Category Archives: 2000s

Victor 2007

The night before the third and final Scarwars event- October of 2007- we booked a local South Philly restaurant to host a pre-party for the attending artists and special guest. The venue told me we’d be responsible for having a doorman, so I put the word out that we needed someone who would have no problem telling folks who weren’t on the guest list that they need to hit the road.

Victor was kind enough to take the assignment, gleefully telling an increasingly agitated stream of locals that they weren’t allowed in until after 10pm.

On the second day of the event he had Australia’s Wayde Dunn and Canada’s Jesse Villemaire collaborate on a flesh removal project on the backs of his legs.

Vic passed away in 2014 at far too young an age. Today when I was out running errands I saw a young man who’s resemblance to him was so strong that it took my breath away; I headed home, plugged in the SCARWARS hard drive and dug out some photos to share. Rest easy, Vic Vile.

Studio photo by Atom Moore for Scarwars.

Better Safe than Ari: Sean Philips

Tell your MOM I said ‘Hey’- A backyard BBQ with Sean Philips.

Sean Philips is a bad motherfucker with a voice that sounds like an angel orgasming at a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert. For the last two decades he’s been helping shape the industry we have today – there’s hardly a major event or forum he hasn’t participated in. If you’ve ever asked a piercing question online, there’s a good chance he was on the other side answering it. From humble beginnings inside a piercing pagoda to running his own studio with his wife, Sean has seen and done it all. We got up early in the morning to talk about the pre-BME days, history, and why getting your heroes drunk will make your dreams come true.

Ari – Sean, go ahead and give us an introduction.

Sean – My name is Sean Philips and I’ve been piercing 20 years. I started in 1996, so my career will be of legal drinking age in October. I am currently in Round Rock, Texas, right outside Austin where I own and pierce out of Golden Goat Tattoo Company. Continue reading

Sens and Sensibility: A romantic chat with Jim Sens



Jim Sens is one of the genuinely sweetest guys you’ll ever meet.  Like almost too sweet.  Suspiciously sweet.  Like, “Who the fuck is this guy?  Why is he so nice?  Who told him he could be so nice?”  Jim has been a notable figure on the scene for quite some time now, being a big proponent of the early surface bar movement, and also for his breakneck speed with a needle.  Jim has essentially taken the High Priestess Campus location to one of the most high volume shops in the country with his personality and skills.  We recently sat down to talk about the midwest, the surface bar, and picking glue out of his penis.Ari- Ok bud, so give ahead, give it a whirl, do the introduction.

Jim Sens- Hi, I’m Jim, I’ve been piercing for a bit over 18 years, and I’ve been working at High Priestess for the last 10.  I’ve worked at a variety of big name studios before that. I started out piercing at a studio in St Cloud, Minnesota, called Cloud 9 Tattoo.  Before that I worked counter at a studio that isn’t around anymore called The Dark Side in Honolulu, Hawaii.

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El Camino

Trying to write anything aobut Pat Tidwell without resorting to superlatives is proving impossible. Respected body piercer is a given; when I asked a few mutual friends to describe Tid in one word I got back legend and iconic a few times- but I think I’m going to go with psychedelic sherpa and leave it at that.

This photo was taken in 2006 at the Southern California SCARWARS2 event- either by Atom Moore or Rachel Larratt. (It was in a folder labeled ‘lost disc’ so…)

Needful Things

Blake Perlingieri’s long out of print A Brief History of the Evolution of Body Adornment in Western Culture: Ancient Origins and Today should be in every body art fan’s library. A best seller on Shannon Larratt’s BMESHOP.COM and called a “Must have” by Fakir Musafar, a case of A Brief History has recently resurfaced and Blake will be making 200 copies available in a signed/numbered run. As Fakir said- it’s a must have; a true gem for anyone interested in the evolution of body modification. You can contact him for more information:

Blake Perlingieri c/o Nomad Piercing Studio 4827 SE DIVISION STREET, PORTLAND OREGON 97206

PIERCERS AND ENTHUSIASTS! Due to the number of inquiries I received after my lectures at APP 2015 and LBP 2016, my out of print book from 2003 will ONCE AGAIN be available in a VERY LIMITED EDITION of 200 copies. Printed on recycled paper in the United States with vegetable based ink (none of that cheap “made in China” printing), each book will be numbered, signed (custom autographed)and come with vintage Nomad memorabilia– flyers/stickers.

The Braille Encyclopedia

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A few weeks ago, some twelve years after it’s launch, I nuked the Scarwars.net blog. It was a long time coming but pulling the plug was strangely anti-climactic. Still, in the decade it was online the site hosted some damn fine content, so from time to time we’ll be featuring highlights here on Sacred Debris.

These photos (by Allen Falkner) date back to May of 2005 and feature Tom’s jaw-dropping full torso scarification by Dave Gillstrap. It remains one of my favorite large-scale cuttings.

Rites of Passage Campout 2008

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Going through 575 photos from the 2008 Rites of Passage Campout (taken by Robin Scott/Phoenixxx Rising) made several things abundantly clear to me; that of all the suspension events I’ve attended the campouts were always my favorite, that Robin took some many photos that it was difficult to pick just a few for this update and most of all that I really miss the offline social aspects of the community. Between BMEFESTS, Suscons, Campouts, Bowling with Weirdos, Modcons and the random any excuse parties we used to throw there were so many options to see friends from all over the world. Continue reading

Cenobites and Modern Primitives

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His flesh was virtually white, his hairless head ritualistically scarred with deep grooves that ran both horizontally and vertically, at every intersection of which a nail had been hammered through the bloodless flesh and into his bone. Perhaps, at one time, the nails had gleamed, but the years had tarnished them. No matter, for the nails possessed a certain elegance, enhanced by the way the demon held his head, as though regarding the world with an air of weary condescension. What ever torments he had planned for these last victims— and his knowledge of pain and its mechanisms would have made the Inquisitors look like school- yard bullies—it would be worsened by orders of magnitude if any one of them dared utter that irreverent nickname Pinhead, the origins of which were long lost in claim and counterclaim. -Clive Barker, The Scarlet Gospels

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NOMAD: Blake Perlingieri at the 2004 APP Conference

You don’t need 2″ ears and a full black bodysuit to do that. The origins of our art form is tribal so that really only need exist in your heart. And you have to honor the traditions of our collective human mythology by incorporating tribal consciousness as well as aesthetics into what we do. – Blake Perlingieri, 2004


bodyplay91When I first saw a photo of Blake Perlingieri in Fakir Musafar’s BODY PLAY in 1991 the majority of people I knew in the piercing scene were decades older than me. My piercing elders would gently caution me against stretching my earlobes (despite me having 1/2″ nipple piercings and a meatotomy) for fear of public exposure and most of the clients of Jack Yount I was introduced to assumed I was his grandson not his friend and mentee. Aside from my brother, Brian Skellie and a few others the idea of a young, heavily tattooed and pierced person was generally considered a novelty in my community. Blake was only a few years older than me. He had 2″ earlobes (at that point mine were probably a humble 1/2″ or so) and tattoos that weren’t off-the-wall flash jobs that were there to prove you could be tattooed while saying nothing about the person wearing them. His photos assured me that the cultural shift that Jack had been telling me about- the old guard making room for the new generation- was coming.

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