AS the winter season rolls to a close, thoughts of drag races, road races and car shows start to dance in motorsports fans' heads like pictures of shiny packages do in kids' head on Christmas morning. Hopefully I'll be present at more motorsports events this year, but until then, check out this article about the 41st Mitty Presented by Hagerty and Nissan to get your fueled up for the spring season.
Patrick Cox is a punk. No, really. He wanted to wear a Gism t-shirt for his big scene in the new Aquaman movie. His character, Cue Ball, strolls into a bar about twenty minutes into the movie and confronts Arthur Curry aka Aquaman “You that fish boy they talked about on TV?” he challenges Aquaman while his posse of biker thugs lurk menacingly in the background.
Arthur, who is just trying to get sloshed with his pops and have a heart to heart, turns around slowly. “Fish man,” he replies. We all hold our breath, waiting for the beating we’re sure is gonna ensue, and instead, Cue Ball says cool, and whips out a bright pink phone and asks Aquaman if he would mind if he took some pictures. The next thirty seconds are a quick series of hilarious selfie portraits between the two.
Now, back to the Gism shirt. Gism, for those of you who don’t know, is a killer Japanese hardcore band from the ‘80s. Since the folks handling wardrobe weren’t sure they would be able to track down the band in time to get clearance to use the shirt in the movie, they gave him several other options for what to wear during his scene, and the shirt he chose happened to be a GEARHEAD t shirt. Featuring an eagle on the front with a banner clutched in its talons that says, “Gearhead, est. 1993”, the shirt was prominently portrayed during the big bar room scene. “They laid out a bunch of shirts and said I needed to choose one, and that GEARHEAD shirt looked pretty cool,” he said during our interview.
Cox’s barrel-sized chest perfectly filled out the XXL t-shirt with the sleeves cut off to stay in character with his biker persona. “It fit like a glove,” he said.
Tracking down Patrick to “talk shirts” was also an excuse to get into his past as a Memphis punk rocker. As the singer for Bury the Living, a Memphis based hardcore punk band, they recorded for Prank Records, a San Francisco based hardcore label that I used to work with when I was a sales person at Mordam Records (an independent record distribution company). Imagine my surprise and delight at this crazy turn of events! The label specialized in recording southern-based hardcore bands, and included such acts as Damad, His Hero is Gone, Dead and Gone, and of course, Bury The Living who released their LP All The News That’s Fit To Scream in 2005.
His arms are covered with tattoos from the local tattoo parlor, Underground Art, which he’s been going to since he was in the band. His shaved head, bearded face and enormous frame were the perfect focal point to the fast paced aggressive music. Cox had previously been a semi-pro-wrestler, as well as a zookeeper, so being out in front of an audience was natural.
“We toured and recorded for twelve years, and that band took me all over,” Cox recalls. “Through it, I met a local film maker who wanted me to be in his movie, and that’s how I got into acting.” The film got rave reviews and opened a door for Patrick to sign with a local agent who got him more acting gigs in local commercials. After his grandma, to whom he was caretaker, passed away, he had nothing really keeping him in Memphis besides the band, and so he jumped at an offer to move to Hollywood and audition for some parts.
Unlike most actors who dream of making a living working in film and TV but struggle to break in, Cox never had that trouble. “I showed up, got an agent and started working pretty much right away.” His unique look led him to be cast in a variety of gigs and his great attitude kept him working. “It’s a great job. I can show up, work and make a decent living and travel, and not have to stress too much” he shares. “It’s a great life.”
Shortly before his audition for Aquaman, he had been in Fiji filming. Arriving home to find an offer for an audition, he showed up a day early, tired, jet lagged and uncertain about what he was auditioning for. “I was so tired, I didn’t realize I showed up a day early for the audition, but they were cool and screen-tested me anyway, and I got the part. Three days later I was back on a plane headed to Australia to shoot the scene for the Aquaman movie.”
