RustMag traces its roots to the winter of 2002. Three of us — myself, Mike Blanchard, my wife, Laurieanne Blanchard and our good friend Brad Gleed — were sitting in the Rubicon drinking beer. Brad and I were telling stories about cool things and interesting people we had met over the last year and bemoaning the lack of interesting relevant local magazines that were worth a shit.
I was a sometime photographer and writer and full-time mechanic at the local Alfa Romeo shop. Laurieanne was working selling magazine advertising for the local music magazine and Brad was between jobs but a great collector of bicycles, interesting objects and amazing friends.
The genesis was Laurieanne telling us to quit screwing around and start a magazine that covered all the things we had been talking about for the last couple hours. Right then and there we brainstormed the name RUST and talked the owner of the Rubicon, Ed Brown, into being our first advertiser. Instant business.
Well, as any of you entrepreneurs out there know, it takes a lot more work than just coming up with a good idea. Many great business ideas crash on the rocks of cold, hard reality. But as my favorite history professor taught me; “Rome was built by the diligent application of incremental labor.” Right-oh!
With that in mind we built a nice little magazine step by step. We were lucky enough to build an audience. The first issue of June/July 2002 featured “Jumpin” Johnny Wisner on the cover crashing a car into another vehicle during his Crashorama show. By the way, this was one of the greatest underground cultural events that Sacramento has ever known and is sorely missed.
Our first layout guy was Jerry Perry, publisher of “Alive n Kicking,” and he really got us off the ground and taught us how to run a magazine. We got Bruce Gossett to be the art director and Yvette Ernst to be our copy editor. We were able to get really good writers, artists and photographers like Gossett, Dean Anderson, Kevin Thomson, David Perry, Richard Osterander and Peter Vincent to contribute to our project. And we did get the amazing Robyn to be our T-shirt model.
We were lucky to have the support of guys like Vern Tardel, Mark Morton, Dick Bertolucci and Jerry Foreman, who welcomed us into the community of hot rodders and vintage car freaks. These guys really inspired us and to a greater or lesser degree helped us find our special place in the sun.
A real coup was in finding Saroyan Humphrey to do the magazine design and layout when Jerry Perry had to bow out. Saroyan turned out to be a great friend and, I can say without any BS, one of the greatest photographers and designers in business today.
RUST did good for four years and we made money, well at least we didn’t lose money, which is damn good in publishing, especially these days. But for various reasons we had to fold the tent. We still did our projects and wrote stories for other magazines and bombed around in hot rods and such. We were approached to do a RustTV show for cable. We produced a pilot with David Perry but could not quite push it over the top with the cats in LA. But the itch was there to pick up the torch of RUST. In the meantime the kids grew up and we got on with life.
And here we are. A little older and wiser but still with the desire to create. The modern world has made it easier to produce a magazine in new and exciting formats. Digital media has made everyone a record company or movie studio or magazine publisher but the trick is to be able to follow through. To have the self discipline to do it. One of the things you learn as you get older is self discipline so at least we have that.
There is the back story. We have put the band back together and we are going out on the road again. We have most of the old crew and some new exciting people involved. We have a great product for you. Good photography and writing but most of all interesting stories and amazing people to meet. We hope you enjoy the new RUST. –m.b.
Publisher, Editor • Michael Blanchard
Contributors • Jerry Blanchard, Laurieanne Blanchard, Bruce Gossett, Saroyan Humphrey, Steve Kowalski, Anna Mantzaris, Bob Rogen
RustMag • 4145 Justin Way • Sacramento California • 95826
Founder, Publisher, Editor
Mike Blanchard has a BA in Journalism from Sacramento State University. In addition to being a journeyman mechanic he has been a freelance writer and photographer since the ‘80s. He was a staff photographer and writer for Thrasher magazine starting in 1985 and the editor and publisher of Rust from 2002 to 2005.
Completely unable to stick to one thing, Blanchard pursues three or four vocations at any time. At any given time working on business, playing music, publishing, restoring old motorcycles and cars, painting, writing, and working on his house. Just crazy, but it works. If you want to get something done find someone who is busy. And don’t watch TV.
Jerry Blanchard is a master craftsman of the old school. He apprenticed in the machine shops and foundries around Los Angeles in the ‘50s before getting married and going to college to get his first degree. He is a craftsman, that would be the first and foremost thing. He has a MA in education and has been an educator in the Monterey area since the mid ‘60s. Having retired from teaching high school he still teaches classes at Monterey Peninsula College. Generations of children and adults have learned the joy and discipline of being able to make things from Jerry Blanchard. Equally adept at working in wood or metal and everything in between, he is the go to guy for institutions and individuals of creativity and taste for the creation and repair of priceless objects and antiques. He is a master engraver, weapons designer, musical instrument builder, carpenter, draftsman, machinist (to name just a small bit of his skill set) and as many of you know a talented writer. Listen up and learn something.
Bob Rogen is a man obsessed with quality. He is a historian of vintage cameras and gear. German, Japanese, Swedish he knows his cameras and lenses. He is in touch with the international world of camera collectors and is the perfect man to bring RustMag readers the inside dope on these amazing precision machines. He is also an avid cyclist and is known for his fine bicycles. Bob is a vinyl record nut and he collects vintage Parker pens. Clearly RustMag material, Bob is the perfect illustration of a man with well rounded and refined tastes.
J.G. Wirt is RustMag’s wordsmith—he tunes up those words and phrases and clauses and whatnot. He was part of the RustMag print team, minding the prose and punctuation and designing a few ads. He’s weird about things with wheels that you don’t see much anymore.