Tortoise-saurus Helmet

In the late 1980s/early 1990s, Charles Gatewood’s FLASH VIDEO label was responsible for  a series of documentaries focusing on subcultures that, at the time, rarely had any uncensored media attention. Charles, with his camera in tow and anthropology degree on his wall, could have easily been another predatory voyeur who set his sights on outlaw communities- bikers, S/m clubs, body modification- to return to the safety of academia or the art world with impersonal artifacts from his perceived slumming. But Gatewood was, at heart, an outlaw himself. Having collaborated on books with William Burroughs and Spider Webb, Charles had a genuine love for fringe groups he met with in his photos and Flash documentaries, which unfortunately never made it en masse into the digital age.

I’ve been archiving and cleaning up select titles from my archives- most of which aren’t really appropriate for Occult Vibrations- but this clip from his ‘Erotic Tattooing and Body Piercing Vol 5’ VHS fits perfectly. Charles, at the Meadowlands tattoo convention in the early 1990s, speaks to (then) SF resident Avery Badenhop who shows off his mind-blowing full head tattoo by Tattoo City’s Daniel Higgs, as well as work from Bill Salmon, Greg Kulz and Filip Leu.

Charles passed away on 28th April, 2016.

Video ©Charles Gatewood/Flash Video.

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Hex Appeal: Say you love Satan!

OV’s merch wing- Hex Appeal- has teamed up with Berlin based tattooer Alice of the Dead for a a diabolical embroidered patch! Packaged with a header card also featuring art by Alice, this 3.5″ x 3.5″ iron on backed patch is a great way to show your eternal love for ol’ Scratch. Occult Vibrations is totally non-profit, so if you enjoy the content we post, consider picking one of these Satanic som’bitches up to throw a little cash in the tip jar!

Patches are expected to ship on/after 30th April, 2017.

http://hexappeal.storenvy.com/products/19687327-hex-appeal-x-alice-of-the-dead-say-you-love-satan-embroidered-patch

 

Schoolgirl Tattooing 1898

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American Notes,

Schoolgirl Tattooing. January 8, 1898

Fashionable society over here is suffering from an epidemic of tattooing. In Paris tattooing was a fashion; in England it was a fad; but here in New York it is a perfect mania, and a mania that has extended from the members of the National Guard to the very schoolgirls. The family crest, the club crest, the portrait of the only girl you ever loved, and the design of the coiled snake are amongst the most popular decorations, and presently in New York there will be scarcely a single arm or shoulder to be found devoid of adornments in Indian ink. A certain up-town young ladies’ seminary has taken the complaint badly, and the tattooing professor has been called in to place a rosebud accompanied by a motto in Greek characters upon the shoulder of each pupil. These pupils, by-the-way, have formed themselves into a secret society with inaugurating rites of deadly mystery- so it was said.


Earlier today my friend Paul King sent over this clipping from an 1898 newspaper about the ‘mania’ of tattooing in New York. I’m all for secret societies with deadly mysterious inauguration rites.

Powercats

debbyov

Scanned from a 3×5 print dating back to approximately 1986, this photo features Gary, Indiana’s Debra Cooper with tattooing by Royboy. I’ve sorted through stacks of pictures taken at this convention and with about 10 more in queue to scan I have yet to find a single photo that makes reference as to where it was hosted but I’m thinking Tennessee based on nothing more than an educated guess. Either way- any time I come across photos of Debra I make it a policy to post it.

Mirror Cave #11: Transcendental Sound Vibration with Robert Ryan.

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Dan Higgs Baphomet tattooed by Robert Ryan.

Do only good.
The latest episode of Scott Harrison’s MIRROR CAVE podcast features a 30 minute chat with Electric Tattoo’s Robert Ryan. The episode’s focus is on Robert’s connection with Eastern religion, experiences with Ayahuasca and his first visit to India; while not directly connected with tattooing it’s a great insight into his aesthetic output.

