Posted on Leave a comment


Cleopatra the Tearaway

I was born at a very young age like everyone else. By the time I was four-years old I could read, and I did.  I read constantly. I talked to adults that came over to visit my drug dealing, crooked, thieving, mobbed-up parents, and I freaked them out. Once, a lady said, “Shit! This kid is not normal; she is like a midget that knows about everything.” The point is is that I grew up fast. And, for whatever reason, I want to share the shit life that I have had with you. Why? I don’t know. Maybe I am trying to purge the past, and get on with the future. And there may be a little vanity in there somewhere, too.

I was a street kid since I could remember anything. I have stories about being a woman who always had to fight all the sordid creeps that have crossed my path on this planet with pride and violence. I got into punk rock in 1989 from a neighbor that moved across the street from me in Los Angeles. The first punk song I ever heard was “John Wayne was a Nazi” by MDC. I fell in love. I was eleven years old and completely blown the fuck away. I got into underground music, and started seeking the underground in Hollywood, California. Slowly, but surely I ended up running with a punk gang. Real chaos punks, but we were down with the merkzy traveling crusties too. Subcultural people from all over the world would end up in our town. It was never boring. It was great to wake up every morning for everyday was an adventure. Of course, there were hard times. Of course, there was violence. But I was really innit for the madness.

Eventually I got burnt-out, tired of seeing everyone sleep with everyone behind each other’s back, hated being a sexual target all the time.  It all made me sick. I started to grow up, and became tired of the endless drug overdoses, the growing pile of dead friends.  And of L.A.’s biggest gang:  the LAPD.  Good times had gone sour. It was too painful.   At times, I was able to distance myself from the self-destruction for long periods as the “family” business kept me on the road a lot. And, even though I got to travel, I hated that, too. But I make the best of any situation. I am big on fun. When I’d roll back into town after being on the road for up to a year (I was fifteen when the road trips started.)   I’d get bored and go kick it for days or weeks in Hollywood, or whatever city I happened to be in.  But I always knew when to fuck off.  I was too afraid I would be sucked into gutter punk vortex yet again. I couldn’t handle it because I had a little sister I had to protect.  I had others to think about now.  I had to keep myself somewhat together.

I started getting chummier and drawing closer to like-minded friends who were sick of it all too. We all became skins. And strangely enough, things actually got crazier without the drugs or indiscretions.  With the skins, if you were gonna fuck around, you could end up six feet underground. I came from a mob-y family anyway. This was just right for me. Music-wise, the genre that made me fucking maniacal was Oi! I was a fucking Oi! girl!!! I was not mousey, but quite the opposite- menacing, loud, obnoxious, wild-eyed, but always a sweetheart (for the most part).

My personal battles have included crime, alcoholism, domestic violence, and just plain old violence. But I’ve never stopped fighting.  Even if it’s just for the remote control. I din’t always win. Sometimes I had so much on my mind that I just did not fucking care. I will tell you the truth. I will tell you when I was weak and when I was strong. I got nothing to hide.  And nothing to prove.

I married a skin, and two years in I hung up my boots. Why? Fuck. I had developed so many anxiety disorders that I did not feel tough enough to represent. I had a life changing experience aka the worst day of my fucking life, a day that continues to torment me.

My life has been many things, but it’s never been normal or boring. I mean, where I was at last night? Drinking with a motley crew of nutters at a party worthy of the silver screen.  Like always, it was fucking crazy. Who I am nowadays? A humanitarian that looks like she gets dressed in the dark. Had enough yet?

The Bother Girl and the Pimp

I have recently acquired a Cosmetology license. It really is a brilliant way to start all over. Because all hair dressers are crazy and nobody gives a fuck! Here in America the students who get a Cosmetology license get a fresh start which includes disregard for criminal histories and bad work histories.  A lot of women in America acquire their Cosmetology education in prison and statistically they have the best grades. As an enigmatic fuck in this society and love for all things regarding beauty, this was perfect for me.

I knew this lady for a year, she was one of my favorite school mates and drinking buddies. We never had a problem and a pretty solid friendship at that.  I took my State Board of Texass Practicum test with her. We both passed. She works at a spa. She had been working there long before we met as the receptionist. Once licensed, she got to do more than run the desk. She came to my birthday party and told me she would put in a good work for me at work.

