Category Archives: Historical Figures

ModCon 1999: The Lizardman.

Since I spaced on writing something special for the twentieth anniversary of ModCon last month,  I figured I’d at least celebrate the anniversary of this gentleman’s birth; one of the more memorable guests of the first MC event in Toronto, Erik Sprague (then Spidergod5, now the Lizard Man) was already on his way to lizarddom with implants, a split tongue, filed teeth, and the beginnings of his scale tattoo designs.

This photo, taken by ModCon (and Scarwars) photographer Philip Barbosa, appeared on the original Modcon CD-Rom.

Fakir in Kodachrome

The good folks over at Yellow Beak Press (who put out some of the best tattoo history books on the market) sent SD a Kodachrome slide from the collection of photographer Bob Hanson last year; taken in the 1970s or early 1980s it features Fakir Musafar performing a then rare navel piercing.

Bob’s photos of the tattoo scene of the 70s/80s are highlighted in YBP’s Lost Love 2.

BSTA: Blake Perlingieri

Ari – Let’s start this off with your introduction to Fakir.

Blake – I got a hold of the ReSearch book in 1989 and it blew me away. Obviously it was the only cultural document at the time for an emerging subculture. There’s a lot of stuff in the book I was “meh” on but Fakir’s chapter really grabbed me. I was already piercing my friends in San Diego; people would go up to LA Gauntlet and buy a needle and barbell and I’d do them up in the park under a tree. My band had finally gotten signed and I came to this crossroad where I really wanted to do something meaningful and I knew I had a lot of learning to do so I quit the band and rolled up to San Francisco. The first time I went up there there was Body Manipulations – they were the first piercing studio in the area, they opened before Gauntlet. I went up and peeked at Body M and didn’t really know who they were but I recognized that the handsome guy out front leaning on his motorcycle having a cigarette was Vaughn. I knew he was the guy from the ReSearch book. I ended up making a couple of trips to San Francisco. My folks took me to the Gauntlet in the Castro and I went in, walked upstairs, and it was the first piercing shop I had ever been in. The term “piercer” didn’t exist yet – you were just a guy who did piercings at this time. I walked up and I said, “hey, my name is Blake and I am looking for Fakir and maybe some earrings!” I got the biggest attitude from the guy behind the counter. He didn’t even have visible piercings! He says “well we don’t have any jewelry in your size, honey.” I was like, “alright, fuck you,” and I started to walk out when I hear Fakir say “excuse me young man, I can help you!” I turn around and there he is with a porcupine quill in his septum. I just looked at him and told him he was the reason I came – but that I felt like this wasn’t a very welcoming place for me. At the time this was either summer or late 1990. Fakir took me to lunch. He put his arm around me and said, “well I have never seen the likes of you, young man., Tell me your story!” At the time I had 2” earlobes with huge dreadlocks- just a jungle kid from Southern California. How weird to walk into my first piercing shop to have some guy with no visible piercings be a dick to me. I was put off from the beginning. I didn’t consider myself professional at this time – I had only done genital and septum work. I had never done a nostril or navel. The stuff I was doing on my friends was all “Genesis P-Orridge” genitalia aesthetic. Fakir and I had an immediate connection and I told him I wanted to be a piercer. The first thing he said was, “well you sure don’t want to work at the Gauntlet, trust me.” I think we ate at Cafe Du Nord and it felt like I was coming home so to speak; he was just so welcoming. This is twenty-nine years ago. He literally says, “I think you’re doing something completely unique.” I didn’t understand his historical importance yet, I just intuitively knew he was the Granddaddy and if I was going to start a career I was going to go to the source. That’s a value that doesn’t exist anymore. There is a tattoo school is Vegas that cost $40,000 and guarantees you an internet following by the time you graduate, and you’ve only done like one tattoo. It shows you how ass backwards this culture is. The thing Fakir instilled in me in our first meeting – there were no personalities then, all I was was just a jungle kid, there was Gauntlet and Body M, that’s it for the whole US; there was no measure of what other people were doing. My experience at Gauntlet was very telling- Im sure they all had 00g PAs but they didn’t have the look I wanted to be a part of or was already doing, the things my grandmother introduced me to on her world travels. Continue reading

Atavist: Viking Navaro

Without a doubt, one of my favorite ‘personalities’ from the 1970s/80s era of the Western body modification revival was A. Viking Navaro; the “nom de kink” of a Southern California professor who’s appearance in an early issue of PFIQ, complete with photos by Fakir Musafar, was one of the earliest examples of a modern primitive.

