The old bromide says there’s no such thing as bad publicity, and lawyer Barry Glazer believes it. For years he’s attracted attention with his in-your-face ads and colorful personal style, with a slogan delivered in his Baltimore accent: ‘Don’t urinate on my leg and tell me it’s raining.”
So it was chiefly publicity he was thinking of when he made the decision to purchase Princess Diana’s bicycle last month at an internet auction. Glazer, who didn’t own a bicycle of his own until he was 12, says it was chiefly the name of the item that caught his attention — “bicycle machine.” When he realized it had been owned by Princess Diana, he decided to bid.
“I’m an attorney and I have to promote myself,” he said. “If I can stir up interest and ruffle some feathers and make a point… that’s an ideal promotion.”
Glazer’s final bid was over $80,000, plus an additional $4,500 for shipping to Baltimore. “I don’t think it’s a bad investment,’ he said. “I know it sounds like a lot of money.”
So far, the purchase has gotten him attention — on a different continent. Glazer said he’s making waves in the U.K. after stories ran in The Sunday Times and The Daily Mail, where the headline said, “”Royal-hating US lawyer pays $80K for Diana’s old bicycle to display in a museum and ‘warn people of the racist system that royalty is based on.’”
Glazer said the late princess of Wales owned the bike before she married Prince Charles but was told to stop riding it because of the image it projected of the royal family. “They consider riding a bike as something only common people would do,” Glazer said. Coincidentally, Glazer said, Diana rode the bike in the Pimlico neighborhood where she lived. Glazer also grew up in Pimlico — in Baltimore.
Once it arrives in Baltimore, Glazer said he plans to display the bike not in a museum, as The Daily Mail reported, but in his Federal Hill offices. He believes the historic building was part of the Underground Railroad. He’ll use the bike as a comment on what he sees as the inherent racism of the royal system, based on hereditary principle. “The royal system is racial,” said, Glazer, who is married to a Black woman and has children with her. “That alone is what offends me.. I think that’s the basis for racism.”