I asked him if he had a chance to go check out any Australian bands while he was there, and he was bummed that unfortunately he didn’t. “Jason Momoa was just the nicest coolest guy to work with,” explained Cox. “He offered me his car so I could go check out Australia, but I wasn’t able to take him up on it.”
Cox also recounted how much fun Momoa was to work with. “The first take, I did the lines straight, and then I started having fun with it, saying shit to make Jason laugh.” After a bunch of takes, the director finally asked Cox to play it straight so Cox obliged. “Part way in, Jason says cut, cut, cut! And looks at me, ‘What’s the matter dude? Why aren’t you being funny? ‘And I had to tell him James (Wan, the director) told me not to. There was a bunch of extra takes that might end up being in a gag-reel on the DVD.”
We chatted further about music and mutual favorite bands, including Circle One and the Memphis based band, The Oblivians, one of the first bands in the early nineties to dig into the garage punk style that later bands such as former Gearhead recording artists The Hives and Detroit-rockers The White Stripes made so popular in the early 2000s.
Cox is currently working on the upcoming Veronica Mars mini series as well as a shitload of other projects and is no longer actively playing music. But his appreciation of hard working punk bands and music is still a vital part of his life. Once a punk, always a punk.
The end of the year is fast approaching, and that means inventory time. Yes, those of us at GEARHEAD HQ will be counting each individual product in the GEARHEAD warehouse. Which means, last minute sale, which means less for us to count if you take advantage of this berzerko offer, so win-win for everyone! Enter XMAS2018 at checkout and get 50% off of any CD in your cart!
Artists We Love
The header for this newsletter was created by Doug Mansfield, who has done alot of cool art for GEARHEAD these last few years, including the Santa's Got a GTO Vol. 2 record, and The Mansfields Hollywood Babylon record. We are so lucky to be selling a few of his goodies, such as magnets and keychains, so please check out the webstore!
Our friendly Christmas monster Lewis was painted by Cuz'n Bill Lorenz, who did the cover for the current issue of GEARHEAD Magazine as well as several t shirts, includingMotorskull and Live Fast, Be Weird. Gearhead owes a great debt of gratitude and appreciatiation to these amazing talented artists, so thank you for your support this year fellas!
We're clearing out some of our limited edition Christmas doo-dads, so make sure you check out the CLEARANCE section for special discounts, no code necessary!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,
The dedicated team at GEARHEAD HEADQUARTERS
As we head towards the end of 2018, I have been going back through old blog posts and articles, and this one caught my eye. I felt this article still has a lot of relevance today because I'm still finding my way with this company and with being CEO/President and Creative Director all at the same time. I feel inclined to post it because I hope this will help some of you out there who are going through similar creative challenges. Enjoy, and thanks for being part of my journey. Much love, Michelle Haunold Lorenz
Probably most of you reading this have never heard of him, but in 1971 singer/songwriter Harry Nilsson released an album called The Point, about a round-headed boy named Oblio and his dog Arrow (remember the song Me and My Arrow? That's where this comes from) who lived in a land where, by law, everything had to have a point. It was turned into an animated film that aired on TV. I remember watching it at the age of 7, entranced and mystified by the story and the music. As I get Gearhead back up and running, I was looking back over the last four years of consciously closing down a successful business, including my very successful retail boutique and trying to get clear about what the point of it all was.
It seemed everything had lost the point. What was the point of putting out records, finding bands and helping them out, writing about and sharing things I'm passionate about, like cool threads and hot rods and neat art and tattoos and my gardens and everything that just feeds my soul.... what was the point?! So I very consciously chose to close my store, even though I absolutely loved it and it was doing very well, and I started selling off Gearhead inventory, and what I couldn't sell and didn't feel like moving, I smashed. Literally. I destroyed stuff with a sledgehammer, which was incredibly satisfying in a very weird twisted way. I created it and brought it into the world and I was choosing to liberate it and remove it from the world. After all, there seemed to be no point to its existence at all!
