Musician Franky Perez tours his new album “Suddenly 44” from Las Vegas to New York on a uniquely customized Multistrada 1260 S Grand Tour
When Covid_19 lockdowns forced musician Franky Perez into home isolation he was inspired to write and record a new album. With music venues closed, Franky partnered with Ducati to create “Crossing the Great Divide Tour”. A 13 day, 4,000+ mile tour on a Ducati Multistrada 1260 S Grand Tour custom fitted with a detachable guitar case. Documented in eight episodes, this series takes us on a journey of discovery at the most unprecedented times in recent history.
Franky leaves Las Vegas through the sweltering desert visiting The Viper Room in West Hollywood for a check-in with longtime friends and an impromptu set.
“The inspiration for New Bracelets came from one of the darkest periods in my life. It is my testament to love, loss, vice, and lessons learned…it’s my redemption song.”
After a quick blast through the Malibu Canyons and visit to the famous motorcyclists stop, The Rock Store, Franky heads up the coast to play a socially distanced set at Zeitgeist in San Francisco then on to Carson City, NV and the Thunder Mountain Monument along the desolate I-80 interstate.
“I was watching a documentary that reminded me how beautiful and uplifting Brazilian music is, in particular Bossa. It’s so intoxicating that it can briefly give you the impression that it can make ANYTHING better. Well...I was locked down separated from my family and friends plus out of work watching people all over the world suffer. In that bleak pessimistic moment I decided to make a short list of things Bossa Nova COULDN'T do. Funny thing is.. that song makes me smile every time I hear or sing it. Bossa Nova wins again! “
The vast emptiness of the Bonneville Salt Flats inspired a stop hailing the thousands of motorcyclists that have raced here before. Harrison Eurosport, the Ducati dealer in Salt Lake City, coordinated a pop-up show for 50 of his customers in a beautiful mountain setting.
“This was the 1st song I wrote for what was to become the Suddenly 44 album. Like the rest of the world I felt the hopelessness and uncertainty of the times we live in. This song was a cathartic reminder to myself to keep it simple. Love, laughter, and communication...rinse wash and repeat.”
Starting from Salt Lake City Franky departs on an 8-hour ride to Fort Collins, Colorado to play at Lucky Joes and talk with Kevin about how they’re adapting to allow live music to come back to their venue.
“This is the acceptance of a broken relationship and the realization that sadly…sometimes love just isn't enough.”
After a quick stop in Denver to clean the bikes up at Adam’s Polishes, Franky heads across Kansas with a stop at The Evel Knievel Museum and finishes up with some legit BBQ at the classic Arthur Bryants in Kansas City.
“It seems everyday you turn on the tv that something else in the world has gone wrong and that there always seems to be something catastrophic on the horizon. You know what.. maybe so, but I believe in us.. we’ll get through it even if we have to wear a mask and not belly up to a bar for a minute to do so.”
A chance meeting with a fellow Ducatisti along the Midwest interstate kicks off this day. A stop in Joliet, IL get a visit with Jeff Hoffee who made the custom carbon fiber guitar case that protected Franky’s Martin guitar this trip. Finishing the day in Chicago he visits an iconic venue currently closed but kicks out a street side serenade.
“At one point or another everyone questions their own mortality. I’ve been able to tap into my youth over and over for inspiration and get lost in that optimism. It’s tough growing up when nobody wants you to do so. Then one day you wake up... your knees hurt, your eye sight is blurry, and you realize that you may have less years in front of you than behind you. My songs are getting better but my back is getting worse… Bring on the aspirin.”
The day starts with a mission to find fireworks in celebration of a milestone followed by a quick pit-stop at Ducati Detroit. You can’t visit Detroit without a stop to Hitsville USA and Franky lands a gig right across from the Tiger’s Stadium. An early morning 8 hour ride to Washington D.C. gets him to a stage that he had just played to a packed room some months earlier.
“Although frustrating, the lockdown gave me the time to take a rest and just be. The spotlight was off, my phone had gone quiet, and I was forced to live in the void taking stock of what was truly important in my life. This song has one of my favorite lines of the whole album. “We don't have to be extraordinary... we just have to be alright.” It refers to the pressure we put on ourselves at work, in relationships, and on social media. Turn off the outside world and turn your love light on.”
Franky visits a couple Healthcare Centers and plays to both the healthcare workers and residents with a visit to Philadelphia in the mix. A pilgrimage is made to the Martin Guitar Factory and Museum the birthplace of his touring guitar. Wrapping up the trip on the final day he makes his way into New York with a visit to Radio City Music Hall, Times Square and Ducati New York.
“Who would you rather go in to battle with??? A sneaky ninja, or an honorable, brave, and loyal Samurai? I choose the samurai any day of the week... twice on Sunday.”