Full Throttle Saloon is a bar as well as a reality TV show that débuted on TRU TV in November of 2009. It followed biker and bar owner Michael Ballard who runs the world’s largest biker bar in Sturgis SD during the 10 days in August for the largest bike rally in the world.
In 1999 Michael purchased 30 acres of property in Sturgis in order to open the world’s largest biker bar. But it would be only open the 10 days of the Sturgis rally. Meaning Mike had to make his years salary in 10 days. Michael is the owner of Full Throttle and in charge of running the place. He is joined by his fiancée, Angie Carson, as marketing director. She also helps Michael run the bar. In addition Angie is over her own dance group know as the Flaunt Girls. Jessie James Dupree is Michael’s business partner as well entertainment director. Jessie is also known throughout the world as the lead singer for 80’s metal band Jackyl.
The show, which is a hit on TRU TV, follows the crew through all the preparations and the 10 days of the Sturgis rally. About 300,000 patrons go through the bar in the 10 day event. There is an indoor and outdoor bar, several stages for concerts, burn out pit, zip lines, tattoo parlor, wrestling ring, restaurants and stores. They also offer cabins for rent for biker patrons. The bar is tended to by scantily dressed bartenders. They have a number of concerts throughout the event including Jackyl. And they have appearances by the Flaunt girls, a burlesque type troop.
Now the premise of this is that Michael and Angie have to make all of their money for the year in 10 days. When they started I am sure that was the case. But these days Michael and Angie are not hurting for money. In addition to the bar the have their TV show, merchandise that can be ordered on line, and the rest of the year they attend bike shows and hold Throttle Fest at other bike rallies. Nick and I met them this past winter at a bike show in Charlotte and then they sponsored the Throttle Fest held at the House of the Blues in Myrtle Beach.
This year’s event included several competitions, vendors, a video shoot with Jackyl, concerts, and the final event was a concert with Nigel Dupree Band (Jessie’s son) and Jackyl as well as an after party with the band.
After Nick and I left the hospital, we stopped by the House of Blues with the original intend of just picking up concert tickets. When we get there, the parking lot is full of row after row of beautiful bikes. There is a vendor street set up with everything to appeal to the biker. Leather, clothing, jewelry, and of course anything and everything for your bike. Nick and I go over and look at some of the vendors but decide to leave everything as is. We go on inside and purchase our tickets and find out that out in the outdoor bar there is going to be a video shoot for a Jackyl video. Having never been to one and it was free, we decided to go on in and join the party.
The outside bar is reminiscent of the bar seen on Full Throttle including the scantily dressed bar tenders. We order some drinks and go on down and enjoy the video shoot. The video features Jackyl with Darrel McDaniel’s of Run DMC fame and the Flaunt Girls. Later there are chances to meet the Flaunt Girls, which I gladly let Nick do. In a bit the bands come out and I get the chance to meet Jesse James Dupree (who I still have a major crush on). And were lucky enough to be friends with the guys from the Nigel Dupree Band and go and hang out with them. There will be more going on later so we go back to our room and rest so we can come back that night.
After resting we return to the House of the Blues and grab a bite to eat and end up with Jesse having fun by pretending to be our waiter and having Darrel McDaniel sit down with us for a while. We go outside and there are concerts going on by some really great bands. There are brass poles on the bar and there are several girls pole dancing. Several of the girls are quite acrobatic and quite talented. Others are just doing the basic stripper moves and twirling around a pole. But I do check out their boots. Both bands come out offering a chance to meet and hang out with the bands. Nick and I go over and check out the Full Throttle merchandise. After purchasing a few things he head back to our hotel and call it a night.
Saturday was the highlight of Throttle Fest..the Jackyl concert. Jackyl is a southen rock.metal band from GA that have been around since 1990. Some of there songs include "Down on Me" "I Stand Alone" and "Dirty Little Mind". There are also known for their song "The Lumberjack" which ends with Jesse pulling out a chainsaw and sawing up a stool and throwing it pieces out to lucky fans in the audience. The current line up includes lead singer Jesse James Dupree, guitar player Jeff Worley, Jeff’s brother Chris on drums, and bass player Roman Glick. In 1992 when their self title album debuted it contains some XX rated sounding songs and when Kmart refused to play them, the band pulled up at the Kmart in Kennesaw GA where they were from and played an impromptu concert on the bed of a semi. In August of 1993, Jesse posed nude in Playgirl magazine. In 2010 he was offered $500,000 to pose again. This time he refused saying he felt he was past his prime to be in Playgirl. Female fans everywhere disagreed. Jesses son Nigel has his own band, the Nigel Dupree Band, and they often tour together. Nigel has managed to get his dads good looks.
HOB offered fans a crash the front line ticket for $5 extra which included a meal of hot dogs and hamburgers and then those fans were let into the concert venue first. Nick and I took advantage of that special and were joining by friends of ours. After our meal we headed downstairs. Our friends that had been in the motorcycle accident were with us and they were given a reserved sit-down area. They go and sit down while Nick walks me down to the stage and asks two guys beside of me if they can keep their eye on me and returns to sit down with our friends.
The show started with the Flaunt Girls. I could care less about that but did enjoy the girls doing the acrobatic moves on the long satin fabric pieces hanging from the overhead bars. After that the Nigel Dupree Band performed for about 45 minutes followed by a 90 minute performance by Jackyl. Jackyl is still one of the best bands around performing some of their biggest hits before a packed crowd. As always both Nigel and Jesse show up in each others performances. The show ended with Jessie and his chainsaw.
After the bands were doing a meet and greet followed by an after show party. Nick and I opted to just go on over to the outdoor bar at HOB . In addition to everything else Jesse has going on, he has his own bourbon. So guests were able to sample Jesse’s bourbon. While waiting for the bands guests were able to enjoy music and dancing. Jackyl has always been known to fans as being very approachable and friendly to their fans. As soon as the bands arrive, guests gathered around to talk to the bands and gather autographs and pose for pictures. Nick and I go over and talk to Jesse and get pictures taken and signed. I go back over and spent time talking with Nigel and the rest of his band and showing off my gun shoes. In a bit I go over and start talking to Jeff Worley and end up sitting down and we talk for an hour about our families, a movie he is doing with Matthew McConhey and Mark Walburg, and I tell him all about the Monsters of Rock cruise. The former groupie in me can’t believe I am just sitting around talking with this incredibly talented and kind guitar player. Soon the crowds die down and Nick and I say our goodbyes and head back for the hotel tired but happy fans.
You can find Full Throttle as well as Jackyl and Nigel on Facebook.