All passion was gone. I didn't want to ever hear music again, I didn't ever want to go vend ever again, I never wanted to see or smell another hot rod; I just wanted it all to be over. I listened to talk radio, or nothing at all. I tried to get rid of Gearhead. I thought I could just sell everything off and quietly close it down, let it slip into oblivion and move on.
During these last four years, I pursued a very different path. I became a minister and a spiritual counselor and healer, doing deep soul healing on myself as I helped others work through their own tough times. I also became a master gardener and put my life-long love of plants to work, teaching people how to create water-wise gardens, work with the earth harmoniously, grow their own vegetables and become aware of their impact on the earth and people around them.
Slowly, I started to enjoy life again, and I started to listen to music again. Very gentle music, like folk singer Kate Wolf, Elliott Smith, Mark Erelli, The Nields, piano concertos and music that made me feel good. Every once in a while I would dig out my favorite female rocker, Joan Jett, and crank up one of her records and dance around the house and sing at the top of my lungs. And that felt great.
So I started digging out more of my rock 'n' roll records that I used to love: Groovie Ghoulies, The Go-Gos, The Yum Yums, New York Dolls, Patti Smith, The Cars, Cheap Trick and AC/DC, and little by little, I started to feel better because all those records made me feel good too! The point to all the music was IT MADE ME FEEL. Music is a way to get past all the crap and go right to the point of being human: we are here to feel, to experience, to share, to learn, to change, and grow, but most of all to feel.
I finally started listening to the records I put out for Gearhead and realized I loved those records. The time and the place each one of those records came into my life reflected where I was at emotionally, mentally and spiritually and they all had a point, a reason to exist. Fourteen years of living this life, and it was all reflected in the records and products I put out through Gearhead.
Now, fours years down the line and in a much more balanced place, I'm taking Gearhead out of the garage and onto the road again. Everyone has their own opinions about this company; who I should sign and what records I should put out, what shirt I should make, where I should vend and how I should move forward. And that's O.K. To each their own. But as I find my passion again for this company and the people I work with, I understand that that is exactly the point of running this company. I am giving people the courage, the inspiration, the passion and the guts to do their own thing whether they're inspired by what I do, or if they don't like what I'm doing. DIY baby!
I'm very excited about this new year, about getting the Gearhead motor cranked back up again, about putting out records for bands I love, about going out to car shows again and selling my stuff, about talking to people again, about working with artists to come up with cool new clothing. It always used to be fun, and I'm happy that it is fun again. There is still a reason for Gearhead to be around, 'cause there are still people that dig what I do and what Gearhead represents, and want to be part of it and support it. Every experience has a point, even if it's not always readily apparent, and that my friends, is exactly the point.
Yes, it's true! Simply buy one magazine and automatically get a 2nd copy of that same magazine for free. No gimmicks, no coupons! But hurry, offer ends midnight Dec. 20, 2018!
HO HO HO ho ho ho, Santa's Got a GTO! If you missed out on picking up this limited edition record, you still have a chance before it goes out of print. Available as an LP with full color artwork and liner notes, a digital download or a digital download card, shake up the holiday season with these raucous irreverent Christmas tunes, curated exclusively for Gearhead Records by DJ Rodney Bingenheimer (Rodney on the Rock), the Mayor of Sunset Strip, and the man responsible for introducing the world to The Ramones, The Runaways, Blondie and so many more bands.
Featuring the retro art of Doug Mansfield, the bright red cover and vinyl will surely put you in the Christmas mood! And while you're at it, stuff the stockings of the rock fan in your life with exclusive accessories including keychains, magnets, pocket mirrors and die-cut stickers.
Add a touch of holiday funky to your party decor with these limited edition full-color posters, measuring 11 x 17
As The Tearaways sing, "It's Gonna be a Helluva Christmas!"
I have to be honest: I absolutely despise shopping, especially the blatant commercialism that floods the holiday season. I hate the onslaught of promotional emails that scream BUY ME BUY ME! It makes me sick to my stomach.
