SPC: Rest in Peace, Bud Larsen

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I wish that this story had a happy ending, and I apologize that the majority of my Modblog articles turn out to be memorials, but as a community archivist it’s part of the job.

I had just turned sixteen when I lied about my age and ordered every issue of PFIQ that Gauntlet had in stock. I had seen images from them in the seminal RE/Search Publication MODERN PRIMITIVES, but getting them all was a piercing nerd’s dream.

The first fourteen issues featured stunning illustrated covers by gay erotic artist BUD. They were iconic; primarily line art featuring subject matter ranging from pierced Leather Daddies (Bud also worked with DRUMMER magazine) and femme fatals, fantasy creature/human hybrids and more. Bud’s art was integral to the brand identity of those first  dozen plus issues and even after Jim switched to photo covers Bud still occasionally lent his skills to provide spot illustrations.

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Bud Viking Navarro’s backpiece by Cliff Raven, drawn by Bud Larsen

I spent years trying to track him down with no success; he had lost touch with the piercing world (his only real connection being the PFIQ covers) and was seemingly unfindable. I had stopped searching when I happened upon an envelope featuring his artwork, thumbtacked to a cork board in a cubicle in my office.

I risked writing him an introduction letter, asking if he’d be willing to talk to me about the ‘old days’. Not only did he consent, but I was shocked to find that his next door neighbor was a good friend of mine!  We corresponded back and forth for a while, discussing him doing a t-shirt design for SPCOnline and the possibility of meeting in person.

Shannon of BME noticed the story on my IAM page and asked me if I’d like to fly out to Arizona to interview Bud for BME and a few days later I was on a plane to meet him. We chatted for a little over an hour, with me recording the interview and snapping pictures of Bud and his artwork, having him sign a few PFIQs I brought with me and listening to stories about the old days; doing art for PFIQ, Drummer and other erotic magazines.

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6byd7ik5I wish I could share that with you folks, but in an epic comedy of errors my film (this was pre digital camera) was exposed and ruined by airport security and I lost the cassette with the interview somewhere in Arizona. I always planned to go back out there and re-interview him, but these things slip away and before you know it, it’s too late.

I was contacted this morning by my friend Jennifer (Bud’s neighbor) with the news that he had passed away. He leaves behind a legacy of art that captured the imaginations of the subcultures he worked in.

Rest in peace, Bud.

You can check out some of Bud’s erotic illustrations here.


377714_4397120693666_450451457_nShawn has spent the majority of his ife in the modification world.
In addition to writing poorly for Modblog, he also edits the often neglected Scarwars site, the more frequently updated Occult Vibrations tattoo blog as well as his personal diary at Sacred Debris. He lives in Philadelphia with his faithful Italian Greyhound Bailey, his roommate Megh and a steadily growing Pushead collection

8 thoughts on “SPC: Rest in Peace, Bud Larsen

  1. Hey Tony-
    Mostly because I’ve been around for a few years and have always had a passion for collecting stories, photos, videos etc from the communities I’m part of.

    When I was young and first met Jack Yount he was adamant that these stories and people needed to be remembered. So I’ve done my best over the years to keep a record of the amazing people that I’ve come in contact with.

    Is that a good enough answer?

  2. (also: I’m A community archivist. Not ‘THE’ community archivist. I think everyone should contribute their stories and experiences to BME, their own blogs, journals, websites, etc!)

  3. I think it’s sad that Shawn writes these entries and instead of saying thank you or liking them, people nitpick.

    Shawn I have some of the old PFIQs. Do you know if they’re going to be reprinted?

  4. I’m not sure, Eric. (and thanks for the good words)
    Jim has the rights back, so… maybe?

  5. Hi Shawn, I was a close friend of Bud Larsen, how sad I am! I didn’t know he passed away. He was a great artist, and a greater, kindest friend: I met him at the Bobby Cook erotic art fair in 2002. We had fun in the post-fair party, he was wearing a flowered shirt. We exchanged some regular mails, I found 3 letters of him with unvaluable illustrations. Last years he moved from Phoenix to Superior, and there were hot adventures he enthusiastically told me. I remember him thirsty of life, of lust and passion, and it was reflected in his words and vivid, energic drawings. At Bobby’s I remember he showed me some of the finest pieces I’ve seen in an erotic art fair. I wanna scan and post those drawings in my blogsite, at least as a little hommage to his precious talent. I am glad I can write to someone who knew him since the good old days at Drummer magazine. Big hugs and feel free to contact me, I am Pedro Palanca and if you don’t get me in facebook please write me at palanca_feet@yahoo.com and my blogsite is palancafeet.blogspot.com

  6. I knew Bud. I’m just learning of his passing. I have a couple mags and an original piece. I love his work! Sucks that he’s gone….

  7. Hi Shawn, thanks for this post. I found it because I was looking for info on Bud. We have some of his drawings at the Center for Sex and Culture in San Francisco. I just finished installing a show that includes two of his drawings.
    Come by if you are ever in SF.
    Dorian

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