Posts Tagged ‘Arts’

            In 1974, three artists from San Francisco found themselves in Potter County, Texas, burying ten Cadillacs nose first into a Texas wheat field alongside Interstate 40, an art installation that would eventually come to be known as Cadillac Ranch. This is an eventful week for the Cadillac Ranch, one of the most celebrated roadside landmarks in the country: on Saturday, the site celebrates its fortieth anniversary, and on Tuesday, Stanley Marsh 3, the art installation’s eccentric millionaire benefactor, died. Marsh’s legacy was tainted in his final years after a string of teenage boys  alleged he had sexually abused them.  (Read Skip Hollandsworth’s obituary of Marsh  here.) In the wake of those revelations, Amarilloans weren’t sure what to think of the Cadillac Ranch anymore (one even suggested  bulldozing it), but this unease largely lifted after a settlement to a lawsuit revealed that Marsh no longer owned the property. And so “the hood ornament of Route 66,” lives on, constantly changing as passing graffiti artists leave their stamp on it.

Amarillo native and longtime  Texas Monthly  photographer Wyatt McSpadden, who went to work for Marsh when he was nineteen years old, has been documenting the evolution of the art installation since before the first car went into the ground. “The Cadillacs were buried when I was 22 and just getting started as a photographer. Those pictures still have a life,” he said. In 1978,  Texas Monthly ‘s associate art director Nancy McMillen called up McSpadden and gave him his first assignment for the magazine: to photograph Marsh, whom he dubs “Amarillo’s Mad Hatter.” “All of this has been a huge thread in my life. I hate that he went out with such an awful stain but I have the option to remember the good things, and that’s what I’m doing.” McSpadden’s photos and captions of the Cadillac Ranch over the years follow below.

One of the few images that remain of Cadillac Ranch in its original condition, taken in 1976. Once the graffiti mobs got started there was no stopping them.

The last car purchased was the first car buried. Here Doug Michels of Ant Farm, the group of California artists that created the project, seals the deal on the 1949 model in an alley in northeast Amarillo.

The Cadillacs were buried in sequence from the oldest, 1949, to the newest, 1964. There are 10, each car representing the latest version of the famous Cadillac tail fin.

Members of Ant Farm moved to Amarillo for several months to plan, survey the property, purchase and bury the cars. This fellow is a neon artist from England, Roger Dainton, who happened to be in Amarillo on an assignment and became an honorary member of Ant Farm by helping to bury the cars.

There was giant party to mark the completion of the Cadillac Ranch in late June. Everyone was invited from the bluebloods of Amarillo, the hippies, and here a ranch foremen from a nearby cattle operation and his wife.

Cadillac Ranch 1990. The caddies were painted several times in a variety of colors and shades of grey. The pink period was one of the most popular. No paint job stayed unmarked for long.

Another version of the chameleon Cadillac Ranch. Probably taken in the early nineties.

Cadillac Ranch has been located in active wheat pastures in both locations. In the winter and early spring the rancher would have steers out grazing. Cattle out to pasture can be squirrely but this steer was very patient in posing for me. Perhaps it was his third leg that made him so agreeable.

Ant Farm artist Chip Lord returned to check on his herd a couple of years after they were buried.

Cadillac Ranch was moved in 1997 from its original site along Interstate 40 to a new spot two miles west along the interstate. The move was necessary because Amarillo’s growth was westward and the property where the caddies were buried was becoming increasingly valuable.

A Cadillac dangles from a crane during the 1997 move two miles westward along Interstate 40.

My younger son Stuart in 1989. He and his brother, Trevor, would join me on my picture making excursions to the ranch. I was using a special panoramic camera for a project and thought it would be a good format for the caddies.



          Jamey “HandMade” Jordan is proud to announce the launch of his new custom interior company offering a full line of “HandMade” hot rod interior products. HandMade Seat Co. was established to give the serious hot rodder custom options to make the build and design of any interior stand out from the crowd. Beginning with a new spin on traditional Bomber style seats, HandMade Seat Co. is building new designs every single day to offer many unique styles to choose from.

     Or, if you want to depart from the standard designs, they will hand-build a completely one-off custom set, created to your exact specifications, that will never be rebuilt or sold to another customer even if requested, making your custom set truly one-of-a-kind.

 For more information or to place your custom order today, call 601.692.6448 or check out handmadeseatco  for photos of all the latest seats and accessories.

