Monthly Archives: July 2011
Les Skuse 1912-1973
Les Skuse opened his first tattoo shop in the English port town of Bristol in 1928. He was awarded the title of Champion Tattoo Artist of all England in 1955 and founded the Bristol Tattoo Club. Les’s kids took over the shop in the 60’s and his grandson Jimmie still runs the shop in Bristol to this day – a real family business. These photos are primarily of BTC members in the early to late 50’s and also of Les’s daughter-law, Rusty Skuse – The Most Tattooed Women in England. Check out the Skuse family web site http://www.lesskusetattoos.co.uk/ for more of these photos and a bit more history about Les.
What a difference a year makes. The Clash were riding high in the emerging English punk scene in the late seventies w/ the release of their debut LP “The Clash” and follow up “Give ’em Enough Rope” – and looked like every other punk on the block, torn clothes and bad teeth. Then along came “London Calling” in 1980. Later hailed as the best LP of the ’80s (though actually released in 1979) it made the band rock stars. With that came a radical change of style and focus. No more thrift store clothes and bad haircuts. Instead they went backwards, incorporating new 50’s style suits and Elvis Presley shirts. Paul Simonon, being the most photogenic, looked like a male model, who could kick your ass. Joe, went for a greasy Elvis look, Mick looked like a 40’s pool shark and Topper, poor Topper, just looked uncomfortable.
That’s right, Pin-Ups won the war. Not by themselves of course, they had help. Bored GI’s and pilots inspired by the only acceptable way to get pictures of a nearly nude women – pin-up calendars and posters – painted them on just about anything they could get their hands and brushes on. I guess you could consider it grafitti of a kind. First used to distinguish platoons and then to make some kind of statement or boast, it quickly caught on and became a huge moral booster. It continues to this day, (although there is a ban on naked women, PC bastards!) Most of these are somewhat crude, others extremely detailed, but all are extremely cool with the their bright stylized lettering and fabulous pin-up poses.
Ah, the wonderful 1950’s. What were they thinkin’. Most of these beautiful posters were AIP releases – (A film production company that catered to teen and exploitation double features primarily for Drive-Ins). The designs are bold and colorful and less then subtle with the focus on the girl who is most definetly bad – or about to be. As these were mostly created for Drive-Ins in limited markets on cheap paper, not many have survived and have become quite valuable.
Richard Starkey, MBE (born 7 July 1940)
I always liked Ringo, maybe not best (I was a George fan), but I thought he was cool – the bit of an outsider in the group. I guess I felt a bit sorry for him. When the band formed in 1960, Starr was a member of another band, Rory Storm & the Hurricanes. He became The Beatles’ drummer in August 1962, replacing Pete (the unluckiest man in the world) Best. Starr described himself as “your basic offbeat drummer with funny fills”, technically limited by being a left-handed person playing a right-handed kit. Frustraed with only given a song here and there and not much creative input Ringo was the first to quit The Beatles in 1969 but returned after a couple week sulk and stayed with them until the breakup in 1970. He has recorded 16 solo LPs had a couple of hit singles and currently tours as The Ringo Starr All-Star Revue along w/ a rotating list of muscians.
These are from a series of mugshots taken in Sydney Australia, primarily in the 1920’s. They seem perfectly posed and actually lit quite well. It would seem the photographer was attempting something more then just a standard mug shot. Little detail is known about these photos. In fact, when they were discovered in 1989, the only information that existed was what was scratched onto the image. These mug shots are 4-by-6-inch glass plate negatives and are housed in the sydney Police Museum.
Widow Annie Birkett certainly didn’t notice anything odd when she married Harry Leon Crawford, above, in 1914. Imagine her surprize when “Harry” turned out to be a woman: Eugenia Falleni, who had been passing as a man since 1899.
Three years after their marriage, Birkett announced to a relative that she had discovered “something amazing about Harry.” Shortly thereafter, she disappeared. Crawford (Falleni) told the neighbors that Birkett had run off with a plumber. Eventually, a charred body was found in a Sydney suburb and identified as Birkett’s. When Crawford’s second’s wife was finally convinced of Falleni’s true gender, she remarked, “I always wondered why he was so painfully shy …”