He has given us so much over the past 30 plus years through his incomparable art; it was due time we gave something back. On Saturday, July 17, a benefit event was held to raise money for Dave, whose health has declined dramatically over the past several months. A full day’s entertainment was on tap with music provided by several local bands, as well as ZZ Top and KISS tribute bands. Brian Howe, former Bad Company lead singer, also put on a good show. There was a bike show and field events, which included a weenie bite, slow ride, and balloon toss. There were several wrestling bouts that included midget and women’s matches. Art works and other items were auctioned to further the cause. Jeff Schneider of Midwest Stunters put on a terrific demonstration of riding skill.

Celebrities on hand included master bike builders, Billy Lane and Kim Suter. Clean Dean Shawler and Kim Peterson, the editors of Biker and In The Wind magazines, respectively made the trip to join in honoring their colleague. Biker, and radio personality, Slacker, was also there, representing 99.7 KY.

A large contingent of Oklahoma riders were on hand led by Tony Ward, who helped M.C. the event. Apparently, the event schedule did not become firm until it was too late to prepare a written schedule to hand out as people arrived, so the P.A. announcements were very important, because that was the only way attendees were kept informed of the activities taking place throughout the day. Due to a timing problem, the wrestling and auction occurred at the same time.

Dave Mann arrived in a Cadillac with a chopper escort. Due to his ill health, Dave made a short speech through the open window of the car, and expressed his appreciation to everyone for turning out for his benefit. The highlight of the event was when Billy Lane presented Dave with a plaque commemorating his induction into the National Motorcycle Hall of Fame. The crowd was vocal and very appreciative.

If you were unable to make the event, you can still chip in by sending a check, made out to David Mann, to the following address: Rt 1 Box 328A, Edwards, MO 65326.

My friends, Zick and Melissa, rode from Washington, Iowa, to join me. Coincidentally, during the day, we met Lonnie and Heather, who had come from a neighboring Iowa town. It was Melissa’s first big motorcycle event and she was treated to a rare opportunity to ride on Smokey McGill’s 10-passenger Harley-powered trike, the Anaconda. I talked her into riding with me in the balloon toss event, another new experience, and it may have been beginners luck, because she took first place. It took several rounds of spirited competition to get the better of Iron Angel, Thora, who took second place.

Zick, Melissa, and I spent some time checking out the booths of more than 30 vendors. As we wandered among the parked bikes that afternoon, one paint job in particular caught my eye. Chatting with the bike owner, Cliff, I learned that “Miss Behaven” painted on the tank of his bike, was duplicated from a photo of his late father’s B-29. Cliff’s dad had never talked about his experiences in World War II, and the photo was not discovered until after his death. What a tribute!

The event closed with a spectacular fireworks display, after which bikers were invited to move the party to Bike Nites Restaurant and Bar, and a fair number did so.

Cycle Connections Online Motorcycle Magazine wishes Dave Mann all the best and applauds the efforts of the following sponsors: Wide Open Magazine, Gail’s Harley-Davidson, Wright Brothers Bikes, Hawg Wyld, St. Joe Harley-Davidson, Chuck’s Boots & Leathers, River City T’s, KC Creations, Hell Raisers Choppers, Jack Miller American Thunder V-Twin, Carriage Works, 99.7 KY, The Rock 98.9, Segal Fine Art, 4Print Digital Printing, and Kansas City International Raceway.

For more information about Dave Mann and his amazing life story and art work, check out Dave’s bio and art gallery, provided by the wonderful folks at Segal Fine Art.

Segal Fine Art is the publishing company licensed by Paisano Publications to reproduce David Mann’s art work, and has announced that 50 of David Mann’s original works will be on display at the Journey Museum in Sturgis during the 2004 rally. This will present an extremely rare opportunity to view such a large collection of Dave’s incomparable work.

Story and photos by Stripe