Tag Archives: Fakir Musafar

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

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)

#fakirforever

I was chatting with Blake Perlingieri about Fakir and his impact on the body modification community; Blake is someone who very much embodies the spirit of Fakir’s Modern Primitives and we’re excited that he’s going to be spending some time with Ari for a BSTA interview soon. With that in mind, to celebrate what would have been Fakir’s 88th birthday, I thought this photo of the two of them, borrowed from Nomad’s Instagram account, would be a nice way to remember him.

We tried to do a lot of cleaning up on this video that a friend of Blake’s shot at the APP Conference in Las Vegas a few years back, but the sound just didn’t want to cooperate. Still, it’s worth checking out for those of us who want to soak up as much of our history as possible.

Enjoy, and happy birthday, Fakir.

 

Fakir Musafar August 10, 1930 – August 1, 2018

Strange, is it not? that of the myriads who
Before us pass’d the door of Darkness through
Not one returns to tell us of the Road,
Which to discover we must travel too.

-Omar Khayyam

 

Fakir Musafar passed away on August, 1st. There are so many things I could write about him and the lives he touched over the course of his extraordinary career, but right now all I can say is that it was my pleasure to have known him and that I’ll miss him very much.

Journey well, Fakir.

 

Photo Source: Cleo Dubios.

The Road to Awe

I am grateful and honored beyond words to have known you-all of you who have been touched by my presence and followed my example-and the dizzying, fun, enlightening, and delightful experience of seeing so many embrace body piercing and body rituals. I never expected our passions and practices to grow to a global phenomenon-that my early visions of Modern Primitives would expand beyond my wildest dreams. Thank you for embracing, growing, and embodying our art, craft, and energetic ritual practices. They have changed the cultural landscape worldwide. May they serve you well in the future. – Fakir Musafar


If you read Sacred Debris often enough (and I sure hope you do) you’ve no doubt seen mentions of nodal points; points of data in a timeline that shine like beacons, who’s influence spreads out, branches and has an intrinsic impact on everything that comes after them.

I’ve also used the phrase “Major Arcana” while discussing luminaries in the body art community- people who’s presence and persona is impossible to separate from the fabric of our subculture.

These concepts intersect with Fakir Musafar; you could individually catalog every nodal point he’s left on the map of body art and each point would represent a major shift in the cultural landscape. You could talk about his early days of self documentation; his relationship with PFIQ/Gauntlet, his participation in the film Dances, Sacred & Profane, his friendship with Charles Gatewood, his connection with Modern Primitives (the book, of course, and the concept) and all of the piercers and body artists who went through the Fakir Intensives- any one of those would be an unimaginably important legacy.

Earlier today Fakir announced that he has been fighting stage four lung cancer since October of 2017 and that his time with us is coming to a close. In his farewell message, which can be read here, Fakir says that he has been honored to have known us. I think I can say with absolute certainly that the privilege has been all ours.

Photo from SPC, posted 1998.

 

 

 

BSTA: David Vidra


Ari: I always like to kick these off with an introduction, so tell us a little about you, Mama. 

Vidra: My introduction to the industry was 1978. I met a gentleman by the name of Linus Herrell and he owned a store in Cleveland called Body Language and that store, how do you explain it? It’s like one of the first alternative bookstores.  We didn’t sell any porn, nothing like that, but it had a rubber room and a leather room, where there were all different types of books and little novelties and stuff like that. Also, he had a piercing room. He had magazines like PFIQ, the whole nine yards and I was like, “OK, this is fascinating.” I met him when he was a bartender at one of the little leather bars in Cleveland, in fact the oldest one in Ohio. He had a huge bull’s tether in his septum, and I was just staring at him, because number one it was very attractive and number two I was like, “hmm, how did you do that? How did he get something that thick into his septum?”  I asked him a couple of questions. He explained it to me, explained the process of stretching and piercing.  When I asked him where do you get something like that done he said he’d gotten work done at the Gauntlet in L.A. by a gentlemen called Jim Ward. That was my first introduction to Gauntlet, and even that was through Linus.  He told me about PFIQ and the new shop he’d be opening, etc etc, and then in his psychotic manner he said, “So what are you doing tonight? I get off in two hours.” I said, “eh, probably just going home” and he said, “Well let’s go home and fuck”, and I’m like, “okay.” Now realize back then I was working for a Catholic Church.  I was the rectory cook, as well as directing theatre for the deaf and blind and just about any other handicap you can imagine and normal people all on the same stage.  It was a lot of work, it was a lot of fun, and I loved doing it.  That’s what I did for a living back then. Cooking for a church rectory for the priests and the nuns who ran the Hunger Center in a pretty impoverished area of Cleveland, but it was also the deaf and the blind center for the Diocese of Cleveland. I had worked with almost all types of disabilities really from the time I was 13. Continue reading