A souvenir shop in Dearborn, Michigan, once sold a rubber stamp that read, "People are more violently opposed to fur than leather because it's safer to harass rich women than motorcycle gangs." Obviously, the quotation predates the modern motorcycle frenzy of the middle-aged. In the 1960s, riding a motorcycle might have been, rightly or wrongly, bound to crime and rebellion. But 40 years later, the Harley follows the RV and the boat on the list of desired retirement goodies. And because the modern motorcycle rider just can't be stereotyped anymore, it's important to do things like throw a 10-day party in the desert, with something for every bike enthusiast.
Arizona Bike Week, rumbling through Rawhide, 23023 North Scottsdale Road in Scottsdale, from Friday, April 1, through April 10, has celebrity guests, live entertainment, charity rides, poker games, motorcycle art exhibits, billiards and booze, leather vendors, bike demos, and boffo giveaways like a 2005 Harley-Davidson Screamin' Eagle Fatboy.
Motorcycles can be ridden and parked in the venue, but even if you arrive on your own hawg, you'll have to saddle up some of the demos, which include the new line of Boss Hoss bikes and trikes, "America's only V8 production bike."
The Marshall Tucker Band headlines the music stage. Admission to the entire event costs $15. Single-day admission is $5 to $10. Visit www.azbikeweek.com. -- Niki D'Andrea
Beer, No Evil
Rhapsody in brew at weekend fest
We've found the ideal venue for some cross-training -- walking and 16-ounce curls -- at the Arizona Center, off Van Buren between Third and Fifth streets, where the Great Arizona Beer Festival goes down (smooth) on Saturday, April 2, and Sunday, April 3. More than 100 brewers from across the Southwest gather to show off their suds, with HoneyBoy Dupree and the Smokehouse Players, Big Nick and the Gila Monsters, Uvon & the Amazing Blues Wizards, and the Jane Crowe Band playing live music from 2 to 6 p.m. daily (last pour's at 5:45). Advance tickets are $30, or $35 at the gate (VIP tix cost $60 and $65, respectively). Call 480-774-8300 or see www.azbeer.com. -- Ashlea Deahl
Prose from pros tells inside story
Besides stroking egos, the secret lives of golf wives have them holding flagsticks and playing caddie. Life With a Swinger, a nonfiction compilation told by 96 golf pro couples, "takes the reader beyond the ropes of a spectator, giving them a realistic, unscripted outlook of these tour husbands and wives," says Kay Davidoff-Ziplow, co-author of the book. A book signing with PGA tour pro Tom Lehman and his wife, Melissa, is scheduled at the Kierland Golf Club, 15636 North Clubgate Drive in Scottsdale, on Friday, April 1, from noon to 2 p.m. Of course, arriving in plaid knickers and carrying a nine iron isn't required, but the par might be higher. -- Austin Head
Rock stars live fast, photograph well
A gaggle of Alice Cooper, The Doors' Ray Manzarek, and Iggy Pop hamming it up at L.A.'s Whisky A Go-Go is as unpredictable and spontaneous as James Fortune's portfolio of more than 15,000 images. The 1974 shot of the unlikely trio -- as well as nearly 60 more Fortune photographs of Led Zeppelin, Paul McCartney, Elton John, and other '60s and '70s rock icons -- is on display at Rock Star Gallery, 16451 North Scottsdale Road, Suite 103, in Scottsdale, beginning Saturday, April 2, with a 6 p.m. opening reception. Notables include Gene Simmons of KISS Cher-ing an éclair in 1979, and a '75 shot of McCartney, Poolside at the Hotel California. Call 480-275-4501 to RSVP or see www.rockstargallery.net. -- Joe Watson
Tempe gets all up in it
Sure, something's always gonna suck at a huge festival, whether it's traffic or overpriced beer. But where else can you see a bunch of national acts for one low price? Tickets to see one big-name act might cost $35 after "convenience charges," but at the Tempe Music Festival on Saturday, April 2, that same chunk of change pays for not only Live and Blues Traveler, but 28 other bands, including Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, The BoDeans, Collective Soul, Crossfade, Strata, Lit, Operatic, Snake Trap, End of June, and local favorites like Hans Olson, Reign Kings, Blue Fur, and Azz Izz. The festival lasts from noon to midnight at Tempe Beach Park, 70 West Rio Salado Parkway. Advance tickets cost $35 via Ticketmaster, day-of-show tickets onsite cost $45. Call 480-784-4444 or visit www.tempemusicfestival.com. -- Niki D'Andrea
Godzillafest stomps into Mesa
If there was a hall of fame for movie monsters, they'd have to build a special wing for the baddest of them all: Godzilla. Since emerging from the sea to wreak havoc on Tokyo in 1954, this mutated, Jurassic hell-raiser has built a career spanning a half-century, with no signs of slowing down. If this were some third-rate Hollywood actor, they'd give the guy a lifetime achievement award, but we all know how cliquish Tinseltown can be. Better to celebrate among the faithful at Godzillafest, Sunday, April 3, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., at Atomic Comics' Mesa location, 1120 South Country Club Drive, No. 105. A showing of the latest Godzilla installment, Godzilla: Final Wars, headlines a day's worth of praise for the original movie monster that also includes a Kids' Art Contest, Godzilla/Monster Collectibles Show and Tell, more Godzilla classics, and rare monster movies from the big man's home base of Japan. Call 480-949-0807 or see www.atomiccomics.com. -- Craig Wallach