Karlheinz Weinberger’s photography is often described as, “What happens to white Switzerland when black music is played by a white man, and then radioed across the Atlantic to Europe.” While there are clearly strong homoerotic overtones present and some may judge and decide to look no further… I’m drawn to the strong fashion stance and attitude of rebellion in these kids that is driven by the American music and movie scene of the time (Elvis, James Dean, Gene Vincent, etc.) that they masterfully embraced and evolved into there own subculture, Halbstark or “Half-Strong.” Almost 50 years later, it still inspires.
Photographer Bastian Glaessner shot these incredibly cool pics of the UK Atomic Festival described by the organizers as– “…an international line-up of bands & DJs playing in spectacular indoor venues, traditional flag-start drag racing, air displays, jiving, bopping & strolling, an enormous big-top with a 6,000 sq ft dance floor, a pre-1963 car show and drive-in movie, poodles, roller skating… and the best festival atmosphere ever!”
“On slight short notice I headed up north last weekend to meet up with a bunch of UK retro heads that got together on an old 30s airstrip outside Northampton to celebrate the annual Atomic bash of serious vintage fair. This mid-century-inspired festival had everything the gentleman drag-strip connoisseur’s heart might desire– a field full of polished pre-’63s metal to draw you in, plenty mean Rock ’n’ Roll fuzz booming from the speakers of the multiple stages, the gravity defying riders of the Demon-Drome of death spinning their 1920s Indians up the 30 foot wall and last but not least a glorious stretch of glaring concrete that just begged the rod riders to be raced!” ~Bastian Glaessner
“Despite the somewhat grey skies the eclectic mob turned out in style! Bombers, raw jeans, pomaded hair and neat pressed curls as far as the eye could see. From gear-heads to knuckle freaks, young-guns to old-timers, everybody made an effort and rocked up spotting their most stylish attire. It all made for a photographers dream really.” ~Bastian Glaessner
There was a lot of love between Lady Day Billie Holiday and her beloved pooch, Mister. She had other dogs in her lifetime– a Standard Poodle, and pet Chihuahas she bottle fed and whisked around in her pocket– but none as close to her heart as Mister. He was widely thought to be a Boxer, but there are some who disagree saying he was perhaps an American Staffordshire Terrier. One thing is clear, he was a loving and protective companion, and trusted by Holiday above all others– humans included. It’s no wonder these touching photos mean so much to Billie Holiday fans and dog lovers alike. He would chaperone her to the clubs where she performed, and stood watch over her in the backstage dressing room. Billie would sing to Mister, and reward him by cooking him juicy steaks. 100 years after her birth, she is still bedeviling our ears with her sweet, sorrowful tunes and haunting us in pictures. RIP Lady Day, and her sweet Mister.
Originally included in a 1949 cover story for Ebony magazine, this photograph shows Holiday at home in her Harlem apartment cooking a steak with her beloved boxer, Mister. The article, titled “I’m Cured for Good,” came after numerous incidents with the law due to Holiday’s ongoing struggle with narcotics. This was the first time Leonard had ever met the singer. “On arriving, I was greeted by a woman in an apron and housedress,” recalled Leonard, “whom I initially mistook for the maid, until I realized she was the great Billie Holiday.” –Photographer Herman Leonard via
Portrait of Billie Holiday and Mister by William Gottlieb at the Downbeat in New York, Feb. 1947
The last time TSY posted the epic Photography of Pulsating Paula the interwebs superhighway stream was so strong it blew the plastic housing clear off my Commodore 64. I’ve since upgraded to a refurbished Apple III and am ready to roll. With Daytona Bike Week fresh on everyone’s mind, let’s go back to a time before many of you were born– the 1980s. Not the strongest era in terms of aesthetic, but these are bikers. And luckily for them they’re largely immune to vapid societal fashion trends and fancy pants grooming. What you get is straight-up lettin’ it all hang out, livin’ the life Daytona. You don’t like it, stick it.
See See Motor Coffee Co. delivered strong on year six, with a dramatic new venue and a shit-ton of incredible bikes. Smack dab in the middle of the old industrial space was a monstrous metal press that towered over the surrounding bikes– a sight to see in itself. Per usual, all were welcome– custom choppers, cafes, cruisers, scramblers, land-speed racers, and eh, minibikes! Lots of minibikes, and an outdoor oval track to ride them on to boot!
