Wheels Of Grace Magazine

Volume 8, Issue 2

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22 WheelsOfGrace.com April/May 2016 COVINGTONS CUSTOMS Panhead Dean Cerny was born in 1960 in Southern California. His love of motorcycles started at a young age in the late 60's. Dirt bikes, street bikes, custom bikes, Dean loved them all. e first bike Dean ever rode was a 90 cc Honda Cub on a dirt trail. at was enough to put the bug in him. e first set of two wheels he bought at age 14, with paper route money, was a 1974 Suzuki TM75. He had fun riding this bike and modified it with a Bassani pipe! Soon he was able to get a 1976 Suzuki RM 125A with his parents help. Around that time, Dean started racing motocross locally. He raced from the age of 16 until 18. Being raised in the Catholic Church, he attended Catholic school. Although he attended church, Dean didn't have a personal relationship with God. He knew God was there, but didn't understand the relationship aspect. He went to Saturday night Mass with mom and dad so he could race on Sunday. He oen just asked God to keep him safe while racing. In 1978, when he was 18, Dean had a very bad fall during the warm-up laps prior to a race. During those laps, he took a large jump, the bike went sideways and upon landing launched him in the air. He landed on his le shoulder and head. "It hurt a lot, but I didn't know the extent of my injuries," Dean recalled. Paramedics rushed to him and helped him from the track. His dad asked him if he wanted to go home, but Dean refused. He didn't want to leave the track because he had paid the entrance fee to the races. Being self-funded and having paid all the expenses of racing, he wanted to get the most out of it. Dean raced that day and finished in sixth place. Later on, he found out he had whiplash and two displaced vertebrae in his back. Aer several years of chiropractor's visits, his back was better. He thought it might not be God's plan for him to be a motocross racer. In 1978, he stopped racing motorcycles and pursued his love for music, having started playing bass guitar in 1977. In September of 1979, Dean met his wife Sandra and they started dating only a month later in October. Before too long, Dean realized how much he missed "riding" and started to look for a street bike. However, he was still living at home with his parents and they would not allow him to ride a street bike, so he had to wait until he was out of the house. He and Sandra married in May of '82 and then he purchased his first street bike, a 1981 Suzuki GN400. His wife was supportive of it and rode on the bike with him. "It was a single cylinder bike...like half a Harley," Dean commented with a smile. Dean still had the Batwing Harley he first saw a guy riding in the early 70's deep in his heart. Since then, he always wanted one but it always seemed just out of reach, too expensive compared to the imports he could afford at the time. Dean's second street bike was a 1983 Suzuki GS550E. His wife again rode with him and Dean put 11,000 miles on it before he sold it three years later. e motorcycle riding couple had been talking about starting a family and aer hitting the pavement on the Suzuki, Dean decided to sell it and replaced it with another car. Dean hit a dry spell of about nine years not having a motorcycle. Around 1983 weird things were going on in Dean's life. He was still pursuing music, playing heavy metal, and started experiencing demonic manifestations outside of playing. e second drummer Dean had played with years earlier in a band was Robert Sweet, later co-founder of STRYPER. While playing with Robert in their group named FIRESTORM, they were looking for a lead singer. ey were having auditions and Robert suggested his younger brother Michael. At the time, Michael was only 16 years old. Having a great audition Michael joined the band and they eventually changed the band's name from FIRESTORM to ROXX. ey played top 40 rock tunes. As a Christian, Robert was sensitive to lyrics. Dean recalled, "He would not play Van Halen's 'Running with the Devil' because of the lyrics." Later, aer Dean le the group, Robert and Michael changed the name to ROXX REGIME, and then STRYPER. While STRYPER was writing and playing Christian music, Dean was on a different path. Playing Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, and other groups of that sort. Around that time he began to feel "Lil' Red" and the Story of Dean Cerny

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