Fashion Friday: The Turbonegro Jean Jacket

Turbonegro was a Norwegian rock band that exploded onto the scene in the mid-1990s. Jello Biafra even called their 1997 masterpiece Apocalypse Dudes, a wild mixture of glam, rock'n'roll and classic 1970s US punk, possibly the most important European record ever. Yet there was something else that set the band apart from the rest, their denim-mustache-Tom-of-Finland-look, basically a move to piss of the Norwegian metal scene which couldn't be shocked by much. Except homosexuality.

During their 1998 Darkness Forever tour the mental problems of singer Hank von Helvete became such an issue that the band broke up in the waiting room of a psychiatric emergency ward in Milan, Italy.

After their split they slowly developed into a cult phenomenon. A tribute album was recorded and the momentum from their old records would continuously grow. Part of this resurrection was the blossoming of the so called Turbojugend (Turbo youth), a fan club with chapters all over the world.

What started as a joke became the Turbo equivalent to the Kiss Army. My dentist was in it (seriously!).

A Turbojugend member can be recognized by their specially-made denim jackets with the Turbonegro logo and "Turbojugend [name of chapter]" stitched on the back. In the late 1990s Turbonegro's German label Bitzcore would print up Levi's jackets with the "Turbojugend Oslo" logo on it, but eventually changed Oslo to St. Pauli.

After a while these jackets became so sought-after, so that Bitzcore-run Turbonegro mailorder would start printing up Levi's jackets with different chapter names on them.

The jackets are also known as a "Kutte", a German word originally referring to denim jackets/vests worn by metal fans. There's one crucial rule about the Kutte; it must never be washed. The only exception is when someone pukes on it, then the owner is allowed to clean it with lukewarm water and cover the smell with a fragrant.

I got mine at a festival in Germany about seven or eight years ago. I hasn't been washed ever since (but then again I haven't worn it in the last… three years or so).