BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA: Tucked away off the main thoroughfare of Calle Sante Fe is Bond Street, a cool spot modeled after the famed London street of the same name. The guys from the rockabilly band Los Primitivos had given me a heads up about this place and I finally was able to get by for a few minutes.
To be honest, it doesn’t look like much from the street, but once inside, it’s 3 floors of tattoo parlors, punk and alternative clothing stores, record stores, a bar and even a tattoo museum (though it was closed when I was there). There was street art all over the walls and the distinct buzz of numerous tattoo needles busy at work.
The crowd itself was a mixture of metal heads, emo and goth kids, with a small mixture of punk and rockabilly folks mixed in. The standard color was black anything and most people were pierced and tattooed.
There was a booth handing out cards for the big NOFX show coming up on the 27th and this guy Jared was standing by and was cool enough to fill me in on the scene at Bond Street.
Jared said he didn’t consider himself punk but he did like Social Distortion and wasn’t aware they were coming in April.
Speaking of Social Distortion, the young lady at The Red Place tattoo parlor already had her tickets in hand, but said there was confusion whether they are playing for one, two or three nights.
If you find yourself in Buenos Aires, Bond Street is pretty cool and worth a visit. I saw a pretty good selection of some Lucky 13 clothing, the standard Ramones, Misfits, NOFX band shirts, etc. and of course if you want to get a tattoo you have plenty of choices there. I heard American Tattoo was one of the best, but as I’m a tattoo free mofo myself, you’ll have to do your own research on that.
I will tell you I sensed some disconnect between some of the folks at the tattoo parlors and punk music that made me wonder about people who look and dress the part but don’t really follow the lifestyle or listen to the music. One tattoo owner I spoke with looked like Mike Ness himself, with kick ass tattoos complete with a rockabilly look but he expressed no enthusiasm for punk or rockabilly music.
This made me wonder about the folks that embrace the punk aesthetic as a fashion choice but not the philosophy and music. I don’t care about your tattoos, I want to know whats inside and what you think. If your outside doesn’t reflect your inside I think they call that being a poser.
Or probably it’s just a reflection of how mainstream the art of tattoo has become worldwide with TV shows, conventions, etc. I wouldn’t be surprised if mymom came home with a tattoo next week.
And maybe it’s a reflection of how influential punk and neo rockabilly have been on mainstream culture. I notice hip hop and club kids in NYC ripping off the punk look all the time and I’ve seen psychobilly hairstyles in couture fashion ads.
I just wonder if all this is a good thing.