Sunday, June 24, 2012

Go-Kustom TV @ 2012 Northwest Billetproof

Pin-Up Photographer extraordinaire Roy Varga at his booth
A rare rain break on Saturday
Miss Mandible Rockatansy was our interview hostess at Billetproof

Mitzi of Mitzi & Co. Photography signing autographs
Look at those grey-black skies!

The rain stopped just long enough for the Pin-Up Competition

Some ride got to park inside, tho space was limited

We headed out early Saturday morning for Chehalis, Washington and the annual Northwest Billetproof. It rained all Friday in North Seattle and all the weather forecasts said to prepare for more of the same in Chehalis on Saturday. I was hoping they (TV & Internet Weather Forecasting Experts™) were going to be wrong, but most unfortunately they were not. We drove the hour and forty minutes through sheets of continuous rain. When we pulled int o the Fairgrounds, we were informed that we could set up inside one of the buildings to stay dry. Ours was the "Floral: building and we were right across from Mitzi & Company Photography, the model car display and April May Photography. The whole building was full of vendors and provided a nice, big, dry room for spectators to wring out their jackets and shake off a few of the extra rain drops. I think that fact helped us do a fair amount of sales, even with the lighter than usual turnout. Miss Mandible Rockatansy and I interviewed several car owners as well as Photographer Mitzi of Mitzi and Company. Miss R did a great job rockin' the interview mic! She will be guest hosting future episodes of GKTV fo' sure, so stay tuned kiddies.

Even with the serious rainfall, many open and no window rides came out to play. One couple wore fisherman coveralls and drove for hours to get their roadster to the show! That is some serious Hot Rodding! If you want it bad enough, you will make it happen- ya know. We are used to rainouts in the Northwest, so far Go-Kustom TV's first two car shows included lots of rain.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Star Charger II

As I was packing, I got a little time to add a few details and parts to the Star Charger II (based on a 1968 Dodge Charger). Multi-tasking. Paint a part, pack a few boxes as the paint dried, then paint another part. I am starting to dig this Intergalactic Muscle Car!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Just got this 1/24th scale Dodge Rammunition model kit made by Lindberg in the mail. I am gonna kit bash it into a Road Warriors looking rig for a reference scene in Rats & Gassers: Kustom Kulture Takes A Ride. I'll be damned if I am gonna pay $1,000 for one 10 second movie still from Road Warrior or Beyond The Thunder Dome. So I am gonna make my own Mad Max "inspired" truck to make the point.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Moving The Studio

The last week has been brutal closing our Arts School and moving my studio. Parts go into storage and parts into our cramped apartment. I will be glad when this is over. I got most of the gear set in a small corner of the apartment. This will work for the basic tracking of my new album Burnt Orange and editing Rats & Gassers: Kustom Kulture Takes A Ride.

We also had another Closing Sale this weekend. Sold a few more items. Still alot left. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Munster Style On Hold

So it is official, I have put Munster Style (people who regularly read this blog will know that Munster Style was a periodical that I started several years ago) on hold until I can get some extra hands and some extra time and edit all the articles. It was a great idea and we have dozens of great articles, but many are dated because this took so long. I will rock it another day...

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Big Closing Sale

We had a big sale this weekend to sell off Art School property and items in order to generate cash and pay back parents for advanced tuition they had paid last year- as well as other outstanding financial obligations. The school is a non-profit and charity. We are closing the school next month because of financial difficulties (and numerous other reasons) and want to do so with a clear conscious. The last two years have been very difficult for our family as the school lost money and we had to severely cut our own wages to keep the school going. I sincerely feel that going non-profit and having a Board Of Directors that was mostly made up of house wives who have never run any kind of business, killed our school. Of course the dank financial climate did not help. We did raise funds and almost made our first goal with this weekend sale. We will be doing another soon to see if we can sell the remaining items and meet our goals. 

Next Tattoo

Rotex or Dymo Machine? 
Made this with a old Dymo (or Rotex there's no inscription on the machine itself) lettering machine. The original letters were white on red tape. Scanned the tape into my Mac and then edited and colorized in Photoshop. I want to get this on my right top forearm, so it will be very visible when I play my basses. I am hoping that the artist can get the letters to have a slight raised 3-D look through shading. I dig those old Dymo machines. I had one as a kid, and I always remember the labels curling and falling off things that I had labeled. 

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Kustom Kulture Festival Silverdale, WA

We had a blast vendoring at the Kustom Kulture Festival in Silverdale, Washington yesterday. The weather started off overcast and a bit chilly. Forecast was for 20-30% chance of showers, of and on all day. We rode the ferry out to Kingston from Edmonds (love riding the ferries in Seattle). Highlights of yesterday were hanging with my wife and daughter (wish my son wanted to come along), meeting tons of cool and legit car owners, getting some kill Salmon Burgers (right across from us on the vendor alley), talking a bit with Gordy Lee, meeting Miss Cara Mia and April MayPhotography in the flesh, finally getting to interview Hatchet Mike Roberts about his Caddy, hangin' with Justin Vincent and his bad ass repainted Chev Pick-Up, getting a hello hug from Miss Kitty Mansfield and making a few bucks selling my films and merch. to boot. Downside was getting a massive sunburn on the back of my neck. My new Canon HF G10 seems to be doing what I need it to do. Easy video taping on the fly in unpredictable lighting and with chaotic backgrounds all in 16:9 1280p HD. These are stills I pulled from the video clips. I am amazed at the quality compared with my Panasonic AG DVX100. The Canon is also insanely simple to hold and run around with for handheld shots. Go-kustom TV is back!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Remembering Kimberly Lynn Layfield

