Spit On a Stranger

Ever since I started blogging tattoos, I like to carry a folder with printouts and my camera with me, wherever I go.

So on Wednesday night, when I realized I had until midnight to return a video to Blockbuster (Rescue Me, Season 2, Discs 1-3, all unwatched) or face stiff penalties, I dragged my stuff with me, just in case. At that time of night (11:30 PM), I figured opportunities would be slim to none.

Let me clarify, I saw some cool tattoos, but figured it would not necessarily be the best idea to ask bar patrons out of the blue on the street to participate.

Anyway, video returned, happy with just a shot of a new look from The Loneliest Lamp Post in Bay Ridge, I walked past, near the stroke of midnight, a harmless looking gentleman unchaining his bicycle . At first glance, he looked like he had a bicycle tattoo on his right forearm.

Not quite. Instead he had this:

Well, obviously, he agreed to participate in Tattoosday. So, what is this?

Well, the host, named Matt, offered up the following explanation (loosely paraphrased here). The tattoos is based on the cover art for Spit on a Stranger, a 1999 EP by the indie rock band Pavement. Take a look:

Matt is a resident of Williamsburg, but works in Bay Ridge. In retrospect I marvel at his midnight bike commute, although I hope he just rides to the nearest train station. Matt's tattoo was adapted from the Pavement EP, which was one of the band's final records. He says he gets a lot of comments and questions about it, and that people interpret it differently, yet all seem to be in the right ballpark when coming to their own understanding of it. Matt studied political philosophy in school and appreciates the vagueness of the piece, and the fact that it is able to be so widely interpreted by others.

This work was inked at Cherry Bomb Tattoo in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

Thanks to Matt for talking to me and letting me take a picture so late in the evening.
Read More

Tattoos I Know: The Grim Reaper

This is the sole tattoo of my friend and co-worker, Tom Wacker.

Tom designed and drew the art upon which this tattoo was based.

The Reaper is posed on Tom's biceps/deltoid and has resided there since 1984, when its host was a young lad of eighteen.

This is Tom's only tattoo and he has no plans to get more. He is proud of the fact that, because he designed it and because he then tore up the original design, it is a one-of-a-kind piece. He said that it was very painful because of the amount of black ink that went into it.

The tattoo was inked by Dean at Lola's Tattoos, then in Cliffside Park, but now in Bogota, New Jersey. Tom got this tattoo "because it was cool," although the tattooer tried to convince him not to get it because it was "too mean" for him. Twenty-three years later, Tom says he has no regrets about his ink.

Thanks, Tom!
Read More

Jones Beach: Heaven and Hell, Alice Cooper, Queensryche

On Saturday, September 8, I saw Heaven and Hell, with Queensryche and Alice Cooper at Jones Beach. Like Ozzfest, there were tattoos everywhere. Like Ozzfest, asking people about their tattoos seemed to be inappropriate, dangerous (at times), and the epitome of dorkiness, especially since Tattoosday hadn't officially spun off yet.

Like Ozzfest, the best I can do is offer candids, although I did get a great shot of one of my favorite's from the show.

Here's a flaming skull on the forearm of an Alice Cooper fan:

I wish I could have got this one, front and back, but no such luck:

Here's a bit of a blurry sleeve:

Although I couldn't read the words during the show, I loved the symmetry of this piece:

I like the script and the hourglass shape that molds perfectly between the shoulder blades. Even better, when I got home and used my photo editor, I was able to isolate the text and read what was so inspiring as to get someone to ink into their back:

Ah, the bard! Not every day dost thou espy a Shakespearean tattoo:

Life's but a walking shadow; a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing." --From Macbeth (V, v, 19)

Basically, that's all I was able to get at the show. However, the Macbeth tattoo made it all worth it. I have no other concerts on the horizon, so that may be it for a while from the live music venues.
Read More
If you are the copyright owner of any of these articles or image and don't want me to share them, please, write comments on pages and I will gladly remove them.