By Steve Jagler Special to Published Jul 13, 2007 at 8:38 AM

It seems like just yesterday that thousands of motorcyclists were scratching their heads in bewilderment and disappointment as Elton John sang songs such as “Daniel” and “I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues” along Milwaukee’s lakefront.

That was Harley-Davidson Inc.’s much-ballyhooed 100th anniversary party in 2003. As you recall, I’m sure, the Milwaukee motorcycle manufacturer had managed to keep secret the identity of the headline act for its centennial. And it turned out to be Sir Elton.
Harley-Davidson and Elton John. Kind of like Marquette University and Gold.

Earlier this week, Harley announced it will celebrate its 105th anniversary when thousands of loyal Harley enthusiasts ride home to Milwaukee via 105 different official starting points and along 25 major routes across the country for a celebration Aug. 28-31, 2008.

The celebration will feature several exclusive ticketed events, as well as many activities that are free and open to the public.

"Harley-Davidson's 105th anniversary marks another milestone in a long and storied history which began with the creation of the first Harley-Davidson motorcycle in a modest shed in Milwaukee," said Jim Ziemer, chief executive officer of Harley-Davidson. "But Harley-Davidson has always been more than a machine. It's the Harley-Davidson experience that will bring thousands of friends and family from around the world to celebrate together with us here in Milwaukee."

Will Harley have another mystery featured concert artist this time around?

"Not that I know of, right now. They're planning to announce the entertainment as it is secured,” said a company spokesman, who asked not to be identified for this report.

Before Harley books the musical acts, I would like to humbly suggest who NOT to bring to Milwaukee for the 105th anniversary: Air Supply, Barry Manilow, Rupert Holmes (“The Pina Colada Song”), Leo Sayer, Abba, Neil Sedaka, Bread, Morris Albert (“Feelings”), Debby or Pat Boone, Britney Spears and anyone named “Gibb.”

So, who SHOULD Harley book to celebrate its 105th? There are many obvious artists whose songs are included on the double-CD, “Harley-Davidson Cycles: Road Songs,” including the likes of Steppenwolf, Ted Nugent, George Thorogood, Golden Earring, the Charlie Daniels Band, Little Feat, Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Allman Brothers, the Marshall Tucker Band, the Outlaws, Bad Company, the Doobie Brothers, Humble Pie (that'd be a riot! -ed.), the Byrds, REO Speedwagon, Nazareth, Foreigner, Great White and Sammy Hagar.

Some of those singers are dead. Some are aging Southern rockers with limited appeal. Others parade around on stage in tights and sing in high voices.

Here’s one vote for an artist who would be a perfect fit: Bob Seger. Problem solved. See ya in 2008.

Steve Jagler Special to

Steve Jagler is executive editor of BizTimes in Milwaukee and is past president of the Milwaukee Press Club. BizTimes provides news and operational insight for the owners and managers of privately held companies throughout southeastern Wisconsin.

Steve has won several journalism awards as a reporter, a columnist and an editor. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

When he is not pursuing the news, Steve enjoys spending time with his wife, Kristi, and their two sons, Justin and James. Steve can be reached at