When a former Motorcycle repairman went into guitar dealing, the infuriating case of Ed Roman.

BlueTele

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Cowtown Guitars closed in 2019. The original owner sold out, the second owner eventually ended up with terrible reviews in the last few years of the business.
That's too bad. I am talking about when he first arrived in Las Vegas in either 1995 or perhaps 1996. The owner from Ohio and his girlfriend were good people. As a guitar player I welcomed a decent shop with a nice mix of vintage, used, and new gear. I met him because I ran an ad in the local Las Vegas newspaper to sell my Rickenbacker Roger McGuinn 12-string. We met in the closest parking lot to where his store was actually going to be, but he had yet opened and was looking for a few extra nice pieces of gear.
 

Dave W

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That's too bad. I am talking about when he first arrived in Las Vegas in either 1995 or perhaps 1996. The owner from Ohio and his girlfriend were good people. As a guitar player I welcomed a decent shop with a nice mix of vintage, used, and new gear. I met him because I ran an ad in the local Las Vegas newspaper to sell my Rickenbacker Roger McGuinn 12-string. We met in the closest parking lot to where his store was actually going to be, but he had yet opened and was looking for a few extra nice pieces of gear.
The change in ownership took place about 10-11 years ago.
 

Recce

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If he was anything like OCC, his guitars would weigh 20 lbs and would fall apart if you played more than one song on them. The OCC guys should never be mistaken for real motorcycle mechanics.
OCC was interesting for about one season then Father and Son continually screaming at each other became just kind of sad. I also found there continually putting on the same bad looking handlebars and basically building the same bike boring.
You might note the current crop of car / bike build shows no longer feature two people screaming angrily at each other.
 

bottlenecker

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OCC was interesting for about one season then Father and Son continually screaming at each other became just kind of sad. I also found there continually putting on the same bad looking handlebars and basically building the same bike boring.
You might note the current crop of car / bike build shows no longer feature two people screaming angrily at each other.

It wasn't interesting for me. I knew a lot of builders back then, before and after the whole choppers on TV thing, and I know a lot about choppers, and motorcycles in general.
OCC were 100% kooks from day one. They had no business ever building a bike for money. Remember william hung, the bad american idol singer who ended up getting famous for singing bad? OCC was like that with motorcycles, except a lot of TV viewers didn't know enough to realize it. I couldn't ever stand watching that show, and I don't watch TV today, so I wouldn't even know what new shows you're talking about. The only show I'd want them to bring back is junkyard wars.
 

Telenator

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I knew Ed Roman, and I was on a few early episodes of American Chopper. This gives me a somewhat unique perspective here.
Ed did what he did. The important thing to remember about him is that, his shop was second to none. When I bought my Heritage Blues Deluxe, he had 35 of them at his place in New Fairfield Connecticut. I sat there for hours and finally selected one. Great guitar.
As far as Ed was concerned, he did whatever the heck he wanted and it didn't really matter to me. He had the best selection of anyone, anywhere, and I could always change the conversation to his old shop, "Chicken Lips Choppers," when the guitar industry talk became too intense. In a private setting, one to one, he really was OK. He gave me a great deal that I didn't even have to ask for, and was genuinely kind.
OCC was a completely different story. My first encounter with them was with the Spider Man bike. No one knew who they were yet.
I had picked a great location to photograph it for the cover of American Iron Magazine. We had begun the shoot and Senior starts crabbing, asking if I knew what I was doing and commenting that the whole set-up looked hokey. The bike landed on the cover of American Iron, was noticed by Discovery, and the rest is history. I was offered a spot on the show but refused it during the negotiation process.
The bikes they built were bar hoppers. Nothing you would want to ride for any distance. And their reputation among industry leading custom bike builders was not great. They were creating art more than function.
In the years that followed, the show went on and the tensions grew. The Teutals are who they are, but they kinda got good at being a little better at being who they are on camera. They were indeed genuine, but the combination of doing the business under the constant scrutiny of the show made it difficult for the whole thing to be completely real. I fell victim of this during the editing process of the Black Widow bike episode. I wish the "lost footage" could be revealed. It tells a very different story than what was aired. But there was a show to produce after all. A whole different set of circumstances than what Ed Roman was doing.
 

Blazer

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It wasn't interesting for me. I knew a lot of builders back then, before and after the whole choppers on TV thing, and I know a lot about choppers, and motorcycles in general.
OCC were 100% kooks from day one. They had no business ever building a bike for money. Remember william hung, the bad american idol singer who ended up getting famous for singing bad? OCC was like that with motorcycles, except a lot of TV viewers didn't know enough to realize it. I couldn't ever stand watching that show, and I don't watch TV today, so I wouldn't even know what new shows you're talking about. The only show I'd want them to bring back is junkyard wars.
Did you know that Junkyard Wars was actually a British show called "Scrapheap Challenge?"


But yeah, I loved shows like that and "Thunder Races" and "Mythbusters." The 2000's had a lot of cool shows airing.
 

bottlenecker

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Did you know that Junkyard Wars was actually a British show called "Scrapheap Challenge?"


But yeah, I loved shows like that and "Thunder Races" and "Mythbusters." The 2000's had a lot of cool shows airing.


Yes, I think I found scrapheap challenge online and watched it. Mythbusters yes, and robot wars. Discovery and speedvision was all I watched. There were only a couple years in my life I had cable TV, when all that stuff was on. But nascar bought speedvision and ended motogp race coverage, so I cancelled cable. I saw a lot of the chopper shows (except occ) on vhs when people would tape them for me. One of the big early chopper shows, I saw part of in person.
 




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