Today I awoke to the heartbreaking news that the body modification community has lost one of it’s most beloved members, my good friend, Josh Burdette.
Josh was one of the very first people I met from the online body modification community. When I first moved to Maryland in 2000, I met him at a RAB munch held at a Brazilian BBQ joint. At first I was quite intimidated by him. How could I not have been? He was, hands down, the most modded person I had met in person at that time, not to mention he was absolutely enormous! Within the first hour in his presence all of that intimidation went away and I quickly found him to be one of the nicest human beings ever. Everyone of us there that night shared that sentiment about him and by the time we left that dinner everyone of us called him friend and not a one of us was intimidated by him…….except maybe the owners of the restaurant. The one stereotype he lived up to was the ability to TRULY get his money’s worth at an all you can eat meat buffet!
My next memorable run in with him was at the University of Maryland where Josh, Bruce Wilmot and myself were participants in a Q&A with a group of students about body modification. Josh, stole the show and did an excellent job of representing our community in the best possible light. That wasn’t unusual for Josh at all, that’s just who he was. As the head of security at DC’s famous 9:30 night club every night he managed to make friends, even with the people he had to escort out of the club. Any non-modded person who ever had the privilege of getting to know him could not help but have their prejudices of modded people flipped upside down. For that, we all owe him a debt of gratitude.
Josh’s body mods were not on him, they were him. Each and every mod of his had a story and each and every tattoo had a meaning. He was covered with dragon tattoos representing his Chinese zodiac, the year of the dragon. He had scarification by the late, great Keith Alexander and Ron Garza branded swastikas on his feet, representing the footsteps of the Buddha. Then of course there was his trademark stretched lobes which he pretty much always sported fine organic plugs in, his stretched septum and my personal favorite his perfectly lined up paired bridge piercings.
In the past few years I was lucky enough to become closer with him and that friendship and the insights he shared with me are something I will eternally hold dear. Please use the comments section below to share your thoughts and memories of this beloved character who some of us knew as OBMF, some as “That Guy from the 9:30 club” and a lucky few (thousand) of us simply knew as Josh.
……Ol Dirty Bastard, Inspectah Deck, Raekwon the Chef, U-God, Ghost Face Killer and….THIS GUY. Seriously, kick out Method Man, this guy deserves his spot in the Wu Tang clan for making such a bold commitment to the Wu.
Unfortunately, I don’t know the artist to credit this too, but cheers to him/her for such clean work on such a trick area!
Edit: The artist was Brendan Russell from Tribal Urge Tattoo and Piercing in Newcastle St. Wales.
In hopes of bringing some new flavor to this little blog of ours, I’d like to introduce a few new types of post. For instance, we have the “Guess What?” and “From the Vault” post that are regularly occurring themes now.
One of my ideas for a new type of post is “what were we thinking?”. Anybody who has been involved in body modification for several years likely has had some REALLY bad ideas along the way. So long as we have learned from these mistakes and moved forward there is no reason we shouldn’t look back on these fiascos, say “what were we thinking?” and laugh our tattooed asses off.
To kickstart this series, I offer up this picture of my good friend, Mason. Jeebus bless this guy, because he has brought me more laughs at his expense than any other piercer in the history of this industry.
A CBR as a facial surface piercing? BRILLIANT! I can’t believe this didn’t work.
When I first became involved with the suspension community (right at the turn of the century) I found an astonishing amount of beauty in the experience and ritual of it all. However, looking back at those old photos it’s hard to see them as beautiful with the HIDEOUS hardware store rigs we used and the perfectly functional, but severely unaesthetic, way we connected the person to the aforementioned rigging.
Then, out of nowhere, I started seeing the rigging evolve into an artform all of it’s own. I believe the first truly artistic rigging I ever personally saw was done by Oliver Gilson (yes the same Gilson responsible for designing the modern suspension hook of choice). I recall him doing these absolutely gorgeous suspensions where the rigging was done with a ton of 550 cord dynamically rigged to a single point. All of the sudden the rigging had become as integral of a part of the suspensions aesthetic as the suspendee themself.