So...where to start. My morning was spent running around getting things ready for a big School Closing Sale we are doing. Our Non-profit Arts School (and primary source of income) has been on the ropes for the last few months and after a failed attempt to move it to a new location, my wife and I decided to shut it down. It has been a very slow and sad process. Anyway- I was checking my emails and getting ready to post about our online sale, when I saw a strange message in my inbox. It was from someone supposedly working at KING 5 News. At first I thought it was spam, like some spammer trying to get my attention by putting KING 5 News as the emails sender. The email heading was just "KIMBERLY LAYFIELD."  Kim was one of the stars of my feature film Hot Rod Girls Save The World. My first impression was that someone had hacked Kim's email and start spamming everybody on her contact list with a fake KING 5 News signature.  Then I reread the entire email and decided to call the contact person listed.
It read-

"My apologies for contacting you thru this medium.
In doing a search for online information about Kim, I cam across a website that indicated that she did some work with you on a film. Would you be willing to speak with a reporter?

Thanks so much and please accept our sincerest condolences on the loss of your friend."

Loss of my friend? I didn't get it. Rereading the email now it seems very obvious, but I think a part of me was certain that this was just spam. Maybe because it was so out of the ordinary in language and source. I decided to call the number in the e-mail. An official sounding gal answered and said it was indeed King 5 News. I told her who I was and asked what was the e-mail in regards to? She got quiet.
"You don't know?" she said.
"Is this about Kimberly?"  I asked, "did something happen?"
She got very quiet, then measuredly spoke in a strained tone. "I am so sorry...she was...murdered yesterday."
"Kimberly LYNN Layfield?" I asked her in disbelief.
"Oh my God, what happened?"
"Did you hear about the shooting at Cafe Racer yesterday?"
"Yes, I heard a blip about it on the car radio."
"Kimberly...well she was one of the victims."
I instantly felt my throat tighten. It was an automatic reaction, like someone flipped a switch or something. This was violent death. This was headline death. The most ugly and irrational sort of randomness. My eyes started to water. It was pure emotion, pure sadness. All I could say was "Oh my God." Thats all that would come out.
"I am sorry you had to hear it this way, this is a part of my job that I really don't like," she said in a calm compassionate voice. She paused and then continued,"Do you know the details? Word is just getting out about the victims identities. Kimberly's family was notified this morning. Are you OK to answer a few questions?"
"Yes I think so," I stammered.
"Are you sure?"
She explained she had found my email address through the Hot Rod Girls Save The World website while doing a Google search on Kimberly. She asked how it was to work with Kim, what kind of person she was, her acting and her passions. I told her that during the filming of Hot Rod Girls we had become friends, though recently we had only talked on Facebook a few times. I told her about how Kim was a hard worker and a real sweet person, who really seemed to enjoy life and was extremely positive for the entire four years it took to complete filming. Occasionally I would get choked up and have to stop for a minute. The King 5 gal was very patient.
She asked if I had any still images of Kimberly from the film. I said I did and could actually put together some high quality film clips for that evenings King 5 newscast. She said thank you and that another person would be contacting me about the clips shortly. After I got off the phone I really cried. I hate crying, most guys do. I think it makes us feel weak and sissy like. But I couldn't help it.
I went to tell my wife the grim news. She instantly started tearing up. She, like I, really liked Kimberly. It's easy to say that about a dead person. We've heard all the cliches, "So and so was a good man," or "He loved life and all those around him." But in all honesty, Kimberly was a sweetheart. She really did love life. Thats why this shooting seemed so personal and ugly to me.

A few minutes later I got a call from a guy at KING 5 with an email address to send stills and clips. I went to my hard drive and quickly made some sequences that highlighted Kim's work in Hot Rod Girls Save The World. and sent them off. Her role was tough, mostly because the character she played, Betty Petty, was a mute.  On top of that Hot Rod Girls was a campy B-Movie. How do you play a pissed off non speaking drag race mechanic credibly in a strangely dark hot rod comedy? In the end she pulled it off better than I ever imagined. Kimberly and J Maki (who introduce me to Kim) were two of the only "trained" actors in the film. Most of the cast were musicians, car builders or friends who wanted to help make a movie.

After I sent off the clips to KING 5, I noticed an email from the Seattle Times. I quickly called, and being more prepared this time, answered questions about Kim. The gal at the Times told me additional details about the shooting spree. I guess that is the job of print media, to get more in depth about a subject than a prime time newscast can. When I was talking to the Times Gal, I was very careful not to promote my film projects. Sometimes I really do sound like a walking commercial for my film company Go-Kustom. This is a survivalist flaw in my personality, created by years of self promoting my bands, writing and more recently films. But by the same token, Kimberly would want me to promote Hot Rod Girls. It was her dream to be a known actress. I think she was proud of the work she did in Hot Rod Girls Saves The World. We made the film to be seen.

Twenty four hours later, I am still in a bit of shock. I can't really explain all of it. I had several epiphanies about my own personal problems. Closing the school and being jobless in a month doesn't seem like such a big deal now. Every second of your life counts. Treasure what you have. Live in the moment- for that's all you really have.