I was thrilled with thoughts of the possibility of a better near future. Things went fast. The next day she told me her boss was interested in me. I came in that very day for an interview. I was supposed to be hired as a nail tech. I arrive and the place is so nice, I am excited, oozing with energy, and ready to charm my way in!

We must have nattered for an hour and a half that old geezer and I. I sold myself offering all of my other skills. I was confident, I knew I was in! I thought “Oh wow look at the fucking bar in here!” Then he started putting me through a series of hands on tests…

He had me give him a manicure. I made sure to give the enormous weirdo a great hand massage. Shit! I am horrible at cutting cuticles out and I pulled through that miraculously because I wanted in! I wanted to be able to make the bills this month. My despair was kicked in sky high because I have a baby nephew living with me and thus I have got to make it!

Next up he has me shampoo his unstylish mop. So I rub that head into submission, I gave it my all, every second I felt more confident that this job was mine and that life would be right. He then wants to have another talk. This time he asked me about how I felt about performing Brazilian waxing. I told him I had absolutely no problem performing this task at all. He proceeds to ask me if I am comfortable with nudity enough to perform this task on the male clientele. I say to him that I haven’t got a problem with it at all. (In my brain I am thinking, ah, surely these guys are poofs… coming in to get their cracks, yarvels, and tallywackers waxed!)

Ha! He asks me how he can trust me with his clientele, and their genitalia… hahahaha! This is when everything started getting weird. He asked me to wax him to see how good a job I could do!!! Ok, so I was so weirded out and wanting to laugh, I told him I would be right back. I run outside and tell my people that were waiting for me outside about this wacky shit I am about to do. And we had jokes, a real hard bunch of laughs but I went back in and I went for it. We are half way through the service and the man is still flaccid, I was no longer shallow breathing but actually deep breathing from the release of the paranoia this fucking idea had given me.

Now, this is where it starts to go to shit… this asinine fuckhead starts to tell me that in order for me to wax the males’ shafts I must make sure to get them erect!!! He commenced to give me tips on how to arouse him personally, playing with his cock in the way that most guys do. He is exposed lying back and in a very vulnerable position. My head starts to go into a tizzy. I could feel it. I had the crazy look in my eyes but much to my demise psychos find it sexy. I tell him sternly that I am not jacking anyone off! My face is in a craze. I keep my composure. I just keep waxing. As I wax I am enjoying burning him and making this as painful as possible! I am clever. I am angry. And this weak faced fuck has no idea who “I” am!

He asks me how it is that I will make the experience pleasurable for his clientele??? I then tell him that I am not a whore and will never be. I am being stern. So it was clear as day that I was in an undercover whorehouse! And that I hate this piece of shit scum pimp! I realize I’ve got the upper hand and that my purse is behind me which always has a weapon innit according to my mood. It was a hammer day, as it often is… I had a driver right outside the front door behind the wheel. I fucked off with a bottle of cake rum from the bar, I had been looking at those bottles earlier…

My Knight in Shining Boots

I was destitute. My grandmother had left the country. My uncle would not even let me in his apartment to pee. I was in Los Angeles. I had left town for too long and as always had lost my phone book. I went to an older half-brother of mine. Who might actually be my biological father? Yeah! I love to hear about that fucking shit. I did not grow up around the white side of my family. I needed help. He said I could move in. I got a job at a Chinese restaurant. Funny thing is they never seem to hire outsiders. He said that if I was to live at his house I had to disconnect from everyone I knew. Tall order, Mr. Asshole! Finally, about after a month of my good behavior, he said I was allowed to go hang out. So my old neighbor from Hollywood rolled up to the Valley and picked me up. He came with an old punk rocker. They got too drunk to drive me home. I was terrified to call up and awaken Mr. Asshole from his beauty sleep. I thought fuck it, “I’ll wait until the buses run in the morning and get back a.s.a.p.!” So I did. I am so tired, it was a long night. He comes in mid-morning and I am asleep on the floor and starts kicking me. This is the first time I literally get kicked-out of someone’s house.

I call my friend who had picked me up to see if I could come over. He said his roommate would not let him have anyone over. He told me to call the old punker we had been hanging with all night. I call and tell him what’s going on. He told me to grab my stuff and call a cab and get to his address. I was hesitating but it made sense. I had to go!

