promises are kept

thoughts from the mind of Mitch Brown

Month: October, 2013

Documentary on Boyd Rice (THIS IS A MUST WATCH)

The words repugnant, misogynistic , and iconoclastic have all be used to describe artist/musician/writer/photographer Boyd Rice, but I think one word is a far better description-genius.

The Iconoclast documentary is the most in-depth exploration of his views, life, and music I have ever seen.  His connection with Anton LaVey, along with Boyd’s ties with Charles Manson are also spoken about at length. Most stones are flipped over and examined . It’s rather lengthy, but it’s worth the watch.  (last time this was on You Tube, it was taken down in a matter of days)

I can remember the first time I came across the name  Boyd Rice: I was up late one night at a friend’s house thumbing through a bound collection of issues of Answer Me! ,a fanzine that only ran for 4 issues, and its publishers Jim and Debbie Goad were eventually taken to court on obscenity charges or something like that.

Years later I started investigating Boyd Rice’s music, which led me to a favorite album–Music, Martinis, and Misanthropy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Music,_Martinis_and_Misanthropy       

A friend says he doesn’t consider the album to contain “songs.” The same friend said it was just spoken word with instrumentation. The album defies clear classification, which is brilliant and a rarity.  The things Boyd says on the album, the way he says them, combined with the instrumentation is like noting I had ever heard. The juxtaposition of having this soothing calm voice combined with mostly folk tunes and statements of pure misanthropy was so striking Of course, I would like something like that.

“As For The Fools” is the most striking commentary I’ve ever heard on societal decay and human devolution. In the song, Boyd reminds me of Dr. Manhattan from the Watchmen, totally emotionally detached from the issue he is discussing, and in doing so, it’s as if he has a clearer, more honest vision, admitting what others can not bear to face.

Boyd_Rice_Anton_LaVey

Boyd Rice and Anton LaVey

Boyd Rice and Johnny Cash

Boyd Rice and Johnny Cash

Boyd Rice and Bob Heick

Boyd Rice and Bob Heick

One aspect of Boyd’s life that I thought might have been explored or explained was his friendship with Bob Heick, founder of the American Front, but it’s not even mentioned. The picture above is part of Boyd’s claim to infamy. It was published in Sassy and Rolling Stone in the late ’80s.   To this very day,  some people still call Boyd Rice a “Nazi.” In numerous interviews Rice has explained the photo was a prank on his part, pulling an Andy Kaufman.

Rice was never a member of the American Front, but he was friends with Bob Heick. But Boyd was also friends with Jello Biafra, lead singer of the Dead Kennedys, who is about as left-wing as you can get. (this side of Noam Chomksy and Karl Marx) He was also friends with Adam Parfery, who is Jewish and Douglas Pearce, of Death In June, who is gay. Portions of Music, Martinis, and Misanthropy were recorded in Tokyo. What self-respecting  “White supremacist” would record an album in a non-White country like Japan?

Either you get Boyd Rice’s material or you don’t. I think a lot of people couldn’t, so when exposed to it, they resort to knee-jerk, Pavlovian reactions.

Boyd Rice and his book "NO" This guy is cooler than you will ever be.

Boyd Rice and his book “NO” This guy is cooler than you will ever be.

A 20 DOLLAR TATTOO??!!

Midnight was fast approaching, and the line wrapped around the building. I had never seen a line like this in Warrensburg: I saw Whites, I saw Blacks, I saw college kids, I saw rednecks—I even noticed an NRA hat and a throwback high–top fade haircut. I spotted a few familiar faces from on campus, but most of the people in line were strangers to me.

I arrived early and snagged a spot up front. The clock struck midnight, September 20th became September 21st, and patrons were let in. No, this wasn’t a premiere of some stupid, bullshit Harry Potter or Twilight movie. It was the kick off of a 24 hour tattoo marathon at the Dublin Social Club tattoo shop, which opened last December and is owned and operated by award winning tattooist Tony Madrid.

The inside of the Dublin Social Club at the start of the 24 hour tattoo marathon.

The inside of the Dublin Social Club at the start of the 24 hour tattoo marathon.

I found out about the event a month beforehand, and waiting for it felt like a kid waiting for X-Mas Eve , probably because of the 20 dollar tattoos available that night.

Normally, if someone offered me a 20 dollar tattoo, I would have to decline. I was once told not to budget shop for tattoos. But this time would be an exception. Madrid and his staff are known for quality and professionalism, so I knew I would be getting top-notch ink at a discount price. One stipulation added to the excitement of the event—The 20 dollar tattoos wouldn’t be unveiled until the night of the marathon.

