BY BETH ALLEN
The Wham Bam Babes website boasts “We’re Vancouver’s raddest alternative modeling crew, all taken on the fly in the world’s coolest and sexiest mobile photo studio. We’re real and edgy, photoshop free, and love to push the boundaries. If you’re 18 or over and would like to get your own WHAM BAM photoshoot on wheels, simply email your request and a photo to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll choose from the best. Who knows, you might become the next WHAM BAM BABE!”
What can I say? “Alternative” models like the Suicide Girls bore me to tears. They’re about as exciting to me as girls gone wild during spring break in Mazatlan or bikini-clad bimbos at an MTV sponsored pool party. Yawwwwn. Yes I am a tomboy. And uh... I just don’t get it. When I first checked out The Wham Bam Babes website... well, I gotta admit, what first came to mind was “UGH!” Yes, my first reaction was somewhere between a laugh and a groan. But after doing an interview with the mastermind behind Wham Bam Babes, Justin Credible, well, they’ve grown on me a little. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t be caught dead in the purple Wham Bam tube dress rolling around for an “alternative photo shoot”... ever. But I gotta admit, it’s kinda funny. And the Wham-bam-bulance, now THAT gets my panties wet!! OOh la la! Hot damn... I just LOVE vans. Especially cool vans! And it’s obvious a lotta sweat and elbow grease went into creating this rolling masterpiece a la “mobile photo studio.” Mr. Credible did one hell of an overhaul and it looks smokin’ hot! Although I personally could do without the dumb stripper pole in back, even if it does fit the ambiance. But who am I to judge? Obviously the Wham-bam-bulance is rockin’ and rollin’ and the doors are gettin’ knocked down by all kinds of “hot” Canadian chicks. Party with it, I say, and enjoy the ride.
I want to know when someone is gonna do a “mobile photo studio” for WHAM BAM BOYS.... cute punk rock BOYS posing for photos in the back of a van? Now that I could fully endorse!
Beth: So who is the mastermind behind Wham Bam Babes — you?
Justin Credible: Here’s the lowdown. When I bought the van in 2008, I was hanging out in the front yard with friends celebrating the purchase and I suddenly, drunkenly, and quite surprisingly blurted out the name “WHAM-BAM-BULANCE!”. I still don’t know how or why that brilliant thought went through my brain at that exact time, but everyone immediately agreed it should become official. So I grabbed some cheap stencils to spray paint the name on the side of the vehicle. Took it to a music festival in Pemberton, BC during that summer and it was an instant hit. I lost count trying to keep track of all the people who wanted their picture taken with the van. Same thing around town. Every time I drove around Vancouver, photos of the vehicle would show up on random Facebook pages and Flickr streams. It was unreal. It’s also become known as the Wham Bam Bus, the Wham Bam Van, the local bang bus, etc, and people keep asking me to rent it out to them for special events and stuff like that. I was even approached by a porn producer looking for a mobile studio to shoot a “classy” film. Ha. So anyways, I decided to turn it into something big. Something unbelievably fucking awesome. I wanted to do something that would somehow integrate photography, babes, my love for custom vanning, and piss off as many paranoid NIMBY neighbours as humanly possible. Oh hell, who am I kidding? That’s all a lie. I just wanted an easy way to get a bunch of scantily clad hot chicks in the back of my van. For fuck sakes, isn’t that obvious?
Do you work alone or do you have any partners?
My partner in crime with this project is the lovely Cassandra, and she’s also one of the babes. I decided to start a blog to showcase all the Wham Bam hotness and document the ongoing conversion of the van. We posted pictures of fans posing with the van and thought we should make it more interesting so we put out a call for aspiring models. Within a day we had more girls than we knew what to do with. She coined the term “Wham Bam Babes” and thus our brand was born. WhamBamBabes.com was launched shortly after and has attracted tons of interest and new fans, along with a flood of gorgeous local girls who want their spot on the site. We’re currently looking into various ways to grow the brand and expand into a business, and have many plans in the works with local businesses and like-minded promotional companies. As an added bonus for the babes, they get free exposure through us and in some cases end up getting other modeling gigs as well.
