After the sensational comeback of WILDSTYLE & TATTOO FAIR at the great reunion show in April 2010 in Vienna it is now a pleasure for us to announce the "15Years Anniversary Tour" to the moment of Wildstyle's 15th (!!) anniversary.
At Wildstyle & Tattoo Fair of April 2010 entitled "The Reunion of the Original" star guests like the U.S.A. tattoo legend Jack Rudy, Bernie Luther, Shinji Horizakura (Horitoshi Family), Mike Bellamy, Mick Tomo, Tattoos to the Max, Clayton Patterson (America´s Underground Reporter No.1), Steve Bonge & Billy Monroe (Beatniks CarClub), John Kamikaze - The Prince of Pain, Lucky Diamond Rich - Worlds most Tattooed Person were present.
Besides many star guests from all over the world more than 70 exhibitors from 15 different countries were part of the event.
Tattoos, Piercing, Extravagant Fashion, Bikerwear, Clubwear, Shoes, Jewellery, Accessoires, Lingerie, Headshop, CDs & DVDs, Computer Games, Indian Style, HotRod & Rockabilly Fashion, Skate & Funsport, Custombikes & Equipment and a lot more...
The world famous Modern Primitives Freak Show, the new production of "Circus of Rock - The Show", the virtual museum of Body Cults and the Wildstyle Girls showing a hot lacquer and leather performance were part of the show programme.
Wildstyle & Tattoo Fair and its unique show programme will be on tour in autumn 2010.
International top tattooists, dozens of international exhibitors, the best known freaks worldwide of the breathtaking freak show "The Modern Primitives", the brand new and sensational circus show "Circus of Rock", many star guests of the international scene, screenings, Wildstyle photo corner and many, many more will delight the audience also in 2010 and on tour.
INTRODUCTION by CLAYTON PATTERSON (2003)
In 1995 Jochen Auer and his partner at this time, Toni Walzer gave birth to a novel idea. The two felt that they could create a new family entertainment vehicle using themes that were part of the collective consciousness of the mid-nineties youth. Jochen and crew were aware of new trends in body arts and modern primitivism, which could be combined to create a large public spectacle that would appeal to both a cutting edge and family oriented audiences. This ambitious collective of Austrians organized a major European-Tour called Wildstyle.
In 1995 I received a telephone call from a stranger as king to speak to the president of the New York Tattoo Society. I listened as the person on the other end of the phone, Jochen Auer, told me about a show in Austria called Wildstyle. He wanted to know if I could put the show organizers in contact with important American tattoo artists and sideshow performers.
I told him that it shouldn't be a problem. After all, as head of the tattoo society, I was very familiar with the New York scene and some what knowledgable with the national arena. I also knew a number of excellent artists and sideshow performers.
Jochen wanted Wildstyle to be 9 a high quality production, not a makeshift, second rate show. He envisioned the tour taking place in large halls, on stages with professional sound and lighting systems, and with hip vendors also in the arena. He wanted top name tattoo artists and sideshow performers. At that time European sideshow events did not include tattoo artists and vendors. In the sense that he combined the two, three things, Jochen's idea was revolutionary.
I got in touch with artists and performers I knew and many agreed to participate in the show Jochen was put ting together. Historically significant American tattoo artists such as Spider Webb, Gil Montie, Bill Beccio, Scan Vazquez signed up. So did Performers Fire Play, an erotic performence couple and Ula and Sharka, the Pain Proof Rubber Girls.
Slymenstra Hymen from Gwar and The Girlie Freak Show decided to join in, along with Patrick the Pain Proof Man, Indio escape artist and fir eater and a side show performer extraordinaire: Harley Newman. There were also Lucifire a great performer from Scotland; Mr. Spoons, the toe tapping, finger popping spoon man; Lyla the fire player; Kiva the fire eating Diva, Mr. Sideshow himself, Todd Robbins, and The Reverend B. Dangerous, a fantastic geek act. Also taking part was Steve Bonge, one of the most important tattoo photographers of the 1980's and 90's.
