Tuesday, November 26, 2013


While Scotty Gosson Exposed! celebrates the day-to-day life of Joe Toolbox, we do take time once a year to acknowledge the obscenely famous, as their photos are plentiful, and - in some cultures, anyway - such golden idol worship is considered to be acceptable blog content. CLICK ON PHOTOS TO VIEW FULL SIZE.

What on Earth could the SGE crew be doing at Wembley Stadium? The same thing we've been doing everywhere else for 22 years - throwing a party. This joint only seats 90,000 so we're looking for something with a little more elbow room for next year...

... We have been planning to move the show to Willets Point in Queens, New York - 62 glorious acres of grassroots automotive knucklebusting (AKA Americana), populated with wrecking yards and repair shops. But now New York City is attempting to invoke Imminent Domain there, so they can evict the residents and convert the colorful and creative industrial zone into a trendy-bland shopping center addition to neighboring Flushing Meadows (at a cost of three billion dollars). The Autodrome in Mexico has invited us to try their facility... Motormouth Ray relayed Sarah Maslin's excellent piece from the Nov. 22nd New York Times regarding the tragic situation in Willets Point. (Photos by Michael Nagle)

Okay, enough politicking. On with the show! Please turn off your cell phones at this time...

(Okay, Billy. Dim lights on three, two, one...) (Mongrel, cue orchestra on three, two, one...) (Ray. Break your leg on three, two, one...) Ladies and Gentlemen! Welcome to the Twenty Second Annual SGE Celebrity Gossip and Rumor Awards! With your host, Scotty Gosson! Master of ceremonies, Dick Clark! Award presentations by Dick York, Dick Sergeant, Dick Van Dyke, Dick Van Patten, Dickie Smothers, Dandy Dick Landy, Dick Cheney, Dick Butkus, Dick Gregory, Dick Ebersol and Chris Economaki! Live performances by Buddy Guy, Buddy Baker, Buddy Miller, Buddy Ebsen, Buddy Hackett, Buddy Reher, Buddy Rich, Buddy Miles, and Buddy Holly! I'm your announcer, Motormouth Ray Guarino.

And now... Live from Wembley Stadium, please welcome... obscure blogger and legendary underwater thimble collector... Scotty Gosson!

Thanks, Ray. Hey, kids. How's it goin'? Man, it's hard to believe we've been doing this for twenty two years! From its humble beginnings as an ill-advised blog experiment to today's live worldwide simulcasts, the growing pains have equaled birthing pains in every respect and have been equally messy. But today, we lay down our tools to consider a more mainstream culture as it relates to our own. We have more in common than not. And that's been true from the beginning. You know, it seems like only yesterday that we were nervously bumbling through the learning curve on this..... (Cue trance music)...

One of the most often shown bloopers from our first televised show (1967). Who could forget Master of Ceremonies Dick Clark's stoic professionalism when Tony Nancy's stunt double caught his firesuit on an upholstery button and experienced this wardrobe malfunction. But hey, that's live TV for ya, folks!

Okay, enough of that rear-view-mirror jazz. There's no present like the time, so let's use it wisely - starting with a look at this year's nominees for Most Intriguing Rumor or Gossip in a Somewhat Automotive Related Activity. We begin with a visit to the secret workshop of America's Poet Laureate, the ever-inspired and inspiring Bob Dylan (or, The Artist Formerly Known as Robert Zimmerman)...

RUMOR: Bob Dylan unwinds from touring and recording with freestyle iron gate builds. TRUE. Bob grew up in iron ore country (AKA The Rust Belt) and has always had his hands on metal of some kind. He settled on gates because, "They keep us in or out, while allowing nature to freely pass through." Bob also swept the voting for Best T-Shirt!

GOSSIP: Emmylou Harris has narrowed the search for her imminent child's father to Stephen Colbert, Elvis Costello and Toronto Mayor Rob Ford. UNCONFIRMED. This awkward moment was captured after a glowing Harris blasted her sleeper twin turbo big block '52 Chevy pickup to a surprise appearance at Colbert's studio, unaware that Costello had been called in to cover for absent scheduled guest Ben Stein (who was later located at an airport bar with Rob Ford - no relation to Ford Motor Company). Of these three pictured celebrities (each of whom have profoundly influenced my course), I've met only one. Can you guess which one that is? (ANSWER CLEVERLY HIDDEN IN THIS POST!)

RUMOR: Glamorous California speed shop heiress Jamie Leonardi-Gottelli and glamorous semi-retired Fuel Dragster fabricator Alicia Sterling-Julian have taken to terrorizing neighborhood streets with glamorous race cars. TRUE. Confirmed by both glamorous parties.

GOSSIP: Allstate Insurance spokesperson "Mayhem" was inspired by Hollywood actor Dean Winters' disturbing obsession with singer/songwriter Tom Waits (above). TRUE AND FALSE. Waits, the original Mayhem, was fired for crashing a "borrowed from a friend" Checker Cab into the CEO's Lexus sedan, upon arriving for the first day of shooting for Allstate. Winters got the gig based on his uncanny resemblance to Waits (a result of botched plastic surgery). The two have never met.

