“A regular contributor to the magazine was a local gay artist who went by the name of Bud. His work occupied thirteen of the first fourteen covers and after we went to color appeared regularly inside. I had seen his work in the gay S/M magazine Drummer. How we actually met and connected, I’ve forgotten. I do remember that he did some tattoo designs for some clients of Cliff Raven, a T&P group regular. Bud’s imaginative pen and ink drawings show the strong influence of both comic and early fantasy and sci-fi art.”
-Jim Ward. 1
I hope everyone is staying as safe as possible with the worldwide covid19 outbreak; I know a lot of us are currently waiting it out and social distancing in the safety of our own homes, but to the folks on the front lines – medical personnel, first responders, food service, grocers, and online retailers – you have our most sincere gratitude.
I’ve been trying to be productive during the SI phase of the pandemic, working on articles for the upcoming Nodal Points IV, working on a presentation that may be released online called THE DOCUMENTED BODY- Documenting piercing documentation, and trying to maintain balance when everything’s topsy turvy, so I’ll try to update Sacred a little more frequently during the next few weeks.
This photo brings us back to a happier time, late 1970s, in the London, England shop of Alan ‘Mr. Sebastian’ Oversby, and features Sailor Sid Diller and Banana.
In the late 1970s, illustrator Bud Larsen contributed distinctive line-art illustrations to magazines that would go on to become synonymous with the subcultures they documented; forty-plus years later PFIQ and Drummer have become the defacto reference points for folks researching the history of body piercing and gay leather culture respectively. Bud provided cover art for both of their inaugural issues, with interior illustrations that in my mind are as intrinsic to their visual identity as Al Hirschfeld’s similar but decidedly less erotic drawings were to the New Yorker.
While most of Bud’s Drummer work was in their DRUM BEATS section, he also contributed several representatives to their Zodiac series -an S&M sign of the zodiacal times – like this Cancer 1 illo from the seventh issue. (1976)
Other signs by Bud:
- Cancer Facts: Protective, artistic, rebellious, loyal, lie detector, intuitive, self-conscious, sensitive, insecure, visionary, clingy, thoughtful lover. Source – https://www.ganeshaspeaks.com/zodiac-signs/cancer/facts ↩
In the late 1950’s-early 1960s, Alan Oversby, known in the tattoo and piercing community as Mister Sebastian, got tattooed by George Burchette with what he believed was the first set of pubic wings. He came up with the idea by sketching shapes that fit nicely into the triangular shapes he was drawing and found that wings were not only aesthetically pleasing but that they also visually elongated the penis.
This photo, taken in the late 1970s, features a client with tattoos and piercings – paired pubic and reverse Prince Albert- by Sebastian.
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This would have been taken in the mid to late 1980s, performed at Sid’s Silver Anchor location. Jack would go on to have a urethral reroute opening in the center of the flame- “a waterhole to put out the fire” as he put it in Charle’s Gatewood’s Erotic Tattooing & Body Piercing Vol5.
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Illustrator Bud Larsen’s iconic black and white line drawings helped establish the visual aesthetic for the early issues of both PFIQ and DRUMMER magazine; like a kinky Al Hirschfeld his style was light on color/shading and heavy on technique, line weight, and overall badassedness. These illustrations from early Drummer 1 issues could easily go toe to toe with other more well-known 1970s magazines cartoonists like Bill Ward, Jack Davis, or Gahan Wilson.
Images © Bud Larsen/Drummer
For better or worse, tattoo conventions used to be a common meeting place for devotees of body piercing; while discretion was often necessary on the convention floor, 1 piercing fans would find community in the privacy of their convention hotel room; clothes coming off to reveal the piercings hidden from the more conservative tattoo crowd at large.
In 1986, at the Knoxville Tattoo Convention, a group of friends that included, among others, Jack Yount (not pictured), Sailor Sid Diller, T.R.A.S.H. publisher J.D., Silver Anchor’s Ed Fenster, Marv from Australia, and Emil G, did just that – enjoying each other’s company, shedding their clothes, and having a little fun. Continue reading
- “Since Ed Hardy had brought the subject of piercings up at the I.T.A.A. Reno Convention in 1977 (he felt, as did the overwhelming majority of Artists there that piercing did not belong at a Tattoo convention and should not be linked to tattooing. I.T.A.A. Members voted there and then not to have piercing at future conventions) it was decided on (by the suggestion of Bob Shaw) not to allow facial tattoos or piercings at the National Tattoo Conventions. This was to be a Convention to promote Tattooing and only Tattooing.” – Source: http://runningthegauntlet-book.com/BME/jimward/20050329.html. ↩
The 80’s were an interesting time for piercing. PFIQ was going out to more readers than ever, the Gauntlet was growing busier, and piercing was reaching a larger audience every day. Countercultures in general were coming together, sharing ideas, spaces, and people. Being weird and different was becoming welcomed. In the spring of 1982, two wonderful icons of their respected subcultures were getting ready to meet for the first time. After about a year of communication, letters and chats, the sweet, shamanistic Fakir Musafar and the avid, sexy Annie Sprinkle met. They spent a whirlwind week together in New York, one of Fakir’s first times in Manhattan. The midwest shaman got a warm welcome, with pedestrians and cabbies complimenting his septum jewelry (worn on behest of Annie, who found it handsome as could be). The two were determined to turn the city on its head, and they both found great joy showing off at parties and events as Annie lead Fakir about by hooks in his deep chest piercings, or stuck her entire finger through his nipples. They were the talk of the town, answering everyones questions about “if that hurt”. Even Annie went out and about bottomless, ready to show off the fresh addition to her labia. They hosted piercing parties, Fakir adding golden rings to a myriad of members of New York’s various social scenes. Continue reading
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.