During the mid 1990s I was occasionally contracted to attend tattoo conventions on behalf of bmezine.com; while content was being contributed to the website, BME’s editor Shannon Larratt figured that targeted content- particularly the kind that was often photographed in hotel rooms on a more discrete section of the modification community- would be worth the cost of plane tickets, hotel rooms and an incredibly humble per diem.
This being the age before digital cameras were in common usage, all he asked was that I try to get at least two rolls of film per event. Forty-eight images. Before it was a community driven site (a process which started with the password wall on BME/extreme and took hold with the creation of IAM.BME in 2000) the acquisition of content was king at BME; if people didn’t have dynamic images to view, they’d move along. Having strong photos to hook viewers into sticking around long enough to encourage them to share their own was a major focus of the boom-years of the site.
This photo was taken on one of those sponsored trips, on the convention floor at the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party in Portland, Maine. At the time, facial tattoos and body piercing were frowned upon at some conventions, so a gentleman like this was a welcome sight.
Living up to my promise to always post septum tusk photos when I come across them-
This photograph features Sailor Sid Diller (right) and friend from one of Sid’s UK visits. It was taken at Alan “Mr. Sebastian” Oversby’s apartment. There was no code on the back of the print, so this could have come from Sid’s late 1970s visit or a later trip.
In the 1980s, the concept of a professional body piercer was a bit of a rarity. The Gauntlet had introduced the idea in the late 70s, but outside of a very small handful of lucky folks who had worked for Jim Ward, making a living solely on piercing/body jewelry was a true rarity.
When Jack Yount made the decision to start piercing more formally- as a resident at D.C. Leather shops as opposed to at T&P parties on the east coast- he was still working as an executive at a major plumbing supply company and protecting his identity was a concern. Taking his initials- J.A.Y. he christened himself “Mr. Jay” (sometimes shortened to Mr. J) and was able to live discretely in both worlds until his retirement from corporate life.
This photograph- which is uncredited- was taken in the early 1990s and features Jack’s signature septum tusk (two piece threaded) from Ed Fenster’s Silver Anchor Body Jewelry.
A few weeks ago I spotted an older Leather Daddy at my bar wearing an old-school septum tusk. The gent was dressed to the nines- Biker Cap, Jacket, Harness and all of the requisite attitude that comes with being a proper Leatherman. But the tusk!
Once I realized what I was seeing (we keep it fairly dark at the bar) I left my usual spot to go track him down, offer him a drink and comment on his choice of septum adornment, but as often happens he had slipped away before I could find him.
I’ll take one proper bone tusk over 20 hinged, jewel studded baubles. SD favorite “Viking Navaro” was certainly fond of them, even wearing one in his nipple piercing! This photograph is from 1983 and features Bud and a fellow T&P fan showing off. Bud was also vacuum pumping his penis & scrotum (full image here: http://sacreddebris.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/TITUSK.jpg) but I decided to go with a more (questionably) safe for work version of the photo.
I hope that the tusk’d Leatherman and I cross paths again!
Model: Bud ‘Viking’ Navaro.
Format: Polaroid print.
Notes: Handwritten note on the back of the photograph- “Ring with weight in nose is alternate to bone jewelry” Excerpt from PFIQ #13
Consider this as the safe for work counterpart to the recent NSFW T&P Parties post; a few friends sitting around, showing off their tattoos and body piercings when polite society was a little less welcoming to that sort of thing. Tattoos were generally kept below the collar and above the wrist and piercings were easily hidden or removed, like the two piece septum tusks that Sid and the fellow on the far left are wearing.
This scan is from the water damaged photograph pile.
Tuesday is generally reserved for video updates, but today is going to be a day of rest here at Sacred Debris; a day to lay down in bed watching True Detective and smothering my pre’ance Julia with birthday kisses. Everyone needs a rest now and then- just ask Viking Navaro (pictured above.)
Bud has long been one of my favorite ‘old school’ modification figures; one of the original ‘Modern Primitives’ who had a very striking aesthetic for his generation. My collection contains quite a few photos (prints and polaroids) of him to be scanned.
“Although Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary has no definition for “modern primitive,” I am one. The desire to be pierced, to stretch the piercings and to insert objects similar to those used in primitive cultures, has been with me for as long as I can remember. For years I considered myself “atavistic,” but now I much prefer the term, apparently coined by Fakir Musafar, of “modern primitive.” The accompanying pictures should prove my status as someone who fits the category!”- Bud “Viking Navaro” H, PFIQ #13 1981
This photograph of Viking Navaro survived a flood. It survived a house fire and the deaths of two different people who owned it. It was most likely taken between 1980-1982 and with the exception of photographs taken by Fakir Musafar (which were featured in the PFI Quarterly issue mentioned above) is one of the last few remaining photographs of Bud’s modifications that still exists. Had I not inherited it, it would have been placed in the trash for pickup and once it left the curb, would have ceased to be.
That’s the goal of the Sacred Debris project. To protect our history for future generations. Our early roots were shrouded in secrecy to protect the participants who couldn’t be ‘out’ with their interests. Photos were destroyed, lost or thrown away so what remains must be archived.
Bud was always a particular favorite of mine; a college professor who’s students likely had no idea that their teacher transformed himself at Doug Malloy’s infamous T&P parties into a ‘Modern Primitive’ with stretched piercings and large tattoos. There will be more of him in future updates.
Every person who reads these updates; right clicks and saves the images/videos, is one more person who can keep the contributions of people like Bud and his friends made last for years to come. Scanning your own photos and videos, sharing them online, keeps our past from fading away.