You can see more of Viking Navaro here on Sacred Debris, and in the new SD print zine Nodal Points, available May 2019 from Hex Appeal.

Atomic Love #4

Finding ‘new’ artwork by iconic gay erotic illustrator BUD is always a treat; despite his connection with subculture defining periodicals 1 in the 1970s, Bud never found the kind of audience that Tom, Rex or the Hun enjoyed. Back in 1999, he submitted a six page story to Atomic Love #4 by Sina Shamsavari that featured his trademark crisp lines (before printing; zines were DIY and notoriously suffered poor production values) and erotic fantasy/sci-fi imagery.

We’re working on finding more of Sina’s collaborations with Bud and will share if located!

 

Notes:

  1. Bud provided cover art for the first issues of both PFIQ and Drummer.

In Pursuit of the Spirit

(from the Body Piercing Archive)

In honor and celebration of Fakir Musafar’s life, the Body Piercing Archive will present the most comprehensive exhibit that’s ever been seen on Fakir’s art and legacy.

Over 2000 square feet staged with his original iconic images and fabricated sculptures made famous over eight decades of accumulated artwork and Body Play.

As well on view will be many items that have never been on public display.

This will be the largest and most ambitious BPA exhibit to date, so come learn, remember, and celebrate!

Exhibit Hours:
Monday 10 am-6 pm
Tuesday 10 am-6 pm
Wednesday 10 am-6 pm
Thursday 10 am-6 pm

DOCENT TOURS:
Monday
Paul King, 11:30-12:30pm
Ian Bishop, 1:00-2:00pm
Allen Falkner, 2:30-3:30pm
Dustin Allor, 4:00-5:00pm

Tuesday
Cody Vaughn, 10:00-11:00am
Paul King, 11:30-12:30pm
Ian Bishop, 1:00-2:00pm
Betty Ann Peed, 2:30-3:30pm
Jef Saunders, 4:00-5:00pm

Wednesday
Cynthia Wright, 10:00-11:00am
Ken Coyote, 11:30-12:30pm
Yossi Silverman, 1:00-2:00pm
Grin, 2:30-3:30pm
Annie Sprinkle, 4:00-5:00pm

Thursday
Grin, 10:00-11:00am
Paul King, 11:30-12:30pm
Allen Falkner, 1:00-2:00pm
Cynthia Wright, 2:30-3:30pm
Ken Coyote, 4:00-5:00pm

https://www.safepiercing.org/conference.php

Uncovered: PFIQ 12

Annie Sprinkle documented her side of Fakir Musafar’s 1982 visit to NYC in Velvet Talks magazine, with Fakir’s story to be published in issue #12 of PFIQ. With a cover provided by illustrator Bud Larsen, Fakir’s article and photographs join the first appearance of The Incredible Til of Cardiff and the Pierce with a Pro: Clitoris tutorial in issue 12.

PFIQ is © Gauntlet Enterprises.
Issue 12 can sometimes be found on eBay.

Uncovered: Velvet Talks June 1982

The Golden Age of adult cinema 1 (and it’s siblings, adult magazines) was, despite it’s often lurid and prurient content, conservative. It traded in archetype- the perky blonde, the intense brunette, the fiery redhead-all American good looks and not much in the way of self-expression. When you did see a tattoo, it was small or discrete. Performers with large tattoos were anomalous, 2 with producers fearing that it would ruin the “girl next door” fantasy that their 8mm loops (the VHS tapes) promised.

Being tattooed or pierced was subversive in a subversive genre. Continue reading

Notes:

  1. The Golden Age of Porn: 1969-1984. Wikipedia
  2. Stephanie Green, aka Viper.

Twenty-five years in a circle.

Happy New Year from Sacred Debris; today marks our fifth anniversary and we are infinitely thankful for all of the support you folks have given us over the last half decade. It was a bumpy year for the blog; we’ve had some tech problems that I’m still trying to work through (if anyone is a WordPress savant, hit me up at [email protected]) so thanks for sticking around and for all the kind words and support; Ari and I have some fun video and print projects lined up this year so we’re hoping that it’s our best yet.

(Photo: Jim Ward and Fakir Musafar, APP Conference 2001. Photo courtesy of Sean Christian/SPCO)

Bear Bigears.

Sad news out of Texas- influential body piercer and suspension practitioner Daryl “Bear” Belmares has passed away. A mentor to some of the best piercers to come out of the 1990s Texas scene, Bear appeared in the documentaries Modify and Written on the Body and had what may be the largest documented set of stretched ear lobes at 5.5″

He will be missed.

July 10, 1956 – December 18, 2018

(excerpt from the 1990s documentary film Written on the Body)