Snaggy gets his STONE on by heading to the hugely anticipated Sandy Harbutt Memorial ride to celebrate the life of Sandy and the STONE movie phenomenon.
Hundreds of STONE fans converged on the Westview Drive-In in beautiful downtown Dubbo for a 200km ride and special screening of Stone last week…
Bundling up a tent and sleeping bag, all tied down to INFO MOTO’s go-to long-range steed, the BMW F 900 XR, we took our place in the Memorial ride, busted a few moves and sat down all old school to watch the movie that holds pride of place for many Aussie riders. It was all good.
Led by original cast member Zonk, an emotion-charged weekend paid massive tribute to Harbutt and the STONE movie.
Beers, yarns and a few tears as cast member Zonk and Snaggy relive the making of STONE, one on one. Yep, Stone lives on in the hearts and minds of Australian motorcyclists. Long may it be so.
What is STONE?
The iconic Australian film Stone had great riding and Rebecca Gilling.
Stone was the feature film which signalled the debut of up-and-coming film-maker Sandy Harbutt and it broke box office records on its release.
The basic plot of Stone is a murder mystery: the lead character, a detective, goes undercover to ascertain why members of a motorcycle club are being killed, and discovers that they have witnessed a political assassination and may be able to identify those responsible.
The appeal lies in the very Australian-ness of the film.
The apparel, language, behaviour and and the choice of bikes was pointedly Australian – local bikers tended to go for more powerful bikes than the yanks, and often chose Japanese brands, rather than the traditional Harley-Davidson.
Kwaka Nines are all over the shop in Stone.
Stone is also particularly notable for its unashamed and open references to the aftermath of the Vietnam War and the often socially-crippling experiences of Vietnam veterans, who after returning, were regularly disparaged by the people they considered they were charged with representing.
The memorable opening credits of the film feature the famous funeral procession in which 400 bikers take to the (then newly completed) Gosford expressway.
To mark the 25th anniversary of the filming of that scene, Sandy Harbutt put out the call for riders to gather and recreate the scene. Well, he got what he wanted. An incredible 35,000 riders turned out on the day.
Hugely influential? Well, kind of.
Fun to put on while getting stuck into a few cans? Absolutely. And, Rebecca Gilling. Goodness me…
Snag’s career in motoring journalism spans 29 years with stints at major bike mags Australian Road Rider, Motorcycle Trader and AMCN along with contributions to just about every other outlet worth a hill of beans. He was editor of Unique Cars magazine and hosts his legendary podcast ‘Snag Says’ when he gets off his date.