You can find it on ITUNES:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-mirror-cave-podcast/id1143661860?mt=2

 

DAIKAIJU!

teaser3-2-865x865 The folks at HOWL BOOKS are back at it again! Curated by the Church of Satan’s Peter H. Gilmore (who’s tumblr post on the most recent American Godzilla film is nothing short of epic) THE DEVIL’S REIGN III will be focusing on Kaiju- monsters from mythology, cinema or your own sketchbooks.

Andy and the gang at HOWL have put out some really great content so far, and this volume should be no different. So if you’d like to submit to the show/book:  http://www.howlbooks.net/submissions-dr3/


A NOTE FROM THE CURATOR
THE DEVILS REIGN: DAIKAIJU

Since the dawn of our species, humans have been awed by the power and mystery of the grand forces of Nature under whose dominion we try and survive. Before the rise of science could explain the mechanisms behind storms, floods, volcanoes, tsunamis, hurricanes, earthquakes, mankind personified these vast and indifferent phenomena as best they could, and the most mighty and terrifying aspects of the cosmos were deemed to arise from monstrous creatures. In Japanese “daikaiju” specifically means giant monsters, with strange and fantastic characteristics, so the terrors of past legends certainly are captured by this word.

Looking back through the myths of past cultures we find the Babylonian Tiamat, a chaos dragon, who was transmuted into Leviathan in the Hebrew sacred texts. The northern peoples imagined Jormungandr as the world serpent, and the Greeks were terrified by Typhon and Echidna, who spawned a host of lesser hideous beasts. Giant monsters have thus been a primal aspect of the human imagination for millennia.

In the 1950s, science fiction films dealt with the widespread fear engendered by the reality of nuclear weaponry by invoking oversized beasts, either resurrected from prehistoric times by bomb tests or mutated by the radioactive residue from atomic blasts. Harryhausen’s THE BEAST FROM 20,000 FATHOMS was released from the polar cap and brought long-dormant disease to New York City. THE DEADLY MANTIS came down from those frigid regions to feast on humans and society had to combat rampaging huge ants, spiders, and locusts. Japan, having been the only nation subject to nuclear attack, became the birthplace for GOJIRA, a prehistoric marine reptile roused by the Pacific detonations to ravage Tokyo. He signified that when Nature is violated by mankind’s rash behavior, it may right the balances we’ve tipped with dreadful consequences to the human species.

The success of Toho’s GOJIRA spawned a stable of monstrosities that were allies or foes, including Rodan, Mothra, Anguiras, and King Ghidorah. Over the course of three film series these avatars of nature became camp and heroic and then swung back to embodying nature’s wrath. GORGO followed from the UK, a super-sized mother saving her exploited offspring. GAMERA arose with his collection of imaginative foes. KONGA and THE GIANT BEHEMOTH smashed London. Various child-oriented series from Japan have been busy conjuring all manner of peculiar giant monstrosities and heroic silver-toned figures to combat them.

Today we are in a renaissance of Giant Monster films. While CLOVERFIELD (2008) gave us a gripping experience capturing the terrors of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, it took the success of Legendary’s PACIFIC RIM (2013) and GODZILLA (2014) to re-ignite the genre. This studio now has a “shared universe” of giant monsters that will see a very large ape in KONG: SKULL ISLAND this year, and sequels to both previous films are in the works. Toho revived and reimagined Gojira in 2016’s SHIN GOJIRA and they have plans for more incarnations, both live action and animated. So now is a splendid time for celebrating Daikaiju.

For THE DEVILS REIGN: DAIKAIJU, we task you with crafting images of giant monsters. They may be renderings of the behemoths from past mythologies and movies or you may summon up new vast beasties from the primordial depths of your own imaginations. From horrific to humorous, the daikaiju you conjure must be shown in a context that emphasizes that they are gigantic, whether their actions are devastating or hilarious. We live in a new age of Gods and monsters, so let us capture them in all of their glory for this year’s book and exhibition. Have at it, you aficionados of the gargantuan!

—Magus Peter H. Gilmore
High Priest, The Church of Satan