Friday, April 10, 2009

Von Dutch, Kenny Howard

Kenneth Graeme Howard (September 7, 1929September 19, 1992), also known as Dutch, Von Dutch or J.L. Bachs (Joe Lunch Box), was a motorcycle mechanic, eccentric, artist, pinstriper, metal fabricator, knifemaker, and gunsmith. His father, Wally Howard, was a well-respected Los Angeles sign painter; and, by the age of ten, the young Kenny Howard was able to paint and letter at a professional level.

n the early 1950s he started earning money by doing pin striping along with fellow pin striper Dean Jeffries.[2] Von Dutch was a major influence in the customizing of vehicles in the 1950s to today. Some of his famous works include the flying eyeball and the custom Kenford truck, along with numerous custom motorcycles and many award-winning custom cars. Among many custom car and motorcycle enthusiasts, he is thought of as one of the fathers of Kustom Kulture.

Dutch was an alcoholic, and this would lead to a stomach abscess. Dutch died on the 19th of September, 1992, leaving behind his two daughters, Lisa and Lorna. His ashes were scattered into the Pacific.

Money was something he detested. In this quote from a 1965 article Dutch explains his thoughts on money.
I make a point of staying right at the edge of poverty. I don't have a pair of pants without a hole in them, and the only pair of boots I have are on my feet. I don't mess around with unnecessary stuff, so I don't need much money. I believe it's meant to be that way. There's a 'struggle' you have to go through, and if you make a lot of money it doesn't make the 'struggle' go away. It just makes it more complicated. If you keep poor, the struggle is simple.

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