I was lucky enough to get invited myself. I took photos and videos of the show and presented a traveling photo/video exhibition.
I have a large video/photo-archive which I have created over the past several years along with my wife Else Rensaa. Most of our work was shot on the Lower East, Side of New York City. While on tour I showed some of my classic underground material: the last performance of G.G. Allin, the Satan Sinner Nomads street gang life style, street fights and so on. Very unusual material for this audience.
The first Wildstyle-show in Wels, Austria in 1995, began, with some confusion. Only hours, minutes before the scheduled start we weren't sure that the show would, even be allowed to open. The Austrian authorities who issue permits did not know how to deal with tattooing and piercing and the police wanted to stop the show. The authorities had no way of policing tattooing, never mind piercing which in 1995 Austria was way beyond, the imagination of most civic officials.
After some delays and bureaucratic struggles between Jochen and the police the doors swung open relieving the pressure created by a long line of waiting people, and the show went on. The audience was large and welcoming and they loved the show.
We all moved on to Vienna. Remember, Wildstyle was not a mere tattoo-convention. In addition to tattooing and piercing, custom trucks and motor cycles were or, display. So were a variety of other items, people and events: choppers, hair stylists, marijuana paraphernalia, fashion designers, jewelry, exotic dancers, fashion shows, lack and leder, exotic dancers, unique knives, music shops, tribal art, video shows, photography exhi bitions, and performances, all under one roof. It was the collective nature of the show that attracted hordes of people.
Traveling on tour with Wildstyle was a wonderful experience. Among the highlights were the time I got to meet John and Pug of Wildcat body jewelry from England. Wildcat attended not only with jewelry, but also an array of books, photographs and videos that showed examples of body suspensions, bell dancers and extreme piercing. In 1995 most people thought this was far out stuff. I met Olivier, a piercer originally from France now living in Canada, who performed on site piercing, scarification and cuttings. Olivier was also interesting because he had 3 inch long plastic implants in his chest area, a very unusual operation in the mid nineties.
Coincidentally, in the booth next to Olivier, Steve Bongt was selling his book, “Tattooed With Attitude”, which featured photographs he had taken of Olivier.
Wildstyle was professionally helpful to many participants. Birgit, the steady body painting model, has worked fashion shows and was the cover girl on a Rolling Stones album titled “No Security Live”. Reto, the Austrian piercer, after making contact with the people from Wildcat and others that he met on the tour, went on to win awards and recognition at Italian conventions, while making serious contributions to the art of piercing, Beate of Beate's Piercing forged a world class reputation, which gave her entree into many international tattoo-conventions. Beate is now the major piercer at the NYC Tattoo Convention.
We traveled with the entire Wildstyle crew, which included numerous beautiful woman from Hungary and performers and tattoo artists from both Europe and America. Since the adventure, many of us have become good friends. Sean Vazquez married an Austrian woman and now operates a tattoo parlor in Salzburg. I was happy for the chance to visit throughout Europe, staying in good hotels, and traveling in a comfortable style. This for me was perfect.
East Germany was particularly exciting because the show included elements that were very foreign to the typical citizen there. The East Germans were most enthusiastic and they were some of our most appreciative audiences. I have some memorable experiences from Dresden, Cottbus and Rostock.
I believe that Wildstyle did a lot to help advance European tattooing and piercing. In 1995, tattooing and piercing was, by mainstream Austrian/German standards, still considered a fringe outsider art form associated with criminals, bad boys, drunks, or low level military people. Before the Wildstyle-show there had been no major tattoo event in Austria.
The mainstream American culture was more comfortable with tattooing.
Many of the popular MTV bands had tattoos; Roseanne was getting tattooed on television; and Paris runway models were wearing tattoos as accessories. Despite all this, tattooing was still illegal in New York City. And Austria or Germany, more conservative than America, had never really looked at or thought about tattoos in such depth before Wildstyle.