There will be more indoor vendor spaces and a larger swap meet (thanks to the Bombers). There will (hopefully) be antique tractors hauling people around. There will be great pre and post show parties in Clinton (that’s Friday AND Saturday nights, folks!!). Since this is our big 10th anniversary, we went all out with the bands, too! We even got one of the bands who played the very first Hunnert Car Pileup to come back (The Gravetones)!

Junior Brown
3 Bad Jacks
The Reckless Ones
Art Adams
Hot Rod Hucksters
The Gravetones
MG & the Gas City 3

It will be a killer show worthy of the 10 year anniversary…

It will also be the last Hunnert Car Pileup.

This was a very hard decision to reach. The Chrome Czars have devoted 10 years of their lives to this show, and we have an emotional attachment to it. We debated (and argued) about what to do, but finally decided that ending the show was best. It was time.

There are a variety of reasons behind the decision, and we struggled with it, but we feel the show is going in the wrong direction. It’s becoming more about the spectators and it’s getting harder to keep out cars that are not truly traditional. Fun for all, sure, but no longer the original intent of the show. The show’s “vibe” has been dimming and drifting as a result. We’d rather kill it while we still respect it, than let it go down in a smoldering wreck. 10 years is enough, and there are several other traditional car shows now that can carry the torch.

Furthermore, as the show grew, it became harder for us to manage it, even with the help of the Great Red Shirt Army. The strain on our day jobs and families started to turn the show from a Labor of Love to just Labor. We are not professional promoters.

A long time ago, we decided that we would rather stop doing the show, than to see it lose “the vibe” that made it so special. So, we would rather end it now while that vibe is still flowing through the show, and maintain its integrity.

For now, we are going to concentrate our energies on the Hunnert Car Heads Up vintage drag race event. There have been many shows that started because they were inspired by the Pileup, just like the Pileup was inspired by the Lonestar Roundup and the original Billetproof. The traditional hot rod flame is burning brightly in these shows. Go to the Blacktop Barons’ Road Block. Go to Vintage Torque Fest. Go to the Symco Shakedown. Go to the Rust Revival. Go to the Heads Up and Meltdown Drag Races. These are just a few of the shows in the Midwest.

We would like to thank the hundreds of volunteers in the Red Shirt Army who have donated countless hours over the years to making this show happen. They are the heart of the show. Thanks to the hot rodders who drove their cars from all over the USA and came to the show in the cold, rain, heat, and even snow. Thanks to all the spectators who were so inspired by what they saw that they returned the next year with a car they could drive through the gate. Thanks to the rat rods and street rods who challenged our interpretation of “traditional” every year and kept us on our toes. Thanks to the towns of Sycamore, Morris, Decatur and Clinton for welcoming all the crazy hot rodders over the years, and thanks to those rodders for keeping it peaceful and clean. And a special thanks to our families and friends for helping make this show happen, especially Catherine (DW) and Diane, who go that extra mile in planning the event.

We wanted to make this announcement in advance for all of you who keep saying “I’ll get the car done later. There’s always next year.” Not this time, friend. GET WRENCHING!!

Celebrate 10 years of the Hunnert Car Pileup on Oct 8, 2011. It will be an event that you’ll be telling your grand kids about!

Don’t miss it!!


1995, DJ Wolfman Jack died of a heart attack. Was the master of ceremonies for the rock ‘n’ roll generation of the ’60s on radio, and later on television during the ’70s.









1956, Elvis Presley appeared on NBC- TV’s ‘The Steve Allen Show’ and performed ‘Hound Dog’, to a live Hound Dog. US TV critic John Crosby panned Elvis’ performance, calling him an ‘unspeakable, untalented and vulgar young entertainer.’












1962, Gene Vincent plus up and coming local group The Beatles appeared at The Cavern Club, Liverpool.


Dita Von Teese

Model: My Favorite Pin Up …………Monica Renee 

His pictures are always seductive, passionate and you can easily feel the story behind them. I look forward to see more of his fashion/ alternative work!
Via Ink Butter.

Armando Huerta is “The Dark Lord of Pin-Up”. And by that name, he is known throughout the art world. With his incredibly meticulous attention to detail, Armando creates some of the most beautiful and alluring Pin-Ups the world has ever seen.

At a very young age, Armando found out that he had the drive and the passion that it takes to be a leading Pin-up artist. With a start in modeling clay, Armando soon found out that the ability to draw and paint something and make it look 3-D was a more satisfying challenge.

