29 May, 2012

Kustom Kulture Etiquette

There are some common complaints I hear from people in the rockabilly 'scene' (yeesh I hate that word!) all the time. And then I have my own pet peeves. So it got me to thinking...what really grinds everyone's gears about the kulture and community that we belong to? So I put the word out. Asked them. Simple as that. And here's what they came up with.

DO NOT proclaim yourself to be a 'pin up' because you have a photo with victory rolls in your hair. It is offensive to the original icons and what they achieved for women in a time of oppression. It is also offensive to modern day pin up models who have worked long and hard to establish a career.

DO NOT touch, paw, lean against or sit on someone else's car without asking first. It is extremely rude, narcissitic and disrespectful. Whether it's a hot rod, kustom, rat rod or resto A LOT of time and money has gone into getting it the way it looks. A dint or scratch from your hip or jewellery can result in death.

DO NOT touch or badger people about their tattoos, it's just creepy and annoying. Admittedly some work is so beautiful and interesting you want a closer look or to know more. Be normal and introduce yourself and then ask some questions. Don't just come along and grab someone's arm and lift their sleeve, you're likely to get elbowed in the face. Also, don't say 'nice tattoo' and then spend the next 20 minutes banging on about your crappy tattoo. If anyone cared, they would have asked.

DO NOT call our lovely frocks 'costumes'. It's just plain offensive. Shouldn't really have to explain that. It's not like we're wearing gorilla suits. It's just a pretty dress for goodness sake! Are you going to a bogan costume party? No? Didn't think so. By the way, you're not a real gangster either.

DO NOT get in the way of the dancefloor if you're not actually dancing. That's not to say you can't be down the front supporting the band. But we LOVE to dance, and most of us are pretty damn good. Don't get in people's way when they're trying to have a good time. That being said if you are a dancer, don't hog the floor either. There's plenty of room for us all.

DO NOT try to make money off the kulture without supporting it. This is my personal pet peeve at the moment. It feels as though there are businesses out there who are trying to take advantage of a niche market who really know little about the kulture and don't seem to want to support it by attending gigs or getting behind events. They just want to make their money via exploitation of terms such as 'rockabilly', 'kustom kulture', 'vintage' and 'pin up'. Not cool.

But most importantly...

DO NOT judge others! It doesn't matter if you're there for the cars, the music, the fashion, the tattoos, the art, the vintage, the repro, the gals or the guys...we're all there to celebrate our love for a shared interest so be nice and friendly to people and don't look down on them because they're not wearing vintage, or their victory rolls look like Mini Mouse ears or they don't drive an old car.

Relax and HAVE FUN!

And that's it. Simple really. Avoid these pet peeves and we'll all get along just fine. You heard it, straight from the people.

Were you smirking? Nodding your head? Or do you have one to add to the list?

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