But far from being exclusively about tattoos, Wildstyle was a kind of family entertainment that attracted the cross-section of people from all different classes and sectors of society. All kinds of people visited the show. As a result, numerous people who probably would never have entered a tattoo shop or attended a tattoo convention were intrigued and consequently got tattooed. There were tens of thousands of other folks who for the first time got an up close look at tattooing.
Many of the tattoo artists and stage performers went through personal growth changes while on the tour. Artists who work with large crowds of different people every week become more skillful in their medium. For example, India's fire performance was good in the beginning, but after many times on television and in the press, performing in well known venues, and in front of large crowds he became a perfect fire breather.
The tattoo artists influenced one another and helped each other grow. They also came to recognize that they had something in common as a group. During the tour several of the artists decided to get large neck-tattoos, which in the nineties, were considered radical.
Wildstyle helped spread the name of some of these tattoo artists and performers all across Europe. Week after-week lots of customers and lots of newspaper, radio and television press learned their names. Wildstyle was a first for Europe. It was a bright innovative concept that recruited some of the best talent available in the world.
Wildstyle had male Chippendale type performers, but for my money the female dancers were the real beauties. A number of the women, who were Hungarian, have since been featured in Penthouse and Playboymagazine. It was a large, fantastic collection of aspects from the new body aesthetics combined with elements of youth culture, and it was a series of intriguing shows and unique vendors, all available in one place for the general public to come and see. At some of the tour stops as many as 25,000 people showed up, an audiences including people of all ages from all over Europe. A wide cross section of the rank and file.
Wildstyle is important to tattoo and piercing history in Europe because it was the first major modern culture tour that focused exclusively on a contemporary underground culture that was just then just surfacing into the mainstream. There were a lot of press and a lot of opportunities for attention available to those interested in such things. This was not a music tour promoting a few bands to sell records and dragging along secondary, poorly paid acts. No! This was a full fledged, well conceived show that promoted local talent in Europe and also brought top notch American talent overseas while covering the expenses of those artists and providing them with a living wage.
On one of the stops, as a break and a treat to all the players of Wildstyle, and some invited guests from the public, Jochen did a one-night-show with The Jim Rose Circus. Jim Rose was playing in Germany and we had our own personal show. It was great.
Wildstyle and Austria, especially Bad Ischl has become an important part of my life. Thank you Wildstyle.
Published in: Wildstyle, edited by Clayton Patterson & Jochen Auer, Vienna 2003
INTRODUCTION by JOCHEN AUER (2003)
The story of a new idea. Yes, the story of an idea that was pioneering in a lot of ways and one of the most innovative ones in the show branch of the 90's. At more than 100 shows about 500.000 enthusiastic visitors have experienced themselves the Wildstyle & Tattoo Convention from 1995 till 2002.
23 years old back then, I organized on the 17th of June 1995 a Heavy Metal Festival with bands like Biohazard, Dog Eat Dog, Such a Surge and many more of this bands that were hip in those days - which also have been my former "Heroes".
In this young years I've already had Toni Walzer, one of Austria’s biggest promoters as my permanent business partner. Together we 've organized tours for the best known comedians and folk music stars in the German speaking area. We've done Verdi Operas, Musicals and many big international Rock bands like Deep Purple, Slayer, Ice-T & Body count and many more.
I was very proud of my “Underground-festival”, by the way I got the name from my former Rock Cafe „Underground”, one of the most legendary scene-bars that Austria ever had (black walls, white marble and very, very hard music,...), but however, I was very proud of my festival and invited Toni Walzer.
Just like it is supposed to be at a perfect Metal Festival, I organized a vending and merchandise area with Tattoo artist, Piercers, Jewelry sellers,...
The booths were frequented a lot and Toni asked me why we wouldn't just take them without the live-music, put them in a hall and take a cover-charge. I looked at him in surprise and within seconds the whole concept shot through my brain, which was relatively unspent back then.
But just a couple of booths in some little hall wasn't quite enough for me. I said OK, we need at least 2.000 square meters space, 50 - 60 exhibitors that offer everything that’s available on the extraordinary market and what you can't get everywhere else and sexy girls who present crazy and erotic fashion.
