Thursday, February 17, 2011

Part romantic, part beatnik, part general pain in the ass

"I make a point of staying right at the edge of poverty. I don't have a pair of pants without a hole in them, and the only pair of boots I have are on my feet. I don't mess around with unnecessary stuff, so I don't need much money. I believe it's meant to be that way. There's a 'struggle' you have to go through, and if you make a lot of money it doesn't make the 'struggle' go away. It just makes it more complicated. If you keep poor, the struggle is simple. " -Von Dutch

Kenneth Howard a.k.a Von Dutch was born on September 7, 1929 in Compton, California. [1] Von Dutch is best known as the father of the modern pinstriping. Von Dutch was one of the original guys that were experimenting with pinstriping, he was also the first to develop a distinctive style.

According to Von Dutch, he started drawing flying eyeballs at the age of 18.[3] His sister Virginia Howard Reyes were there the first time he drew it, and can confirm that Von Dutch drew it in 1948.[2] According to Von Dutch's sister Virginia Howard ReyesEd Roth created another version of the "Flying Eyeball" before Dean Jeffries.

For several years Dutch painted and pinstriped nothing but motorcycles, moving from shop to shop, saturating each area. By the mid-fifties he had done thousands of bikes, but very few cars. Striping cars started as a joke when he was working at Al Titus' motorcycle shop in Linwood, California. The whole car striping idea started to 'snowball' and he was there. More...

A young Kenny Howard (Von Dutch) perfecting his pinstriping craft at Bud Ekins' shop, 1965.

Worth watching....An Interview With Von Dutch
Sometime in the 1980′s Von Dutch attended the Lead East Nationals and the organizer of the show, Terry Cook, was lucky enough to put an interview with him down on tape. 

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