Saturday, December 15, 2012
Top 5 Saturday
Number 1. Any kid that grew up in the 60's-70's had a Rat Fink on there bike, skateboard, hot rod , etc etc. Just like a giving whatever new item I got received a new sticker. Just for that one image there was a entire revolution. As the story goes the new Disneyland was opened in Anaheim and Roth was sitting eating across the street.and just doodled the first Rat Fink on a napkin. Saying he hated Mickey Mouse and the rat fink is the polar opposite. Genius stuff flowed through his brain. Just like that over some pancakes he already fucked the world.
Number 2. Choppers Magazine. Anyone in the now knows Roth had the first real Choppers magazine. They are holy Grail type items to everybody. The pics are crude the writing is even cruder but the overall impact on the biker world was instant. Most of the bikes were local club members bikes and after a bunch of problems with said club members wanting to get paid for Roth to show there bikes Roth decided it wasn't worth it. there is a story of a club trying to get money out of Roth which Roth paid. Then another and another came a knocking. Roth ended up posted on the roof of his shop with some high powered rifles and decided to squash that shit right there and then. Roth was a giant man and there was rarely a documented occasion that he lost a fight.
Number 3. Roth himself was way ahead of his time and like most visionaries that worked against him. Fiberglass was just a reality and Roth used it to build all of those space aged insane show rods. I think for a solid 10+ years every show in the US had a Roth car on display and Roth could make a living by just showing cars and selling model kits. there were times that he shot himself in the foot or people tried to use him but overall he was his worst enemy.
Number 4. Truly Punk Rock in his soul. Roth was a true biker at heart. A true craftsman and a true spirit that was more like a sledge hammer then a artist with a brush. At the request of Revell they asked Roth to clean up his dirty biker Beatnik image at shows to help try and sell models. So everybody has seen the pictures of Roth in a full tuxedo. That was his big FUCK YOU to the man. They think I look scuzzy. Well how about now with a full on tux with tails. Love that shit. Love that he did what he wanted and the man always wanted him to be something he wasn't. It screwed him later but for the time he was king.
Number 5. Lowbrow art at its best. I say Lowbrow because before Roth there was no such thing. Before Roth nothing, After Roth everything was ok. I truly believe there would be no Williams, Ryden, Kozik, Coop, etc etc without Roth. I am sure they all would swear they would but the truth is that as a youth they were all mind fucked by Roth. Even in the early days Roth employed young artist to help in the studio.Robert Williams is one of the finest artist ever. My opinion of course but I dare you to disagree. So the influence that Roth has giving us as some sort of retarded extended family is choppers, real custom cars, monster shirts, stickers, show rods, model kits, and so much more. At the end of his life like in the late 90's I got to meet him at one of the Moon Eyes shows and I was very impressed in the fact he embraced all the attention and was grateful people still loved his art. A true mans man and he is up on a higher level then most. RIP