Now, I am pleased to say, that same artistic sense of rigging is becoming the norm in the modern suspension community. For instance, check out this gorgeous suspensions put on by the Skindependent Suspension team which runs the long cording not only to multiple points, but to multiple rigs spread out across independent mounting locations.
Eden Thomson, of Skindependent filled me in on the story behind Kyrsten Wallace’s suspension.
This was Kyrsten’s first suspension after an amazing weight loss of 20 kgs (approximately 42 pounds). I have never seen her so happy with any suspension ever. It was a very proud moment and a real sense of accomplishment for her! This has opened up a lot more possibilities in terms of suspension styles for her knowing now how easy this was for her.
Photo Credit: Martin Booth, Light Fantastic
I am pleased to announce that I will be coming back to Modblog as a full time contributor in the very near future.
I was motivated to do so by the recent Stay Calm event in Philly. That weekend truly renewed my passion for this community and, apparently, I was not alone in that feeling. Since then, I have seen a huge resurgence of BME events and interest. There have been talks of a big BME Fest reunion, several smaller events have already been planned, Shawn Porter has started writing for Modblog again and overall this community of ours has really started to come back together. We are no longer purely reminiscing over the good old days, we are beginning to move forward as well.
Me and the infamous Todd Bertrang at Stay Calm.
Shannon’s death was felt by our entire community a community which he, moreso than anyone else, brought together. In honor of our fallen friend I say we do our best to keep this site of his, and the community which it spawned, going well into the future. So please submit images, stories and videos to [email protected]. Or, if you prefer, you can submit stuff directly to Modblog on the Facebook fan page I created by tagging it as the Modblog page, posting to the page’s wall, messaging me through that account or emailing me at [email protected]
Keep on keeping on, my friends.
I am not a huge fan of heavy solid blackwork myself (particularly “piercer arm”) but I have to admit, this piece with random geometric flesh removals by Anders is prety freaking rad. The split shows the work fresh and then healed at 1.5 years.
Why would anyone ever get a portrait of the character Mimi Bobeck from the Drew Carey show? Dare I guess that perhaps it is simply because it makes them laugh and laughter truly is the best medicine.
I have obsessive compulsive disorder. I have to do everything in threes. That’s kinda how I got my reputation in school as a slut. -Mimi Bobeck
Tattoo by Tyler Nathan Turnbull of Rose and Anchor Tattoo in Katy, TX.
I know, I know, I have made only a handful of post and here I am posting yet ANOTHER implant by xpurex. The audacity of me!
Here’s the thing though, the lotus was amongst the coolest of all the recent submissions that Rob didn’t beat me to posting and this finger implant is so freaking rad I would be doing a disservice to the entire modblog readership if I neglected to post it.
I can not even fathom the amount of time he must have spent carving that teensy tiny silicone implant but as you can plainly see, it was well worth the effort! To get the skin to connect into that itty bitty little circle is an amazing triumph for both practitioner and client alike. Will these little finger implants be “the next big thing” in “extreme body mods” like the ear implants have become? Only time will tell, but I can definitely see a lot of people requesting these subtle little implants!
While I was more active posting on Modblog one thing I tried to get rolling was a “Modblog Music” feature, where I showcased musicians who were also heavily involved in the body modification world. The two vastly different creative outlets seem to go hand in hand quite often, so why not focus on those who are active with both?
My buddy, Cheyne is a good example of that. He has pretty much a full body suit of disgustingly amazing tattoos and he also makes his living doing body piercings at Jinx Proof Tattoo in Washington, DC. He also happens to be an up and coming rapper with some extremely well put together tracks and videos.
Check out his newest music video here and if you like his stuff, you can find more of it on his facebook page.
…and I can’t wait to see Adam West’s old ass in spandex! Oh wait, wrong batman……..doh!
Anyhow, this client of Matt K’s (from One Shot Studio in Edgewater, MD) apparently has an affinity for the OG Batman (before even the “with nipples” Michael Keaton Batman) Adam West and the “same bat time, same bat channel” tv program he starred in many moons before he became the mayor of Quahog, RI on Family Guy.