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Rockabilly Workshop (Part II) Kustom Kulture

Discussion in 'Rockabilly 2005' started by www.VintageGrace.com, Feb 17, 2005.

  1. [align=center][​IMG][/align]

    Hello and welcome to Day II of the Rockabilly Workshop!

    First, let me admit, when I learned that I drew the straw to present Kustom Kulture workshop I was less then enthusiastic. My first thought was, "Ugh! Blue jeans and white t-shirts! La de da!!"


    I now stand corrected.

    While researching Kustom Kulture something strange happened. I fell in love with it!

    Now I am on a quest! I have gots to gets me to a car show, quick!!

    Like so many other sub-cultures of Rockabilly, the Kustom Kulture flame is made up of many different fingers of fire.

    Kustom Kulture is more than just blue jeans and white T's.

    Kustom Kulture is the hot rods, the artwork, the fashions, the hairstyles and the music.

    About now if you are saying to yourself, "Hold on there you sassy little hell kitten. I'm no dummy! Don't try and pull the wool over my peepers. That's the same workshop that Melanie presented yesterday! (And quite well I might add.) What gives?"

    Well, if you were saying that to yourself, I have to tell you: 1. You really shouldn't talk to yourself, people will wonder about you; and 2. You are absolutely right! In fact, that basic formula is the workshop that is going to be presented again tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after... That's the amazingly intriguing aspect of Rockabilly. It's sub-cultures are so different and yet, they are so much the same. How many other cultures in our society are able to blend so seamless and effortlessly!

    It is generally accepted that Kustom Kulture first began to take shape after W.W.II in the early 1950s. It was a time that found the prices of used automobiles relatively cheap and a lot of young men with time on their hands. In the garages of Southern California the young men - who would become known as the founders of Kustom Kulture - let their creativity flow. Men like artist and builder Ed "Big Daddy" Roth, Kenny "Von Dutch" Howard, George Barris, and Robert Williams all became the foundation of what still thrives today under the Rockabilly umbrella.

    Ed "Big Daddy" Roth's still famous Rat Fink model and original instructions[/align]

    Today's Kustom Kulture fashions still draw upon the 1950s for inspirations. The original gas station jackets (like this vintage Sears denim one) have been replaced by hot rod club jackets.



    But for those who crave vintage, true vintage jackets can still be found if you look hard enough. These 2 vintage jackets both have a Kustom Kulture feel to them and would look great at any car show.



    Plain white t-shirts have been replaced by shirts sporting flaming logos, skulls screaming eagles and club logos.



    At Viva Las Vegas, one can find riders that remain true to the origins of Rockabilly fashion.



    Just as important to the RAB Kustom Kulture man as his car is his own personal cool kitten. For the ladies, vintage sweaters over cuffed jeans still play a large part of the car show ensemble. And never - never - forget your all important accessories!

    For the cherry of a sweater girl, try kitschy cat eye glasses!



    For a sophisticated lady, match your mink collar sweater with elegant black handbag.



    Red roses for a blue lady? Not with a screaming red handbag!



    In colder weather let a faux leopard coat with a matching bag keep you warm.



    Kustom Kulture fashion shouldn't stop at the end of your arm. To complete your look you will need something to carry all your Viva Las Vegas fashions in. Fortunately, I was able to find the most perfect example of what every Rockabilly woman needs:


    Last but not least, Kustom Kulture kids never ignore their heads. Grab some pomade or cherry clips and Viva Las Vegas!



    Later in the day, I will be posting bios about the founding fathers of Kustom Kulture and their creations that gave birth to a culture.

    I hope that you have enjoyed this portion of my workshop!!

    Thanks for taking the time to stop by for a spell.

    Cheers ~ Maureen

  2. gaildavid

    gaildavid VFG Member

    Maureen, that was great! (I need the clapping hands icon) :)

    I look forward to the rest of your info, too. Thanks so much for taking this assignment.

    BTW....That flocked pocketbook would look fab with my flocked VLV dress ;)


    Thought of a question.....Are guys in this group looking for particular brands of denim jeans within the vintage category? Thanks.....
  3. Thank you Gail!

    Please feel free to post a photo of your dress or the link! I'd love to see it!!

