December 09, 2006 01:19am
Of Bands, Bikes & Skin
Source: Adult Industry News
by: Caren Caan
He's Michael Dorn and Predator blended into one. With a quick smile, disarming intelligence, and business savvy, he doesn't need to be. Tim Stephens, founder of Chopperhead Magazine, is an overabundance of all things American- sex, rock n' roll, ingenuity, and staying power.
Timothy Stephens founded Chopperhead, Inc. In 2001. His infamous magazine brings the perfect union of simple pleasures to the world- gorgeous women, kick ass rock bands, and crazy cool motorcycles. Working three jobs, and teaching himself all about the magazine business along the way, Stephens started off making Chopperhead t-shirts before the magazine even existed. He did the first layout for the magazine on his own... despite a lack of expertise. A trained fine artist in graphic arts and sculpting, Stephens is a graduate of UC Santa Barbara. His eye for beauty led to acceptance of his rookie layout by an established printer.
Stephens credits his family for early support of the Chopperhead dream. He freely talks about his roots. "My dad's a licensed A&P (jet planes) sheet metal mechanic and he was always working on something in the garage on weekends and so were his friends. I wanted to be like them but had no aptitude for cars and bikes".
So, here his love of screamin' machines was born. When it came to the magazine, getting it off the ground was a family affair. "I created Chopperhead because I hated all the other biker magazines. They never put people in them that looked like me. I could not get any financial backing... my mother, father, and sister gave me the seed money to get in the game and here I am three years after their initial investment ready to step up to the next level".
The main attraction for a consumer of Chopperhead would naturally be the motorcycles featured in each edition. The bands, like Shadows Fall, Buck Cherry, GodSmack, Disturbed, Artimus Pyledriver, and Gwar are also a big draw. And Stephens is steadily building a solid promotions reputation with record companies and band managers. One thing that may go unnoticed is the opportunity the magazine presents to models. Fashion and glamour models see Chopperhead as good exposure and a way to make them seem edgy and give their portfolio a sense of range.
Many adult actresses use Chopperhead as a way of breaking into mainstream modeling. Often they will use another stage name to separate from their adult careers. Some, like Mackenzie Mack, and Katie Morgan continue to use their adult names. Chopperhead embraces models from the adult world and will soon add adult star Shi Reeves to their list.
To a magazine that has already gained so quickly in credibility and popular acceptance, received critical praise, and shattered racial stereotypes in the biker and music worlds, what could possibly await Stephens on the next level? What is the future of Chopperhead magazine?
"Chopperhead is a magazine that reflects the emergence of a new lifestyle in America – Outlaw Culture. Chopperhead is heading toward television and coffee table books... I guess you could say we are in our second phase of growth and its real tough right now, but that's what makes it fun". The addition of television programming and decor-friendly publications would exponentially expand the Chopperhead brand. Chopperhead magazine will become an even bigger household name.
Stephens has come a long way from the rejections of financial backers. Talking to him about his struggles and his victories makes one believe that anything is possible. You start to blow the dust off of your own latent dreams. Stephens' tale is a true American inspiration story- fighting for his dream despite death threats from those who don't like the color of his skin, giving adult actresses a shot at new dreams, promoting the music that freed America from itself. And, oh yes, he shares his love with the world. The motorcycle. An icon of American liberation.