Tuesday, 25 February 2014

FUZZ-ONE (And My Frankly Shocking Reading Habits)

"I started racking paint & sneaking out to the yards at the age 10. It was the early 70s, I was bombing all city."

Taken from http://www.at149st.com:
FUZZ ONE is one of the greatest IRT legends of all time. He was one of the most prominent writers on the IRTS. FUZZ was originally from Chicago and moved to The Bronx in 1970. He started writing in the Bronx with crews like The Ebony Dukes and The Fantastic Partners. FUZZ peaked during the late 1970s. During this time period he wrote with many crews. He gained admiration for doing insides as well as burners. He hit the 2 and 5 lines with TEAN and KADE and The Magnificent Team.
He bombed the 4 line with writers like BAN 2 and the Out to Bomb crew and also produced a great deal of work on the 1 and 3 lines with NOC 167. FUZZ later made his home in Queens and was equally effective on the 7 line. FUZZ ONE occasionally painted clean trains in the 1990s. 
There are pioneers of our culture of hip hop that have a determined work ethic, put in years of practice, become the best at what they do, influence many others, yet are never the first names to mind when asked who the master of a certain vocation are.
Unless you appeared in a classic 1980's documentary or are constantly pointing out your early endeavours on Facebook (and irritating the hell out of others at the same time) then sometimes you can just fall along the wayside.
One of these people is someone who rolled with many crews in the Seventies, "the Huckleberry Finn of the Bronx", namely FUZZ ONE (Freaks At Large) who seriously deserves his props.
He has written TWO books about his art, his life and the history and times of the graffiti culture; A Bronx Childhood and Last Of The Old School.
Unfortunately his health has deteriorated and he has sadly been hospitalized (a life around the steel has taken it's toll) which has led to losing his job. This is someone who has been around writing on trains from the beginning, before SEEN and all the others who are the more well-known members of the community. The words 'legend' and 'pioneer' get bandied around far too easily these days but they certainly apply to FUZZ ONE in every meaning of the words.

I must confess that I've had in my possession FUZZ ONE's first book, A Bronx Childhood for at least 3 years now but for some reason or another have only made it to page 42 in all that time. The only defence I have is that I'm rubbish at reading books.
A Bronx Childhood - now sold out

When I say "rubbish" I don't mean I'm illiterate or anything like that, in fact I love reading it's just finding the time to sit and read. I have a healthy number of reading material waiting their turn but they are just gathering dust whilst they sit patiently on the shelf awaiting their chance to shine.
Jeff Chang's brilliant Can't Stop, Won't Stop was full of facts and immensely interesting yet four months had passed by the time I finally put it back with the others.
Even now as I look at my bookshelf I see Public Enemy's official autobiography (half-way through), two Stephen Kings (untouched), London Handstyles (hiding behind some other books, unloved), Keith Baugh's 70's graffiti tome (seal barely broken).
As well as these I currently have two autobiographies from my local library (Lee Mack and Phil Daniels) on the go that I've almost renewed to the max.
Sheesh. I whetted my own appetite now. Anyway enough about me, go and order Last Of The Old School now!

There are a limited amount of copies left so you are advised not to sleep on this opportunity.
For £40 (send via Paypal to julieyorke335@btinternet.com) which includes postage, you can also receive a personalised FUZZ drawing or tag from the man himself.

FUZZ bio
FUZZ interview 
FUZZ ONE Facebook Group

n.b. in Fuzz's A Bronx Childhood there are almost 400 pages and the text isn't that big - we're talking a terrifying amount of information in here. The man has lived!

Big, BIG thanks to Julie who is FUZZ's official one-woman UK support team and alerted me to his circumstances.

Remember, ABU will always endeavour to support the true pioneers of the culture that sadly get overlooked.


1 comment:

Lovegrove said...

Both books are highly recommended... I remember reading the first book whilst on holiday in Greece back in 2006... bloody thing weighed a tonne! But beautifully put together... a quality package indeed.

His second, self-published book, while lacks the professional printing more than makes up for it with the stories inside... and of course a personalised outline or two helps! The tale about racking Woolworths is legendary.

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