31 Years ago today…

…..Doug Malloy died.

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Doug Malloy was the allias used by Richard Simonton. Richard Simonton was a married father of four. He was an executive with the Muzak Corporation as well as a  founding member of the American Association of Theatre Organ Enthusiasts.

As Doug Malloy, he was heavily involved with the underground  body piercing scene and was an integral part of bringing piercing to where it is today, via his many contributions to the industry.

The below text is from the BME Wiki:

As Doug Malloy, he was an instrumental supporter and patron of the early body modification scene. By 1975, he had published a short, largely fictional autobiography entitled Diary of a Piercing Freak under his assumed name, which was sold to a fetish publisher and released in softback under the title The Art of Pierced Penises and Decorative Tattoos. He had also established contacts amongst body piercing enthusiasts both in Los Angeles and on a global scale, including London tattooist Alan Oversby (better known as Mr. Sebastian), Roland Loomis (better known as Fakir Musafar), Viking Navarro, Sailor Sid Diller and Jim Ward. He was also an organizer and active member of the T&P Group, an association of tattoo and piercing enthusiasts based in Los Angeles.

The upsurge in interest in body piercing had created enough interest that Simonton advised Jim Ward, who had previously worked as a designer, that he should start a body piercing business. Simonton advanced Ward the money to start Gauntlet, originally a home based business, and Jim began to produce body piercing jewelry. Simonton’s experience as an amateur piercer formed the basis of the primitive techniques used at the time, and his network of contacts was instrumental in spreading the popularity of body piercing, especially genital piercing. By 1978 Gauntlet had a retail location and the world’s first body piercing studio was established. Doug also provided extensive notes that were ghostwritten by Ward into full articles for PFIQ, the first magazine devoted to the subject of body piercing, a Gauntlet publication.

One of Simonton’s other notable contributions to the development of body piercing in contemporary society was his pamphlet Body & Genital Piercing in Brief which is responsible for a large portion of the myths surrounding the origins of many piercings, most notably genital ones. Simonton’s personal enthusiasm for body piercing as an erotic practice and his love of the fantastic came together in this document, which is almost entirely fictional or highly speculative. Many of the theories regarding the practice and origins of various piercings historically have been distorted by the excellent circulation of this document or later documents which quote it.

If not for Doug Malloy’s enthusiasm for body piercings, we might have never had Gauntlet and without Gauntlet we might have never had professional piercing studios. So let’s take a few minutes out of our day to remember where we came from and pay respect where respect is due.

Here is a link to an old BME News article by none other than Jim Ward himself, explaining who Doug Malloy was and how he has made his mark on modern body piercing:

Who Was Doug Malloy: by Jim Ward

6 thoughts on “31 Years ago today…

  1. We’re fortunate enough to be young enough as an industry to have the majority of our founders still around with us.
    Don’t forget how we got here.
    Don’t forget to pay your respects not only to people like Doug Malloy, but also to people like Fakir and Jim who are very much still a part of shaping the industry we’re a part of, and equally responsible for laying the foundation we’re standing on today.

  2. I still have my mint copy of “Art of Pierced Penises and Decorative Tattoos”. From the (first hand) stories I’ve heard, Doug was an interesting guy on so many levels.

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