So, while I was in Daytona Bike Week, I had the chance to swing over and check out the Lowdown Hoedown and man was I impressed. This event was awesome!! Bikes, Beer, Bands and beautiful weather!!!! Two minutes after parking my bike I met Chris Norton. I knew immediately we needed to get him to do an interview for the blog…..and he was happy to oblige…so check it out!!!
Interview/Event: Lowdown Hoedown
Interviewees: Chris Norton, Rich Cheney
- What is your name and what do you do for a living? Chris Norton – Tattooer/Owner of Hold Fast Tattoo Port Orange,Fl. I began at the old Lucky Devil Tattoo location (which is the location Hold Fast stands now BTW) apprenticing Body Piercing under John “Sicboy” Tompkins and working alongside with Chris Brock, Dug Landry and Jim Journey. In 2003 Willie T. Jones gave me the opportunity to apprentice tattooing at Tropical Tattoo under Pete Colleran, though all the long timers in the shop helped me along the way (Clay Basket, DC, Ron Gray, and Joe Del Buono). Being a busy street shop I was also able to work with and learn from many guest artists Jason Harms, Phil Colvin, Shay Cannon and in particular Erik Desmond now of Loyalty Tattoo in NY. Erik kind of took me under his wing and to this day we still have a close relationship and share ideas to help further each other’s art.
- How long has Hold Fast been in business for? I had the opportunity to buy the first shop I started in and after a complete renovation, re-construction and re-staffing I opened Hold Fast in 2010. Since opening I have cultivated a great group of resident co-workers. Joe Chase, Joe Del Buono, Frtiz Schroeder and guest artists like Erik Desmond, , Kyle Berg, and Jeff “Bosco” McManus to name a few.
- How did you get started tattooing? I was pursuing a career in art and met Pete Colleran in a college art class while he was a Tattoo Apprentice. We began hanging out regularly and I began getting tattooed by him during his apprenticeship and continued to when his apprenticeship was complete. I began to realize tattooing was what I wanted to do And though I knew all the guys at Tropical, it was Pete that really got me in the door.
- So the Lowdown Hoedown was a blast. Tell us a little about the show and you came up with the idea? Thanks for the positive comment. That’s exactly what we’re looking for… everyone having a good time. The “show” definitely has its share of grassroots elements. We work very closely with multiple area businesses and without them it would be even more difficult to make this event happen. So, a huge THANK YOU to all of our sponsors and contributors. Bike week(s) has/have changed through the years, like everything does, and we identified a need to offer something up for the likeminded crowd. No better way than through music, art and huge dose of choppa. We have witnessed an increase of not only younger riders, but these riders are building too – some of them female! We love it! We want a place for them to congregate and to build upon the biker-builder culture locally.
- Anything you looking to change up for the next one? [Chris] We’ve been in conversations with local builders and they have expressed their interest in the Lowdown Hoedown after recently attending. A very exciting opportunity for all. We view this involvement as both an evolution of the event, but also an opportunity to create a larger, more solidified culture. Each year after the bike week event, our local newspaper poses the question of “Reinventing Bike Week for a new generation”. [Rich} Chris and I have always been proactive, as opposed to reactive, when it comes to the shop or the show – hence our decision to organize the Hoedown. We would love to attract the interest of a few more partners eager to promote and support our endeavor of taking this event to the next level.
- Bikes and tattoos seem to go hand in hand. When did you get into motorcycles and what are ya riding? Bikes and tattoos go hand and hand, but we like the idea of bikes, tattoos, music and board sports. Music has been a huge influence in our lives. When all of these actions are combined, you have a huge freedom of expression. We both grew up with fathers’ who owned bikes. [Chris] – My dad rode and worked on Main St. during my Childhood so I spent a lot of time in many of the Main St. businesses and got to know a lot of guys that worked and hung out down there. I guess being around that kind of thing just lured me in. [ Rich] – My dad had multiple bikes in the garage as long as I can remember. I tagged along a bunch. It had an underground feel and seemed raw, that was always appealing to me.
Chris Norton – 1986 Softail Bobber and 1996 Standard
Rich Cheney – 1995 Standard
- Florida has a killer bike scene. Any little gems you want to share for folks to check out in the area? The state of Florida has a great bike scene because we can ride year round. The scene in the Daytona Beach area struggles. There’s a few bike nights here and there, and you have your “biker bars”, but the ride up the coast along A1A to St. Augustine has to be a favorite of mine.
- How can folks get in touch with you and stay up to date on the LowDown Hoedown?Instagram for Hold Fast/Chris Norton, Rich Cheney and Lowdown Hoedown. We’re already planning the Lowdown Hoedown for Biketoberfest 2017. The date is October 21st. Mark your calendars! https://www.facebook.com/holdfasttattoodaytona/
Thanks, a lot guys!!!! So, if you are heading to Biketober or Bike Week in Daytona, swing a little south to Port Orange and check out the Lowdown Hoedown at Hold Fast Tattoo…or just swing by and get some killer ink at the shop….either way!!!