This interview with Rex Smith, was conducted by Two Wheels Only Magazine in the UK. It was found in the March 2008 Issue of the magazine.
I used to leave the Film studios on the Streethawk bike and go for a ride around town. Id tell the boys to give me one of the bikes at lunch and Id shoot off for a bit around downtown LA, just take it for a ride, tell the guys I needed to get into character or some other bull[filtered out]. We had a lot of fun on the Streethawk set, it was a great team and we were pretty raucous. Our parties were infamous. The first week I wondered why my trailer was stacked with every imaginable bottle of spirit. I said “I cant drink all of this” and the guys said “You dont have to, We just need to get Universal to pay for it!”
Friday nights we would work late, but it would be Saturday, very, very early before the last person left the lot. Universal must have wondered how I even managed to walk, the amount we went through.
I did a fair amount of stunt riding during filming, although I didnt go through plate glass or anything. The best part was sliding up and using the machine guns. Even in the world of hollywood when you hit a button, the squibs go off, flames shoot out and you see a car fall apart in front of you, hood and doors exploding off, in your mind its still you doing it. I never got over how cool doing that was.
Streethawk was filmed in the Universal film lot, one of the worst places in the world to shoot. The rule was that public tours took precident, so we had about 6 minutes between tours in which to run around filming as fast as possible before the next one arrived. But we had some fun with them. I would get out and wheelie past the tour buses, all you could hear was “Look! There goes Streethawk” Id get a kick out of that, people mouths would drop.
Motorcycles have always been a part of my life and I raced motocross when I was first starting out. When I was 20 and signed for columbia records I would put my motorcycle in the truckwith my equipment and would race, then Rock ´n´ Roll. Ive got a six way fracture of my ball joint, my left hand has been rebuilt and Ive got a hole in my leg through muscle tear, but that was more due to a drunk off-duty cop running a redlight in Park Avenue, New York and knocking me down. But Hey, Theres 2 kinds of rider, those that have been down and those who are going down again. Im kind of Semi-retired from BIkes at the moment. Ive got 5 kids and feel like Ive tested my nine lives, and now Ive got other responsibilites. But I was just on ebay the other day looking for a Honda 400 from the ´70s, its a childhood memory thing.
Streethawk doesnt really get the retro airplay these days. They just didnt make enough episodes of it, but recently I got a call from a mate of mine in New York telling me to watch the Tonight Show. George Clooney was on it promoting Oceans Thirteen and there was 2 clips shown, One was Oceans, The Other was Street hawk. The clip was me and George doing a scene. I got George into the show. Streethawk was his first big break.
Although Im not quite as famous as George now I never really knew when or why people will recognise me. It could be through Streethawk or my singing career. I did 6 albums for Columbia Records, Played Madison Square Gardens and was even being groomed to be Van-Halen. Before Eddie got the job, if you see what I mean. I had the same manager as AC/DC and Aerosmith. In fact AC/DC were my opening act for 6 weeks.
Believe it or not I have actually made an arrest on a motorbike. A citizens arrest, but that still counts! I saw a lady being robbed and I took after the thief, chased him on my bike into a building that was under construction, blocked the entrance on my bike and waited for the cops to arrive.
I´ve worn many hats in my life but Street Hawks helmet was certainely one of the more exciting jobs. It was always more than a job, the crew were always excited about the show and we knew we were making something pretty cool for bike fans. Yeah, I miss it.
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