Waits, picking up his children from an elite California private school (Frank Hawley's Drag Racing School) outside the city of Sonoma. Waits also regularly drives the kids to area junkyards in the family car for scavenger hunts. He explains, "My father was an exhaust manifold and my mother was a tree."

The former Bard of Escondido (now the Scourge of Sonoma County), Tom got an early jump on technology and remains ahead of the curve by ignoring its existence. Tom's secret backyard laboratory is the birthplace of the electric string winder, three-track recording, and Honey Boo Boo - according to at least one rumor we've heard. Tom, on his domesticity: "I live at Bedlam and Squalor. It's that way. You wouldn't throw your baseball into my yard, buddy. You'd never see it again."

RUMOR: The Reverend Billy Gibbons can not only shape-shift, but can also downshift and astral project himself through at least seven zip codes. FALSE. But Gibbons can levitate to a height of 28 inches and does his own stunts taxes.

GOSSIP: Woodstock survivor, scale model railroad enthusiast and world saver Neil Young actually drives a mammoth '59 Lincoln Continental gasoholic. TRUE. Hey, it's Neil Young. He can figure a way to make anything cool.

See? Pretty tasty, huh? 6,200 pounds worth. Imagine the Premium this monster puts away with every mile...

Actually, this electric motor doesn't even sniff gas, but still puts out 650 horsepower. And the Lincoln (dubbed the LincVolt) runs cleaner than any production hybrid.

The trunkload of batteries allows for a 50 mile all-electric cruising range and a 400 mile extended driving range. Hidden somewhere in the crooks and nannies of this behemoth is a 2.5 liter Ford engine that exists only to charge the batteries. Neil can choose between bio-diesel or petro-diesel to power a micro-turbine generator, or he can just plug into the municipal power grid (or combine the two) to get buzzed for the road.

The LincVolt caught fire while charging in 2010, taking down a warehouse full of Young's personal memorabilia (valued at $850,000) with it. Young was delivering the keynote address (on green technology) at the SEMA show at the time. The manufacturer (Young) issued a recall of all (one) LincVolts, which were fitted with improved charging systems. The car was completely rebuilt at Roy Brizio's shop in South San Francisco.

A faceless unnamed drone performs slave labor at Brizio's sweat shop in hopes of getting his mug in a photo. Better luck next time, pal. Young has dropped a ton of dough at Brizio's, but when asked if any of it trickled down to him, the loyal worker bee only answered, "Grklzch..." He had been working in this position for over 40 minutes.

Young's reaction when we told him of Brizio's anonymous laborer. 

RUMOR:  The city of San Francisco honored native son Jerry Garcia with these modified crosswalk signals. FALSE: It was actually Garcia who honored the city, by amassing hundreds of expensive speeding tickets in a series of seriously tweaked Porsches. The crosswalk signals were a muffed 1961 attempt at a tribute to visiting Belgian high performance enthusiast Django Reinhardt. Little known triviod: Garcia and Reinhardt both played the guitar.

GOSSIP: High performance pioneer Fran Hernandez (shown here performing his breakthrough fuel efficiency tests of 1966) received this year's SGE Lifetime Achievement Award, due to behind-the-scenes politicking by his estate managers. FALSE: We meant to award Hernandez a few years ago, but we got busy and forgot. Fran's grandson reminded us about the award this year and accepted it on his grandfather's behalf via IOS Face Time technology.

AND THE WINNER IS... to be announced at the conclusion of next year's awards, as per tradition. The winner of last year's competition in this category is The Pride of Wentzville, Missouri - Chuck Berry - who personally wore out countless Cadillacs by driving them hard to gigs across the North American Continent over the last sixty-plus years. Way to go, man, go, Chuck!

Still rockin' and rollin' (and duckwalking) at 85, Berry still does most of the maintenance on his beloved Caddys. He was driving a '62 when I met him in the parking lot of the Ashland, Oregon armory in '69. Chuck still prefers the '59 model (shown) above all others.

Berry made this dramatic entrance onto the stage of the Fox Theater in St. Louis for his 60th birthday celebration (backed by an anonymous pickup band). As a child, he wasn't allowed entrance to the Fox because of his race. This red '73(?) Caddy now resides in the Smithsonian.

We brought Chuck in to do a short set at last year's show. We hired a local cover band to back him up and turned him loose. Chuck knocked out half a dozen hits in rapid succession, cashed the check, and hit the road in a '80-something Seville. We haven't heard from him since, but we know Chuck is reading this. Congrats on sweeping your category, Chuck! Hail! Hail!


A steady stream of scenesters invaded the backstage area. Like zombies, they just kept coming, devouring hors d'oeuvres, scarfing drinks, and photo bombing celebrities faster than security could remove them. This trio identified themselves as Peter, Cole and Donald. Okay guys, we've made you famous for a minute. Now go back to Iowa and get a life, okay?

