Category Archives: Shannon Larratt

BMExSPC007: Knuckle Piercing

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Piercer: Tom Brazda.
Studio: Stainless Studios, Toronto (since closed)
Client: Shannon Larratt.
Source: Hard copy photo submission to spcOnline.
Date: 1996/1997 (exact date unsure)

I had a Tumblr message asking for more posts from piercing’s “middle school” era, so I dug out one of the 1990s albums and found these shots, submitted to the spcO site back in the late 1990s by Shannon Larratt of BMEZINE.COM. I’m not sure I ever actually added them to the site back then.

During the mid/late 1990s piercers challenged the ‘if it protrudes, pierce it” ethic of the previous generation, trying out new piercings, new techniques, new jewelry and aftercare. Sometimes things worked out, sometimes they didn’t, but the experimentation was integral to the evolution of the modern piercing community.

 

Una más cerveza

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I woke up this morning to find my social networking streams full of photos of Shannon Larratt; bearded and serious, monastic and stoic with motivational quotes accompanying them. It’s been two years since he passed away; who he was will, in time, be replaced by who people want him to have been.

Those of us who knew him- who laughed with him, fought with him, spoke to him every day or had spats where we didn’t speak for months- who remember the good, the bad and the ugly of him- have a responsibility to remind the people who are looking for a prophet or a guru that behind it all there was just a dude. A funny, good hearted dude who was as frail and fallible, as strong and as sure as anyone else. Shannon was a man, not a meme.

My memory of Shannon for today is how my friendship with him profoundly affected my wardrobe. I never left a meeting with Shannon Larratt without having at least one t-shirt gifted (or forced upon) to me. Some were funny. Some were bad. Some had his face on them. Some had genitals on them. A lot of them had genitals on them. I’d say “no thanks man, I already have 200 BME shirts” and somehow I’d still end up leaving with a bag stuffed with them.

This photo finds Shannon pleasantly drunk at his house in La Paz, Mexico having one of my Scarwars shirts forced on him. That BMEFest- 2005- was hands down the best BME event I ever attended. It was all smiles, laughter, good times and just one more beer.

It’s been a strange trip, but one I’m certainly glad to have been on with him.

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Vertical Lowbrets

brazda1 sllowI can’t remember when Shannon Larratt submitted these to the spcOnline site; sometime in the late 1990s seems right but I’m honestly not quite sure. The 4″x6″ photos showed up in my Post Office Box with a note that’s long since been lost.

The piercings- vertical lowbrets- were performed by Tom Brazda at Toronto’s Stainless Studios. Brazda was one of a small handful of highly influential piercers who emerged out of the early 1990s scene. His contributions to the piercing scene have been immeasurable if not regrettably overlooked.

According to the BME/Encyclopedia:

The vertical lowbret piercing starts inside the mouth between the lower lip and the teeth (not behind the teeth as with a mandible piercing) and travels straight down, exiting on the lower edge of the jawline. This piercing is usually done with a straight or very slightly bent barbell 1.5″ to 2″ in length depending on anatomy.

Healing is usually uneventful, although the piercing can be quite sore at first. Gum erosion is also a risk depending on placement. In some cases there may be some transfer of fluid from inside the mouth to the outside of the piercing.

 

Mail Call

10346362_10205313162736072_1248252913514474697_nToday wasn’t quite the horrific Snow Day that local meteorologists called for, but with 1/8″ of snow on the ground I used it as motivation to do a little cleaning around the house, starting with unsorted boxes in my closet. Years of correspondence were lost in one of my moves (from Florida to Philadelphia, I’d bet) but there are still a few boxes of mail that were saved from that fate so after a trip to Target to buy more Rubbermaid bins I took to the task of sorting twenty year old letters and hopefully making headway with the creating of a filing system.

Some of the highlights so far:

A letter from the editor of ‘Epidermal Intrusions’ which was intended to be to Modification what PFIQ was to Body Piercing. My name had been given to the editor (Rhalan) by Steve Haworth, who I wouldn’t meet in person for another year. We exchanged a few letters before the project eventually lost steam and was canceled before ever going to print.

Keith Alexander’s followup letter to the APP after sending in his membership application (circa 1995/6) with detailed counterpoints to issues raised by the fledgling organization with typical K.A. passive aggressive charm.

Open Letter to 1996 APP Conference (Orlando) attendees, possibly from Keith. It’s unsigned.

5″x7″ original print of Jack Yount from  photographer Stefan Richter.