A big part of The Wildstyle should of course belong to my already enflamed big passion for tattooing. It was important for me that I was able to present tattooing in general to the public. To induce people to think differently and to convince them that not only criminals, but also regular people are interested in tattooing. How many times did I have problems, since I got my first tattoo in 1990 (18 years old). But I've always been a “local rebel” and went to important meetings generally in a T-Shirt to show my tattoos. Back then I mainly wanted to provoke, just like many others, we didn't care that much about art. With this project we also calculated on making tattooing socially acceptable - what actually really happened.
Piercing was also just rising and it suited the concept perfectly. But I was missing something, some special “treat”. Fire, nails hammered in the nose and so on... Sideshows have a long tradition over centuries, but weren't shown before in Europe, especially not in Austria. Even I have never seen shows like this live before. And the audience felt the same way after they saw the freaks for the first time live on stage. — Including the cops. The crazy couple performed on a Sunday afternoon an anal fire spitting to the conservative Austrian audience. I totally fell out of my clouds, because I had given a sacred promise to the Wels Convention Company (our hall-letter), that there would not be any “bad” things happening.
The sideshow was arranged by Clayton Patterson. I came across Clayton by accident due to my research. Clayton was also the man that got me in touch with Steve Bonge, New York Hells Angel and Underground photographer. Hells Angels, wow! Even as a little boy I had a hand painted Hells Angels (then for me still “Hels Engels”) sticker on my bicycle and converted it into a chopper.
And now one of the most famous Hells Angels members wanted to come to my event. Sensational!! Steve and Clayton liked the concept and already recognized the big potential of this show. The concept works, I thought and finally invited Clayton and Steve to the 1. Wildstyle & Tattoo Fair.
Both of them presented photographs and videos from the New York Underground. Remarkable work from which other projects should develop, like 2002 Clayton Patterson “...from the Underground and Below...” - a series of a DVD and a book, which will hopefully have many continuations.
The concept of the Wildstyle was set. Within 3 days I brought the concept to paper and started to search for exhibitors in almost all of Europe. The feedback of the potential exhibitors was enormous. Most of them were totally enthusiastic and right on it. At this point I felt already that this would become a very, very big thing. And as we started the promotion 5 weeks before the first show I finally knew: That's it, baby! Radio and TV stations at home and abroad got in contact with us and questioned us about the show that would hit Austria and the world.
We got promotion in all of the German speaking areas and a feedback that we would have never expected. On the contrary, even big names in the scene like Bernie Luther wished us all the luck, but they couldn't imagine a successful tattoo project in Austria or commercialized promotion possibilities at this point.
I don’t know why, but somehow I felt that this concept would be a real big success. But I also worried. The costs raised permanently, the officials became more and more difficult, the Convention Company got more and more nervous and got worried about the reputation of their holy halls and not even the most important people of the scene could imagine a success. At the end the costs raised up to 1 million shillings (about 75,000 Euro) and that for a totally new show... But the show had to start - and it did.
I felt the mega flash, and that's what it turned out to be. The day of truth came: November 3rd 1995, 10 a.m., the opening of the 1st Wildstyle & Tattoo Fair. The visitors came - and they came in masses. By Friday evening people were already forming lines at the box office. We had risked, we had actually risked very, very much - the existence of our company — but we got lucky.
On Saturday November 4th 1995 people were standing from 3 p.m. until the late evening in about 50 meters long lines, forming 4 rows to get tickets.
At that point it was clear - we did it. We did it with a highly individual, unique and brand new concept. A triumphal march and a wave of success throughout the biggest and most beautiful halls within half of Europe made it's way.
A NEW IDEA WAS BORN!
An idea that I realized with all my heart. Finally I was able to give the mass a closer look to my way of life: Tattoos, freaky outfits, pretty girls, extreme performance and all the other things that make life worth living under the motto HAVE FUN.
Published in: Wildstyle, edited by Clayton Patterson & Jochen Auer, Vienna 2003