Everyone has that one friend who has their finger on the pulse. Then every once in a while you’ll come across the guy who has the stranglehold on the scene. My go-to guy for that is the one-and-only Dean Delray. More than 33 years ago he started out riding a 1965 Ironhead Sporty he affectionately called the “Fonz,” and the pace has never let up.
Dean has owned scores of bikes to include five West Coast Choppers and even the infamous “Chongo” (Jesse James’ personal bike). Currently he’s spun on his new 2017 Road King with the Milwaukee-eight 107-inch motor.
This is one busy cat, and it’s rare to get him sitting down for a change. Our interactions are usually best described at music venues, bike shows, or in the airport somewhere. Dean is probably the funniest guy out there riding a motorcycle. Over the past six and a half years he’s done at least 3,000 stand-up comedy shows, most of them by way of motorcycle. He’s got a Netflix special in the works with Bill Burr, and if you check your local rags I bet he’s in the lineup at least once over the weekend. He truly is one of the hardest-working dudes in comedy.
I’ve known the guy for 17 years and have seen the potential unfolding in front of my eyes. At one point he was a budding musician with a record deal on Linda Perry’s (4 Non Blondes) label and was on tour opening for Jakob Dylan’s band The Wallflowers. He switched gears and went completely after the comedy and has carved his own niche with the popular podcast (itunes) Let There Be Talk where recent guests include Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age), Omar Rodriguez (At the Drive-in), and Roland Sands. He just recently returned from the last Alice in Chains tour where he opened up for them—as a comedian, not a musician.
We are both motorcycle epicureans and have owned pretty much every powerplant that’s available out there at one time or another. BMW, Ducati, West Coast, or Road Kings and Street Glides, it doesn’t matter who the maker is. We don’t discriminate, and we’re constantly looking for the ultimate ride full of flavor. Dean gets it and thinks a bike should be like a crescent wrench: adjustable and somewhat multi-purpose— kind of like his ethos. Dean believes some of his success in the comedy scene is from actually riding to the shows. He would arrive before any of the other comics because they were usually stuck in traffic while he was busy splitting lanes.
Dean knows everyone it seems. Aki, Paul Cox, JJ, Roland, Rockabilly, Rachtman, Bill Wall, Chopper Dave, Decker, Caleb, Gilby… You get the idea. I mention that because if Dean’s name comes up when he’s not around, people will usually do their impression of him, which funny enough always comes out the same way: crackled voice, excited, and full of entertainment. Just like Dean. Do yourself a favor and check out deandelray.com.
“A BIKE SHOULD BE LIKE A CRESCENT WRENCH: ADJUSTABLE AND SOMEWHAT MULTI-PURPOSE—KIND OF LIKE HIS ETHOS.”