.............Biography .............David Mann (September 10, 1940 – September 11, 2004)..........A native
of Kansas City, Missouri, Mann began drawing and painting at an early age. His first passion
was custom cars and his first job was as an automobile painter. After High School, he left
Kansas City and settled in California where he became interested in motorcycles. He became
immersed in biker culture and motorcycles supplanted cars and pin-up girls in his artwork.
In 1963, Mann brought some of his artwork to the Kansas City Custom Car Show. There
biker/artist Tom Fugle took an interest in his artwork, and with Mann's permission, showed a
photo of the painting "Hollywood Run" to Ed "Big Daddy" Roth, a pop artist who was then the
publisher of one of the first custom motorcycle magazines, Choppers. Roth loved the painting
and commissioned 10 (or as many as 14 or 20, according to different sources)original posters,
which were made available in the back pages of Easyriders for many years. In 1965, Mann joined
Fugle's El Forastero Motorcycle Club, becoming one of the founding members of the Kansas City
Charter. In 1971 he answered an advertisement for a "motorcycle artist" in the back of a new
motorcycle magazine called Easyriders.
After 1972 his artwork began appearing regularly in the magazine, and Mann's relationship with
Easyriders would continue for the rest of his life. His art was reproduced as the magazine’s
center spread beginning in 1973 and continued to be the publication's centerpiece until he was
forced to retire in 2003 due to his failing health. A collection of Mann's work was published
in 1993 and updated in 2004.
In 2004 Mann was inducted into the motorcycle Hall of Fame by artist Billy Lane.
Mann died a day after his 64th birthday. Just before his death a custom motorcycle was
commissioned in his honor from Orange County Choppers, to be featured in an episode of the
reality television series American Chopper. The "David Mann Bike" featured custom artwork in
Mann's style, but Mann died before it was completed. The vehicle served as a posthumous
tribute to the artist, and his work was featured on the show. The episode was dedicated to
Mann as well as Indian Larry, who had died a month earlier.
His ashes were to be interred in the gas tank of a Harley Sportster XLCH painted in his
trademark "David Mann Red." Mann is survived by his wife and three children.