June 30, 2009

Original T&C Surf Sketches

Yup, it's that good. Looking back at the most influential t-shirt brands of my childhood, only a couple come to mind. Stussy being at the forefront of that thought, but just behind, in a very close second, would be T&C Surf Designs. Although the brand itself was cool and gave you instant elementary school playground cred, the thing that set this brand apart were the colorful characters and the situations they were captured in.

I came across the artist responsible for the original conception and drawing of the characters, and found these sketches. I emailed him a very nice, long email about how influential his art was and how much his work was responsible for the marketability of T&C, etc... He never wrote back. Even still, his old original art is still as rad as it was back then.

As it happened, in the mid 80s, T&C Surf split in two, leaving the Hawaiian company rights to the name and logo, and the California based company rights to the characters only. Although T&C surf went on to produce apparel, the characters more or less died off and disappeared into obscurity. If you are hoping for someone to resurrect the name and characters, keep hoping. There seems to be some bad blood still in the T&C waters and the idea of a rekindled friendship between the two companies may be just as distant as the fond memories I have of wearing my pink Voo-Doo surfers roasting a shark tee. I remember meticulously cutting a T&C sticker apart so I could put the characters on the bottom of my Hosoi Hammerhead without the sticker interfering with the board's graphic. Life's problems were so much more simple then.

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June 29, 2009

Hardcore Pride x What's Hardcore?

A while back, I got an email with a link to The Hundreds Blog. Although a fan, I don't frequent the Hundreds store. I get what they do, and respect where they are taking their image through merchandise, but when it comes to wearing it, just not really my thing. I check the link out. Through the vivid colors with 80s-90s-inspired, throwback graphics and limited production runs, there are a few pieces that catch my eye. You know when you run into someone you know in a city that isn't home? So familiar but in a new and strange setting? That's how I felt when I saw The Hundreds: A Tribute To Hardcore.

Not too long after the Hundreds released their collection, I see Supreme releasing their Youth Of Today rip. Again, I'm a fan of what Supreme does, don't always pay for it, but usually a fan. This was different though. Right next to the Budwieser x Supreme bag, was a "Youth Crew" shirt. My first thought about both of them; how could they? Supreme and The Hundreds taking something I hold so dear and turning it into street-wear for a bunch of young kids to wear without knowing where the imagery came from just to turn a penny!?!? Then I got smart.

The kids behind these shirts are the same as me, and were shaped and influenced in the same way I was by these bands. After I thought about it all, I was stoked they did it. They were pushing these old bands and their messages of positivity onto a whole new demographic that might not otherwise know about it. These guys, even in their heavy plastisol-printed way, are keeping alive a tradition and a sub-culture that has been so skewed and morphed over the years, I barely recognize it. I can't help but to think the team responsible, over at The Hundreds, were laughing at their little inside joke, and loving the idea that they were going to give a whole different type of street-cred to a group of fluorescent Nike wearing kids.

Sure, the people who buy these may wear them not ever knowing what it was like to jump on shoulders, wait for the mic to be passed, and sing along to 'Hold On'. They may go to bars and sip their cool cheap beer, wearing a BOLD shirt, and have no clue what a youth crew even is, but who cares. Maybe they'll go home, download a Gorilla Biscuits track and X-up for the next Alife show.

I'm just pissed the Ten Yard Fight shirt sold out before I could get one. Hats off to The Hundreds for giving the kids a floor to punch.

The originals...

For the original pieces from "back in the day" and a taste of the life these guys are paying homage to... check out two of my favorite resources...

The Hardcore Archaeologist


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A collection of things to kill some time before you actually start working today. Things I've seen online or collected, links I dig, and even some eBay auctions you wish you had seen in time.

A look at growing up in Brooklyn in the 70's through one photographer's eyes.

Stetson "Fashion" collection.

WWII Maunsell Forts. Read about them here, and see some great pictures of them on Flickr, here.

Vintage Roller Rink sticker.

Mamod Steam cars and engines. Little kits that run on steam that you order and build at home.

From the people that brought you Band Of Brothers, the second installment from WWII... THE PACIFIC, starting in 2010 on HBO. C'mon new year.

Things you missed on eBay.
* 48 star sewn flag for $50.00.
* Sierra Designs 60/40 Made in US Nylon Parka for $224.72.


One of my favorite, and best photo blogs out there... Yimmy Yayo. WARNING: Naked Girls.

Vans OTW Mid Skool '77.

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June 26, 2009

1978 JC Penny Pinto 2

And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts. I looked and behold, a pale horse. And his name, that sat upon him, was Benny. And hell followed with him. Okay, maybe not hell, but at least a wake of style.

Ben found this little gem, although not a gem at the time, online, in Cleveland, Ohio. He sent his Dad over to check it out for him, and subsequently wrote a check and shipped it out West. Upon delivery, Ben decided the Pinto was going to need more TLC than he had anticipated, rolled up his sleeves, and taught himself how to rebuild and fix his new whip. Along with Jeff Johnsen's superb knowledge and help, and some powder-coating, new crank, Boss pipe, and an intake, Ben had the ride he needed.

I'm not a moped lover, despite their cult-like following here in Los Angeles' East side, but let me tell you... this thing is way too much fun. 70ccs and 45mph, the thing gets up and goes.

For more great pictures of the LA Moped culture, check out the THE LATEBIRDS Flickr set...

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June 25, 2009

Hotel De Ville

I've been getting hounded by my friend, Mike Stewart, to go check out his favorite glasses store in LA, Hotel De Ville. Last time I saw him, with much enthusiasm, Mike showed me his 40s, prison-issue specs (with no metal in the arms and made of nylon... "shiv-proof"). Okay, I was impressed a place in LA stocked such classy eye wear and decided I needed to scope it out for myself. I did.

Owner and resident optometrist, Javier Brambila, greeted me and showed me the lay of the land to his Rosewood location, just of Fairfax. Stocking up-and-coming brands as well as an impressive collection of vintage spectacles, Hotel De Ville offers a little something for everyone. Prices were more than competitive for such fine specimens of dead-stock government and prison issue pieces, and they can handle all prescription issues right there on-site.

Prison Issue...

I left without a pair of the impressivly, well-fitting prison glasses, but with promises of a return trip soon. Go check out one of their three locations in LA, tell them Mike and Nick sent you, and just try and sharpen those prison specs to a point... bet you can't.

A couple shots from the HDV blog. A great resource for old pictures of great and timeless (and sometimes not-so timeless) eye wear.

Next door to The Hundreds...
7911 Rosewood Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90048
323.782.0772 phone
323.782.8094 fax

With the Michael Caine painting above it...
7422 Beverly Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
323.634.9911 phone
323.634.9912 fax

On th East side...
4624 Hollywood Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90027
323.664.1462 phone

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