My plan was to scope out what was available and find something that would complement the ink I already have.

The first wave of people in front of me herded into the shop, and as I passed through the doorway, I got a glimpse of the flash sheet on a countertop. From a distance, I saw a brass knuckles design, but I was too far away to make out anything else. I made my way to the counter to get a better view of the flash sheet, and the words “Fighting Irish” were inscribed around the knuckles.

That’s a no go. … I’ve downed my fair share of Guinness, but you’ll find no red hair or freckles on this guy, and I haven’t thrown hands with anybody in about 10 years.

Another design stood out:“Dirty Burg” with cross-out lines through the words accompanied by bugs around it. I have nothing but contempt for this town, and I do plan on one day graduating, but I wouldn’t want to take symbols of this wretched hell–hole with me.

Then, one design jumped out at me, a skull and cross bones topped off with a green bowler hat with a small shamrock in the brim. BINGO! That would fit perfectly with the good luck/bad luck/duality theme on my left arm.

I signed the consent form, flashed my i.d, grabbed a sandwich, (the event was catered) and took a seat. My wait was less than 10 minutes, and I heard my name called. I hopped into the booth of tattooist Kody Miller, and we were off. Before starting, I requested that he make the color of the hat black instead of green. ( more A Clockwork Orange, and a little less leprechaun)

20_Dollar_Tattoo

As I laid back and felt the needle enter my outer bicep, I heard the familiar ZZZZT, ZZZZT sound, which I hadn’t heard up close in years, and a needle going into your skin feels just like what you would expect, but after awhile, the pain becomes dulled and replaced by a sense of euphoria, which is probably the result of the release of endorphins.

Anyone who has gotten tattooed is familiar with the after-tattoo high, a feeling that is comparable to a combination of X-Mas morning and the time when I was 15 and took an entire bottle of NoDoz in one night. I’m usually up until the wee hours of the morning after a tattoo session.

I looked around the room while getting tattooed and realized the magnitude and impact of the D.S.C. marathon. Every booth had a tattooist working in it, the walls in front of the booths were lined with people waiting and watching, and customers were still packing into the entranceway.

The sight was surreal– I had never seen a tattoo shop swamped like that. I was one of the first customers being tattooed that night/early morning, so I had an audience of curious onlookers waiting for their turn. One patron said the skull looked good with the rest of my tattoos. After what seemed like 30 minutes, I had a new tattoo, and I made my way out the door a little bit past one a.m. I had to get some rest—because I would be back later on in the day.

The plan was to get together with another student to record footage for a show I’m trying to develop for the UCM Media Network.( I’ve since submitted a proposal that was rejected , but for me, that just means back to the drawing board and submit another)

I met up with Dion, my cameraman for the day, at 10:00 a.m. We gathered the equipment and made our way to the Dublin Social Club.

The place wasn’t packed, but a steady stream of customers still flowed in. Walking in, I was greeted by the familiar ZZZZT, ZZZZT sound. The buzzing of the tattoo gun mixed with an eclectic blend of sounds coming from the shop’s sound system.

I can’t recall the last time I was in a tattoo shop, or anywhere else, and heard songs by Suicidal Tendencies, the Smiths, Dropkick Murphy’s, Bad Religion, Agnostic Front, Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, and Ice Cube floating through the air, one after another. It sounded as if someone with a wicked diverse musical taste put an iPod on shuffle.

Dion and I filmed for about two hours, and then we were out of there. Initially, I wanted to film the start, mid-way point, and close of the marathon, but you can’t win ’em all. (Even though, I was happy with the footage we did get)

I think you could call this one a win for the Dublin Social Club. As the marathon, reached its end, Madrid put up a status on Facebook announcing that the estimated total of tattoos done in the 24 hours was around 200.

When I interviewed Madrid last December, for a Digital Burg article http://digitalburg.com/?p=4273 (later printed in the Muleskinner, UCM’s campus newspaper) about the opening of the D.S.C., he told me he has gained a solid clientele in the area despite a lack of tattoo culture in Warrensburg ( tattoo culture meaning those who revere tattooing as an actual art form) With the big turnout for the marathon, I had to wonder if the event signifies the forging of a stronger tattoo culture in the area. It sure looked that way.

Hard-working tattooists of the Dublin Social Club at the end of the marathon. L to R: Damon Dixson, Kody Miller, Adam Warner, Tony Madrid, and Seth Andrews

Hard-working tattooists of the Dublin Social Club at the end of the marathon. L to R: Damin Dixson, Kody Miller, Adam Warner, Tony Madrid, and Seth Owens