Postcard from Jack Yount from a vacation to Southern California.

Well- here I am trying to be discovered. All the do is undress me and then they faint. Such is fame. Went to the Gauntlet this A.M., Sorry but it didn’t do a lot for me. Poor rep by people I talked to in the shop. Was in Mexico, San Fran and now L.A. Will be back next week. Tell the family I said “High”. -Jack

 

Letters from ‘Toecutter’ written in his typical ‘stream of consciousness’ style.

UNIQUE contact list mailings.

Photos of Tom Brazda doing ‘lo-bretts’ on Shannon Larratt, mailed from Stainless Studios.

While it’s made me sad that I’ve lost so much correspondence over the years I was pleased by how much was still around; I’m going to start scanning the letters and postcards tomorrow so they’ll never be lost again.

 

ModCon 3.5 t-shirt sample

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I can’t remember the situation that led Shannon Larratt and I to have to cancel the first iteration of the 4th ModCon event in 2003; I’ve looked at old emails and IAM entries and haven’t been able to jog my memory.

What I can recall is that an event was planned to coincide with a BMEFest/Toronto Suscon weekend but for whatever reason we cancelled with very little notice, leaving folks who had secured travel/hotels in a bit of a bind. 1

Then Maryland based Body Piercer Sean Philips and I quickly organized a partial event for attendees who had already booked travel; and with very little turnaround time we were able to do a truncated hotel event, calling it ModCon 3.5.

The list of procedures was considerable smaller than other events- A tongue splitting, some transdermal implants, a transcrotal and a glans splitting if I recall correctly- but we still had a good time.

Unlike previous ModCons- the tshirt went out to attendees a few weeks later, and featured the ModCon logo over the Borneo Rosette that I had been using for spcOnline image tags. The back of the shirt read “ModCon 3.5- Not a drop spilled” as a little barb to some of our cross contamination issues at MC3.

This sample was emailed to me for approval before the shirts were printed.

I went on to host a full fledged ModCon 4 in 2004.

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Notes:

  1. Other 3.5 attendees have reminded me that with the BMEfest event moving to Tweed Ontario, it shook things up and facilitated the need to cancel the event.

ModCon CD-ROM 1999

Screen Shot 2014-12-05 at 4.22.32 PMBefore the first ModCon book, which covered the first and second events, there was a limited run ModCon 1999 Event CD available on CD-Rom. It was basic HTML formatted with three size gallery options for the photographs that included printable resolution images of Toronto’s Philip Barbosa amazing black and white portraits.

Other ModCon media includes two books, a vcd and a dvd of procedural footage.

 

 

The new renaissance

Patrick Bartholomew (and his cat, Dog)

Patrick Bartholomew (and his cat, Dog)

In 2001, Patrick Bartholomew wrote the back cover blurb for Shannon Larratt and Philip Barbosa’s long out of print ‘ModCon- the secret world of extreme body modification’. When Shannon circulated a .pdf version of the book, the back cover was curiously missing, so I’ve included it here along with Patrick’s contact information for those of you who would like to send him a little love.

Patrick was far too humble to include his own name in the pantheon of Body Mod heroes- a mistake that I’ll proudly correct.

Patrick’s paypal address is: [email protected]

ModCon- the secret world of underground body modification back cover text:

As the new millennium gets underway we are seeing the maturity of the second renaissance in the world of body modification and it’s offshoots.

The first renaissance started with the coming together of Doug Malloy and the first group of interested parties including Jim Ward, Viking Navarro, Sailor Sid Diller, Fakir Musafar, Jim A. and later Mr. Sebastian and Jack Yount and several others. It was the wealth of Doug Malloy that allowed the founding of this movement to get off the ground, and for the coming of the first professional body modification studio- Gauntlet– to start under Jim Ward. Fakir introduced the term ‘Modern Primitive’, and this was in turn given impetus by the publishing of the book with this title by Juno & Vale in the 1980s.

Flawed as the book Modern Primitives may have been, it was an electrifying start to the world of body modification for many, myself included. There were attempts to ban it around the world, many successful, which to a larger extent helped to publicize it, and consequently, the body modification movement. (I remember re-binding copies of the book in the covers of children’s books and shipping them successfully to friend behind the ‘moral curtain’ in some of the countries that banned them.)

The first great leap forward of the ‘mods’ we take for granted began back in the 60s and continued through the 80s. It was in the realms of the gay leather and SM secene that the true work began. There were other individuals with their own agenda who had also contributed but no doubt we will never know about, but those who did become known went into the folklore of this fast growing group who were lumped under this ‘Modern Primitive’ umbrella.

