Thursday, April 23, 2009

Movers & Shakers - Pasadena, CA

Movers & Shakers - Custom Garage Magazine #5
Text & Photos by: Alex Maldonado

Pasadena probably isn’t the first place that comes to mind when one mentions kustom sleds, hot rods or motorcycles. For some time now the city of Pasadena has been known for being a little stuffy and “yuppie-ish”. From first hand experience I know this isn’t exactly 100 percent accurate. There are plenty of “yuppies”, fancy dining, and one too many sports bars, but then there’s guy’s like Victor Val Verde looking to change the distorted image.

Victor is part owner of Sessions Salon Studio, yes salon, as in hair salon. Now before you throw this magazine across the room, hear me out. Victor, along side his brother Dante grew up loving pretty much anything with wheels and speed. It didn’t matter if it was skateboards, BMX bikes or racing shopping carts. As the boys grew older they naturally graduated from skateboards to custom rides. It’s because of these life long passions that when Victor first decided to have a bash at his salon, he knew he had to incorporate these fixations. The original plan was to have a skateboard show but unfortunately Pasadena city officials had some reservations about that, so he shifted gears to bring “classic cars” to the city. As the idea picked up speed it started a snowball effect. What had first started as a skateboard show soon turned into a kustom rides and art show. Victor got a big hand from his brother Dante who has tons of experience with kustom rides. Dante customizes rides for a living and also runs the Lowdown Luau car show in Long Beach. As word of the show started spreading Victor soon had a hand full of talented artist passionate about their rides as they were about their art.

Just to name a few of the visual talents, there were art pieces from artist like pinstriper The Harpoon , Race Car 13 and graffiti artist/pinstriper Pacman. For the mechanical artwork, Victor hooked up with masters of bike building like Shinya Kimura, founder of Zero Engineering, Paul Yang of Iron Gatsby Designs and of course some Brit-bobbers from Earl’s Bikes. With so much talent already accumulated one thing was still missing, the skateboard element; Victor turned to his good friend Ryan of Circa. Ryan helped get Victor connected with legendary skaters Christian Hosoi, Lance Mountain and Steve Cabellero. After some schedule juggling they were able to get these legends to donate some time to hang out and sign limited edition prints of an art piece actually painted by these masters of skateboarding. With an estimated 2,000 plus spectators, the show went on without a glitch. It was a wild mixture of kustom machines, art, music & pretty girls.

This show helped prove a few things; A. there are some seriously cool people in Pasadena and as long as Victor is in town he’ll continue to reinforce that. And B. You can successfully fuse creative minds from all spectrum's to have one amazing show where everyone who comes leaves a little enlightened. In the end Victor certainly crushed the uptight reputation of Pasadena, let it be known the city itself has asked him to do it again next year. Congrats to Victor and his team, it’s well deserved.

For more pix on this event visit:

1 comment:

Stevie Caballero said...

cool, that you covered that movers and shakers show in Pasedena, how can i get a copy of issue #5?
how do you order one?
Steve Caballero