The pandemic has provided many a challenge to musicians wishing to play live music, but Deadland Ritual and Apocalyptica singer Franky Perez recently completed a 13-day, 4,000+ mile tour, doing it while traveling the U.S. aboard a custom-created Ducati motorcycle.

At the beginning of the Covid-19 restrictions, Perez decided to use his new free time to record an album titled Suddenly 44 at his home. But feeling the desire to play and get back on the road, he partnered with Ducati Motorcycles to create the "Crossing the Great Divide" tour in which he traveled to some of his favorite venues, playing for free while adhering to the restrictions at each stop. In addition, Perez documented the journey in a video series that can currently be found at this location.


“Music is meant to be shared and while digital distribution makes music so much more accessible now, there is no substitution for the live experience,” said Perez. “The feedback and relationship between artist and the audience is vital when performing music that is so personal, but with the normal approach for a new album release no longer possible I called my friends from famed Italian motorcycle marque Ducati to help me develop a completely different approach to touring.”

Inspired by a song on his new album, the tour became a cross country mission for Franky to share his music for free, in any way possible under the strict considerations of safety and social distancing. To support Franky, a Ducati Multistrada 1260 S Grand Tour was custom fitted with a carbon-fiber Hoffee guitar case to protect the Martin 000-17 Black Smoke Guitar that he selected as his acoustic companion.


The tour started in Perez's home base of Las Vegas, Nev., with his journey taking him to venues and locations in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Imlay (Nev.), Salt Lake City, Fort Collins (Colo.), Salina (Kan.), Kansas City, Chicago, Fort Wayne (Ind.), Detroit, Washington, D.C., Pikesville (Md.), Nazareth (Pa.), Philadelphia, Bala Cynwyd (Pa.) and New York, ending up at Ducati's Times Square location.

Initially starting with the intent just to play some live music at venues, Perez began to speak with people at the stops of how they had been affected during this time of crisis. Some of their stories are told within the 8-episode series. As the tour progressed, he was also invited to visit healthcare facilities to speak with frontline workers and provide them with a musical reprieve and also made sure to stop at some Ducati dealers along the way sharing his passion for motorcycling and pop-up shows.


Check out the first two episodes of the series below (see the rest here) and you can check out Perez's new album, Suddenly 44, at this location.

Franky Perez, "Crossing the Great Divide" Tour, Episode 1 (featuring "New Bracelets")

Franky Perez, "Crossing the Divide" Tour, Episode 2 (featuring "Things Bossa Nova Won't Do")

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