Denim Style — Participant at the 1st Annual Pendine Sands Hot Rod Races wearing Lee jeans. Photography © Horst Friedrichs
Horst A. Friedrichs’ thoughtful photographic curation of British style continues with his latest release Denim Style. The foreword written by Kelly Dawson, co-founder of Dawson Denim, traces the origin of denim (one of the world’s most honest, durable, and coveted fabrics) back over a thousand years ago to the dye houses of Japan, where the art of Aizome (dyeing with the fermented leaves of the indigo plant) began. The Japanese later learned to grow cotton and began weaving by hand. From there she traces the lineage of denim across France, Italy, and Britain. We so often think of denim as the quintessential American fabric, which for us it is, but many countries and cultures shared in the evolution and passion that gave us the fabric that has touched all of our lives. I mean really, who doesn’t have a favorite pair of jeans?
Leave a comment here about your favorite pair of jeans and I’ll select one submission that will receive a copy of Denim Style signed by Horst A. Friedrichs himself.
Photographer Doug Barber (AKA Q-Ball), and poet Sorez the Scribe’s “Living The Life” is an honest and straight-up look into the old school biker lifestyle (fetishized by many youngins today) that’s so achingly gritty and real– it has every newbie with a murdered-out custom and a half helmet tripping over each other trying to co-opt its badass-ery. Q-Ball’s images make you feel like a fly on the wall– knee deep in the mud, the blood, and the beer. And Sorez’s biker poetry throttles, brakes, and pulls no punches. Together they create a 1%er’s masterpiece that is truly one of a kind. I have a prized copy, and I can tell you that the pics and poetry are priceless if you dig this stuff.
Q-Ball himself was kind enough to hand-select several favorite images from the book, as well as share his colorful commentary and recollections behind each one, for us all here at TSY to enjoy.
From “Living the Life” foreward: “For years I have been encouraged to compile a book of these images. I hesitated pursuing a book because I did not want to explain, or analyze my photos. The thrust of this book is a collection of my biker photography accompanied by compatible Sorez’s biker poems. ‘Living the Life’ is a personal view of a biker’s existence. Allowing the reader to draw their own conclusions from the material presented. It is not my intention to stereotype the folks in my photographs. This is because all bikers are not alike, but share the same contempt for being categorized.” –Doug Barber (AKA Q-Ball)
“Dirt That Moves MC”, circa 197? from “Living The Life” –Image by © Doug Barber. “The name of my old club “Dirt That Moves MC” was earned honestly by two of the founding members. After spending a month on the road with little more than the clothes on their back, and sleeping where ever they fell down, they pulled into a Harley-Davidson dealership. It was raining buckets and they were looking for some shelter and free hot coffee. As they walked across the showroom floor dripping puddles of muddy water, someone behind the counter said, “Well, here comes dirt that moves”. With that a club was born. We wore the name proudly, and fought to keep its honor. We were an unorganized band of tightly bonded brothers, and damn proud of it.” –Doug Barber (AKA Q-Ball)
“Dirt Drags”, circa 197? from “Living The Life” –Image by © Doug Barber. “One of my crew’s favorite runs was the Dirt Drags. It was an all day adventure getting there, and a long time before we got home. While we were there we excelled at getting drunk, falling down and getting dirty– after all we had a reputation to uphold. One of the events we won nearly every year was piling on a bike, and seeing how far you could ride before breaking bones. The reason we did so well? We practiced all year long at getting drunk and breaking bones.” –Doug Barber (AKA Q-Ball)
Listening to music properly has a lot to do with having the right environment. A place that’s all your own. I like the warm glow from the perfect level of indirect, low lighting. I want to be surrounded by my favorite things to look at. And I long for seating that you just melt into and disappear in. And another thing– I love my iPod as much as the next guy– but sometimes there are those moments when you need to break out the turntable and throw on some old records. The warm hiss and crackle of needle on vinyl is like hearing your mother’s voice in the womb. Which is what a man cave really is– a dark, personal, intimate womb.
When we first moved to New Jersey, we bought a great old Dutch Colonial home previously owned by an Italian family– the guy’s name was Nick. The basement he built-out was the clincher. It was like a retro 60s gentleman’s club– red and black lacquer paneled walls, mirrors, a full bar with turntable, and even a pool table which they were good enough to leave behind. I’ll never forget the two framed portraits hanging side by side behind the bar– The Pope & Frank Sinatra. Welcome to Jersey– I loved it. I spent many an evening down there with lights down low, the sound of billiard balls slamming hard into a corner pocket, always perfect tunes in the background, and a cold one. Now I’m in a house with no man cave and going insane…
Retro 1960s Hi Fi stereo equipment and mid century modern furniture– great old Tulip table.
Cozy retro man cave w/ Eames chair, animal hide rug, art, books & hi fi– Done.