But the truth is, as a small business, I depend on people buying my stuff, so I too have taken part in these email blasts, and yes, I will be coming up with a bunch of special offers to entice you to choose GEARHEAD products when you consider gifts this year. I love coming up with new products, but if you’re not buying them, then I can’t make new stuff, dig? I don’t have the ubiquitous “start up” venture capitalist backing me like so many new businesses these days. Gearhead is run the old-fashioned way—by bootstrapping. You know the phrase “S/he pulled him/herself up by the bootstraps”? Well, that’s what bootstrapping means. As money comes in from fine folks like yourself buying the products I’m selling, that money goes back into manufacturing and paying the bills so I can make new stuff, or restock the stuff that sold out.
But part of that money is put aside for causes I believe in. Call it charity or donations or whatever. I call it moral capitol. I believe deeply in giving back to the community I live in and organizations that support those less fortunate. Over the years, I’ve passionately supported non-profits that I myself have personally used: the food bank when I was experiencing extreme food insecurity during my bankruptcy, or the local women’s shelter who helped me when I was trying to get away from my abusive 1st husband many years ago.
Ever since I was a little kid, I have been animal crazy, and incredibly sensitive to abuse and neglect that many animals experience. Even now, I can’t watch commercials about abused animals; I burst into tears, literally. And since I’ve become a dog-mom three times over (Dooly, Twix and Luci) I’ve become committed to raising awareness and funds for animals in need. In my spare time, I also volunteer as a Master Gardener, teaching the local community about what plants to use to enhance their homes and gardens. That has led to my deep commitment to also supporting organizations that benefit our rivers and oceans, and the animals that depend on them for survival.
So what does any of this have to do with hot rods and rock & roll? Gearhead is all about passion, about being engaged, whether it is freaking out about a band or cars or publishing something.
And any time you buy something from Gearhead, whether it is a CD, a T Shirt, a magazine or even a sticker, 10 % of Gearhead profits are donated each year to a variety of non-profits I am passionate about
Today is Giving Tuesday (#GivingTuesday). It is a movement to celebrate an international day of charitable giving at the beginning of the Christmas and holiday season, and if ever there was a day to share your good fortunes, today is the day. Many non-profits have match or double programs to help increase the amount of donations coming in. This is the day each year I choose to make my donations on behalf of Gearhead, because that money goes so much farther.
You may have heard about the horrible fires that have laid waste to Butte County and the tiny town of Paradise in Northern CA. While Gearhead HQ was not in harms way, for several weeks, smoke was so thick it was dangerous to go outside. Many of our friends lost their homes and businesses. And now that the fire is contained, animal shelters are overwhelmed trying to reunite pets with their families, as well as provide medical care for animals injured during the fire.
Dooly Twix and Luci’s vet, VCA Elk Grove, is doing a special fundraiser for the animals affected by the Camp Fires of Butte County. Please consider donating directly to them this Giving Tuesday, and make sure to designate your donation "CA WILDFIRES RELIEF" in the instructions area. I will be making a special one-time donation to this fund to help our friends and neighbors get reunited with their lost and injured pets. You can read more about the other non-profits that will be receiving donations from Gearhead right here.
Today, please consider buying something from the Gearhead Store after you read this newsletter. World Wide Free Shipping continues until Friday, Dec. 30, (Just enter code THANKS18 at check out) so not only are you getting a great deal (because trust me, shipping in NOT cheap, especially overseas), but you are helping me follow my heart and support worthy vetted non-profits as part of my mission for running GEARHEAD.
But remember, wherever your passions lie, share your resources today, Giving Tuesday, and help make this world a better place.
Sorry for getting so serious, on you. But thanks for helping Gearhead and me kick off this holiday season on a positive note.
