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					Rockin’ Profile:
In place of our regular member’s
profile, this issue and next issue of Big
Beat of the ‘50s will each feature a set
of mini-profiles featuring personalities
from within the rockin’ scene. Ed.


Rockin’ It Right!
With all the media talk these days
telling us about the importance of
recycling and sustainability to preserve
our fragile planet, it is interesting to
note that the rockin’ scene is also
rollin’ with the flow. I was delighted
to learn recently that our own annual
GreazeFest Kustom Kulture Festival is          Popular vegan Joaquin Phoenix            Red - Queensland’s burlesque babe.
a carbon neutral event. (See photos           played Johnny Cash in the movie                    Photo by Kristof
from GreazeFest ’08 in our centre                      Walk The Line
pages). As well as this, all of the 300
                                            is now generally accepted as a              performs to Elvis Presley’s “Baby Let’s
hot rods that are entered in the show
                                            proponent of social justice, particularly   Play House”, in which she dresses up
are also carbon offset, thanks to event
                                            because it is recognized as having          as a ‘50s housewife. “I put it together
organizer and ARRAS member, Mrs
                                            positive implications for the human         for a “‘50s Icons” burlesque night
Lori Lee Cash. Let’s hope other rockin’
                                            populations of under developed              and the crowd loved it!” How does
events will follow suit.
                                            countries.                                  her veganism impact on her shows?
    In recent years there has been
                                               As a vegan myself, it is always          “Being a vegan burlesque performer
an underground movement making
                                            a pleasure to make contact with             is interesting, because traditionally
its presence felt in the rock’n’roll/
                                            other like-minded souls from within         feather boas and fans are standard
rockabilly scene, which is similar to
                                            the rock’n’roll scene, and so I am          burly-q props. I’m more than happy to
the “straight edge” sub-culture that
                                            delighted to introduce readers to           use fabric instead!”
developed in the hardcore punk scene
                                            our four compatriots below who are              Red is also a DJ with Brisbane’s
during the 1980s. It is a movement
                                            breaking down the stereotypes by            community station, 4ZzZ 102.1 FM.
of “compassionate consumerism”,
                                            showing that making ethical lifestyle       Under the name “Dangergirl” she
epitomized by walking the vegan
                                            choices has never stopped anybody           presents a radio show called Aloha
line. In North America the movement
                                            from rockin’ like crazy.                    From The Crypt which is listed in the
is taking on a life of its own with a
                                                                                        Rockin’ On The Radio guide on the
bunch of US pin-up dolls making the
                                                                                        back page of our magazine.
commitment and some wonder ful              Red Devotchkin: Queensland                          www.myspace.com/devotchkin
vegan cookbooks being written by
Canada’s tattooed retro sweetheart,         Red Devotchkin is a red hot dame
Sarah Kramer. Here in Australia it          on the Brisbane burlesque scene and         Rob Wog: Victoria
appears to be still in its infancy,         spoke to me about her passion for the
however I have managed to find              shows. “I love burlesque from the ‘50s.     Rob is a tattoo artist at Down To
several locals who are “rockin’ it right”   It was so raunchy and so innocent           Earth Tattoos in Melbourne. Much of
to briefly illustrate how the times are     at the same time! I’ve shaked and           his work in the Kustom Kulture vein
changing. I’d like to introduce you to      shimmied at lots of rockin’ gigs; like      includes skulls, flames and human
Red, Rob, Dan, and Joe who have all         GreazeFest as part of The Bad Moon          pin-striping, while his most common
chosen to live their lives by the vegan     Company’s set, at a Casino Rumblers         vintage themes include pin-up gals
philosophy of “doing least harm”.           gig during Wintersun, and with Six          and Hawaiian scenes. Rob also gets
    While veganism consists of so many      Foot Hick at their 2007 album launch.       asked to tattoo the word “vegan” on
different aspects, the main component       I was also one of the winners of Kitten     many Melbournians, when they learn
is of course food consumption, the          Katwalk at Greazefest 2008, which           that he himself is vegan. “I’ve been
results of which are three-fold: a          was pretty darn exciting.” (See page        vegan for twelve years now, but I was
vegan diet reduces animal suffering,        29.)                                        vegetarian before that for about three
reduces human illness, and conserves           She says her favourite ‘50s artist is    years.” And his favourite vegan food?
the dwindling resources of the planet.      Johnny Cash, however she does have          “Good old Italian home made pasta!”
For many reasons, the movement              a popular burlesque routine that she           Rob is also a musician, playing


30                                                                                           BIG BEAT OF THE FIFTIES
 Rob - tattoo artist from Melbourne                 Dan - slappin’ bass in                        Joe - ARRAS member 2045
                                                     New South Wales