Jeff Beck and Ed Iskendarian make last-minute preparations before opening the show with the most wildass freestyle National Anthem since Henrix's surprise opening ceremony appearance at the '71 Gatornationals. Who knew Isky could shred an accordion like that?


In recent years, hip celebs have sought refuge from backstage fans and paparazzi in the vast Wembley parking lot. At various times during this event, the lot has been transformed into a makeshift drag strip, a concert hall, pit area, pharmacy, soccer field, triage center, and strip club.

The scene when the parking lot gate swung open. The Brits have been wonderful supporters of this event since we first went to Wembley in 2003. Italians dig it, too.

Every year there's a new mindblower power parked on the "pitch" and this year's brain scrambler was a rare Studebaker factory prototype from 1950. Actually, we had one of these when I was a kid. Ours was a '49 (different wiper arms and scoop teeth) and was green. My older brother and the neighbor kid blew it up street racing one night. The old man is still hot about that one...

Any celeb knows that making a dramatic entrance leaves a lasting impression. And no one knows it better than Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, who touched down in the parking lot when he couldn't find a river nearby (Sully, you didn't notice the Thames?!). The Christmas Tree was quickly repaired (in McGeyver fashion), then Sullenberger was checked over. He was "fine", according to our staff "Doctor".

Surprise guest Lil John Buttera made the rounds through the Wembley lot, stopping to admire this example of Yankee ingenuity before moving on to inspect an Allison powered Isetta. Buttera appeared noticeably trim and youthful.

Jungle Pam Hardy was also present in the parking area. Such a pro - she's wearing a brave face here, but admitted to us that Corvettes creep her out.

It didn't take long for the parking lot shenanigans to get underway. Art Arfons mixes it up with some locals here.

Some scensters consider themselves too sexy for the parking lot. Custom car collector Frank Sinatra and friend (plenty of rumors on this pair) found a private parking space at the edge of the Wembley facilities.

One of several journalists assigned to cover the event who never made it out of the parking area. Special thanks to "Raoul Duke" for assisting with parking and security.


Grandiose productions such as this don't just magically happen. It takes months of hard backbreaking sweat-down-the-crack-of-your-ass labor to pull off such an event. Special thanks to the following heroes, who have been at it for all 22 editions...

Technical and logistical consultation courtesy of Red Apple Motel Garage (home of the original Bob and Tom show).

Transportation provided by Scotty Gosson hisself...

... and assistant Orenthal James Simpson (no relation to Homer Simpson. Then again...).

Catering by Berkshire Hathaway Event Services Inc.

Security provided by the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club (all the way from California!), directed by George Zimmerman (no relation to Robert Zimmerman, to our knowledge).

I'm your humble announcer, Motormouth Ray Guarino, wishing you all a pleasant evening and a safe drive home. It's been a unique honor to share this special time with you tonight. Watch out for cops! See you again next year! (God, what a bunch of *%^# idiots! Who?! Oh, I dunno - let's see... The stupid drunken idiot fans, the pompous clueless idiot celebrities, the idiot HOST, who's too incompetent to find his way from his private *^#^ dressing room to the *^#% stage, so I can take a $@^%* piss! Oh $*&#, is this the ON switch?) Goodnight, ladies and gentlemen! God bless you, one and all...


SECRET TRIVIA QUESTION ANSWER: Yes, it was Harris. We hung in her dressing room while she executed a costume change, between sets at an Omaha, Nebraska show. Never have I met such a gracious human. Unfortunately, I became star-struck (a rare, but embarrassing condition) and made a complete fool of myself - like a car-chasing dog who finally caught one and didn't know what to do with it. Luckily, a DJ friend reminded me to give her some demo tapes. I was also fortunate to enjoy a front row seat for a Costello performance once, and Colbert hangs out in my living room almost every weeknight, but I have yet to meet either of those guys in person.




Maria was unknown to us before last week's feature on this blog. Since then, we've come to understand just how vast her worldwide fan base truly is. Traffic on this site has increased over 500% since her appearance here, seven days ago! Our thanks to Maria and her legion of followers for the ratings boost, and for joining us at this virtual party. You're all welcome here, anytime! Our new goal is to cover the Russian racing scene in person, as soon as funds allow.


How secret can a squirrel be who is recognized around the world as Secret Squirrel? Not very, one would assume. But Secret Squirrel is a known master of disguise. This might not even be him. We can't be sure. But we're certain that our celebrity toolbox is actually a tool cart at Long Island New York's Autoseum. The tools riding around on it have just played a pivotal role in chopping a '53 Ford by students at the hands-on automotive learning center. These are the same tools and cart that regularly service the Drag-U-La show rod, which is one of the Autoseum's star attractions. The above has been confirmed by Motormouth Ray, who personally took the photograph.