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Rockabilly Workshop (Part II) Kustom Kulture

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

  1. Oh without a doubt Chris. I just know that Susan will talk about this in depth but just look at someone like Carl Perkins. While he never gained the enormous fame that Elvis did, it was actually Carl who was known as "The Boy in the Blue Suede Shoes."

    After Perkins released his version of the song (the original version) he was involved in a near-fatal car accident. While he was recovering from that, Elvis released his own version From then on, Carl was in the back seat and Elvis would always be in the driver's seat (even though Carl's version sold several million copies). -- A great note about Carl Perkins and the song, 'Blue Suede Shoes,' he was soooo poor when he wrote that song in 1956, that he wrote in on an old potato sack!

    In 1986 the early rockabilly kings once again gathered at Sun Records to records the album "Class of '55." Who was the in the class of 55? Only Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins. You can't get any more Kings of Rockabilly than that. For the 'class reunion,' Roy Orbison stepped in to fill Elvis' shoes as only someone the quality of Roy could.

    Sadly, Perkins died relatively young - at the age of 65 - after suffering several strokes.

  2. The original class of 55 was Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis. Each carried their own style that clearly influenced RAB fashion for generations to come!




  3. gaildavid

    gaildavid VFG Member

    There is so much terrific information already....and we still have a few more workshop days to go!! :clapping:

    Will the info here be archived on the site for further use? I do love it when we have previous workshops available. There have been times when I had nothing even close to what the subject matter was, and when I finally found something, I looked up the previous information.

    Again, thanks to all of you for sharing your knowledge with the rest of us!:wub:


    I think I remember reading that it would be, but I wanted to be sure.
  4. Yes, the info will be archived in the workshops forum. I will lock the thread well after the workshop is over...and there it will be. (so get in all your questions so you'll have them to be referred back to...unless it fits in better with another subj)

  5. I am really enjoying myself, BTW. :)
  6. Like all new phenomenoms, the Kustom Kulture movement didn't deprive its fans of living vicariously through characters on the silver screen. The disco era had Saturday Night Fever; break dancing had Electric Boogaloo and the 80s brat pack had The Breakfast Club.

    Kustom Kulture junkies were able to get their fill with films depicting drag racing, hot rod cars, juvenille delinquents, fast women and faster cars. A look at these vintage movie posters show just how the fashions of the films influenced the style fashions of Kustom Kulture for decades.

    Was it a case of art imitating life or life imitating art?

    Chances are it was a mutual, head-on collision!

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    This one starred Frank Gorshan - None other than The Riddler himself from the batman television series! Picture that!!

    Even the original Hell Kitten herself, Miss Bettie Page, jumped on the silver screen band wagon.


    Be sure to check out the Hell Kittens vs. Circle Skirts workshop on Saturday for lots of great info on Bettie Page and how her uniqueness is still influencing women's Kustom Kulture fashions to this day!!

    A nice way to learn more about how American teenagers changed and influenced the automotive industry is through the 15minute documentary entitled The American Teenage Hot Rod. This short documentary is from director Greg Wolske, who also directed a film about Rockabilly! Coincidence? I think not!!
  7. That's not Frank Gorshan on the movie poster or are you implying it is?

    I love all those old movie posters. this is a different tangent of biker than what pop. culture would think of is "biker" - older guys that look like ZZ top :)
  8. Rat Fink Lives

    "I just drew the cars. Once I got em to a point to where they looked right, I stopped and drew em again out of glass and steal."
    ~Ed "Big Daddy" Roth

    Roth's Peace Rat

    " I had the pleasure of building the entire machine myself.....Doug Kinney sanded it and helped paint it but the entire concept here was to build a machine for parades and stuff. At the first parade I threw candy
    from the rear trailer to the kids in the crowd and it spooked the horses in the parade (kids chasin' candy) I never did that again. Newton was responsible for the sketches of the candy Wagon after the machine was built. I drove this machine to many bike runs in and around California and it was an exceptional Harley trike motorcycle and very dependable! " .. Ed Roth 10/10/00

    Ed is talking about his creation known as The Candy Wagon

    The entire family could indulge in one of Ed's creations with his very popular model kits such as this one featuring "Brother Rat Fink."