I hang out with him for like two weeks and he called me “kid”; he seemed to really want to help me out. But it all went to shit the night he smoked mad crack, pot, and got awfully drunk. I refrained from the crack but indulged from the ganja tree and the beverage. Still being a paranoid ex-squatter I slept with my steelies on! I allowed myself the comfort of wearing a band t-shirt and flannel pajama pants, but the boots were not coming off!!! So we have my ex neighbor over and he runs him off for some reason. I thought he might just want to sleep. What he wanted to do was ravish me. Yuck! This fucker was nasty looking. I had nicked him “Frog Legs.” He went for my pajama pants pulling them down! I was like “Fuck no! Get off me!” Well he got nasty persistent. So he got a kick, a kick right between the eyes and that was all it took. He was knocked the fuck out. So I fuck off and thank God I was in Hollywood because I had homeless droogs o’ plenty in town. I come out and find em and shelter. Next mourning I am really pensive.

I was drinking with the punks on the corner of Hollywood Blvd. and La Brea planning further action. That hot fucking skinhead guy I avoided hanging out with for years shows up and asks me what in the hell I am doing on the street again. So I tell him. He says “Where does this faggot live?” It was on! He said you are one of us now and I’ll be damned if you’re gonna live in the street, you’re rolling with me now! I felt like a million bucks right after I was feeling like a copper penny.

We set out to get hammered and planned for an evening attack. He was so fucking good looking, funny, and I saw him in a different light. And in this light I fell in love.  We were drinking a carton of orange juice wif a lot of potato juice innit.  We were sitting in front of some gypsy establishment; the ambience was mystical and silly. The bliss of being hammered, the incredible man candy next to me on that bench, and the exchange of madness, was glorious. We went for it, we kissed and it was fucking hot! I think there were imaginary fireworks in the skies, what a kiss! He stole my fucking soul with that kiss. It was perfect. As the evening fell we started up with our sanguinary appetite, it was time to fry us up some frog legs!

We show up and the moment is mighty opportune! Frog Legs is scared shitless! He was just stepping out of his place, so he was ours, all ours!

My hero tells frog legs real firmly in his gangster tone that he needs to let me in and get my shit right now…or else! Well nervy lil ole creepy cretin lets us in as he knows he is at a loss but he comes in as well. And the criminal mischief/retaliation starts! We went all Dennis Hopper on this motherfucker! Once inside my boy took his keys and we locked ourselves in with him. We tied him to a chair, real horrorshow. My boy cut the phone lines. We had fun slapping him in the face with his big heavy rotary desk phone. “Wouldn’t you love to be able to call someone for help right now?” We had fun verbally, mentally and physically torturing this rapo scum. He had this big old stuffed swordfish that I was whacking him in the face with, it was so ridiculous, and I just HAD to do it. I was laughing. Maybe I am twisted but even while I felt that I was getting my justice I still had to have fun with it.

We were pretty blitzed on the giant screwdriver as it was and we had all this sexual tension between us the bovver was only getting us turned on, hahaha! So here is where we take it to the next level we have sex there while the douchebag is tied up. Now what fucking girl comes back after her failure of a rapist to scare the shit out of him and fuck somebody hot in front of them? Me, that’s who! This is how our incendiary, insane love affair started. Man I know most of you skins are not that bad and would never do such heinous thing. But this was the unholy union of two tearaways in love.  We were two very troubled adolescents. And together we were bad, baddywad indeed! I had never been so turned on by a man in my life, one look was all it took. Girls! He was so gorgeous and he could kick people’s asses by the dozen simultaneously. I’d never seen such a king of the boot party, and thus I became his queen!

Posted on Leave a comment

Ben Sherman 1963 -2012 RIP

Ben Sherman is Dead

June 11, 2012

The iconic British clothing brand is officially dead to many loyal fans.

Founded in 1963 by Arthur Benjamin Sugarman, Ben Sherman was an originator of the mod look and a legendary lifestyle brand that became an international sensation for impeccably tailored shirts and suits.

Ben Sherman was murdered by a new corporate structure that didn’t stay true to its roots and completely disregarded his loyal following. While trying to boost sales and increase market share by appealing to a broader audience, Ben Sherman’s new marketing tactics led to his ultimate demise.

