In 1969, Spade Bennett left Brooklyn and planted new roots in San Francisco, but he and Brown Sugar Johnson kept in touch almost every day in the decades that followed. “They were drawn to the type of motorcycles they were riding and the culture that existed around choppers in particular,” says Thomas. “That’s a huge piece of how friendships are formed. That’s a huge piece of why we’re all sitting at this table — the unspoken rule or association that we make when we start talking about these bikes.”
In 2015, Johnson started posting images to his Instagram account, recounting the days when he and Bennett ruled the streets in upper Manhattan. “He had 30,000 followers and was posting all these photos that he had taken over the years,” says MacInnis. “These photos rivaled Danny Lyon and should have been in a museum somewhere.” Johnson’s followers banded together and bought a ticket for Bennett to fly back to New York City to reunite with his best friend during the annual Brooklyn Invitational.
The film follows the journey and reunion, is scored with original music by Rocco DeLuca, and features interviews with friends, family, and the motorcycle community. “As much as motorcycles are a part of the content, it was hyper-important to us that the friendship piece really be the highlight of the film,” says Thomas. “We wanted the motorcycle in and of itself to kind of take a backseat to the grand nature of what they were spreading — love.”