Yours truly received a copy of ‘The Bible’ for many a graffiti writer in Europe and beyond: Bandos BlackBook! It took me back, for I have known this book firsthand and have seen sketches being glued in many times. But it also reminded me of how much; I sucked at drawing!’
Somehow, your narrator found himself caught in a slipstream and ended up in memory lane before the CTK time period. As a kid, he grows up in a era where children are still expected to be seen and not heard. Continuously reminded by his dad’s standing order: “Keep your eyes and ears open, and your mouth shut.” Making him a formidable observer and drawing was without a doubt his favorite past-time and _essentially only_ form of expression.
Although what I am about to say may be legally inaccurate, it pertains to children who are under the age of majority. Orphaned at age of 18 and 21 as both of my parents succumbed to various forms of cancer… Due to his spartan upbringing, your humble narrator was prone to becoming a deviant and delinquent, and graffiti fit him like a glove. Neglected and forced to fend for himself, but at age 13, his elder brother took guardianship over him. This entailed starting a new school and moving to Amsterdam, the graffiti capital of the Netherlands. What could possibly go wrong?
The European Crusades.
Two years later ANGEL becomes a Crime Time King. The Dutch Graffiti Library has published a series of interviews and articles providing further insights into this coronation. (See end of page.) It is doubtful that our cherub child was born with a sunny disposition to start with. Witnessing both parental units decline and being consumed by their diseases for a decade does not add much frivolous euphoria. Nevertheless, graffiti gives our protagonist a sense of purpose and sustenance as he becomes a Toy King at age fifteen.
In the picture above, you can see ANGEL as part of an active duo, being the steady wing-man of SHOE. Like many a time before, we would spot a wall and come back later and paint it without a design in mind. In the walk-up, we decided that I should run my own crew, and TBH was born on this wall. Judging by the lettering, you can see that BANDO had already influenced Amsterdam graffiti writers, as many of us were. The answer to the frequently asked question; Do you have any Black Books from this period? The answer is; NO! I did have one filled with skateboard stickers on the cover from when I did do letters, but it vanished a long~long time ago…
Anywho, Bando would visit Amsterdam and Me and Shoe would go down to Paris to bomb. Bando is the type of person you can classify as charismatic and would get along with a broad-spectrum of people. In my memory, Bando is a Hilarious, Mega-Ultra-Cool, First-Class Idiot, and I have rarely laughed as hard since those days! So, for a few months each year, we would be on each other’s hunting grounds, and for the first few years, I always managed to miss meeting Mode2.
Love to Hate or Hate to Love?
What would happen is that when I checked out Bandos BlackBook after a longer period, it often contained new drawings from Mode and I thought, Fuck Me! I Suck at drawing again! Some of the colorful characters that come to mind, whom I used to hang out with, are Freddy (DOC), with whom I used to go skating on the Parisian asphalt pavements. Believe it or not, FIST once drove back up to Amsterdam with me and stood next to me at my mother’s deathbed as we visited her in the middle of the night. And there was BOXER, who was like having a ‘legionnaire’ as bodyguard when walking about the streets of Paris.
Controversy aside, I got along well with BOXER, possibly because of our shared love for dogs. I remember he would make an effort to show me interesting cool shit! One memorable occasion was when he took me to visit a friend who lived in the courtyard across from the flower shop. Yours truly must have been sixteen at the time, and many of you don’t remember a time before the internet. Back then… If you wanted to see someone’s ‘Collection,’ you had to visit them in person instead of endlessly~swiping on a phone. I had no idea what I was stepping into, but his friend had an insane-collection of RPG boxes that ‘Blew-My-Mind!’ This was the first time I had come across the phenomenon of Science-Fiction Tabletop Board Games and Miniatures in overload!
To say this is where I decided to create a game would be a bit forced, but I never forgot! Nor is the game I eventually built the ‘Crime Time Kings’ game, yet it sure as hell took root in that period. And without this history; Would Never Have Been The Same!
Some Thirty Five Years Later…
I did not become serious about drawing until I started endlessly practicing Gods-Vicious-Babies in my Black Books in the nineties. Books I still have and got from Au Bon Marché, a warehouse close to Bando’s house in Paris, by the way… And I still feel I cant draw worth a Fuck and still Suck! But who cares?
*Do Not Click This Link If You Have A Delicate Constitution?
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