On The Cover: The Chopper car club from lovely Burbank, California, as caught by Petersen shutter- bug Scott Killeen. Inset photo: Christine Ryan captured Mike Ness with his weed-eatin' Impala.
Eye In The Sky-The
Von Dutch eyeball still soars at the store bearing his name 52
SPECIAL VEGAS SECTION
BIG-ASS MUSIC SECTION
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By John Pecomili & Christine Ryan
The banner says "Not your old man's car magazine." But it could have been-if your old man had kept that '40s, '50s, and '60s culture as alive and accessible as the kids recreating it today are. But age ain't the issue: Gray Baskerville, the 30-year Petersen veteran who penned our hot rod glossary (and was a great source of inspiration-and gloriously offensive humor-throughout), still approaches a street rod with all the ritalin-deprived mania of a 7-year-old kid on his first skateboard run. And Sam Butera still blows that horn like a madman one-third his age.
What is the real issue then? The difference between riding around in a megamoney air-conditioned trailer queen or throwing together a makeshift speedster in your driveway with spare change. Checking the latest Guitar Wolf record or stick ing with that stanky ol' Jan & Dean comp. Watching the grass grow with a glass of root beer at the local fogey custom show or catching the Cramps or the Reverend Horton Heat at the Hootenanny.
The issue is also paying attention to all the other things that go along with hot rod- ding: the music, the artwork, the clothes, even how to pick up the classy chicks. You know, the kulture in kustom kulture. And speaking of chicks, we've thrown a few of them in here too. Not greased-up and bent over the hood of a roadster (sorry, boys), but working on their cars, creating cool art, and corunning successfiil car shows.
We've got a techie how-to story in here, but overall we thought we'd leave the hard core stuff to those best known for it; the cats at our esteemed parent magazine, Hot Rod. And that's pretty nontraditional for a Petersen 'zine in itself; much of the old- school would rather spend Friday night in the garage with nothing but a toolbox and a project car than toss back 10 or 12 tailboys at a Bomboras gig-and then go work on the car. In fact, this magazine is so far off the beaten path at Petersen HQ (aka, the Deathstar) that it took a Godzffler-sized pile of persistence to get this thing off the ground at all. And we'd like to say a prayer of thanks to all the tiki gods that the pub lishing powers that be finally listened-and let us bend the Petersen Automotive Group rule book beyond recognition!
While we're at it, here's the part where we bow down in gratitude to each of the folks at Petersen who put up with us for the past few months. First, thanks to Petersen Automotive Group President John Dianna, for being willing to do something different. Next, a hearty thankee to Petersen Enterprises Prez Justin McCormack for helping to convince his colleagues that it was time to try something new. More thanks to Jim Savas, former Hot Rod publisher, for his enthusiasm throughout the early stages of this project. Props to Drew Hardin for his constructive criticism and support, as well as the whole HRDX production staff who put up with our, ulilili, highly unorthodox editorial system,
Finally, a Kong-sized Red Hook to Re McGonegal, editor of almighty Hot Rod, for his public support and invaluable, oft-elicited advice. And to the whole Hot Rod staff itself-for their technical assistance, sick-o sense of humor, and general ability to put out the finest rod rag in the galaxy.
Now it's your turn. Thanks for taking the time to check this thang out. We hope you dig what you see as much as we dug putting it out there. And if that's the case, drop us a letter or postcard or huge wad of small, unmarked bills~otherwise, this magazine may not be renewed for a second issue, which would make us very sad and very, very hungiy Send all the noise to Hot Rod DeLuxe, Wo Drew Hardin, 6420 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048-5515. The unmarked bills, actually, should go to John Pecorelli and Christine Ryan.
HOT ROD DELUXE
HOT ROD RECORD REVIEWS
ANDRE WILLIAMS & THE SADUES
Andre, king of bump 'n' grind rhythm & blues (interviewed elsewhere in this issue) has gone western. "Insurgent country" label Bloodshot has taken a real chance on this on~when's the last time you saw a black country singer? Twenty-odd years, we figger. Nonetheless, Bloodshot's gain ble is our reward: Red Dirt is a true good- times country record. Toronto "surfabilly" band the Sadies are employed for an unquestionably genuine twang instru mental backdrop for Andre to growl, purr, and croon over. Original work like "My Sister Stole My Girlfriend" is a fill' retro hillbilly pickin' updated with Andre's very modern tale of woe. "Tramp Trail" has Andre snarlin' like Cramps creep Lux Interior while Travis Good provides plenty of heartbreak mandolin strumming. Some of the covers are an odd, homicidal choice though Johnny Paycheck's "Pardon Me (I've Got Someone to Kill)" and the best version of L. Payne's "Psycho" since Australia's Beasts of Bourbon did it 15-odd years back. "Killer" record overall, though. Contact: Bloodshot Records, Dept. HRDX, 912 W Addison, Chicago, IL 60613.