  4. gaildavid

    gaildavid VFG Member

    Here's the dress...and it is currently up for bid on ebay;)


    Maureen, I have a few old "new with tags" jeans.....one at the mall and the other is packed away..... Sorry to repeat my question, but I am afraid it may get buried under the forthcoming comments/queries LOL.....Is there any particular brand of jeans that the guys are looking for?
  5. This is a lot what comes to mind when Hollywood portrays rebellious 50s kids....white t-shirts, hair goop, etc... Its funny though how a T-SHirt is the most basic thing in the drawer and yet so rebellious. Clark Gable caused such a stir for not wearing a T-Shirt under his button down shirt, and then it was seen as so improper just to walk around in one's T-shirt. Now that's all a lot of people wear. There was a subset of this look that was a bit more industrial at least where I lived, where you basically dressed like a car mechanic but wore doc martens and chain wallets....perhaps that is this look too, or a mixing up of it, but the music was different.

    Funny...we had an old photo of my dad and friends in white T-shirts and jeans from perhaps the early 60s. He had a Corvette and he and a buddy drove cross country in it just to do it and have an adventure. I daren't tell him that he was wearing a fashion movement that is still big to this day.

  6. Hi Gail!

    Melanie is our resident vintage denim expert. She talked about vintage denim in one of her posts yesterday, so I am going to quote the information she provided as it answers your question perfectly! (Thanks Melanie!!)
    I am looking forward to her April workshop on vintage denim and hope to learn a lot there!!

    Cheers ~ Maureen
  7. cymbeline

    cymbeline Registered Guest

    LOVED, LOVED, LOVED it maureen, thanks!
  8. gaildavid

    gaildavid VFG Member

    Thanks to Melanie...must have missed that post. So glad you quoted it here, Maureen. :USETHUMBUP:

    The ones tucked away are Sanforized, I think. The ones at the mall are Blue Bells but not Wrangler...they just say "Blue Bell" and have a little booklet thing attached to the waistband.

    Thanks for the info. Gail
  9. dibs2002

    dibs2002 Registered Guest

  10. So Maureen...

    How does this link back in with the music. i have known people that are heavily into customizing 50s cars, etc, and wear white t-shirts but they aren't into the faintest thing rockabilly music wise and they might not have even heard remotely of anything like that.

    Or is this group of people/fashion mainly the folks who were into rockabilly and just picked this as their look, or are into rockabilly AND are into the classic cars etc, thus a subset?
  11. dibs2002

    dibs2002 Registered Guest

    So I guess shows like Happy Days and plays like Grease were based on this subculture. Interesting.

    BTW - that leopard coat reminds me of that character Andrea Martin used to play on SCTV, I forget her name, she was hilarious. Just needs a matching hat!

  12. gaildavid

    gaildavid VFG Member

    I remember that character, Deb. :bisou: She was funny!!!

    Winter coats are too heavy for VLV, correct? :BAGUSE: I have a faux leopard reversible coat up for bid on ebay but I did not put VLV in the title.


    Hey, I like the new icons we have here :wub:
  13. Hi Chris:

    As the Kustom Kulture movement began in the garages of Southern California, it's only natural that it has been associated with surf music of the past. When you think of surf music the first band to pop into your head is The Beach Boys.

    But artists such as D:ck Dale, The Ventures and Jan & Dean are not only associated with the Kustom Crowd but are actually considered rockabilly! Who would have thunk! (ok, the man's name is being sensored. But everyone knows RICHARD Dale!!) :P


    D:ck Dale is credited with creating Surf music in the 1950s (not the 1960s like most folks think). He was given the name, "King of Surf Guitar" by his fellow surfers and throughout the years worked closely with Leo Fender (Fender Guitars) and JBL to create better and better speakers to handle the sounds and strength his guitar playing style produced.

    Dale's most popular song is probably "Miserlou"! That song can be heard everywhere! Movies (like Pulp Fiction and Space Jam), TV shows (like Friends and the 2000 Super Bowl!), and even numerous television commercials.

    Today, bands like Hot Rod Trio, supply what is know as 'high-octane' rockabilly. Isn't that just perfect for hot-rod loving crowds?? Here are Buddy and Suzy Duhgi at a Kustom Kulture car show.


    Even Suzy bass is aflame with Kustom Kulture. Gotta love it!