His health started to fail when the women’s line was discontinued and subsequently restyled shirts, clothing and accessories were introduced without any trace of Ben’s original clean-cut, mod identity.   The final nail in the coffin was the “Plectrum Sessions” – featuring un-kept, unfashionable hippie and hipster bands- exactly the opposite of his original style.

He is survived by betrayed loyal fans worldwide, especially mods and skinheads who will miss the classic, clean-cut styles that have been replaced by fickle hippie and hipster fads.  Restoration of the lifestyle brand seems hopeless.  Based in London, UK; Ben Sherman was 49 years old.

Chelsea Hawkins


 London Mods 1960’s

Pan Philippou, CEO of Ben Sherman, reflects on the company’s heritage and plans for a brilliant future.

By Randi Gollin

How does an iconic brand get its groove back? That was one of the key conundrums facing mover and shaker Pan Philippou when he took the reins as CEO of Ben Sherman in January 2010.  A British company with staying power Ben Sherman was founded in 1963 by Arthur Benjamin Sugarman, a shirtmaker who seized the mod moment and ran with it, creating London-look button-downs that struck a chord with bands like The Who , The Rolling Stones and The Kinks, becoming a vibrant emblem of youth culture. “It was post-war — you think of the revolution, The Beatles, all that. And this brand comes around,” says Philippou during a recent interview at the company’s midtown Manhattan showroom. “He took the shirt to another level. The button-down collar, the button at the back, all the colors, the fabrications, and people were just used to wearing white shirts. Now they were wearing colored shirts. It was a bit of the anti of the shirt in many respects,” he says.  (It might be said that Philippou, too, takes the radical approach, dressed in a black T-shirt and jeans rather a Ben Sherman button-down.)

“I was born in the ’60s,” he continues. “I remember, if you had a Ben Sherman, in the ’70s, you were like the crème de la crème — if you had a Ben Sherman, certainly you’d get a bird.”

Over the decades, Ben Sherman continued to outfit musicians like The Clash, The Jam, Blur, Oasis and Moby and it also captured the hip peacock’s fancy with its kaleidoscope of eye-catching hues and patterns. “There are stories around Ben Sherman, there’s sincerity, there’s heritage,” he explains. But as this pioneering label, which turns 50 years old in 2013, expanded its reach into women’s clothing and beyond, it also morphed into a business with an unwieldy number of categories and licensees and its vision got, well, a tad murky.  The name, Philippou notes, seemed to carry more weight than the goods bearing its label.

Plectrum Collection

Approachable, funny and candid, with impressive business chops to boot, this Londoner knows a thing or two about redefining a brand and maximizing its potential. Prior to joining Ben Sherman, Philippou headed up the privately held World Design & Trade Co. for four years, where he restructured the prominent UK streetwear brands Firetrap, Full Circle and Sonnetti. His gig before that: leading the charge at Diesel, from 1995 to 2007, where he started as finance director and was swiftly promoted to CEO. “I was like a duck to water,” he says, recalling his transition from numbers man to the style side of the fence. “I just really enjoyed the whole fashion thing. I was probably living that life, at the weekend, parties, dressing up a bit, and it was just an extension of that, so it became a blur of happiness. I didn’t know anything about markets but it was really just the intuition, the feel of the market, the distribution, understanding the customer. I loved being a connoisseur, understanding what was cool and what wasn’t cool and that made it all sort of relevant to the brand.”

Diesel, of course, went on to become “best in the class in the UK” and at the end of 2003, its owner, Renzo Rosso, dispatched Philippou, a born fashion-maven, to the States to reposition the brand.

This look could be based on 1930’s Bolshevik, or perhaps just the local jumble sale

Philippou’s laser-beam focus has come to the fore once again in his current post. Once onboard, he and his team took stock of every detail, from the branding strategy and the very definition of the Ben Sherman customer to its own store concepts, which have been repositioned and will soon be launched in the UK.

As the reshaping got underway, it became apparent that a return to the company’s core business was imperative if Ben Sherman was to move ahead. “We had to say first and foremost we’re a shirt company. And that got lost along the way; we developed into a lifestyle brand. So we spent a lot of time rekindling. We had some people who had come on board, help design the shirts further, looking at supply chain to see where we could start to innovate a little bit more,” says Philippou. “Now we’re trying to get back with the Ben Sherman button-down shirt. We need to make sure that the staple is always there so we can build on that and build around that.”

