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)
This footage is a re-capture of previously imported video; shot in the 1970s on 8mm film and converted to VHS in the late 1980s it features Sailor Sid Diller and Ken Meyers tattooing at Ken’s Kissimmee, Florida studio. Since my original import for BME/News there have been major advancements in capture/compression technologies and while the VHS master was still viable (though rapidly degrading) I made a higher resolution scan.
This edit is the ‘safe for work’ version; the atmosphere at Ken’s studio during the filming was casual and very sex positive; most of the participants client and artist were fully naked during the tattooing sessions and the longer cut will reflect that.
In 2001 I traveled to Phoenix, Az to meet and record an oral history with PFIQ/Drummer artist Bud Larsen. The experience was doomed to failure and for the last 14 years I’ve considered the tape containing the history to be lost.
Late last week, while sorting and organizing tapes from that period I discovered that it wasn’t lost, just misfiled. The tape represents a very rare conversation with Bud and has been put to the head of the queue for archival and preservation. It was shot as a backup so the camera is not set up ‘interview’ style, but the content will hopefully make up for the lack of video when it’s finally ready.