Born in Mexico, Armando began his official art career as a graphic designer. With clients like Coca-Cola and Playboy, Armando soon had a name for himself. Once his artwork was spotted in the USA, Armando soon found himself on numerous comic book covers and a hit at Comic Book Conventions and Tattoo shows nationwide. With his growing popularity it is no wonder how such an accomplished artist could pick up collectors world wide who not only collect one or two pieces, but commission custom art regularly.


For more information, shows and events check

Johnny Cash Martin Guitar
Johnny Cash struttin’ his stuff, jammin’ on his Martin guitar, CA. 1959.

Now Johnny Cash’s life wasn’t exactly a cakewalk back in the day.  Cash was touring like a banshee —  the marriage was crumbling — they (he and first wife Vivian) had 4 baby girls to take care of — he was partying like a fiend — he and his badass buddies, like Waylon Jennings, were taking every pill there was — he gets busted in El Paso for possession — you get the picture, the guy lived hard.  Yet, looking at these pictures, he looks simply amazing.  Cash’s style during this time, with his tight, slicked back hair and crisp, clean tailoring look unbelievable compared to the 1970s ‘bigger is better’ looks that were to follow. I will say though that once you get to 1965-66 — well, you can see that the effects are definitely starting to show on Johnny’s face.  All in all though, he had an amazing run even with all the crap going on, until it eventually caught up with him — and it always does.  

Johnny Cash Johnny
Cash backstage and his awesome custom Gibson with his name inlayed in the fingerboard.

 Johnny Cash

Johnny cash with his custom “Johnny Cash” Gibson guitar, Memphis, TN, ca. 1960.

johnny cash
Johnny Cash holding a to guitar, sitting with daughters Rosanne, Cathy and Tara in 1960.
Johnny Cash
Country singer Johnny Cash smokes a cigarette in his hotel room in White Plains, New York, ca. 1959

Johnny Cash Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash Johnny
Cash rehearses with his wife Vivian Liberto for his upcoming appearance on the television show


Johnny Cash Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash tunes his guitar backstage in White Plains, New York, ca. 1959.
Johnny Cash tunes his guitar backstage in White Plains, New York, ca. 1959.


Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash Jerry
Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, ca. 1956. The Quartet was really an impromptu jam (and publicity photo op, no doubt) between four famous musicians that was recorded by Sam Phillips at his Sun Studios.


Johnny Cash
The Man in Black — Johnny Cash, taken in Memphis, TN, ca. 1957.

 Johnny Cash

The Man in Black — Johnny Cash, taken in Memphis, TN, ca. 1957.

Johnny Cash and electric guitarist Luther Perkins perform on stage in White Plains, New York. Cash's hair flies up in the air crazily as he jams to the music, ca. 1959.
Johnny Cash and electric guitarist Luther Perkins perform on stage in White Plains, New York. Cash’s hair flies up in the air crazily as he jams to the music, ca. 1959.


Johnny Cash
Johnny Cash in the recording studio looking reflective.


Johnny Cash El Paso 1965 Johnny Cash gets busted in El Paso International Airport for drug possession, 1965.


Johnny Cash busted in El Paso

October 5th, 1965 – JOHNNY CASH MAKES BOND – Country and Western star Johnny Cash, center, is flanked by a bondsman and a U.S. Marshall as he was transferred from El Paso County Jail to the Federal Courthouse Tuesday. Cash was arrested at International Airport Monday and charged with importing and concealing over 1,000 pep pills and tranquilizers. Bond was $1,500.

Johnny Cash and wife Vivian

December 29th, 1965 – JOHNNY CASH PLEADS GUILTY – Country and Western music singer and recording star Johnny Cash entered a plea of guilty before U.S. District Judge D.W. Suttle Tuesday at his arraignment on charges of possessing 668 Dexadrin and 475 Equanil tablets when arrested Oct 4 at El Paso International Airport. Cash, left, leaves the Federal Courthouse with his wife, Vivian, and attorney Woodrow W. Bean after Judge Suttle deferred sentence on the misdemeanor charge that carried a possible penalty up to $1,000 fine and one year in prison.

Johnny Cash El Paso 1966

March 9th, 1966 – SINGER RELAXES – Johnny Cash, right, Country and Western music star talks to friends in a local restaurant after receiving a $1,000 fine and a 30-day suspended sentence Tuesday in U.S. District Court for possession of illegal drugs. With Cash, second from left, are the Rev. Floyd Bressett, minister of the non-denominational Avenue Community Church, of Ventura, Calif.; El Paso attorney Woodrow W. Bean, who Cash said gave him “strength during my ordeal,” and Johnny Thompson, a friend and former radio announcer.

Johnny Cash
Give ’em Hell, Johnny!