THE SELVEDGE YARD x NORMAN PORTER CO. CONE SELVEDGE DENIM COLLABORATION

TSY the selvedge yard norman porter denim jean

I will always remember the day I met Mike & Dave Stampler at the Norman Porter studio in Philadelphia and they walked me through painstaking process of how they make their jeans. Sweating every detail, the immaculate sewing, reinforcing, bar-tacking, hand-hammering rivets, and the chunkiest (10 oz indigo chambray), cleanest pocket bags this side of anywhere. I’ve been in menswear for a long-ass time, so I’ve been to the rodeo before… I said, “So, you know you guys are totally over-engineering this thing, right?” Mike just stares at me and says, “Yes.” Me, “I fucking love it.” This is how you make a jean. Like a boss. #sorrynotsorry

tsy the selvedge yard norman porter tattoo patch jean

No detail was overlooked, no corners cut. This collaboration is one that I’m stoked and honored to be a part of. Some of Philly’s best artists stepped up to add their mastery, driven to do something cool just out of kindness. Mike Ski of True Hand Society Tattoos & Design in Fishtown drew and tattooed each leather patch by hand. He nailed the marriage of the TSY lightning bolt logo with Norman Porter’s snake, in my opinion. Jessie Jay (also of THS) jumped in to design the pocket bags for us that Pink Bike Ralph printed. It’s pretty cool how everyone was so humble and just came together to quietly celebrate the spirit and camaraderie of Philly design, craft & quality. It was an awesome thing to see everyone come together…for a jean. We are only making 13 pairs of these beauties… And when they’re gone, they are gone.

Continue reading

21 HELMETS SHOW ON DISPLAY AT THE 2014 MOTO GP THIS WEEKEND IN AUSTIN, TEXAS

Thor Drake and the crew at See See Motor Coffee continue to raise the bar of creativity with the 21 Helmets show coming up this weekend at the Circuit of the Americas Moto GP in Austin, TX on display in the paddock. If you plan to attend, don’t miss it.

“This year we partnered with Bell Helmets to get 21 historic helmets. Drawing inspiration from those old 21 helmets, artists then customized 21 new designs for this year’s show. 

Our original mission with the creation of 21 Helmets was to combine art and motorcycle safety in a way that had some cultural relevance. It’s been tested, tried and true, that motorcycle helmets are the one crucial piece of safety equipment that increase your chance of a healthy 2-wheeled lifestyle. What we saw happening was that people just bought factory designed color schemes on their lids. What we also noticed is that the good ol’ days of customizing the looks of your equipment to match the personalities of the riders had somewhat vanished.

This was the point we decided to host the first custom motorcycle helmet show. We thought 21 seemed like the right number that would be interesting and give a good range of design ideas. We reached out to 21 completely different-minded artists and asked them to design the helmet that would reflect any machine they could imagine.”

Thor Drake, See See Motor Coffee

see see motor coffee 21 helmets austin

Continue reading

DIRT QUAKE COMING TO AMERICA! | SIDEBURN & SEE SEE UNITE TO THROW DIRT IN ‘YER EYE!

Sideburn and See See Motorcycles have joined forces to bring Dirt Quake to the USA! Flat track racing that ain’t pretty or professional, but it sure is a whole helluva lotta fun! And that’s the point!

The original Dirt Quake, back in 2012, was Sideburn magazine’s idea to get novices racing their motorcycles that don’t fit into normal motorcycle sport, and at minimum cost. For 2014 Sideburn has partnered with See See Motorcycles of Portland, OR to take Dirt Quake to a Grand National Championship track in the Pacific Northwest.

Dirt Quake USA is a two-day event with the opportunity to watch the pros and top amateurs race pure flat track bikes on Saturday, then race, or point at complete novices competing on totally unfit-for-purpose bikes, in the special Dirt Quake classes on Sunday. Saturday night is a camp out with live music. Sunday is purely for road bikes and the emphasis is on fun and enjoying the experience, not red mist and race bikes. It’s also a show for spectators of all ages and will include dangerous stunts, live music– and the unforgettable spectacle of watching the exceptionally unprepared try to race the wilfully inappropriate!