The Black Light
A sorely neglected record
still wait ing for you to buy it, Calexico's sopho more album is a dusky
collection of mostly instrumental tunes and tune snippets that seamlessly
weave old- school country, mariachi, and all-out Link Wray guitar snarl
into a brilliant and brooding Southwestern-rock tapes try. Gorgeous, neo-psychedelic
slide guitar snakes through these sparse landscapes like a sidewinder in
tunes such as "The Ride (Part II)" and "Frontera," while vibraphone and
cello hover like specters in more delicate pieces such as "Where Water
Flows" and "Sprawl." Trumpets, Spanish gui tar, and vaguely Latin rhythms
add color throughout, but center stage is always that growling electric
guitar, tube-warmed and tremolo-twinged exactly like that of Calexico's
spiritual forefather, Ennio Morricone's The Good, the Bad & the
Ugly. Goes well with a bottle of red wine and a ghost town.
This Scottish quartet's debut album has been available for years in the United Kingdom, but only recently surfaced on Stateside label Get Hip. And it's a dandy mix of full-on '60s punk ("Mligator Twist"), early Beatles poppabilly ("Some Other Guy," "Don't Ask Me"), straight rockabilly ("Shimmy Like My Sister Kate," "Hipster Shimmy Kitten"), and even some Phil Spector-sounding teen symphonies (most notably "Soldiers of Love"). But it ain't the variety itself that makes Squarehead Stomp such an essen tial, it's the ease, verve, and pure adrena line with which these pompadoured haggis-eaters pull it all off. Mercy beat! Contact: Get Hip, Dept. HRDX, P.O. Box 666, Canonsburg, PA 15317.
CUSTOM MADE SCARE
The Greatest Show on Dirt
Custom Made Scare's self-description as a "hot rod cowpunk" band is actually a bit on the humble side. From the opening tune, "Peterbilt," through the final track, "Down With El Diablo," this Southern California quartet flexes more punk muscle than your average naracore band. But there's a secret ingredient that lifts 'em above and beyond the aver age cowpunk cud, and that's humor. Singing the praises of Tallahassee hussies ("White Trash Girl"), Jim Beam breakfasts ("5 O'Clock"), and pure sloth fulness ("White and Lazy"-not the Replacements tune, by the way), Custom Made Scare boasts a rare combination of fury, melody, and malevolent fun. Contact: Side 1 Records, Dept. HRDX, 6201 Sunset Blvd., Ste. 211, Los Angeles, CA 90028.
While all three cats in this
Chicago trio share a pop who builds street rods, that ain't why we included
them here. And Chevelle doesn't play anything even remotely resembling
hot rod rock, either. Simply put, this record kicks. And take that as a
warning: Sissies with heavy-rock phobias need not apply. Check "Skeptic"
for details- calm as a summer breeze one moment, raging like a twister
the next. Such is Chevelle's strategy for peak perfor mance: soothe and
stun, just like a good sleeper. And while Pete Loeffler's emo tive vocals,
the crunchy death-metal foundation and manic-depressive sense of dynamics
may draw a few Tool comparisons, ultimately it's the strength of songwriting
that lifts this Chevelle above the sum of its parts.
Don't mean a thing if it
ain't got that swing? Not to worry, this stuff's got your swing and plenty
more.' Check vocalist Johnny Boyd, a real gone daddy who can croon the
blues on "Big Hair Mama," belt out a coolly restralned 'billy vocal with
"Pop's at the Hop," and let a bit of soulful wail into all this very danceable
action on the tear-jerkin' "Ruby Mae." Messing with jazz, blues, boogie
woogie, rock 'n' roll, and of course, swing could spell musical disaster
in the hands of lesser cats. Luckily for us, Indigo Swing has more chops
than Bruce Lee, and throws 'em all at you with the enthusiasm of a teenage
boy getting his first taste of lip stick after the prom. Contact: Tiine
Bomb Recordings, Dept. HRDX, 219 Broadway, Ste. 519, Laguna Beach, CA 92651.
RUSSELL SCOTT & HIS RED HOTS
Russell Scott and the boys show their '50s-songwriting range right off the line here - the doo-wop harmonies of the title track, the Cochran-style rocker "Rock Through the Roof," and the countrified "Next in Line." Additionally you've got Sun Sessions-style early rock ("Don't You Wait for Me") as well as saxy blues in "Should I Find Somebody New," the Crampsy, backalley swagger of "Tired of Waiting," and more. Of course, all the cross-genre referencing may offend cer tain purists-but what the hell, purists deserve to be offended. Contact: Hootenanny Recordings, Dept. HRDX, P.O. Box 4231, Laguna Beach, CA 92652.