    Ed Roth's vision as an artist and a builder was unique and unrestricted in a time when conservatism was the law of the land. Ed Roth and his fellow pioneers not only broke the mold, they created a whole new one with very big shoes to fill.

    Roth's creations inspired everyone, even the King.

    For more info on Kustom Kulture founding father Ed Roth and his art, try: Rat Fink: The Art of Ed 'Big Daddy' Roth or Ed 'Big Daddy' Roth: His Life, Times, Cars and Art
  9. Kenny "Von Dutch" Howard

    "I'm a mechanic first." he used to say, "If I had my way I'd be a gunsmith! I like to make things out of metal, because metal is forever. When you paint something, how long does it last? A few years, and then it's gone!" ~Kenny "Von Dutch" Howard

    What Rat Fink was to "Big Daddy," so the Flying Eyeball was to "Von Dutch."


    Von Dutch's long time friend and author, Bob Burns, says that the flying eyeball was a symbol meaning "the eye in the sky knows all and sees all" to the the Macedonian and Egyptian cultures of about 5,000 years ago. Dutch took the symbol and conformed it into his now famous Flying Eyeball that remains an icon of the 50s and 60s hot rod crowds to this day.

    Von Dutch's Kenford

    In addition to being a visionary artist, Von Dutch was among other things a crafty builder - creating the "Kenford" in 1956 from a 1947 Kenworth cab combo. He was a jack of all crafty trades which his early business card clearly shows.


    Today the Von Dutch logo graces a plethora of Kustom Kulture gears like hats, t-shirts, bags, bobbles and more - going from a small niche t-shirt company to sales that reached $55 million in 2004.

    For more information on Von Dutch, as well as Roth and others try:Hot Rods & Customs of the 1960s or
    Kustom Kulture: Von Dutch, Ed "Big Daddy" Roth, Robert Williams and Others
  10. materialmemories

    materialmemories Registered Guest

    This is BY FAR the MOST FUN TOPIC EVER!!!!
    My hubby has even joined me as this topic is of SUCH INTEREST!!!


    WHAT A WEEK!!!
  11. bartondoll

    bartondoll Guest

    Maureen, I was definitely of the same mind as you when I thought of
    Kustom Kulture - until I read all the fabulous info on this thread!

    Thank you so much for profiling and describing the aspects of this
    part of the RAB scene!

  12. That reminds me Dianna...Where are all the dudes? (i mean commenting on this)...i will go look for some....!
  13. route66gal

    route66gal Registered Guest

    EXCELLENT JOB, MAUREEN!!!!! :clapping::clapping::clapping:

    I'm glad to see you brought up Von Dutch - I can't believe the likes of Britney Spears have made scores of young hipsters think that Von Dutch is the up-and-coming designer to the stars. :rolleyes:

    Some Collins Kids lyrics to go with Von Dutch - can you tell I love the Collins Kids? I did my music video from yesterday to their Whistlebait...I seriously adore them.

    I'm only fourteen, but I'm goin' on fifteen
    But I wanna be sixteen, so I can get me a hot rod
    I want a streamline chassis, man it's gotta be classy
    I' m gonna give it that certain touch
    With a little bit of Von Dutch
    I found a real cute baby, she's a real swingin' baby
    And she says we'll go steady just
    As soon as I get me a hot rod

    I'm gonna take her for a moonlight drive
    Across Mullholland Drive, then we'll really be alive
    As soon as I get me a hot rod
    With my baby sittin' close to me
    We'll do a little draggin' don't you see
    We'll even lay a path for you and me
    As soon as I get me a hot rod
    Yeah, I'm only fourteen, but I'm goin' on fifteen
    But I wanna be sixteen, so I can get me a hot rod

    You can hear a nice little clip at http://music.barnesandnoble.com/search/product.asp?userid=v124pihAot&EAN=4000127155375&ITM=2 - Also check out my fave Collins Kids tune Go Away Don't Bother Me. It just makes me smile :D Actually, just buy the whole box set of Hop Skip and Jump. It's worth every penny, I promise!