Continue reading

MARILYN MONROE, THE TALK OF HOLLYWOOD | 1952 PHOTOGRAPHY OF PHILIPPE HALSMAN

In 1952, LIFE magazine assigned photographer Philippe Halsman to shoot Marilyn Monroe in her tiny Hollywood studio apartment. The resulting cover photo (at the end of this post) pushed her over the top, giving her immediate superstar status, and 20th Century Fox jumped to sweeten her existing multi-year contract to keep their starlet happy.

Marilyn Monroe LIFE Magazine Philippe Halsman photo shoot 1952 crop 900

“I drove to the outskirts of Los Angeles where Marilyn lived in a cheap two-room apartment. What impressed me in its shabby living room was the obvious striving for self-improvement. I saw a photograph of Eleanora Duse and a multitude of books that I did not expect to find there, like the works of Dostoyevsky, of Freud, the History of Fabian Socialism, etc. On the floor were two dumbbells.

I took hundreds of pictures. Finally I asked her to stand in the corner of the room. I was facing her with my camera, the LIFE reporter and my assistant at my sides. Marilyn was cornered and she flirted with all three of us. And such was her talent that each one of us felt that if only the other two would leave, something incredible would happen. Her sex-appeal was not a put-on– it was her weapon and her defense.” –Philippe Halsman

Marilyn Monroe LIFE Magazine Philippe Halsman Photo 1952 900

.

Continue reading

THE BROTHERS BEHIND NORMAN PORTER CO. | PHILADELPHIA’S OWN HANDCRAFTED DENIM

Norman Porter DENIM JEANS PHILADELPHIA

Pennsylvania born & bred, and true salt of the earth guys, Mike & Dave Stampler are the brothers behind Norman Porter Co. I reached out last year, asking if I could come down and see their Philly workshop. I was greeted with genuine smiles, a firm handshake, and a ton of passion for their craft. We’ve gotten to know each other, and I’ve grown to like poking around their place and shooting the shit with them from time to time. Everything in their studio has a purpose, history, and heart. I like that. I also find it fulfilling talking about the inspiration, design, materials, craftsmanship, repurposing of old machinery, and all the attention to detail that goes into everything they do. They are the epitome of “industrious little fuckers”. Their father was a mechanic. The boys grew up in the garage and were bestowed with a solid work ethic. Dad still doles out chores when they come visit. Knowing Mike & Dave now, it’s no surprise that Norman Porter Co. (named after their Grandfather) is all about utilizing the best quality materials and craftsmanship to create an honest product that stands the test of time. Quality is not some cliche tagline for them. It’s legit.

Norman Porter Dave Philadelphia denim jeans

Continue reading

BUNNY YEAGER | THE LEGENDARY QUEEN OF PINUPS AND PHOTOGRAPHY, PT II

Bettie Page Bunny Yeager Miami 1954

Miami, 1954– Bettie Page, Kathleen Stanley, and Bunny Yeager. Photographer Bunny Yeager was assigned to do some catalog photos of a line of petticoats and one of the models didn’t show up. Bunny jumped in, taking off her clothes and putting on a petticoat, and took this shot using a self-timer on her camera.

Bunny Yeager knew from an early age that her life’s desire was to be a model, and set out by studying the “come hither” poses of classic painted pin-up art, and snipping pictures of sexy screen sirens Betty Grable, Jane Russell, Rita Hayworth, etc., that were hoarded away in her growing collection of scrapbooks. Right after high school Bunny Yeager made it official. “I took a modeling course from an agency with the finest reputation in Miami,” she recalled.

Continue reading

CRY BABY | JOHNNY DEPP IN JOHN WATERS’ ’50S HIGH SCHOOL HELLCATS CULT CLASSIC

johnny depp cry baby harley-davidson motorcycle

“John Waters’ musical ode to the teen rebel genre is infectious and gleefully camp, providing star Johnny Depp with the perfect vehicle in which to lampoon his pin-up image.” –Roger Ebert. Well said. Depp has always deftly embraced ironic roles to deflect the trappings of his undeniable handsome-as-hell looks. 21 Jump Street definitely had the potential to pigeon-hole his career, had he been a lesser actor.