In an effort to streamline the myriad licenses, accessories, for instance, have been brought back in house, and placed in the hands of a Fred Perry alum. This September, Ben Sherman will launch a fragrance through Nordstrom’s  — not exactly a new foray, but a better-positioned, more professional undertaking. And as many a bird can tell you, women’s clothing has flown the coop.  “It’s a market based on trends, as opposed to brands. Women are very fickle. They’ll wear leggings one season, denim another and we just couldn’t compete in that marketplace where there’s a massive turnaround for looks,” he says.

Admittedly, the fashionable guy is also capricious, but Philippou has found that as a customer, he’s “more dedicated to a brand. It’s more of a case of I’m part of that tribe, I’ve gone for Ben Sherman, therefore this is my DNA, this is what I subscribe to, this is the music I like, this is where I hang out.”

Back in Sugarman’s day, that mod guy wearing a Ben Sherman shirt would have hopped on his scooter, dressed in his parka, and zipped down to Brighton. Not so, today’s modernist customer, a fashion lover who’s 25 to 45, professional, educated and makes an above-average income.  “He’d maybe take a flight to Miami, maybe take a flight to Ibizia, with his iPad; he’d be really techno savvy. He wouldn’t be bringing some girl on a scooter to Brighton. He’s listening to things like Plan B and Mos Def,” muses Philippou.

And he might also opt for one of the brand’s more premium segments — the on-trend Plectrum collection, or the higher-end Modern Classics, which incorporates slim-fit shirts and jackets with a hint of British attitude.

“We’re really trying to make a brand these last 12 months all relevant to 2011, while at the same time, keeping the heritage there,” Philippou says. “We call ourselves the heritage of modernism. We want to be applicable to the modern guy — the mod guy of 2011.”

Posted on Leave a comment

The Great Skinhead Reunion 2012 Featuring The Legendary Roy Ellis AKA Mr Symarip (tickets)

The Great Skinhead Reunion 2Brighton Seafront 8th – 10th June 2012Live Performance from the Legend of Skinhead Reggae, Roy Ellis AKA Mr Symarip, plus a full line up of events from Friday afternoon until Sunday. The Ticket is for the Allnighter. Due to high numbers expected, this year we have incurred costs for extra security, and the all nighter is in a second venue, The View, Hove Beachfront, which starts at 10pm . The Wristband will also give you preferential entry to all free daytime venues, and to take part in the Quadrophenia tour

on Sunday 10thThe Great Skinhead Reunion is booked for the 8-10th june on Brighton seafront. the event kicks off on friday with a gathering at the volks club. Spirit of 79 will be focussing on the era of punk rock, oi and 2tone as well as the origins. CASE coming down from London on the Saturday, it will be all day at the volks, Madeira Drive,from 12 noon, which is the venue used in quadrophenia , where sting first shows up . Scooterists are parking for the day, Live performance from Ska’d 4 Life.Then after that is the allnighter, which will be two rooms, bands, dj’s and right on the beach. The Jamaican Reggae Legend Roy Ellis AKA Mr Symarip live. Then weather permitting a Quadrophenia tour and beach BBQ on Sunday. this event is for anyone  who is, was and just likes the skinhead scene, all styles and eras of skinhead music will be played, from original ska and soul, to punk, oi, 2 tone and beyond, its strictly non political and non snob. everyone is welcome. we have people coming from ireland, scotland, the north and south of the uk, plus several contacting us from abroad as far away as USA and Singapore who are making the trip.You dont have to be a skinhead, nobody is excluded. its for fun. children and famillies are welcome. (very strictly non political)A full line up of The Uk’s top dj’sBands Roy Ellis AKA Mr Symarip meets the Moonstompers, Ska’d 4 Life, Case,.
Dj’s ConfirmedSka ShackGrooverDarren  (official Madness DJ) Hit the MoonOlas BossLee Evans, Direction ReactionBarrySabrina LatinaGegga, Skinhead Heaven
Check out last years video if you missed it PARKING AVAILABLE

 <iframe width=”420″ height=”315″ src=”//” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>