Fresh start for Ken

Last night I started the process of proofreading the next Better Safe than Ari interview; getting everything formatted, cruising Facebook and Instagram to source photos to accompany the text and trying to get it done in time for a self imposed but wholly arbitrary deadline. I fell asleep with the noble goal of finishing everything up today.

When I woke up this morning I learned that the subject of the piece, tattoo artist and former piercer Ken Dean, had suffered a great loss only hours before. The space he was living in burned down. He lost everything he owned save for his car and the clothes on his back and worst of all his two beloved dogs, Tanaka and Barry, were both lost in the fire.

I can’t even begin to imagine what he’s going through right now, processing the loss of his two best friends while having to face the reality of having to completely start over.

A GOFUNDME has been set up in Ken’s name to help with things; should you have a little extra to spare you can find the campaign here: Fresh start for Ken @ Gofundme.

From the upcoming interview:

Ken- We would go over Jack’s house and he was fuckin’ hilarious.  One time I pulled up on my little motorcycle and there was a limo out front – Jack was piercing someone from British Parliament!  There were guards everywhere, he was like, “Ken come back in like an hour!” We’d just hang out and swim in the pool, he’d keep body parts around everywhere, I mean I thought it was neat, any kid would think it was neat!  He had a big fuckin’ statue of David with a towel around it, and one time I pulled the towel off and David had a huge fuckin’ dick, like not the normal David dick.  He had a big painting in his bedroom of Mickey Mouse fucking Donald Duck, he was a fuckin’ funny dude.

Back to Zines

Happy New Year, everyone, and happy fourth anniversary to Sacred Debris!
It’s been a heck of a run so far, and I’m hoping that we can do fun things in 2018.

One of the best additions to the blog in 2017 were the BETTER SAFE THAN ARI interviews that Ari Pimsler has been working on; he’s managed to chat with a pretty impressive lineup of current and former body piercers so far, and our list for the new year is already shaping up to be something special. Getting these memories recorded is very much at the heart of what our goal is here at SD, and with that in mind we’re going to be rolling out a print edition of the BSTA interviews. It’s currently in the pre-order phase over at our online store (HEXAPPEAL) and should be ready in no time at all.

Volume One of the collection contains interviews with:

  • Tod Almighty
  • Dana Dinius
  • Warren Hiller
  • Paul King
  • Gregg Marchessault
  • Sean Philips
  • Jim Sens

The book is a 64 page softcover trade paperback with minimal photos; we really wanted the interviews to speak for themselves. You can preorder it here: Better Safe than Ari: Collected Sacred Debris Interviews Vol. 1. 

 

Boxing Day Bud

I’ve spent the last few days reorganizing my archival storage; prints, polaroids, VHS tapes, 8mm tapes, DVC tapes, assorted ephemera and while it’s no means more efficient a filing system it’s at least more consolidated.

That doesn’t really mean much to anyone who doesn’t live with me, but my wife will be pretty happy to have more closet space, much of which has been taken up the tenure of our marriage by Rubbermaid bins full of pictures of naked people.

One of my favorite of said has always been Bud ‘Viking’ Navaro. Ever since seeing him in PFIQ I’ve been fascinated with him, so while I was sorting things I tried to set aside my favorite prints and polaroids of Bud for a project I’m hoping will be done by 2018’s APP Conference in Vegas. Fingers crossed.

This Polaroid of Bud dates back to the 1970s.

BSTA: Tom Braza

 

Blair, Dustin, Dave Vidra and Tom Brazda @ NIX. Photo courtesy of Dustin Sharrow.

How do you introduce Tom Brazda? Seriously, I’m asking you, how the fuck do you even begin to summarize a titan like him? If you pierce, you’ve at least heard his name mentioned. He’s a fucking legend. And next time you speak about him in the past tense, stop it – Tom never stopped kicking ass and taking names. He’s been gracious enough to wax intellectual with us, so y’all turn off your cell phones and read closely – Tom deserves your undivided attention.

Ari – Tom, give us a brief introduction

Tom – My name is Tom Brazda, I started piercing in an amateur way around 1989. I went professional in 1991, so 28 years of experience of watching things happen.

