On April 13th, 1969 Took my first breath and joined the human race and ever since have been for the most part, making the world wish it had never invited me to the party in the first place. At least that's what they keep telling me. Just who "they" are is always in question.
I was born and raised in Des Moines Iowa by my adopted parents Gerald "Jerry" Wilkins (who left this world in 1994) and Dorris "Grace" Wilkins(who left us in 2010). Who are the only parents I've ever known, had or ever cared to have. I have two older sisters Debbie and Kim.
Growing up with them taught me a great deal about tolerance and love. Something I hope that I'm passing on to my son Quinn. A large part of my childhood and molding came from my Grandmother Mabel Eben. She passed away in 1997 at 92 but still lives on in our hearts and minds on a daily basis
After climbing out of childhood and becoming a adolescent, I began to get interested in music(punk rock), BMX Freestyling, and Skateboarding and body art. In 1983 I started the Flyin and Stylin Trick Team with my cousin Kent Hayes. It was really my first business venture at age 14. Over the next 3 or 4 years we would do demos all over the state and 2 years at the Iowa State Fair. It was my first introduction in the world of Do It Yourself and taught me a great deal about just doing it. This also began my blind determination that through the years has only been fueled more whenever anyone express that I couldn't do something or that it would work.
To say that ages 13-24 were rebellious, would kind of be a bit of an understatement. Instead of going into all the causes for each and every one of my mother's grey hairs, let's say that I did a lot of searching and boy did I look in a lot of places. Often I look back and wonder just why I am still alive, not in jail and what is the funny looking guy with strange hair, I keep seeing in family pictures. There were a lot of wild Punk Rock nights and interesting characters that I encountered during these years. From crazy Punks and Skinheads to Homeless Historians and an endless list of underachievers. They shaped and molded me into what I am and hope to be.
Growing up in Des Moines, there was a limit of the activities that I was drawn to. Mainly live shows. I would spend most of my early 20s traveling throughout the upper Middle West to see shows and the endless quest for the next great record. When stuck in Des Moines, I often found myself and my group of friends creating our own fun. Sadly often it was at the expense of others. Something I regret and have tried to redeem over the years. Often it had more to do with too much free time and being around people with a lot of bad ideas or willing to follow my bad ideas.
When I turned 18, I got my first tattoo and I was hooked. Over the next 7 years I continued to collect a number of them and get my introduction in the world of body art. My desire to became a Professional Piercer developed out of my desire to have my nipples pierced. I'm still unsure where the thought and obsession came from but I remember as far back as 12 wanting them pierced. After years of putting it off and a few failed attempts, I started looking into getting them done. What I found pretty quickly, was that it was not something that you can just go out and have done. After much research and reading I began to develop a strong urge to start piercing. It did not take much time to get hooked on the idea of piercing professionally and with the help of Sherry at Creative Images, I finished a too short apprenticeship and starting piercing back in May 94.
There's something about owning your own business that sucks the life blood out of you while at the same time you're having the time of your life. You throw so much of your life into that space and as I'm sitting here I can feel the warmth of so many people, events and changes that have come to my life over the past years. The Axiom is in a large part my life and life's blood. When I think of all the dead end jobs I had over the years, I feel blessed to have this place even though sometimes it's a pain in the ass.
Piercing has brought some of the most important friends I've ever had into my life. Paul Gray comes to mind and I'm not sure I would have met him otherwise. My friendship to him there would be a lot of experience I would have not had and a great number of wonderful people I've had the pleasure of knowing were introduced to me by him. He was the first Lip piercing I did in Des Moines and our friendship was forged on our shared love of music. Out of this I would meet many life long friends, form the Have Nots, Promote/talent buy and countless other events that have effected my life since.
For years I attempted to form a band. In fact, I think there was about 20 people that had been involved in the Have Nots project over the 5 or 6 years that lead up to us getting on that old red carpeted stage at Safari Nite Club. Paul was the driving force that mad that happen and I know without him Joey Jordison would have never been involved. We started in early 1996, recorded the demo and then began playing out. The band was short lived only really lasting a little over a year but our music thanks to the success of Paul's side project has gone all over the world. Then in 2015, I decided to reform for a few shows with a different line-up including my son Quinn. At present we are still talking about doing a few shows here and there and it reminded me how much I loved making music. For more information on the Have Nots go to the site - http://havenots.net.
One direction I didn't see my life going was promotion and talent buying. It all started because The Have Nots wanted to play an all ages show. I decided to do a show as a Halloween show for the Axiom. It was going to be a one time thing and my then Tattoo Artist and the drummer of The Have Nots did most of the grunt work. We did the show on Sunday October 27th, 1996 and a lot of kids showed up. At the time there was no regular all ages shows and I jumped, was prodded and pushed into doing them on a regular bases. At first it was one a month, then two and before I knew it I was doing 10 to 15 shows a month.
