I spent most of the 90s following the grunge and punk scene in the Twin Cities. Essentially, going to see original bands every night throughout the Minneapolis and St. Paul region. My girlfriends and I spent hundreds of hours going from music bar to music bar following the best acts in the upper Midwest. On any night you could find us at the Turf Club, Uptown Bar (now gone), Cabooze, 400 Bar (also gone), and of course, First Ave.
Plus dozens and dozens of now lost and forgotten dives and corner music clubs. Live original music? We were there.
We were like postmen, “neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night” kept us from following Soul Asylum, Jayhawks, Honeydogs, Trip Shakespeare, The Suburbs, The Phones, Blue Up and dozens of other bands from location to location across the Twin Cities.
And, like the clubs, dozens and dozens of great, but now lost and forgotten, musicians and bands.
Sidebar: Because of the lyrics this is mostly a NSFW video
In our free time we shopped at thrift stores and that is when I started picking up vintage leather jackets. I thought “I could paint these up and use them as my canvases.” I researched paints and dyes and found a great dye that I could brush on and they would be highly wearable and not crack. This was long before YouTube and the internet so the research was done old school.
As such, for several years I painted original themed surrealism and abstracts on a broad range of canvases including on my vintage leather coats and boots. At one time I had 30 or 40 coats I gave away or sold. I even had one stolen when I was a student in Germany.
A few weeks ago my Partner was digging through the garage when he stumbled upon the last five of these jackets. He brought them into the house and he took pictures of me wearing them. He then uploaded them to Facebook, Google+ and a few other of my Vintage Painter social media sites.
It was interesting to see people’s reactions.
Sidebar: Yes, I know there is only four of the five here. My Partner wants me to keep the fifth one for a while. He has some plans for it.
Most people who have met me over the last 10 years assume I only paint vintage and Americana themes. They never thought about what else I paint or have painted. I generally only show my Vintage Painter work publicly and am very protective of my brand and my Vision. Right now that is how I want to be known but I have a large collection of other work that is in my basement and in my studio.
The hand-dyed and painted vintage leather coats were amongst them.
As an artist I am very Vision oriented. When you look at the jackets, each one is very original. I let the jackets speak to me and they would tell me what they wanted painted. I’m not sure non-creatives can completely understand what that means, and I’m not sure how else to explain it, but that is how it works.
This jacket features three of my loves – surrealism, dogs and Mr. Neil Young and his song Love is a Rose.
I guess that is four things.
Sidebar: This video is completely safe for work.
Nevertheless, a few weeks after my Partner posted the pictures online, the Neil Young Fan Club contacted me and they wanted to write a little post about the coat.
I was honored.
After some thought, I’ve decided to sell the coats – no reason to hang onto them – and try to do some good at the same time. The first coat looking for a new home will be the “Love is a Rose” coat.
I’m selling it through my eBay store with a starting minimum bid of $75. Of that, 25% will be going to Neil Young’s personal charity, The Bridge School. The school offers an innovative program for educating children with severe speech and physical impairments.
Depending on the response, over the next several months I will be selling the other coats too. Hopefully, they will find a good home. Please help me spread the word. Below are some pictures of the other coats.
My Partner has already started to dig though some of my other art relics. It will be interesting to see what else pops up.
“Love is a Rose”
Click to visit the auction on eBay
The Other Coats