Night of 1000 Scars and the birth of Spinning Beam Suspension

In 1998, Keith Alexander 1 organized an after party for the release of Dee Snider’s Strangeland 2 at NYC’s Webster Hall. Called Night of 1000 Scars, Keith arranged for a variety of performances including a 3 person ‘human mobile’ style suspension by Dallas  collective TSD (Traumatic Stress Discipline) 3 to tie in with the film’s theme of ritual body art.

Due to a technical error, the beams were rigged too low allowing the suspendees (Allen Falkner, Xeon and Pat Tidwell) to be able to make contact with the floor while spinning, unintentionally creating the spinning beam suspension. Other performers that night included Essie and Spidergod5, who went on to become The Lizardman who had this to say about the event:

In alot of ways, this event was a pivotal point in the current era of my life – it was after this event that I cemented my decision to leave my doctoral program and devote myself entirely to performing as both my career and way of life. This was also where I first met and became friends with TSD. – Erik Sprague

While the film ultimately had very little long term impact (Rotten Tomatoes rates it at 6%)  Night of 1000 Scars remains a turning point in the visibility of suspension in the traditional media as well as creating one of it’s most loved styles.

Video footage courtesy of Allen Falkner.

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Shawn Porter has spent the majority of his life in the modification world. As a body modification archivist and documentarian, he has one of the most extensive collections of documents relating to the early American body modification community in existence. He edited the SPC website from 1995 to 2005, co-founded ModCon, was the host of ModCons 3.5 and 4, and created and hosted The Scarwars Project from 2004-2007. In 2011 Shawn launched Occult Vibrations, a blog devoted to traditional American tattoos with a focus on the occult and esoteric. He currently resides in Philadelphia with his wife Julia and their creepy pets Mr. Bailey Papers and L. RonBenet Ramsey.

3 comments

  1. It was an amazing night, Warren. I met Toe Cutter for the first time in person that night, Allen, Essie, Tiddy, Larisa, Keith, Erik, Xeon- so many amazing friendships spawned from such a bad movie.

  2. Sad to have missed this event. I did find some fun photos and video of Allen and Seán McManus of TSD suspending illusionist Criss Angel in Times Square in 2002. I’ll upload it for you now.

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