Saturday, 8 June 2013

New Boots and Panties

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Received delivery of a sparkling new pair of black leather engineer boots earlier this week — just like these as modelled by the delectable vintage physique/beefcake model Rock Granger (sadly, wearing them doesn't make me look like him. Granger is one of my favourite male pin-ups; I used a photo of him in a mesh posing pouch to illustrate my 6 February 2013 Wild Thing DJ set list -- and perhaps unsurprisingly, it became one of my most popular blog entries of all time!). 

As many of you know, I freaking refuse to wear anything else (give me engineer boots or give me death!) and they’re increasingly hard to find. (In the 1990s, I’d just head to The Girl Can't Help It in Camden Market!). I always have to have two pairs: I need a spare pair while one is being re-heeled. Anyway, I got my last two pairs from Rockers England in Manchester: highly recommended. Here’s their website.

Which brings us to ...

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Young Marlon Brando as sullen and defiant Johnny in The Wild One (1953) remains such a potent image (or as Camille Paglia would call it, “sexual persona”). As I've said before, the clothes Brando and his biker gang members in The Black Rebel Motorcycle Club wear are so covetable they have me virtually drooling. The buckled black leather engineer boots, the perfect dark indigo Levis with the perfect turn-ups, the t-shirts, the leather jackets, the caps, the sunglasses, the quiffs, the sideburns ... Brando and his gang remain the absolute visual / sartorial ideal for male rockabillies today in the way that, say, Bettie Page or Mamie Van Doren do for female rockabilly kittens.

Unwittingly, Brando in The Wild One also set a template or archetype for the enduring and essential homoerotic biker image (perhaps second only to the homoerotic sailor image in ubiquity). Browse through any collections of 1950s / early 1960s-era vintage male physique / beefcake / early gay pornography on tumblr like this one or this one (and I highly recommend you do!) and so many of the luscious male models are sporting tough guy / bad boy variations of the black leather jacket, rakishly cocked biker cap and engineer boots ensembles that seem directly swiped from The Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. (Here -- I've saved you the trouble!). And of course in his eerie 1963 queer underground film classic Scorpio Rising (a true cinematic flower of evil!) Kenneth Anger would drag the gay biker persona up from the subterranean world of porn. Anger also deliberately spliced in a flickering black and white TV clip of Brando in The Wild One, implying his speed freak anti-hero Scorpio (played by Bruce Byron) is modelling himself on Brando. In fact he links Scorpio’s corrupt homoerotic narcissism with his identifications with James Dean and Brando. Beautiful!

Now I need to listen to Turbonegro

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