I don’t have much information on this image other than that it was sourced from a newly acquired Kodachrome slide that dates back to the late 1970s and features Sailor Sid Diller at an unnamed San Francisco tattoo show. Photographer, event organizer, (convention? show? his name tag turns to a blur when the image is enlarged) and all other relevant data may be lost to the ages, but at least the image, some forty plus years old now, survives.
Early tattoo conventions were an integral part of the tattoo community developing and expanding before the rise and eventual decline of the tattoo magazine and the ubiquity of the internet, but they often ostracized attendees who were also in the emerging body piercing scene. Still, they provided a space where devotees could meet at local (often gay leather) bars near the convention or in hotel suites to share their passions, and slowly but surely the two subcultures merged and became part of a bigger community.
By the time I finally click upload on the video that’s currently in my editing queue- a video that will clock in with a runtime of somewhere around the eighteen minute range- I’ll have spent roughly ten hours on task time for the final edit. Most of that will be spent color grading the footage, which was shot on VHS tape at Sailor Sid Diller’s Florida home/studio in 1985. Continue reading →
Not a super exciting photo, but the contents of this 1980s era VHS tape that was filmed in the home/tattoo studio of Sailor Sid Diller, have recently been archived and soon, excerpts will be showing up here on SD.
Sid was a tireless documentarian; photos, videos (both film and tape) and letters were exchanged with the small but passionate pre-boom piercing community from his Florida home. This video featured Sid, Bob Houle and a few unnamed piercing fans. And a lot of body shaving.
“Raven” was in San Francisco for a brief time on 9th street. I got there when he opened and decided to get the “wind god” tat. He said I was lucky because it was early and he was still fresh and awake after breakfast and not worn out by some of the difficult people that he had come in and bust his chops.
He also gave me a choice of by the hour or a given price. I took the given price and he said it was a bargain because he was fresh and full of energy, as you can see he was, and his work has stay bright after all these years. I believe it was 1982-3. -JD
The first story JD told me, as I was setting up our interview at an Ybor City Pizza shop, was about the time he found himself making an ad hoc tattoo studio out of his van, having discovered a bar full of carnies in Tampa who wanted tattooed. With a mischievous twinkle in his eye he described the good natured degenerates, tough guys and hucksters who joined him in the back of the van, getting skulls and names and roses added to their arms and chests. Continue reading →
I’ve been procrastinating importing some new Sandbox video content for the last week; my wife and I recently added a new four footed member to our family and as much fun as importing and cleaning up video might be it pales in comparison to watching our new kitten smacking around a crumpled up Target receipt for twenty consecutive minutes or trying to encourage our twelve year old Italian Greyhound (Mr. Bailey Papers) to accept a tiny ball of furless energy into the family.
I’m sure Sailor Sid was equally in love with his dachshunds and would totally understand that our pets come first.
We’re at that point in the year where I start looking at what the future is going to hold for Sacred Debris; it’s cyclic and seems to happen every autumn so you folks will just have to bear with me through the sporadic update schedule and lack of new content while I figure out the VAQ of maintaining the site.
Sometimes you just need to stop, smell the roses. and sit around with a buddy-like Sailor Sid and his friend here- and shoot the breeze instead of worrying about updating websites, scanning photographs and importing video (the queue of which is ever growing) for a blog. Continue reading →