European Spotlight: Dave “Nightmare” Coldwell, motorcycle entertainer
As a motorcycle entertainer, what’s your claim to fame?
I’m known as “The Skeleton Man,” and over the last few years I’ve become really popular — and I come out in newspapers everywhere I go. I’ve been in a lot of cycle magazines like “Easyriders,” “Biker Magazine” and “In the Wind.” I’ve been asked to be in a movie in Austria next summer. Right now I’m really well-known in the Harley arena. What I want to do is become more popular and hopefully get a big break.
I recently went to Sturgis, (S.D., home of the Black Hills Motorcycle Rally). Seeing a skeleton on a bike — they weren’t ready for that.
What does it take to be a “Skeleton Man?”
Well, I wear a skeleton outfit. It’s something unique and different. People say, “We’ve never seen anything like this,” especially when I’m going down the autobahn. Everything I wear is custom. I have goggles that are blacked out to look like skull eyes. My shirt has the ribs on the front and the spinal cord on the back ... now I’m working on glow in the dark.
If your goal is to make people smile, what do you do if kids are afraid of you?
When I go to shows, people come and have their pictures taken with me. Sometimes kids are afraid, but if one comes up and gets a picture or an autograph, then all the kids will. Everywhere I go I see old friends and make new friends. Everywhere I go, whether it’s the autobahn, benefits, rallies, I see people smile.
Do you have a family? What do they think of all this?
Yeah, I’m married. I have two kids: David, 12, and Lisa, 9. It’s the 9-year-old, my daughter, who likes it the best. She’s said to me, “Dad, one of these days, when you can’t do it no more, I want to take it up for you.”
What kind of bike does a “Skeleton Man” ride?
I have a 1998 Harley-Davidson Fat Boy. It’s got a lot of custom parts, like the foot pegs are skeleton’s feet with knives through them. There’s a painting on it of a skeleton with a sword and shield riding a horse. The skeleton is me, my motorcycle is the horse.
How long are you going to keep entertaining?
I’m going to keep doing this until I can’t ride any more. I’m living a dream. I didn’t know it would start when I was 45, but it just goes to show that it’s never too late ... “Bones 4-ever”. That’s my motto.
When did you first become an entertainer?
It started in 2001 with the “Still the Best” Harley-Davidson Group. I went to Ulm, Germany, because they wanted me to meet the host of a Harley rally. I got to meet the host, Wolfgang Fierek. He’s from Munich and he’s a German movie star. That’s how I got started.
Do you ever do any charity events?
Yeah. I’ve done the cancer ride in Erlangen, Germany, every year for five years. Also, every year I do the Schweinfurt Toy Run to collect toys and funds for the Oberlauringen Foster Home.
Interview by Mark St.Clair.
Dave “Nightmare” Coldwell
Title: Chief, Community Sports and Fitness for Army Morale, Welfare and Recreation in Schweinfurt, Germany
Of note: Motorcycle entertainer
Europe readers: Know someone whose accomplishments, talents, job, hobby, volunteer work, awards or good deeds qualify them for 15 minutes of fame? How about someone whose claim to glory is a bit out of the ordinary — even, dare we say, oddball? Send the person’s name and contact information to: firstname.lastname@example.org.