Cry Baby would go on to become a cult classic, due largely to the pouty lipped, chiseled face of a young Johnny Depp in his physical prime, and on a Harley to boot. (They used a Sportster and K model, both red, that they swapped a few times in the film apparently with the thought that it would go mostly unnoticed.) For me the enduring 1950s aesthetic is always a draw, and Waters’ witty one-liners are priceless. And let’s not forget the interest that was stirred up back then by the young and sultry Traci Lords. It was her first non-nude screen role following her controversial (not to mention highly illegal) underage porn career that was still hot on everyone’s tongues and minds.

still-johnny-depp,-traci-lords-ricki-lake-cry-baby-(1990)

.

Continue reading

THE NIGHT THE COW CUT-UP THE BUTCHER | CASSIUS CLAY VS. SONNY LISTON, 1964

cassius-clay-sonny-liston-1964-8

“I was a senior in high school. I remember thinking Sonny Liston was the meanest, baddest man on the planet. He was an ex-con, controlled by the mob, and one look at him could shrink a man into a boy. Clay was the glib, smack-talking pretty boy. Most fans predicted his early demise. The fight was talked about for weeks after it was over. I was hooked. Boxing became my favorite sport.” –Jackie Kallen, fight manager

.

It was an epic, wierd-ass time for this country. It just was. February, 1964 and just a few months earlier America had seen it’s golden boy, President Kennedy the King of Camelot, shot down in the street like a dog, in broad daylight, in Dallas Goddamn Texas.  The state would feel the impact for decades, as the entire country just could not forgive Texas for letting this happen to the President on their watch. America still had a collective black eye from the tragic loss and desperately needed something to rally around. And boy did we get it– the fight that would change boxing forever. The invincible, stoic champ, Sonny Liston vs. the young, brash showman (AKA the Louisville Lip) Cassius Clay. To add to the pandemonium, The Beatles had landed on our shore at JFK February 7th for their historic, record-breaking performances that would change music forever. I cannot even imagine what it would have been like to be alive during such an epic time in history.

.

cassius-clay-sonny-liston-1964-the beatles

“The Beatles were royally pissed. They were brought to the beach first for a photo op with the champ. Liston took one look and said, ‘I won’t pose with those sissies.’ So they’re brought to meet Clay instead. I’m at the gym. Clay’s late. The Beatles are cursing. He finally shows up and says, ‘Come on Beatles. Let’s go make some money.’ They strike a pose in the ring where he taps George and the rest go down like dominoes. Clay says, ‘You boys aren’t as stupid as you look.’ John Lennon says, ‘No, but you are.’ Then they go off to their destiny and Ali goes off to his.” –Robert Lipsyte, who covered the fight for the New York Times

Continue reading

THE EPIC AUSTIN MUSIC HISTORY CHRONICLES | PHOTOGRAPHY & WORDS OF SCOTT NEWTON

Photographer Scott Newton has been an avid observer chronicling the evolution of music, politics, and his own personal life in Austin, Texas, since 1970– from The Armadillo in the early 70s through 35 years of Austin City Limits. If you love the Texas music scene of the 1970s & ’80s, well then friends, this is right up your alley. Scott’s photography is among my favorite ever of this era and of the characters that he brilliantly and intimately captured with his lens… And his personal commentary is icing on the cake. Enjoy.

waylon jennings scott newton photography

“In 1974 Waylon was ornery and mean. He was also vital and real. He wasn’t a nice guy, like Willie… he was raw and direct and just generally pissed off. (he also was never better than 1974) So, on that night in ’74 when I walked to the front of the stage at the Armadillo and saw the other photographers cowering away from the stage I had a choice… cower or shoot. I chose to shoot. Good thing. It turns out he had just kicked the camera of Charlyn Zlotnik and hated photographers. So I shot him glaring at me….which 30 or so years later was exactly what the art director was looking for. Album cover Waylon Live, BMG Heritage. Funny how things sometimes work out…” — Photo © copyright 1974 Scott Newton

.

Willie Nelson 1983 Scott Newton photography

“…unseen gem of Willie Nelson from the early ’80s.” — Photo © copyright 1983 Scott Newton

.

hank williams jr bus scott newton photography

“Hank Williams Jr’s Tour Bus. Somewhere outside Austin, 1975. A still life of sorts….” — Photo © Copyright 1975 Scott Newton
.