A very generous OV reader has lent me a copy of the 1990 Michael O. Stearns documentary “Philly gets Inked” for digital conversion. I was expecting more interviews like Stearns other films, but this is more a straight up ‘virtual convention’ film. There are lots of familiar 1990s tattoo culture faces in the hour running time; Bernie Luther, Guy Aitchison, Steve Tiberi, Philadelphia Eddie, Paul Jefferies, Shotsie Gorman, Elizabeth Weinzirl, and a surprise appearance from my mentor Jack Yount. I totally didn’t expect to see Jack’s smiling face.
I started the conversion last night and I’m hoping to start cleaning it up tomorrow. Check back for updates!
Scott Harrison recently released the second volume of his WELTWORLD series, featuring “24 pages of extremely dark humor. Meet the Netherberries, and Rick Rudkus of Laser Patrol. Go on a date with Josh and Teagan. Make a wish on the magic monkey hand, and of course, make inquiries into the nature of Mrs. Goldberg.”
“Well, of course there are all manner of lesser imps and demons, Pete, but the great Satan hisself is red and scaly with a bifurcated tail, and he carries a hay fork”
Flash sheets by Dayton, Ohio’s Jacob Des are usually packed with so many rad designs that it’s hard to process it all without repeated viewing. A ship here, a row of ducklings there, the Infernal Majesty himself popping up with a creepy baseball player mentoring a young boy in the fine art of swinging. You’re usually left with a wondrous sense of what the fuck am I looking at, followed by the realization that everything you’ve just seen would make a hell of a strange tattoo.
I’ve mentioned it before, but Des is on the very short list of tattooers I’m saving my remaining skin for. If you’ve got open space and want a killer tattoo you can find Jacob at: http://jacobdes.com
I first met John Himmelstein in 1992 in Daytona Beach Florida. I was checking out the shop he was working at on behalf of Guy Aitchison, who had decided to come down and tattoo during Daytona’s chaotic BIKE WEEK celebration. Guy had been invited by the shop’s owner to do the guest spot, but not wanting to go down sight unseen he asked if I’d check the shop out to make sure he wasn’t getting in over his head.
John was working that day, thankfully, and his presence at the shop made me feel comfortable recommending it to Guy. John’s artwork really stood out in the more Biker oriented world of Daytona; almost a quarter of a century later he still stands out; more Tex Avery and Bob Clampett than Sailor Jerry or Ed Hardy. He was a major influence on the younger generation of Florida tattooers who came up after him including Mike Wilson who used some of John’s artwork as inspiration on his first flash set.
Visiting John’s apartment was always a trip; going through stack after stack of perfectly lined drawings which each one more crips than than the last, combing through his epic laser disc collection (laser discs will never die) for the newest and weirdest import…
Strangely, he’s always shied away from social networking. It was a total surprise to see the FOLLOWING notification on Instagram this afternoon from Himmelworks… I didn’t even take the time to finish checking it out before I started this entry.
The films of Chilean born director Alejandro Jodorowsky have made an indelible mark on how I see the world around me. Back in the 1990s I developed an interest in semiotics just to break down the sigils in the Holy Mountain and that opened the doors to finding out more about the Tarot,. Jewish mysticism and film as a vehicle for magic realism.
Last year I took a twenty two hour (round trip) bus journey to Toronto to see JODOROWSKY’S DUNE. Synchronicity found me sitting behind the director- a very talented fellow named Frank Pavich- and we were able to get to know each other a bit while talking about Jodo’s legacy. Before the DUNE documentary, Jodorowsky had several aborted attempts at making a new film- his last being 1989s Santa Sangre- but no matter how strong the script or how talented the actors he never seemed to get anything off the ground.
Pavich’s DUNE project reunited Alejandro with producer Michel Sydoux and the two teamed up for La Danza de la Realidad- the Dance of Reality. It opened in the States on 23rd May and is hitting select cities nationally.
Philadelphia will be getting it for one week only starting tomorrow- 30th May.
The film opened to rave reviews- scoring a 92% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 7.6/10 on IMDB. If you’re a regular Occult Vibrations reader, I can almost bet this film will be right up your alley and absolutely worth seeking out.
And Jodorowsky’s DUNE has a June release date on DVD/Blu-ray.
I think it was somewhere around 2000 or 2001 that I visited my friend Skip Sampson in Ybor City, Florida and had a little Mr. Burns head tattooed on my knee along with my brother and our friend Mike. The idea- a riff on the classic Sailor Jerry POISIN girl, featured C. Montgomery with crossedbones and was originally going to have POINTLESS under it. My other two bro-tat wearers decided they didn’t want the lettering and just like that, the classic tattoo overtones drifted away.
Our friend Ash Davies, who was previously featured on OV back in April of 2013, just put out a new 60(ish) page ‘Zine that would do that POINTLESS idea proud. Titled WORST ZINE EVER, it collects some of his best renditions of our favorite Springfield residents (along with art by Billy Hay, Brad T, Gavin Rose, Fil, Mark Ford, Marcus McGuire, Marcos Attlewood, Nick Baldwin and Swambo) with just enough whatthefuck to appeal to us here at Occult Vibrations.
My buddy Klint and I braved West Philadelphia’s streets back in April of 2011 to catch a show by Skull Defekts (featuring Daniel Higgs) and Zomes. Previous clips from that night have appeared on OV but for some reason I never finished editing and uploading the entire show. I found the folder while rummaging through a backup drive earlier today and randomly grabbed, edited and uploaded a song from the set for you folks who’ve patiently waited for three years to see the whole thing.