A review of Jim Ward’s book, “Running The Gauntlet”

At times, it is humbling to me that I am writing for Modblog on this site that, many years ago, introduced me to new aspects of body modification, and for that matter, a whole new world. Several years ago (no doing of mine, mind you) Jim Ward, the father of modern body piercing, shared some of his tales on BMEzine with a feature called “Running The Gauntlet“. These articles exposed many readers to the early days of (modern professional) body piercing. They were a must read for any piercing aficionado and chock full of interesting tidbits from our modern history……….and then a few years later Jim announces he is going to take these stories and dozens more like them, and write an entire full length book chronicling his life, his passion and the modern history of body piercing.

Needless to say, I was thrilled at the prospect to be able to read more of his stories. However, I must be honest, I was a bit apprehensive. His short stories on BME were awesome, but could he possibly fill an entire book with material of the same caliber? For that matter, could he even write a book that would so captivate my ADD having self, that I would even be able to finish it?

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For the full review, keep on keeping on.

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CADAVER CHRONICLES: EPISODE 6, The final chapter

Ladies and gentlemen, tonight I bring you the very final installment of the Cadaver Chronicles.  It is a bitter sweet conclusion. Sad in the fact this is likely the last you will read of it on this humble blog. Yet happy, because from all the positive feedback he has received from these post, he has decided to carry it on further.

I’ve begun writing an expanded version of the memoirs for traditional publication in book form and this one will pull no punches, it’ll include every juicy story.  -Cliff Cadaver

Currently he owns the domain www.CliffCadaver.com, but the site is not live yet. I have spoken with him and suggested he get at least a placeholder up soon, and I believe that’s currently in progress. Keep your eyes peeled there as I am sure his website will be a wonder in and of itself. It will also contain updates about his upcoming book and information on how you could pick up your own copy of the hardcover book “A basic guide to body piercings” that was mentioned and shown in Episode 2.

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On behalf of myself, BMEzine.com and all of the modblog readers who enjoyed these articles I would like to thank  Cliff, for taking the time to share all of these stories with us and I wish him the best in all of your future ventures.

If you have been hiding under a rock for the last few weeks, here are links to the previous episodes for you to play catch up with (1, 2, 3, 4, 5), otherwise keep on keeping on for the final chapter.

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Cadaver Chronicles: Episode 5

The end is nigh, and I am not talking about the inevitable disasters the “Super Moon” will rain down upon us! This is the second to last installment of the Cadaver Chronicles.  If you need to catch up on the first four, please do so before jumping into this one:

(1, 2, 3, 4)

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For this weeks episode, keep on keeping on.

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Cadaver Chronicles: Episode 4

Wow, it’s Friday already! You know how I know that? Because I have gotten not one, but three messages asking if there would be another installment of Cliff’ Cadaver’s writing this week.

In case you missed the previous three, here they are: 1, 2, 3.  As always these are Cliff’s unedited writings and do not reflect the views of myself, BMEzine.com or  the ACLU.

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So, I won’t keep the anxious waiting anymore. To read this weeks installment, keep on keeping on. Continue reading

Cadaver Chronicles: Episode 2

First and foremost, my sincerest apologies to anyone disappointed by last weeks lack of  Cliff’s writing. WordPress condemned me and refused to allow me entry for 4 days straight. I decided to treat wordpress like it were a woman. I apologized repeatably with no idea what I may have done to upset her. So without the slightest clue what I was apologizing for, I just continued to apologize. WordPress, didn’t fall for it, she’s a tough mistress and she just stood firm, refusing to allow me inside of her. Then a few days later, with no word or warning, she welcomed me inside of her again.

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If you somehow managed to miss the first entry of this multi-part series, you should go check that  post out now. But if you have already read it and are anxiously awaiting the next entry, you know the deal.

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Cadaver Chronicles: Episode 1

Sometime in the late nineties my casual interest in body piercing became my passion. I was desperate for knowledge, yet there was so little accessable. Nowadays, we take for granted how easy it is to learn about body piercing (or any subject for that matter) by using nothing more than a few keystrokes. However, in the nineties the internet wasn’t something I had access to. So I relied on printed media, which was fairly hard to come by in Columbia, SC ,where I grew up. Fortunately, I found a local Harley shop that carried bulk packs of  various  tattoo magazines  back issues and I bought them up. One magazine in particular, the long since defunct, “In The Flesh” magazine was a piercing magazine and what I read in those pages defined who I was to become.  The interviews with Jon Cobb, Blake of Nomad and many others changed my entire outlook, not just on body piercing but on life as a whole.

