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Venezuelan Skinheads: few but true!

Venezuelan Skinheads: few but true!

Being a skinhead or skinhead girl in a country like Venezuela hasn’t been very easy, even though we are a tropical country and especially multicultural, here few subcultures are appreciated and followed, although punk subculture has had more relevance in Venezuelan youth, the skinhead subculture has left its mark on some of the Venezuelan’s youth, but today few remain in that lifestyle.

How did begin the skinhead subculture in Venezuela?

It is said that began in the mid-80s. At the time, in Venezuela, it was difficult to find music from other countries, especially from other continents; the music was coming rather late, as the news about the birth of new subcultures which by then some had over 20 years runs and others had more than 10 years. For this reason, the Venezuelan tried to obtain, anyhow, this type of information. Jamaican rhythms known as Ska and Reggae were heard at Venezuela by the mid-60s thanks to groups like “Las Cuatro Monedas”, many of our grandparents and parents fondly remember as part of their youth and good times. It is said that some young people began keeping Skinhead lifestyle in the mid-80s, but due to misinformation and bad reputation that the skinhead subculture had to the time (because they were identified as Nazis or Fascists) it became difficult to be a skinhead in Venezuela. Many of the Venezuelan’ skinheads couldn’t say that they were Skinheads because people confused them with Nazis and also it was known that were some groups of fascists and national socialists who claimed to be “skins” but they always were minority and lived hidden because it didn’t know more about them. In the 90s, the skinheads in Venezuela were few and numbered due to this situation.

By early 2000, the skinhead subculture took some notoriety among Venezuelan youth; this boom began after 2004, we were still few but far more than previous decades. The bad reputation was gradually eradicated, it wasn’t so hard to say if someone was a Skinhead, because this subculture was a symbol of beer, football and violence in some cities, for others it was to belong to certain groups such as SHARP and RASH and for some (very few actually) was a symbol of ska, reggae, beer, loyalty, friendship, tradition and pride.

Today the situation is different than used to be about 4 or 5 years ago, in the years 2007 and 2008, where it could be said that the skinhead scene in Venezuela was significantly higher than it was and what it is nowadays. They were good years for the skinheads of our country, we knew each other, there were events and there was presence. The skinhead scene began to losing ground by 2010, this mostly because of a personal nature. Although between 2011 until nowadays, events of ska and reggae have grown like wildfire in our country, this hasn’t affected in any way the interest in the scene. In fact, by this moment, we are a small number of traditional and Oi! Skinheads those still remain true to the lifestyle. Some people stopped living the skinhead lifestyle to continue with their lives from other perspectives.

Those who still continue living the skinhead lifestyle, we keep living life as each day goes by, it is something we own, something personal, when we can we enjoy excellent events of Venezuelan ska and reggae or some occasional party among friends. We are few in comparison to other Latin American countries but we are faithful and true to the skinhead lifestyle and every year we see more of it.

As I said before, it wasn’t easy to be a skinhead in Venezuela, far less being a skinhead girl like me, but that didn’t affect us negatively. On the contrary, this difficulty makes us true and faithful to the feeling.

Essay made by Mary GunsFever Montilla.

NOTE: Referential Photos of some Venezuelan Skinheads

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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!

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Bootgirl Power, By Jenny Woo

Bootgirl Power

By Jenny Woo

When I was thirteen years old, I was miserable. I had acne, I had only hand-me-down clothing from my older sister (who was 3 sizes smaller than me), I had no friends, and worst of all, I felt like I didn’t belong in any crowd. I was exposed to pictures, music videos, and songs from major mainstream pop stars, and I just could not relate. I had no idea what they were singing about. The supposed universal topics of broken hearts, dancing, and the expression of teenage sexuality all seemed like distant and irrelevant subjects to me. I knew that I would never look like them, I would never live their lifestyle, and more importantly, I knew I never wanted to be like them. I felt lost, different, and profoundly alone. Then, one day, my life changed forever.

I was in junior high, eating alone in front of my locker as was my usual routine, when I came across an old fanzine lying on the floor of my school’s hallway. One of the other students in the school had probably been reading it and accidently left it behind. Having nothing better to do, I started flipping pages. My eyes caught an image that I had never seen before in my life – a woman with spiked up blue hair, studs all over her black leather jacket, and wailing on a guitar. It was a picture of Bekki Bondage, and that was my first exposure to women in punk rock. I decided then and there that instead of unsuccessfully trying to fit in all the time, I would do my best to stand out. I was inspired by Bekki’s outrageousness, her energy, her unfaltering self-confidence, and I made it my own mission to find that sense of passion and assurance in myself. I ripped the picture out of the magazine and pasted it into my locker as a reminder, and I’ve still got the photo after all these years.

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Buenos Aires Do the Ska

Buenos Aires Do the Ska es un proyecto independiente y autogestionado de fotografia de Julieta Federico. Las fotos se ven en el blog y eventualmente en exposiciones o shows.

La idea es mostrar lo que pasa en los shows, mostras los djs, la gente en las fiestas y en la calle. Es lo que pasa en la escena de Argentina, o almenos algo de lo que pasa.

Es un proyecto relacionado al reggae, ska, dub, early reggae,  rocksteady y generos similares, por eso a veces tambien hay fotografias de punk, oi y rock.