What do you think of the Suicide Girls?
I think they’re fuckin’ rad. We’ve toyed with the idea of creating a Wham Bam Blog in the future and opening it up for honourary Wham Bam Babes worldwide. Who knows. It’s just another one of many ideas floating around.
How old are you, where do you live?
I just joined the dirty thirty club, and proudly live in the Olympic Golden City of VANcouver.
What kind of photography background do you have?
Before Wham Bam Babes, I was a master of disposable cameras.
What does “alternative modeling” mean to you?
I think alternative modeling is actually becoming the new mainstream in many ways. It’s non-discriminatory. Nobody ever tells anyone they’re “not good enough”, and people are allowed to express their individuality and style, whatever that may be. In our case, I also consider it to be far more natural. No photoshop, no fakeness, absolutely no touching up aside from maybe a little red eye removal here and there if necessary. You should be able to take a picture and present it as a true representation, and not go and change it to be something that wasn’t really in front of the lens in the first place. There is beauty in everyone and special effects are not required. I want the photos to be all completely real and give the viewer the impression that they are actually there as it happens, instead of just being some airbrushed rendition of what was once a regular (and pure) photograph. Fuck it, that’s a lie too. I’m just too lazy to screw around editing pictures all day.
What does “pushing the boundaries” mean to you?
We aren’t porn, but we’re intentionally not quite work safe either. We like being on the edge, and anything short of nudity is fair game for our site. You really never know what will come out of the next Wham Bam photoshoot. The girls are free to wear whatever they like and pose however they like. It’s all about the babes being themselves, and we don’t need some short nerdy fashion guy from overseas with an annoying accent telling them what he thinks looks good or not.
What do you do besides operating an alternative modeling crew WhamBambulance? Is this a full time job for you?
I work for a local screenprinting company as well, but I’m sure you don’t wanna hear about it on a Vanning site. Although if you need some cool custom vanning t-shirts made up, check out Bang-On.com. (Shameless plug)
How long has Wham Bam Babes been around?
Unofficially since 2008 at Pemberton Festival, when three awesome girls (Sage, Megan, and Alley) hitched a ride in the back of the ‘Bambulance for the trip back to Vancouver. I consider them to be the original Wham Bam Babes, although Cassandra will probably rip my head off for saying that (I love you, my little curbstomper). Officially, Wham Bam Babes was launched when the first real photoshoot took place in the summer of ‘09.
Where did you get the WhamBambulance and how did you put it together? Give me some specs on that groovy set of rolling wheels!
I bought the shell on Craigslist. Where else? And yes, it’s a real ambulance. It’s a 1995 Dodge Ram B350 1-ton extended van, with the factory raised steel roof and a full body roll cage all throughout the frame. Power everything, dual AC, barn doors on side and rear. A perfect conversion vehicle. It was used locally as a BC Government vehicle so obviously it was extremely well maintained and the body is perfect. I bought it with 260,000 clicks on it and the odometer has now rolled over 300,000 and I just had a brand new 5.9L V8 installed, along with pretty much everything else under the hood while I was at it. The exterior was digitally Wham-Bammed with our logo and website graphics plastered all over it, and a big “Thank you ma’am!” script was applied across the back doors for good measure. The interior was designed and built locally by myself and my trusty handyman, with simple materials from Home Depot and a quick shopping spree at Future Shop. The massive queen-size bed occupies the entire back half of the van, and the front half consists of a tiled floor, captain’s chair, 20” flat screen (hooked up to an in-dash DVD & surround sound system), a Carmen Electra stripper pole, and tons of groovy lighting including lasers and blacklights galore. Oh, and yeah, there’s a big ceiling mirror above the bed of course. I’m in the process of finishing the purple velvet upholstery on the walls and door panels, and I’m adding a small bar as well. I mean seriously, a van just isn’t complete without a bar.