Next came the ‘scientists’ of the mod scene. We experimented and tried new methods and materials, and gained the experience that laid the groundwork for the next new renaissance.

This blossomed with the coming of the Internet. Early web site brought to people’s private worlds and the reality of what was going on out there, and helped them come to terms with their own ‘scary desires’. The general media publicity generated by Jean Paul Gualtier’s amazing clothing collection with it’s pierced navel models, the piercings of film stars and pop icons also went hand in hand to give the mainstream a push into the daring world of body modification.

But if was the coming of Body Modification Ezine (BME) that really established what we have today. Shannon Larratt- by his own admission- was the right person at the right place at the right time. He has engineered to bring the truth of body modification to all of us. It has cost him dearly over the years that he has been bringing us the images, the stories, the facts, the contacts and the ‘big picture’ as we have it now. This labor of love has at last begun to pay off, and with the publication of this new book he has certainly set himself amongst the great heroes of body modification history. I do not believe that any one person has done more than Shannon to popularize our scene. None of it could have been done though without the massive contributions of the BME readers with their input of experiences and photographs.

Like Doug Malloy before him, Shannon, through the amazing ModCons, has brought together the greats of the bodymod world. And from these meetings has emerged this book that I believe will rightfully take over where Juno & Vale’s left off. This book is not an end in its self, it rather marks the end of our beginning.

-Patrick Bartholomew London August 2001

Versatility

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Out of the five and a half ModCon events held between 1999 and 2004, ModCon3 holds the title for most guests invited and most modifications performed. When we finally closed the doors on the last day our practitioners and staff were exhausted and in need of some down-time, so we headed to Shannon Larratt’s Bathurst Street house for a night of tellin’ stories and last minute suspension.

I did my first that night, along with my friends Sean and Andy who is seen here getting pierced by Blair Mclean and Steve Haworth. I’ve been to a lot of suspension events since that night but the simplicity of a bunch of friends goofing around in that back yard after a hellish, stressful weekend sticks with me as one of the best.


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Forty One

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 “Memory is what we are. Your very soul and your very reason to be alive are tied up in memory.”- Nick Cave

In the nearly 20 years that I knew Shannon Larratt we found ourselves in plenty of situations that became fodder for epic stories; drunken nights doing vinegar shots and stumbling to Pizza Pizza to sober us up, planning out the marketing on ModCock sex toys and even arguing the ethics of starting an event for cannibalism fetishists that was something straight out of Gaiman’s the Doll’s House storyline….

Very few of my best memories of him have anything to do with what brought us together in the first place; as our friendship went on we talked less and less about body modification and more about the dorky pursuits and hobbies that occupied our time.

When this photo was taken in early 1998 in Detroit Michigan- and apologies for using the original 1998 72dpi scan- we were eating candy, planning the first ModCon and arguing whether mutual masturbation before a hockey game was necessary for a win. When my copy of the second Modcon book arrived in the mail the inscription read “Shawn- my next book is about hockey- on so many levels.” I’m still not sure what he meant by that, but I’m sure we would have won the game.

Today would have been Shannon’s 41st birthday; he’s very dearly missed.

 

I need this like I need a hole in the head….

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An anonymous tumblr follower suggested that I start adding all of the ‘one shot’ updates- the single photos with no articles to go with them- to the Sacreddebris.com site proper instead of just dropping them on tumblr. It makes sense considering that anything I post here also ends up there, and who knows… it may even make it look like I update this site more often than I do.

I’ve been pretty open about the future of this blog; I can’t say it’s going to make it past 1st January 2015. But until I pull the plug  I might as well try to keep it updated.

This photo is an early digital camera shot (thus the quality) from approximately 1996-7 that was submitted to the SPCOnline site by BME Editor Shannon Larratt. I’ve written about this before- the infamous ‘fork handle dermal elevator’ procedure (which you can check out here– but for those too busy to click the link…

Shannon had a set of implants in his forehead done by a traveling practitioner and he felt they were crooked. Since the artist had moved on he had to have his roommate ‘fix’ the placement, but without proper tools they resorted to using the flat end of a fork’s handle in place of a dermal elevator. There’s a lot of talk recently about irresponsibility with documenting certain procedures, but when Shannon submitted these to SPC we didn’t even consider the possible negative consequences of publishing graphic, ill advised procedural photos.