Ari – I would love to start earlier with some of the first experiences you had with piercing before you were a piercer. Were you getting pierced before you got into the business? Continue reading

Uncovered: Piercing World Issue 10

Earlier tonight we put up a pre-order page for volume one of the collected Better Safe than Ari interviews; while there’s been a major push in the last few years for analog books to go digital we figured we’d be contrarians and take our digital interviews to print. So if that’s your sort of thing, please check out the Hex Appeal store for more information.

These days it’s pretty rare to find piercing/modification related physical media, but back in the 1990s there were plenty of options to chose from. PFIQ from Gauntlet enterprises, Body Art and Piercing World out of the UK, In the Flesh- if you knew where to look you had some pretty great piercing publications to collect.

P.A.U.K.’s Piercing World was a favorite of Jack Yount’s, who was thrilled to appear on the cover of issue #10.

Drummer #1 Cover: Bud Larsen

In an upcoming interview from the Better Safe than Ari series, former piercer (and current tattoo artist) Ken Dean talks a little bit with Ari about the connection tattooers have with the history of their craft, and the seeming apathy that piercers have for theirs:

Ari- Tattooing is so big on history, such a prevalent part of the culture, even with shitty tattooers!  It’s such an embrace your heritage type deal, but piercing is not.  Most people don’t give a shit about any of it.  Any idea why even the bottom tier of tattooers are all know your roots, but piercers tend to be so apathetic?
Ken – I don’t know.  I mean shit, even at the tattoo museum I work at we have a huge picture of Fakir. The shops been there since 1941, like before Pearl Harbor!  I don’t know why they don’t care.  Could it be because the roots of piercing are in the gay S&M leather underground?

I certainly hope that’s not the case. The intersection of 1970s Leather Culture and the roots of the early Western body piercing industry are inexorably linked. While the makeup of the industry has changed radically since Jim Ward opened the Gauntlet forty years ago, with Leathermen with an interest in piercing being replaced by people interested in body piercing as it’s own subculture, it’s origins should still be celebrated.

When it comes to Leather culture, Drummer Magazine 1 was at the forefront of documenting (and help define archetypes for) the lifestyle. Those early issues were powerhouses of iconic content of interest to the body mod scene; erotic stories by Phil Andros (aka Phil Sparrow, aka Sam Steward) articles with Cliff Raven, illustrations by PFIQ cover artist (and Sacred Debris favorite) Bud Larsen- they’re a treasure trove of awesome. Continue reading

BSTA: Mic Rawls


Mic Rawls is like a portal into one of the greatest times in history. Coming in through with extraordinary beginnings, he’s a shining example that you can enjoy a hearty tenure in piercing while still radiating positivity. Mic took time away from holding down the fort at one of the best shops in the country to talk about his time with Jon Cobb, what it takes to keep your love of piercing strong, and to reminisce on the early stages of the APP conference.


Ari – I always have everyone do the introduction, give us your name and how long you’ve been working in the industry for and where you’re currently at.

Mic – My name is Mic Rawls, I am currently at Cold Steel America in San Francisco, I’ve happily been here as manager for the last ten and senior piercer for the last 18 years at this shop.  I’ve been piercing 23 years this last month, which is rad, still loving it (most days of it!). Continue reading

Taurus: Bud Larsen for Drummer

Dome Karukoski’s TOM OF FINLAND is currently playing in limited release in theaters across the US, exposing the erotic artwork of Touko Laaksonen to a new generation of (hopefully) adoring fans. Over the last few decades there has been a growing appreciation for Tom’s iconic pencil drawings of hunky leather men, bikers and sailors with Finland recently releasing a series of postage stamps and online retailers selling a wide variety of Tom goods including shower curtains, bedding and a wide variety of branded clothing.

While it’s great to see Tom’s work receiving so much attention, it’s heartbreaking that the art of Bud Larsen hasn’t had the same luck. His work for early PFIQ (and Drummer magazine) issues was a mixture of bold, graceful line work and erotic subject matter that helped the magazine establish it’s aesthetic.

This illustration was for Drummer Magazine, 1970s. Bud’s work often included mythological, sci-fi and astrological elements.

©Drummer.