All top TV executives will tell you that men in jeans, men with tattoos, men who curse, men who weld, men with power tools, men who like to smash and build things into fantasy toys, make high rated TV reality shows. They will add that their objective is to increase the number of male viewers because men watch much less TV (except News) than women. And since the TV series “American Chopper” is still able to pull an average of 2.2 to 2.8 million viewers per episode, 70% of them being male, the show got a hit TV Reality formula and is not going to fade away anytime soon…
Of course, I know in advance the type of reactions, positive or negative, that an interview of Paul Teutul Senior will provoke. The dividing lines between you as always been and will always be around these questions. What is the true contribution, if any, of the TV show to the motorcycle industry, to its participants and overall to all fans of custom motorcycles? Is the yelling relation between father and son, and now the rivalry between their competing shops, in itself the only dynamic of the show? Or did the show was good for the industry in its first episodes years ago on the Discovery Channel but no more because The Learning Channel latest version has drowned in a non-motorcycle drama?
As an introduction to Paul Teutul Senior interview I will only add 2 things. First, true personality of any individual in the public eye is often very different from its perception by the public at large through only a big or TV screen . Second, Paul Teutul Sr. is of course perfectly aware of the controversial nature of the show for some of you, but didn’t refuse my interview. I thank him for accepting to open up to all my readers and to reveal a little bit more than you know about his personality. (all photography courtesy to Cyril Huze, copyright The Discovery/TLC/David Lang)
Cyril. Who were your childhood heroes? Paul Sr. Roy Rogers, Fess Parker (Davie Crockett) and Johnny Weissmuller (Tarzan)
Cyril . What was your 1st vehicle? Paul Sr. 1964 Dodge Dart
Cyril . If you were not working in the motorcycle industry, what would you do? Paul Sr. Steel fabrication and ironwork.
Cyril . What is your favorite way to relax? Paul Sr. Fishing and riding
Cyril . What is the last music you downloaded in your iPod? Paul Sr. Marvin Gaye
Cyril . What are you afraid of? Paul Sr. Failure
Cyril . Who is the person you would love to meet? Paul Sr. Jack Nicholson
Cyril . Which film made you cry? Paul Sr. Old Yeller
Cyril . What is your best life achievement? Paul Sr. Orange County Choppers and building an Electric drag bike that broke a world speed record three times this year.
Cyril . What do you miss most at home when you are on the road? Paul Sr. Working in my garage.
Cyril . What was the last book you read? Paul Sr. My book, Ride of a Lifetime.
Cyril . Where is your favorite vacation place? Paul Sr. My cabin in the mountains.
Cyril . Do you have any guilty pleasures? Paul Sr. I have a lot.
Cyril . Do you collect anything? Paul Sr. I collect challenge coins from the different branches of the military and other meaningful causes and I also collect classic cars and bikes.
Cyril . What was your worst buy? Paul Sr. 1964 Dodge Dart
Cyril . How do you take your coffee? Paul Sr. Dark with natural sweetener and a little bit of milk.
Cyril . What is the best thing you can cook? Paul Sr. Steak.
Cyril . When was the last time you were really angry? Paul Sr. When I was working with my sons.
Cyril . What is your perfect weekend when you are at home? Paul Sr. Driving my cars and bikes, fishing and working on my cars and bikes.
Cyril . What is your preferred rally? Paul Sr. Myrtle Beach.
Cyril . What is the worst question a journalist asked you? Paul Sr. “Are you really like that?”