How much did that set you back ($$-wise!)?
Get this: these vehicles have a price tag of about $100,000 when new, and I picked this one up for $2,600. I’d say about a grand in supplies and electronics for the interior was invested in the first few weeks, and a few more G’s for the new engine and under hood stuff recently. The van is literally brand new for barely 1/10th of the price of a new one. And being a tough American-built van, it’ll last forever if I baby it. You couldn’t pay me enough to drive around in one of those new Sprinter golf cart vans. Ugh.
What does it take to become a Wham Bam Babe?
You need to knock on the door and say so. But not if the vans’ a rockin’, of course. Or wait a sec, on second thought, come on in.
How many Wham Bam Babes are there?
A dozen and counting.
How long is a typical Wham Bam Babe photoshoot and what happens?
Haha, there’s no such thing as a typical Wham Bam shoot. They’re all an experience to remember. Different outfits, group shoots, individual shoots, baby oil and much much more. They range from an hour to an all night party and everything in between.
What does a Wham Bam Babe get outta being a Wham Bam Babe?
They can officially call themselves Wham Bam Babes. That’s clearly enough. Even I’m jealous.
Have you ever dated a Wham Bam Babe?
What’s the craziest thing that has ever happened in the Whambulance during a Wham Bam Babe photoshoot?
Gotta be the time when three of the babes lost all control, stripped down to bare minimums, then proceeded to oil each others bodies and, well, you know...
...posed for a photo or two.
Any X-Rated Wham Bam Babe photos? Why or why not?
Yep, a few. When a babe requests nudes, I oblige. Yes I realize it’s a tough job. But no, we’re not getting into porn and nothing like that will make it to my website. XXX photos are strictly for the girls who want them. That’s not what we’re about when it comes to the biz.
Have you ever “rocked” a van yourself??
What a silly question. I’ve owned and lived in vans on and off for over 14 years. I’ve rocked more vans than Tiger has mistresses.
Are you a Chevy, Ford or Dodge man?
If you can’t Dodge it, Ram it!
What are your dreams and goals for Wham Bam Babes?
Ultimately, I envision a fleet of Wham Bam Vans in every major city. You’ll see smokin’ hot Wham Bam Babes modeling for products, promoting at night clubs, and dancing in the streets and at festivals. Keep an eye out for the sizzling Wham Bam Calendar. I might even buy a new camera too.
ANSWERS FROM A FEW SELECT BABES:
Name, age, where do you live?
Jory: My name is Jory Dale and I am 21 years old. I live in my own little world, but it’s ok, they know me here...
Lindsay: Lindsay Michelle Bartsch, 22, Wherever I am at the time.
Emilea: My name is Emilea pronounced Emily, I’m on my last leg of being 18 and I live in White Rock, BC!
Cassandra: Cassandra, 20, VanCity.
Mystery Babe: Mystery Babe, old enough, Vancouver.
What made you want to become a Wham Bam Babe?
Jory: This sweet talking guy named Justin Credible parked his flashy Whambambulance in my school parking lot. I approached the van because it is purple and shiny and I could see a zebra print blanket through the window (I LOVE anything zebra print). He told me he had kittens, candy, and laser lights in his van, did I want to come inside and see? I couldn’t resist...
Lindsay: Never wanted to be..... just was. lol.
Emilea: It’s incredibly fun, I saw that from the start. My friend Cassie got me in to it!
Cassandra: I was the original Wham Bam babe. I even came up with the name! True story.
Mystery Babe: I just wanted in the van. Who wouldn’t?
What do you get out of being a Wham Bam Babe — Fame, Fortune...??
Jory: ALL THE SUPER-COOL HOT CHICKS. THEY JUST FLOCK TO THE VAN. IT IS RIDICULOUS. Justin has also hinted he may give me a zebra print blanket. If I am good. But I am never good so I doubt I will get it.