    Also, for some fantastic kustom kulture art, check out Von Franco

    Also featured in my video was Steve Wertheimer (escorting the lovely and talented Susanna Van Tassel down the catwalk. Steve is the owner of the fabulous Continental Club, a place that used to be my second home, but I sadly don't get out as much as I used to. Anyway, Steve is a member of the Kontinentals, a south Austin car club that has some stunning rides and fabulous guys. Anyway, the Continental Club has a wonderful links page with tons of kustom kulture links. Especially fun is the Heart Spade Club - you may see a few familiar faces there if you're an Austinite or regular Austin visitor. Great video stuff there, too.

    Speaking of the Continental - if you're in town and you're lame and home like me and missing his show tonight, get out to the Continental tomorrow for Dave Alvin!! :D He'll be playing his second of two shows tomorrow.

    OMG, I'm so rambly again. Anyway, thanks so much, Maureen!! Great job!

  14. Hi!

    Thanks for all the comments. It was Melanie who set the standard of excellance for the RAB week! She's a tough act to follow, but I had such a good time with this. I am walking away with a whole wonderful new appreciation for Kustom Kulture. I can't believe what an interesting history it is - and that I have been ignoring it for so long!!! :BAGUSE: But as they say, better late than never!

    Melanie, I know exactly what you mean about the Von Dutch issue. I just cringe when I see people like Brittany Spears and Justin Timberlake sporting Von Dutch. It is almost sacrilege. I want to slap the hats off their heads and ask them to just go away... permanently!! :regan:

    Thanks for adding those Collins Kids links. The indie documentry that I mentioned above also has its opening set to the Collins Kids.

    You know who's art I really like is Robert Williams. I wanted to post some but all the stuff I really like probably wouldn't be appropriate for everyone and I didn't want anyone to be offended. :saint:

    I think it is safe thought to go ahead and post just one!! This is my favorite. I just love it.

    Enchilada de Amore

    If anyone is interested in seeing more of artist Robert Williams work, you can check out: Lowbrow Art of Robert Williams or Hysteria in Remission.

    There is also a transcript from Robert Williams presentation at "'Underground(s):' 2003 University of Florida Conference and Comics and Graphic Novels." There are some nice photos of his artwork that you can click on and have a look out. (Out of the Hysteria in Remission book).
  15. Oh, this is awsome! Maureen-great job, I have been learning so much!

  16. northstarvintage

    northstarvintage Administrator Staff Member

    Great thread Maureen!

    I had the pleasure of seeing The Comets and hanging out with them last summer. They are amazing - all past their 70's, but they rock harder than most bands less than half their age. And they are wonderful guys too - so interesting to hear their stories!

  17. route66gal

    route66gal Registered Guest

    Ooh, Susan, I saw the Comets, too - at the Denver Rockabilly Weekender in 1997 or so - I met them at their meet and greet. too. They were so amazing - they do put most bands to shame.

    The tricks that Marshall Lytle can still do with his bass blew me away!! That whole thing where he lays on the floor and holds the bass up with his feet - it's always impressive at any age, but he's 70 or so!

    Marshall Lytle page at the RAB HOF

  18. alonesolo

    alonesolo Guest

    Don't know if I should use this area to ask but I have a guayabera cigar wedding shirt on the VC mall listed and was wondering if this would be worn at all to the VLV

    Surely there must be lots of weddings

    I added it to the VLV sale but if I am wrong let me know and I can take it off before I embarass my self.
  19. alonesolo

    alonesolo Guest

    another question would this jacket be considered gas station?

    <img src=http://ftp.innernet.net/pcameron/feb/331.jpg>

    <img src=http://ftp.innernet.net/pcameron/feb/334.jpg>

    I think its 70's maybe early 80s but I love the tow truck onit.

    Ignore the spots you see in the photo its my ghost .

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