Buenos Aires Do the Ska is an independent photography project by Julieta Federico. You can see the pictures in the blog and also in gigs and expos. The main idea is to give a view of the scene in Argentina, gigs, djs, people partying and in the streets. The project is directly connected to music, reggae, ska, dub, early reggae, punk, oi and rock.

Little East Street I Enero 2012 Este lugar le va resultar familiar a quienes vieron la película Quadrophenia… si, es el callejon de Jimmy! Queda en Brighton, Inglaterra y encontrarlo es un tanto dificil ya que se pierde entre los locales de la cuadra por ser tan angosto.
Si algún dia tienen la posibilidad de darse una vuelta por ahi, busquen Little East Street y dejen su firma!

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Glammy Gal Tattoo, Mexico

Well, i definitely was in love with drawing and graphic arts since i was a little girl, so, art does exist in my life since my childhood. I did schooling in Fashion Design, so when i moved to México D.F. the center of México Country in 2006, i met some people involved in the tattoo art. With another 4 skinheads we started “Upsetter Tattoo Shack” in downtown of México City in December 2009, was a great time learning about tattoo art and mixing it with the skinhead subcult. Now the guys are separated and with different ways, but still tattooing, like me.

I’m originally from Guadalajara city, the 2nd city by importance in México, but i lived at different places around México, and now i’m living at the coast, inna beach named “Barra de Navidad”; a beautiful spot in Jalisco, where every year a lot of canadians and americans comes to have a good time with sun, beers and beach. I’m here since 2010 and i really love my place; i have work, friends, my boyfriend and serenity every time i need.

I started my project of a tattoo shop with clothes and mexican kitsch handcrafts, the name is “Old Skull” referred by the Old School, the good times when everything started and the Mexican Sugar Skulls, that visitors from another countries loves because they’re so mexican, and traditionals in México from the “Dia de Muertos” at November 2nd. Our icon is a Mexican Sugar Skull with moustache, a glass of tequila and a big cigarette, sarape and hat, doing his thing haha.

 Well, in the beach doesn’t exist a skinhead scene, i’m the only skinhead girl over there, but i’m happy with my friends who are rastas and my boyfriend who are skater. My music and love for my way of live follow me to every place i’m. In my city, Guadalajara, are a little new scene of young guys from 17 to 22 years very involved in the Jamaican music and skinhead style, but i’m feel older sometimes haha, (i’m 25) because i’m skinhead since i was 16 years, so, sometimes i get bored with the same things, do u know?

When i lived at México City, i had the opportunity to see many international Dj’s and artists from Jamaica and many places of the world, like Alfonso & Lola Diez (Torpedo 17) from Spain, Ryan White from San Francisco, Ca., Mr. Symarip Roy Ellis, Granadians from Granada, Spain, The Selecter, Desmond Dekker, Tommy Rock-A-Shacka from Japan, Mighty Ash Aquarius from UK, and many more that i can’t remember at this time.

25 years old, proud Skinhead Girl since 2002, 9 Years and counting, and i really can’t imagine myself as another person, with different choices, because Jamaican music mainly, smart clothes and beer are following me since i put my first pair of Dr. Marten’s when i was a little girl.

I’m skinhead because after the choice by fashion or influence, it becomes to be part of your life, your ideas and identity. Now sometimes i get mad with some girls & boys who started in the “fashion way” because internet is the easier way to get the groove, but i remember the first persons that i met, like Rose from Colombia, Helena from Catalunya, Chema from México City and Iván from Guadalajara, because they was my first skinhead friends, and internet still didn’t exist, if u needed to make an article for a zine, u wrote letters from the other side of world and waited 3 weeks to get the answer. It was very tasty; wake up in the ,morning and see the postman in your door, knocking with a pack from UK or Spain in his hand. Now all is easier, but still have known good people around the world, like u Symond.

Thanx a lot for the space in Subcultz. com, thanx for keeping the torch alive, my best wishes from México, the dub side of the world. xoxo 

If you are lucky enough to visit the beautiful Mexico, go find Glammy Gal and get some ink. she can be found smiling at her shop. Address is: Gomez Farías Street 59-3 in downtown of San Patricio, Melaque, Jalisco.

Atte: Johanna Glammy Gal*

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Skinhead Girl Art Schylar Davis

Schylar Davis – Skinhead girl from and currently residing in Austin, Texas
I was never really good at anything except art growing up. I played the oboe, and various classical percussion instruments, but still spent the time I should have been practicing concert pieces, drawing portraits of people I knew, or doodling random things to fill up a page.

I got into the skinhead scene when I was almost 16, through music, Laughter and good times. I was into punk rock, but It wasn’t so much me, I worked hard and had more aspiration to be something than most of the punk rock mantras proclaimed around me at that time. I felt more in tune with my skin friends than my punks, music and ethic wise (love them equally, just making a point). When I cropped, I was exhilarated, that’s when I figured myself out.
I can be found at most local punk, Oi!, and Ska here in Austin. Like most people I am currently working my ass off at a job I hate to get the bills paid. Things are looking up,though! I’ve got apprenticeships coming my way within this year, And I’m considering continuing my education in illustration or graphic design at the local institute. I hope to do tattoos, become a barber, and learn to weld and do maintenance on anything.
If you or anyone else need art done for flyers, tattoos, something to fill wall space, I’m always down for a challenge. If you just wanna say ‘hey’ that’s cool too.
Contact me at,