drums in one band and performing          rock’n’roll dance floor when he’s not              Vikki Carr, who first rose to stardom
vocals in another. When I asked him       on stage.                                          in the 1960s, but he has a huge
who is his all-time favourite ‘50s            Dan has been vegan for two years               music collection and there is a special
artist, he answered “Oh God, that’s       and his lifestyle choice ultimately lead           place in his heart for the music of
a hard question, but I’d have to say      him to leave his profession as a chef.             the ‘50s. He says, “My favourite ‘50s
Ray Charles, Little Richard, Elvis and    He is currently working as a bicycle               artist is Buddy Holly, and my all-time
Chuck Berry. This list can go on and      mechanic, which he totally enjoys. He              favourite rock’n’roll song is “Wear
on…”                                      says his favourite style of music from             My Ring Around Your Neck” by Elvis
    There are so many great photos        the ‘50s is “definitely rockabilly”, and           Presley.” Amongst his other rock’n’roll
of Rob’s ink work that it was difficult   his favourite ‘50s artist is the great             favourites are Rocky Burnette and
to choose only one to accompany his       Johnny Cash.                                       Darrel Higham, who have both toured
profile. See page 32. One of his recent       In recent months the Mother                    Australia in the past couple of years.
jobs included etching the words “Rock     Tr u c k e r s h a v e s h a r e d t h e b i l l       Joe recently attended the World
and Roll” along somebody’s forearm.       with other great local rockin’ acts,               Vegan Day celebrations in Abbotsford,
Check out some more of his tattoo art     including The Fuelers, The Creepers,               Melbourne, where his brother Kevin
on his company webpage, and for all       Nervous Wreckers, Firebird and the                 performed some live music for an
enquiries you can call the store during   Pat Capocci Combo. Be sure to check                enthusiastic crowd, but Joe has a
business hours on 03 9379 9540.           out Dan’s great slappin’ style on the              musical streak of his own, which he
www.myspace.com/downtoearthtattoos        songs that are currently featured on               expresses by playing piano and writing
                                          the Mother Truckers webpage.                       songs. He joined our Australian
                                          www.myspace.com/mothertruckersrock                 Rock’n’Roll Appreciation Society in
DeadCat Dan: NSW                                                                             January this year.
                                                                                                        www.myspace.com/joevegan
DeadCat Dan is double bass player         Joe Sampson: Victoria
with Sydney band the Mother
Truckers, complete with creepers and      Joe from Bonbeach in Victoria is a                 The vegan diet has been around for
a psychobilly-style pompadour. He         university lecturer who has published              centuries, and some cultures, such
has been a muso for a long time,          papers on mathematics. He is also                  as the long-lived Hunza people of
telling me “I’ve been slappin’ bass       an ARRAS member (2045) and he                      the Himalayas, have thrived on it for
for about two years but I’d played        likes to go out rock’n’roll dancing.               thousands of years, but the broader
guitar for fifteen years before that.”    Joe has been vegan since 1994, a                   vegan movement in Western culture
Dan has been involved with the            total of fourteen years. He has                    has been credited to a carpenter from
Mother Truckers for about twelve          recently dedicated a webpage to his                the UK called Donald Watson. Mr
months, but like many musicians, he       ideals and it’s a great place to source            Watson was responsible for coining
is also involved in a couple of other     information and medical facts about                the term “vegan” and founding The
side projects that allow him to express   vegan nutrition.                                   Vegan Society in 1944.
himself through variety of rockin’            One visit to Joe’s website will                   Today, a vegetarian diet is often
styles. He also likes to get out on the   reveal that he adores US vocalist                  viewed as a mere stepping stone


DECEMBER 2008                                                                                                                   31
along the path to the vegan lifestyle,
and you might be surprised to learn
that there are some famous 1950s
music names who have chosen a
                                                                           DVD
vegetarian diet for themselves. Some
names include blues legend BB King,
                                                                        GIVEAWAY
Broadway beauty Doris Day, Italian                                  We have one Elvis movie
rock’n’roller Adriano Celentano and                                on DVD to give away called
our own local star Lonnie Lee. (See                                 Love Me Tender (1956).
Big Beat of the ‘50s issue 107 to read                              For a chance to win, send
an article by Lonnie.) Then there is                                  your name and contact
Jimmy Clanton, the ‘50s teen idol,                                    details to the Editor by
always a musician and now a vegan.
                                                                      email: bigbeat@dodo.
Jimmy was the featured artist in our
                                                                               com.au
Bayou Beat column of issue 109.
    Mainstream society once branded                                     or by standard mail:
all vegans as hippies, but the plain                                       ARRAS Editor
truth is that vegans are like snowflakes                                     PO BOX 21
– there are no two alike. You can find                             World Trade Centre 3005
them today as politicians or plumbers,
lawyers or luthiers, accountants or          Come and visit             Victoria, Australia.
                                                                     This competition is open
actors. There are a large number
of contemporar y musicians calling
                                            our webpage on             to all current ARRAS
themselves vegan, and Australia has
a horde of them, often promoting
                                               MySpace!            members and entries must
                                                                           be received by
their ideals in their songs. While it             www.              Sunday 18 January 2009.
was once viewed as a passing fad, it                                          Good luck!
is now expected that in the coming           myspace.com/           Visit our new webpage!
years we will see veganism playing a
bigger role in our urban communities
                                           australianrocknroll          www.arras.com.au
as our younger generations grow up
better informed about their impact on
the planet and (hopefully) wanting to
make a difference in the world.
    Music, of course, has always played
an important role in our cultural
                                               ARRAS                    GIFT
                                                                  MEMBERSHIPS
evolution, and there’s no reason
why the rock’n’roll scene should be
left behind. Thank you to Red, Rob,
                                            MERCHANDISE
                                               Hot T-shirts and
                                                                       Are now
                                                                     available as
                                                                  Christmas gifts
Dan and Joe for sharing their profiles
with Big Beat of the ‘50s. I’m looking        Cool Car Stickers   for your coolest
forward to meeting other local rockers                             rockin’ friends!
whose lifestyle choices are making our
rockin’ world a whole lot cooler.
                                           NOW AVAILABLE!
                    Kiz - Member 1838

 Footnotes: The Straight Edge
 (Str8 Edge) movement took its
 name from a song by US punk
 band Minor Threat in 1980. For
 more information visit: www.
 straightedge.com

   If you know of other vegans who
are involved in the ‘50s rock’n’roll
scene we would love to hear
about them. Contact the Editor:
bigbeat@dodo.com.au




32                                                                   BIG BEAT OF THE FIFTIES

				
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