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One of the inspirational piercers featured in those pages was Cliff Cadaver. Cliff was a cutting edge piercer of that era and unlike a lot of piercers at the time, he was willing to share his knowledge.  Through various interviews, features and his book “A Basic Guide To Body piercing” he put out the information that other piercers guarded as if they were top secret classified info. In fact, one feature in particular where he described the nasallang piercing (that he is credited as inventing) was so inspiring to me, I rushed out at got one myself (that I still have and wear daily).

So, when I was thinking of influential piercers whom have not been previously featured on a BME interview, Cliff was an obvious choice. I tracked him down on facebook easily,obviously there are not many people named Cliff Cadaver. At first, when I asked to interview him he seemed reluctant, but after a short while he had started writing his memoirs and totally alleviating me of any interviewing responsibilities. Since, I am an admittedly crappy interviewer, I was thrilled to have this piece written and edited with very little input by me. I helped check a few facts for him, but aside from that, this whole piece is written by him.

The memoirs he provided me with are  rather long, so rather than present it in one long feature with a few choice photos I decided to milk it, and use it as a weekly feature with several photos in each episode. Since this piece (beyond my intro) is purely his writing, I must preface it by saying the opinions stated in it are Cliff Cadaver’s and do not reflect the views and/or opinions of myself, BMEzine.com or the Catholic Church.

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From The Vault: Mark’s Rotisserie Suspension (Video updated: more footage!)

TSD was the original (modern) suspension crew and a lot of the amazing feats of engineering and artistry the members of TSD and there associates have come up still stand the test of time and many have not been duplicated or surpassed. I was thrilled to see another email from Ron Garza, with a picture, video and story about Mark’s rotisserie suspension circa 2003.

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For a video of another one of Mark’s rotisserie suspensions, and to hear Ron tell the tale, keep on keeping on .

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From The Vault: The T-bar Piercing

The T-bar piercing was introduced to most of the piercing world by Tom Brazda,  a man who has always been on of the smartest and most innovative body piercers in the world. Since then several other piercers have experimented with and have had success with these as well. So how crazy is it that the most recent picture in the T-bar piercing gallery is from 2005? Sure for some piercings, you can get similar results with microdermals, like this one I posted not too long ago. However, it’s not the same, nor are the jewelry options.

The two most common body parts to get T-bar piercings have always been the nipple and the tongue. Yet, that type of jewelry and piercing could be used for so much more as well. Obviously, the T-bar tongue, could prove extremely detrimental to a persons teeth, but the nipple T-bar is still a cool, technical and different piercing that is just as viable today. There is also ear lobes, genitals and other body parts that could have a whole range of different variations on standard piercings using this type of jewelry.

So piercers of the world, get creative, I would love to see some new T-bar pictures added to this old gallery in 2010.

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For a few more shots of T-bar piercings, keep on keeping on.

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From The Vault: Male Breast Implants

There is an age old debate on BME as to whether or not breast implants fall into the same category of body modification as the mods more frequently covered on BME. The point that is usually argued is that breast implants are done to fit into societies ideals, whereas tattoos and piercings are more or a rebellion to those same ideals. Of course, since those original arguments were made tattoos and piercings have become a major part of mainstream society. Whether it be the extremely common piercings or the tattoo imagery that is now printed on everything from t-shirts to high end purses, our subculture is quickly being integrated into mainstream culture.

Well these pictures certainly qualify as body modification, by any sense of the definition. A masculine appearing man getting breast implants, now that is going against societies norm! Well unless you do it for money.

These pictures were submitted in 2004 by IAM:manybodiedman (who no longer appears to be on IAM).

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For 2 more shots of these implants, keep on keeping on.

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From The Vault: You want to do what?

I went back to the very last page in the Other Suspensions gallery and I found a set of pictures that I took and submitted myself. I was going to wait and use these as a much later From The Vault entry, however, the recent discussions on modblog about BME’s role as media vs. our “endorsement” of certain things by posting them made this post seem perfectly timed for right now. Plus three years ago to the day, this suspension was mentioned in this post , but I feel these pics and this story are damn worthy of a post all their own!

For one day I stepped out of my usual role as a body piercer and suspension group member and played the role of journalist, taking on the job of documenting (not endorsing) this very unique suspension.

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For more pictures and my version of the story, click through.

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