So I started Axiom Promotions that promoted live music in Des Moines steadily over a four year period from 1996 to 2001. Some of the bands I have promoted were: Murphy's Law, The Humpers, Real Big Fish, Black-47, At the Drive-in, Social Distortion, The Pleasure Fuckers, TSOL and a loads more. Promoting has always been pretty much a hobby, and I think I've only made a couple of grand but did I have a blast. After taking close to 5 years off I began agian and started to Promote shows at Mary's in September of 2005 but it was short lived at they closed their doors for good July 5. 2007. Between 1996 and 2007 I spent a lot of time in that building, developed number of life long friendships, saw a countless number of great bands and had the privelegde of being a part of it.
2007 should have been the end of it but Paul intervened again, this time from the grave. When Hairy Mary's closed it was re-opened as a college meat market bar. For the next 8 years or so it operated as the Dublin. Then in 2015 Erik Brown and Anne Mathey bought the building and re-opened in April as Lefty's Live Music. I wasn't involved until someone contacted me about an event they were putting together for Paul at Lefty's. I was asked to meet with those involved and meet Erik. We hit it off from the start and ended up spending four hours talking about music. The event for Paul didn't happen but I made a contact with Erik and kept an eye on what was going on at Lefty's.
In August of 2015, I put together a reunion show for the Hollowmen as a launch for the latest version of one of my sites the Underground Archives. It was a one off thing but had a great turn out. A few weeks later they asked me to come on as a talent buyer and I jumped at the chance. So, years later I'm doing about 20 shows a month.
To say the least, I've always been active in the music scene here. I was in a band called The Have Nots, involved in a public access show called "The Recline of Midwestern Civilization" and even took a shot at Management and promoting shows. Since the age of 14, I've been an active music collector and have always had an undying need to explore for new music. Though my main musical insterest has always been focused on Punk, I listen to a lot of Jazz, Rockabillie, folk, Traditional country and etc.. If it can make me feel something I'm interested and if it is a music that drives me to be passionate about it, I can be very vocal about my opinion of it. With the launch of the new version of the site and thanks to my latest addiction, I've added a Spotiry playlist blog and plan on post them weekly.
I've always had an interest in tech and gadgets and started building website on Geocities on my WebTV way back in 1997. Over the years, I've built a number of sites including this one that evolved from that first site. I also built and managed the Underground Archives which is an archive of underground culture dating back to the 1950s. Also I built and manage the Skin Kitchen Web site Beyond web building, I actively keep up on electronics, gadgets and just about everything related.
My son Quinn Colin Bottenfield was born in September of 1998. No one can explain in words what it feels like to hold your own child. It's one of those emotions that can only be experienced first hand. Quinn is my best friend and comes before everything. His personality much like my own. Strong willed, fearless and a burning need to find out all the mysteries of the world first hand.
Over the last few years we have spent a great deal of time doing logos and exploring art, science and history. The thing that stick out in my mind about my experience of fatherhood is that you can't help but envy the unbridled passion and expression of joy, love and excitement he has. It makes you wonder if you yourself have have lost it or if it hidden deep within. I feel blessed that even though Quinn's mother and I are not together that she is a truly great mother. In a lot of way I know that is because of the things that first drew me to her in the first place are some of the things that make her a great mom. The proof of this, is what a wonderful young man he is and the fact that regardless of what goes on between her and me, I hold no ill will.
It's strange to me and maybe it's my age and my growth. I don't know but he has long wiped any anger I've had out of me. That's the thing that I think people miss about children. There was a time in my life where I view kids as little stress makers. I think a lot of people see it that way especially if it's outside of a conventional relationship. The thing is it's not the kids that cause the stress, it's all the stuff around you that does. It's your job, the phone, your friends, the TV News and etc.. What I've found is that if I focus on Quinn and our time together then all the crap that makes up my life, tends to seem very unimportant. So, even when he is being a bit of a pill, he is pulling me out of that stress. I don't know if that make sense or if I've done it justice but it's a wonderful thing.
In 2014 we began brewing beer at home and added yet another addiction to my long list of activities that seem to be me so much enjoyment but don't really go anywhere. Like so many things in my life they have always started out as an interest and then grown into something more. Of course, I've never needed a good reason to enjoy a craft beer but now I have yet another one.
It's been a lot of water under the bridge and a hell of a lot of burnt bridges, but it was all well worth it, and as the Humpers put it I'm going to "Live forever or Die Trying." DaVo