Hello, and welcome to another jam packed edition of The Hot Seat. In case you missed last month's story, each month we take a person that has been a vital part, a mentor, or made some significant impact in the scene, and expose him or her and make them blush for your reading enjoyment. So sit back, light a match, do a courtesy flush and enjoy this months' installment.
*If you have an idea for someone you want to see in The Hot Seat, email firstname.lastname@example.org with your suggestions, questions, or comments, and maybe your favorite will be our next victim!
This month, we bring you John Beebe from Drop 'Em Wear? Clothing; if you don't know him yet, you're about to know it all!
Full Name: John Christian Beebe
(in minitrucker years, that's ancient)
Place of birth: Elmira, NY
Current residence: Winston Salem, NC
Daily driver: '05 F-350 Crew Cab DuallyWho are you?: I'm John Beebe and I am the owner and creator of Drop 'Em Wear? Clothing.
Q: What is in your Toilet Tower/Lavatory Library? Be honest, not the obvious ones like Mini Truckin', we want to know about the US Weekly, and the Luscious Large Woman mags.
A: Everyday With Rachel Ray, Old Skool Rods, Tiki Magazine, of course Mini Truckin', Cosmo, and last but not least Playboy!
Q: Tell us one thing people either don't know about you or would be very surprised to hear?
A: I was attending a show in Watkins Glenn, NY and an old guy was admiring my mini. I was called up on stage for an award for best fabricator. The award was called " Posies Pick". At the time I thought it was cool and everyone was making a big to do about it, but it wasn't until years later that I had realized who this old guy was...it was Posie the famous hot rod builder. To all the young people in the scene, know your roots!
Q. Do you consider yourself "regular"?
A: I'm not regular, you can ask any artist. Most artists think about things in a strange way. I'm definitely an outside the box thinker...just look at some of the shirt slogans I created over the years haha. I'm not right!
Q. What is your favorite show of all time?
A: Booger Bash. It was the first show I attended when I came to the south. It felt like a true truck run. The show, the camping, hanging out with friends! I met a bunch of influential people in the scene the first year I attended Booger Bash and have been friends with these core group of guys ever since. Sorry to say the show has fallen off due to mischief and mayhem.
Q. What got you into the scene?
A: I remember sitting in study hall my junior year in high school and the guy next to me had a Mini Truckin' magazine. It pulled me and bit me! I have never been the same since. I still remember the cover. It was an off-white old school Ranger with a cut through which was loaded with Sound Stream equipment and a plexiglass top on the bed.
Q. What is your personal opinion on the current state of the scene with us losing so many shows lately? Why do you think that is? Can it be repaired?
A: The economy is the biggest thing we have to deal with. The gas prices took a toll this year. It takes a lot of money and time to put on a show. The people who attend these shows must self promote the scene so it will flourish for years to come. Show the young guys it's not all about drinking and trash talking other rides.
Q. You rocked a mullet for a long time? Can you confirm or deny this claim? Is it really business in the front, party in the back?
A: You just couldn't leave that one alone! I rocked it all the way up to around 2005. Most people came up to the booth after I had shaved my head and asked me "Where's John?" I really have to thank Chris Schmitt from Negative Camber in Albany, NY for finally telling me how bad I looked with a mullet. The only problem was he told me after I had cut it off! Haha, the actual quote was "Thank god you cut your hair, it looked like $h!#"
Q. We heard you had an "incident" on Beale Street in Memphis last year during the RA All Star Event, what happened?
A: Um, I got a ticket for not having my seat belt on while riding shotgun. We all thought it was hilarious when the driver (poor Jen) got one and when the officer was finished he came over and knocked on my window and gave me one too. Turns out it wasn't all that funny anymore.
Q. What is your favorite part of the show season?
A: The end, haha. It means my butt wont be sitting in the dually for a few months. We get to take care of our Christmas season mail order business when we are not on the road. The road really is a love and hate thing! I hate the driving, but the friends I have made across the country are truly the best and I like hanging out with everyone year after year.
Q. What is your best selling T-shirt and why?
A: It's the Warranty Killer shirt. It has been a hit since the day it rolled off our presses. Not sure why it's the best other than it's so fitting for what we all do to our new rides.
Q. How big of an operation is Drop 'Em Wear? You must have hundreds of employees?
A: Contrary to belief, we are small but have impacted the scene in a large way. Some people think we're part of "Corporate America" but really we're family owned and operated. If you have met and spoke with me personally you will understand why we have become as popular as we are. It's about taking pride in what you do and treating your customers right. We have tons of repeat customers some of which are moms, dads, and grandparents that just love calling us up at Christmas time and placing orders for their kids. Everyone likes being taken care of when they spend their hard earned dollars.
Q. You travel so much, what do you like to do when you're not on the road?
A: As sick as this may sound, I keep traveling. We take vacations, etc. We actually travel about 60,000 miles per year. Yuk!
Q. Besides the fact you sell killer threads, you are also a die-hard minitrucker yourself, so we have to ask. Did your Mom really paint your first minitruck?
A: Yes, if you go to our website dropemwear.com you can see the actual pictures. While I was teaching I had limited funds, so I turned to my mom for help. I bought the paint and some plastic and made a makeshift paint booth in the garage, and she threw down some paint on the old Mazda. We didn't have a lot of money to throw around so we learned how to repair things ourselves to save a few bucks.
Q. You used to be a teacher?
A: Yes, I taught High School art. Funny story; while in the middle of teaching, an announcement came across the loud speaker, "Would the owner of a white and purple Mazda low boy please come to the office at the end of the period." After getting a bunch of oohs and ahhs from the students in my class, I proceeded to the principles office. He was embarrassed because of the situation and he thought it was a students truck parked in the faculty lot and was going to have it towed.
Q. That cannon you guys use to shoot T-shirts out of is bad ass, but looks very dangerous, any casualties?
A: Yup! We broke a dude's nose in VA. He asked for it though, luckily he was a friend of mine. It shot out at him so fast he didn't even have time to react to the 90mph T-shirt coming at his face. We all joke about it now.
Q: And of course, the plugs?
A: Go out and support all the shows out there that are put on for you guys! And be sure to visit dropemwear.com and getstroked.com for all your cool gear and custom needs.