Lyndsay: Come on, who doesn’t want an excuse to feel like a super model? Even though I’m not, it’s still awesome to feel like one sometimes. There’s nothing wrong with the human body. If i wanna show mine off PG 13 style, That’s my call. Everyone that’s involved in this program is good shit. Nothin’ wrong with having innocent fun with good-shit people ^_^
Emilea: It’s for the title!
Cassandra: Mostly I do it for the bottomless sea of pussy that my Wham Bam steege provides.
Mystery Babe: Of course it’s all for the chance to wear that hot Wham Bam purple tube dress.
Do you think being a Wham Bam Babe empowers women?
Jory: I feel pretty empowered right now. I am not sure if that is any different than normal for me though.
Lindsay: I think being a Wham Bam Babe empowers FUN girls. There is beauty in everyone. Wham Bam makes real girls feel like the rock stars and super models we are inside.
Emilea: There’s not a reason why it wouldn’t. You see a sexy, strong beautiful woman and she could rule the world if, as a female, we all didn’t hate on each other.
Cassandra: I don’t understand the question.
Mystery Babe: I rule, obviously. So the answer is yes.
What would you say to someone who thought being a Wham Bam Babe was degrading to women?
Jory: I think the term “Wham Bam Babe” can be misunderstood sometimes. I did have someone ask me if we are a porn site. People need to know that it is simply an outlet for cool models to be associated with a ridiculously rockin’ old ambulance that drives around the city (and to different music festivals and whatever strange Pro Carbon Dioxide rallies Justin attends) and basically advertises our awesomeness.
Lindsay: I don’t usually pay attention to fuckwads that have problems with the shit I do. I put myself out there because I want to. If you don’t want to, don’t. No one is in any position to judge us. And no one here is degrading to women. The guy at the very top (Justin) has been nothing but respectful, and we are far from degrading to women. Get out there! Have the fun you want (as long as it’s safe:P) and screw everyone on their high horse that thinks they’re better than us. ;)
Emilea: I’d say that it does take a lot of confidence, then thank them for their opinion.
Cassandra: I can’t hear you unless you’re making me a sandwich. Extra pickles please.
Mystery Babe: It’s more degrading to cover up the human body. Like, wtf are you ashamed of bitches?
Any crazy stories about your Wham Bam Babe photoshoot?
Jory: Who, me? Crazy stories?
Lindsay: I think the craziest I ever got was spending 2 hours tracking down contraband liquor at Shambhala 2009 with Jory and dancing on the roof of the ‘Bambulance. haha. Oh man, there was one photoshoot where baby oil was involved. haha. wicked good times. (Jory and Cass know all about that one ;))
Emilea: Well, my parents don’t know!
Cassandra: A lady never kisses and tells. A Wham Bam Babe does though!
Mystery Babe: Wham Bam ferry trip. Now that’s a rockin’ ride. You can reach your own conclusions, cuz those photos won’t be on the website.
Other than the WhamBambulance, have you ever “rocked” a van?
Jory: No. Only a jeep when I was in highschool (Oh um... will my interview still be posted? Is even mentioning Jeeps a no-no?)
Lindsay: ....Jory and I had a wicked pillow fight in there once. :P
Emilea: No, but in a crappy hatchback.
Cassandra: Several. Your mom’s Honda Odyssey will never smell the same again.
Mystery Babe: Don’t come knockin’ is my tagline.
Thank you ma’ams!
PICTURED ABOVE: (Top to Bottom): 1-The Whambambulance in all it’s glory. 2-These boots are made for... 3-Justin Credible 4-Foursomes are better than threesomes 5-Pantylines can be sexxxy 6-The back of the “Van-bulance” 8-An “alternative” photo shoot I did... for my friend’s ‘zine GEE-ZUZ’s “Bathing Suit Issue” back in the 90’s.... 7-Ouch! This is NOT porn!