“Steam Hammer” 1960 Harley-Davidson FLH custom built by Travis at High-Test Speed drew lots of eyes and accolades at The One Motorcycle Show 2015 in Portland, Oregon. Even this little pooch had to do a double-take. [All photos © by Ashley Smalley for The Selvedge Yard]
It’s good people more than anything that are the heart & soul of See See’s The One Motorcycle Show— like friend & photographer Scott Toepfer, standing next to his custom Harley-Davidson flathead racer. [All photos © by Ashley Smalley for The Selvedge Yard]
1976, The Runaways — Lita Ford, Joan Jett, Jackie Fox, Sandy West, Cherie Currie — photo by Tom Gold
The Runaways teenage, all-female rock band was co-founded in 1975 by guitarist Joan Jett and drummer Sandy West. The two were joined by Cherie Currie, Lita Ford, and Jackie Fox and became the main core of the group. Vicki Blue, Micki Steele (who’d later join The Bangles), Peggy Foster, and Laurie McAllister also flowed in as others dropped-out, and they eventually broke up in 1979. The Runaways actually saw greater success in Japan than here in the US, where many critics and serious rock fans alike had a hard time taking the sexy teenage girls from LA seriously. Their mania and memory largely slipped into a slumber until being sparked again by the 2010 biographical flick, The Runaways.
Being a child of the ’70s & ’80s I was aware of The Runaways, but was exposed more to TV than the live music scene. Suzi Quatro (who inspired Jett) was riding a wave of curiously sexy, somewhat androgynous, lady rocker vibe and saw decent TV airtime. I’ll admit, I was intrigued. Pinky Tuscadero definitely had my attention too. Then Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, and Lita Ford (now a pursed-lipped, metal guitar goddess), shot back into the rock limelight wiser, and with stronger musical chops. Looking back at The Runaways, one thing I’ll say is that they were well-merchandised, as witnessed by the great archive of images that have successfully survived the test of time.
Josh Kurpius talks about how he got into photography, metal-smithing, and building his very first bike — a ’77 Harley-Davidson Ironhead called The Locust. For him it was all about learning hands-on, in the moment, being intentionally self-reliant, and discovering where it takes you. Sometimes it’s more about the journey than the destination.
For me, Bettie Page & Bunny Yeager epitomize iconic American pinup photography. Not just of the 1950s… Ever. In 1954, Bettie Page was working with Irving Klaw in NYC and decided a break was in order, so she headed south to Miami for relaxation and fun in the sun. That’s when fate struck. Bettie met Bunny, and the rest is pinup history. Bettie Page never looked better than in the capable hands of Bunny Yeager (herself a former model) who arguably shot the best and most famous images of the black-banged beauty– like the epic Jungle Girl shoot (shot at the Africa USA safari Park in Boca Raton), and the game-changing image of Bettie posing nude in a Santa cap for Playboy magazine in 1955.
“When I first saw Bettie in the nude, I was pleasantly surprised; she looked great. She walked into the room on tippy-toes, like she was wearing high heels, which made her look taller and more natural at the same time. The first thing I noticed was that for some reason when she was nude, she did not seem naked. I had never seen anyone with an allover tan and she looked like the perfect doll or mannequin. Bettie was a true nudist and maintained her glorious golden olive color by sunning herself everyday. She would lie on the banks of the miami River. Maybe it was her tan, or maybe it was her attitude– she seemed completely at ease.” –Bunny Yeager, excerpt from Bettie Page, Queen of Curves
Pulsating Paula tapped TSY with her eye-popping photographic archive of the New Jersey bike and tattoo crowd she shot back in the ’80s & ’90s. These images speak of authenticity, grit, and good times. Looking at these raw, honest shots what speaks to me is that life itself is f’ing good, if you have the nuts to truly go out and live it. It’s not the stuff. You need to show up, be authentic, truly appreciate family & friends, where you are and what you have. When you do that you realize you have all you need.
“Born in Jersey City. Moved to New Brunswick when I was 8. Got married to my first lay in 1973. 10 years later he bought me a camera, a Canon AE1. I still have it. Started taking photos of biker parties and tattoo events. Sent them into ‘Biker Lifestyle’ magazine who later Paisano publications took over. They came out with ‘Tattoo’ magazine first of it’s kind ever. Between the Biker and Tattoo magazines I had thousands of photos published. The 10 minute set up of my photography studio consisted of 2 flood lights that burnt the shit out of any poor person in front of them, and a 6×9 foot black cloth I got from Kmart that was tacked onto a wall. Never considered myself professional ever. I just loved doing it with every fiber in my body. I know the wonderful people I met and places I been in this journey will live on forever in my photographs. I’m so glad I was there with you.” –Paula Reardon (aka Pulsating Paula)