ed roth, beatnik bandit, rat fink

The Red Bulletin Podcast: Ed “Big Daddy” Roth

Words: Andreas Tzortzis
Photo: Flickr/Insomnia Cured Here

In a post-war country obsessed with cars, Ed “Big Daddy” Roth turned them into an art form. The creative tinkerer of the California hotrod scene, Roth’s shop was a center for car freaks and beatniks. Until the Hells Angels got involved. 

A pivotal figure in the post-war hotrod boom, Ed “Big Daddy” Roth was an outsized personality who turned his wild creativity with cars into a thriving merchandising business. 

His studio in Maywood, just a few miles south of downtown Los Angeles served as a gathering spot for beatniks, car-freaks and celebrities in the 1960s. Those who worked for him lionized him as a creative freak and all-around badass, including next week’s guest Robert Williams, the founder of Juxtapose magazine and the leader of what’s come to be known as the feral art movement. 

In this podcast preview, we delve into the brief but colorful heyday of Roth before he got mixed up with the FBI and the Hells Angels. 

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