Although the COVID-19 crisis has caused some inconvenience for motorcyclists, live musicians have borne the brunt of the state governments’ responses to the pandemic. Live music venues around the country continue to be closed, making it difficult for musicians to make a living. Franky Perez is no exception.
However, after heading to a guest room in his Las Vegas home to record his latest solo album, Suddenly 44, he was faced with the challenge of promoting his release.
His solution is a novel one—head out on a coast-to-coast tour with his Martin 000-17 Black Smoke acoustic guitar, with a Ducati Multistrada 1260 S Grand Tour as his transportation. To make that work, a carbon-fiber Hoffee guitar case custom-fitted to the Multistrada for the tour. Set-up for touring, Perez decided to perform for free, while managing to follow whatever COVID-19 related government guidelines were thrown his way.
“Music is meant to be shared, and while digital distribution makes music so much more accessible now, there is no substitution for the live experience,” Perez explains. “The feedback and relationship between artist and the audience is vital when performing music that is so personal, but with the normal approach for a new album release no longer possible, I called my friends from famed Italian motorcycle marque Ducati to help me develop a completely different approach to touring.”
Ducati and Perez collaborated to put together an eight-episode video series highlighting his travels on his Crossing The Great Divide Tour. Perez visits locations as varied as the Golden Gate Bridge, the Bonneville Salt Flats, the Evel Knievel Museum, the Motown Museum, and Times Square. He put over 4000 miles on the Multistrada 1260 S Grand Tour in 13 days.
In addition to his solo career, Perez has been the singer for Apolcalyptica and Deadland Ritual, as well as guitarist for Scars On Broadway. He has also played in a wide variety of all-star cover bands, including the Ducati All-Stars with Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols, Billy Morrison and Chris Wyse of The Cult, and Steve Stevens of Billy Idol fame.