Keeping the rubber on the road,
Michelle Haunold Lorenz
Thanks for being the best part of Gearhead! Without you, we wouldn't exist! We know you have alot of choices out there, and to share our gratitude, we are offering free shipping WORLD WIDE now until Nov. 30, 2018 on all orders. Make sure to enter code THANKS18 at check out to get free shipping on all your orders from the Gearhead Online Store
Gearfest 2018 was a blast. If you missed it, check out some of the photos below or on our facebook page. We raised $712 for the Sacramento SPCA Behavior Department. Thanks to the following businesses, people and sponsors for your generous help and support. We couldn't have done it without you! A special thanks to the women who came out for the Ms. Gearhead contest. It is tough to put yourself out there, but you all are so brave and beautiful! Strong Women Rock!
Sacramento Tattoo and Piercing, Cuz'n Bill Lorenz, CJ Ramone, School of Rock Elk Grove, 805 Beer, Valvoline, Fender, Tres Noir Optics, Kustom Koffins Apparel, Bicknee Tattoo Supply, Rich and Bobby Thomas, Kyle Martin. Starbucks Elk Grove, Green Acres Nursery, Heather Klinger, Roger Neria, Culinerdy Cruzer, The Blue Lamp, CA Automobile Museum, Jay Ward,
Pets To Go, So-Cal Speed Shop, Impact Group Natural Foods, Axe Heaven Miniature Guitars, McConnell Estates Winery, Bruce and Linda Beatty, Capitol Ace Hardware, Bruce Gossett Studios, Phono Select Records, Jim Mclain, Tower Café, Gunthers Ice Cream, and Hilton Garden Inn Elk Grove. And a special big thanks to all the bands for putting on a killer show in the middle of the day!
Public Eye, Color TV, Fur Dixon, The Control Freaks, Infamous Swanks, and The Woolly Bandits and to all those who came out and supported! You Rock!
Top vehicle builders from all over the world will help SEMA Show exhibitors showcase their products and stand out at the at the premier automotive aftermarket trade show by entering the SEMA Battle of the Builders competition. The fifth annual contest will generate worldwide attention for the exhibitors while spotlighting the amazing talents, products and craftsmanship of the builders.
"The 2018 SEMA Battle of the Builders competition will allow us to learn about the products and stories behind the cars and trucks of these top builders," said Peter MacGillivray, SEMA VP of events and business development. "Companies who exhibit one of these builds benefit from the increased brand awareness and product exposure."
All SEMA Battle of the Builders competitors are recognized in SEMA Show publications and on signage at the event, and many will be featured in a one-hour, nationwide television special that will air exclusively on the Velocity Network in January 2019.
The SEMA Battle of the Builders competition was expanded this year to recognize winners in each of the four different categories: Hot Rod, Truck/Off-Road, Sport Compact and Young Guns. Industry judges will narrow down the field of nearly 300 entries to the Top 10 in each category before selecting the Top 12 builds overall. The 12 finalists will then take over judging duties and vote to name an overall winner, which will be announced Friday, Nov. 2, at SEMA Ignited, the official SEMA Show after-party.
SEMA also expanded its Young Guns regional program to give 14 up-and-coming builders age 27 and younger the opportunity to showcase their vehicles and talents at the exclusive trade show. Winners at select car shows throughout the country were awarded a package that included an all-expenses paid trip to the SEMA Show, transportation of the winner’s vehicle, a designated feature spot, and entry into Battle of the Builders.
For more information about the 2018 Battle of the Builders competition and to see behind-the-scenes footage and interviews of some of this year's contestants, visit www.sema.org/botb or SEMA's YouTube channel. For information about attending SEMA Ignited, the official after-party of the SEMA Show, please visit: www.semaignited.com
About SEMA and the SEMA Show
The SEMA Show is a trade show produced by the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), a nonprofit trade association founded in 1963. Since the first SEMA Show debuted in 1967, the annual event has served as the leading venue bringing together manufacturers and buyers within the automotive specialty equipment industry. Products featured at the SEMA Show include those that enhance the styling, functionality, comfort, convenience and safety of cars and trucks. Additional details are available at www.SEMAShow.com or www.sema.org, 909/396-0289.
Rock 'n' Roll/Automotive Journalist, Influencer, Editor and Publisher of Gearhead Magazine,