  14. dibs2002

    dibs2002 Registered Guest

    Roy Orbison - is he RAB?
  15. As silly of a show as Happy Days was, it did indeed help to shape Kustom Kulture. As did the movie American Graffiti, that actually was the vehicle that spawned the tv show, Happy Days, after creator Garry Marshall saw the success of the movie.

    Another big Rockabilly influence was Bill Haley. Haley is considered one of the founders of Rock n Roll and was very influential on Elvis.

    Although Bill died in 1981, the original 'Comets' still tour even though their ages range from 72 to 80! Now that's a show worth seeing!!
  16. Boy, let me just let out a very big sigh right now........

    Roy Orbison

    You are talking about one of my most favorite musicians that every graced this earth.

    Yes indeed, Roy is considered Rockabilly, amongst other things.

    Roy is Texas born and bred and his style of music clearly reflects that. Listen to 'Working for the Man' and you will definately hear a bit of a rockabilly skiffle. In 1955 he quit college and took his band "The Teen Kings" to Memphis - specifically to Sun Records and Sam Phillips. Mention Sun Records and you immediately think of pioneers like Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis and of course, Elvis Aaron Presely.


    **Holy Guacamole, are those emoticons multipling rapidly or what:exclamation: **

    Ok, back to Roy, I feel it's truly an honor to say that I was able to see Roy Orbison perform live. It was back in the 70s and he was the opening act for The Eagles. The day Roy passed away, a hush came over the music world and a void remains that no one else will ever fill. He influenced so many musicans. One only need watch "A Black and White Night" and see all the musicans who are accompanying him to understand the influence Roy had on the music world. Bruce Springsteen, JD Souther, kd Lang, Joe Walsh, Elvis Costello and on and on and on. But I think I am straying...:roll:

    As far influencing Rockabilly fashion... well, I think we all know those glasses of his never really did catch on :P

    We could talk about Jerry Lee Lewis, as clearly he heavily influenced rockabilly fashions but I don't want to cover that incase it is on Susan's agenda when she presents her musical influences day!! I don't want her to get :regan: at me!!

    The Official Roy Orbison Website

    The Teen Kings

    Working For The Man
    (Roy Orbison)

    (Uh-huh) Hey now, you'd better listen to me, every one of you
    (Ooo) We got a lotta lotta lotta lotta work to do
    (Ooo) Forget about your women & that water can
    (Ooo) Today you're workin' for the man

    Well pick up your feet, we've got a deadline to meet
    I wanna see you make it on time
    Oh don't relax, I want elbows & backs
    I wanna see everybody from behind

    'Cause you're workin' for the man, workin' for the man
    You gotta make him a hand, workin' for the man

    So I'm pickin' 'em up & I'm layin' 'em down
    I believe he's gonna work me into the ground
    I pull to the left, I heave to the right
    I oughta kill him but it wouldn't be right

    'Cause I'm workin' for the man, workin' for the man
    I gotta make him a hand, workin' for the man

    Well the boss' daughter sneaks-a me water
    Every time her daddy's down the line
    She says "Meet me tonight, love me right
    & everything is gonna be fine"
    So I slave all day without much pay
    I'm just a-bidin' my time
    'Cause the company & the daughter you see
    They're both gonna be all mine

    Yeah I'm gonna be the man, gonna be the man
    Gotta make him a hand if I'm gonna be the man
    I'm workin' for the man, workin' for the man
    I gotta make him a hand, workin' for the man
  17. Gail, if you have your leopard coat already listed, absolutely add VLV to the title and description! Besides folks looking for summer vlv stuff, there are overseas buyers that know it's VLV time and everyone is putting out their best RAB stuff! It's always RAB winter somewhere!! :spin:

  18. So the early guitar driven rock and roll before all the technology and before the beehives....that is all considered rockabilly....
  19. aren't there people who want to look cool even if they will be roasting (re Jacket). i think its universal. Besides there is air conditioning in LAs Vegas
  20. dibs2002

    dibs2002 Registered Guest

    I LOVE Roy Orbison too! :cool:

    His Biography was really interesting, I really only noticed him once he joined he travelling Wilbury's.

    But Maureen - Roy Orbison and the Eagles in the SAME SHOW!!! I'm gonna swoon!!!! :love008:


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