I was born in Tulsa Oklahoma and was quickly shuttled off to San Diego California by my parents in hopes of a better life.

My father was a Honky Tonk pianist and played a number of musical instruments. I was highly influenced very early on by that world of flash and glitter during Country and Western’s hay day. My Dad’s proudest moment in music was meeting Hank Williams Sr. before he passed. He shared that story with me later when I had grown older. Every Sunday we would watch all the syndicated Country Music shows. So we watched on a regular basis musical artist like Porter Wagner, Dolly Parton, Buck Owens and the hosts of the who’s who of the Grand Ole Opery. So I got a major dose of some of the finest custom-made clothing of those times. Later, when I was older I used clothing to date a year a movies was made in. It was a game the family would often play while watching a feature to guess it’s production date. This is where I learned I had a fine eye for detail and design.

I was always naturally curious and always proactive in exploring everything that fell under my field of interest. Politics, religions, horticulture, music, story telling and painting. When I entered Long Beach State I proved to be an innovator among my peers. For one class I created a demographic study of costume and clothing choices in Los Angeles underground club scene that caught the interest of my instructor who would have included it in her latest book on clothing and fashion had I been in her class the previous semester. I was a major advocate of men wearing skirts as agitprop and gender role modification long before it hit Christian Lacroix’s catwalk. I helped define and influence those looks between 1984 and 1987. I had a notable influence on Alexis Arquette among many other cross dressers in the underground club scene. I was part of a cabal of artist that would eventually bloom in many successful directions. Most notable of these in costume world are Nancy Steiner and April Napier.

Besides, the features and shorts I’ve been on in a design capacity I was consulted by designer Anna Wyckoff on 40 years Barbie retrospective for Mattel. I am very knowledgeable of period and contemporary clothing and fashion. I have a large variety of experiences, strong understanding of the Fundamentals in construction and design with a keen eye for telling a story within the realm of costuming. Years of experience will allow me to create a uniques look that will clearly define that story. I burn brightest when I crystallize the story’s vision in wardrobe.

In regards to photography, as a child, I remember the photos my Father had from the time he was stationed in Berlin. Those photographs he brought back inspired my imagination that drove my young mind into a deep fascination for the photographic art. My Father had a keen observant eye that he shared with me in his paintings and photographs. They have barring on my own eye and creativity regarding photographs. Those Berlin photographs are indelibly imprinted on my mind. In that way image can communicate all of life; both the bleak and the grand.

My photographic work didn’t start in earnest till after I’d entered Long Beach State. My classes in photography prove beneficial to my natural eye for detail and composition. It wasn’t long till I landed in the thick of things in LA’s vibrant Music and Club underground. Photographing the like of Helmut Newton, Timothy Leary, Anthony Keidis, Perry Farrell, Michael Stipe, Mike Mills and George Michaels. I was part of LA’s glitterati documenting Underground Clubs like: Plastic Passion, Cat House, Dirt Box, Shake Shack and Lunch and their owners. I captured the buzziest breaking musical artist in the industry. Many of my photos made it on the inside of the LA Weekly.

I come from a long line of story tellers on both side of my family. The tales that were told to me as a child were very much in the tradition of the Irish and German traditions of the fantastic and the Grimm. For that reason I have an overly active imagination. My published writing started in San Diego with a notable Fanzine called, Revolt in Style. Then it branched out to include No Scary Hype In Type, LA Weekly, Sin/Hypno Magazine and Loudvine.com. I’ve interviewed the likes of: Duran Duran, The Exploited, Lydia Lunch, Faster Pussy Cat’s Taime DownsRiki Rachtman, Wolfgang Press, Pete Shelley of the Buzzcocks, Shonin Knife among many others. I have to be grateful to both my parents for their way of immersing me in the books and stories as a child. My Father was a song writer, who exposed me to lyrical poetry and my mother being a voracious reader who exposed me to the like of Mark T’wayne and Edgar Allen Poe. THese aurthors’ prose fascination me before I discovered Science Fiction and Adventure in my teenage years. I have to thank my high school friend David Knight for exposing me to some of the best writings in Science Fiction. So while I may have not completely mastered the editorial elements of writing I am a very effective story-teller. I can illuminate and provide essential insights to any topic I cover. I have much to owe to all the vibrant and stunning story tellers that has touch my life over the years, for those who have passed and for those who still ignite my imagination still. I am joyously in their debt and I am moved to represent those qualities in the color, whimsy, tone and thought in my writings.

Join me on my Facebook Fan Page or follow me on Tiitter @billybennight. It’s really that easy.

In resent years my photos have been published by the AP, LA Weekly, Loudvine.com, NMW Online, Mi2N, LAist.com and Wired. My art continues to expand setting new boundaries and continues to capture and influence Pop Culture with ever-growing popularity. From here on out I’m going to let my photographs and writing do the talking!


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