Rhythm Collision – Hot Rods and Rockabilly invade Riverside
The Rhythm Collision is one of America’s first car and music festivals of the year. For the past five years in Riverside, California music aficionados and vintage vehicle enthusiasts have been congregating to celebrate a collision of cultures. This assembly, so named The Rhythm Collision is three-days of live music, hot rods, sleds, lowrider bombs, dancing, shenanigans, and revelry.
The event, now in its 5th year, is the brainchild of one Alex (aka Axle) Idzardi. For decades, Idzardi has wielded a big axe in So-Cal rockabilly circles. He’s also one of Califiornia’s most astute hot rod historians, has mastered the art of buying low and selling high, and does a nearly full time gig as “DJ Axle” for the Goodguys Rod & Custom Assiciation.
Not only that, Idzardi was one of the founding fathers of retro rodding. His car club, the Shifter’s, put rat rods on the map in the early 90s. Axle is one of those guys. We all know one. They throw the best parties and have a knack for rallying the troops better than most.
This year on stage in the main ballroom of the Riverside Marriott we were witness to a ritualistic rubber chicken sacrifice, guitars being played with switchblades by masked men, female vocalists, female guitarists, rockabilly stutterers, rockin’ blues tunes and fuzz tone a go-go rockers. If that somehow wasn’t enough, outside on Saturday there was a showing of vintage vehicles and pre-war styled motorcycles on top of and all throughout the massive parking structure and adjoining lots. At the car show, there were live musicians playing reverb-drenched surf music and knuckle busting rock and roll. It was a scene daddy-o!
This year, musicians and attendees from all four corners of the country made their presence known, a great way to escape the deep freeze for many of them. Some of the bands that played that weekend: The Paladins, Big Sandy and the Flyrite Boys, The Hurricanes, Blind Rage and Violence, Jittery Jack, and Amanda Fox just to name a few. Between sets and after hours, Disc Jockeys were spinning real vintage 45-rpm records on the turntable to lather up the faithful dancers who stuck around wanting more, while vendors selling a myriad of goods catered to the crowds.
When you really stop to think about it, the story of America is a story of collision. The deep southern states were littered with jazz and blues musicians. In the Appalachian’s there were folk and hillbilly musicians. Two trains on a one-way track; heading straight for each other. In the mid 1950s that collision made a sound so loud, it is still heard around the world today. Rock and Roll was born and the collision continues.
Rhythm Collision Photo Extra!