There are some notable exceptions to this cartoon imagery and mortal fixation. So that’s the quick version for all of you not in the know, but trust me when I say (bracing for a deluge of emails here) there is MUCH more to the rockabilly and psychobilly subcultures.There are purest on each side and subcultures within subcultures.Not to mention the dozens of big and small concerts and “sock hops” every week.At all of these events at any given time at least 50% of the crowd is Latino, yet no one seems to notice or care, it’s so ingrained in the scene and the culture out here, well it just simply… Similar to how rockabilly and psychobilly, which are very distinct and separate musical genres, can also blend together seamlessly to create one awesomely spectacular, colorful event.
The girls often dress like “I Love Lucy” or pin up icons like “Marilyn Monroe” and the infamous cheesecake “Betty Page.” Many throw in a retro tattoo… maybe white socks with loafers and/or a black leather jacket in an effort to emulate James Dean, Elvis or just a bad-ass “greaser.” They often drive hooked up hot rods from the ’50s and ’60s, ones they’ve usually restored themselves.Sometimes they get combined and fused to points unrecognizable and to those who like their music and subcultures with checklists in little boxes this can be confounding. THE LATINO INFLUENCE Both rockabilly and psychobilly are international.No worries, I’ve been around both scenes for years and still have a tough time explaining them (what’s that you say? Rockabilly is big in Japan, (not a cliché, it really is) and also in Russia as I witnessed firsthand when I visited in 2010.Yes, if you really want to experience rockabilly and psychobilly subcultures in their full glory, the west coast is the place and more specifically Los Angeles, California where pin up girls and burlesque is almost mainstream, where hooked up hotrods and classic cars are ingrained in the culture and where bands like the afore mentioned Social Distortion play for sold out crowds in arenas in front of an impossibly diverse mix of kids too young to drive along side guys and gals approaching retirement age.The West Coast is where you’ll find big events like Viva Las Vegas, a huge weekend gathering every April where rockabilly and psychobilly fans the world over invade Las Vegas to attend car shows, concerts, burlesque contests, etc.