Our dirt bikes bring all the boys to the yard. Damn right, they're better than yours.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Heeere's Johnny!

As you can see, I'll be benched for any games of Punchbuggy in the immediate future. On Monday I was lucky enough to score this gorgeous Johnny Cash tattoo from renowned ink man Bob Tyrrell. It took seven hours, which may sound like shading needle hell, but actually wasn't that bad. I chalk it up to the resilient power of arm fat. It’s a bit sore but it’s healing up nice.

Not only is Bob one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet, he’s also world famous for his detailed black and white portrait work. He did that giant eagle on Kid Rock’s back, for all you cra-zy Kid Rock fans out there. And he’s not adverse to getting really drunk with idiot journalists and singing White Snake duets around the campfire at four in the morn’. Solid. He’s also dating my co-worker Jovanka, so that’s how we’ve got to know each other. Aside from doing numerous horror portrait tattoos for Jovanka – Vincent Price, Lon Chaney, H.P. Lovecraft, Frankenstein’s Monster and Bride of Frankenstein – he’s done a nifty zombie fish for our ad guy Jody and an absolutely stunning Creature from the Black Lagoon for our head designer Gary.

So why did I choose Cash? I never thought I’d get someone else’s face etched on to me, and it’s been probably a decade since I last got tattooed because I couldn’t decide on anything (and/or I didn’t have the dough, of course). But Cash is an exception for several reasons. First, I love not just his music but that dark Man in Black outlaw iconography that he (particularly) embraced when Rick Rubin helped him reinvent himself in the ‘90s. As I’ve listened to more and more of his music and read about him, I’ve only grown to like the whole Cash mythology more and more, so it’s not something I’m going to lose interest in a few years. Since Cash has passed away, it’s not like he’s gonna get thrown in jail for being a diddler or anything. Damn, it’s a good thing I didn’t get inked during my Gary Glitter obsession in the ‘80s. Whew!

So, then there’s the portrait itself. Bob’s work really brings an iconic, mysterious edge to the image. This portrait is taken from a photo, that I believe Bob has in a book, but it’s got a life of its own. And, lastly, after much thought, I decided this is indeed a picture I’d like to have on my ‘til the day I die. Classic, iconic and tasteful, it’ll age gracefully, I believe. I picked the old man Cash because that’s the Cash I identify with the most, and I think it’s a little more intense – I love the texture of the age lines on his face. Yup, in retrospect, it’s probably a good thing Bob talked me out of having a giant speech bubble over his head proclaiming “Whassup?!”

And lastly, it’s pretty fun to roll up my sleeve and go, “Hello, I’m Johnny Cash tattoo.”


Blogger Superdude said...

HOly sweet mother of shit!
Firstly, I had to look twice to be certain who exactly was posting the fact that they'd had a huge JC tattoo speared onto their arm. I didn't believe it. DAve, I'll just say, despite my dislike of tattoos, merely this: awesome.
Secondly, fucking awesome.

6:30 AM

Blogger enthrall said...

Hear, hear: right down to the "sweet mother of shit!" reaction. Sweet indeed.

Makes my desire to get my daughter's name and birthday inked seem... infinitesmal.


9:18 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Holy Shit! Wow. While I'm not a big tattoo fan, that one is amazing! What an artist. Had he done it before? It really is remarkably good.

Lori A.

1:27 PM

Anonymous collin said...

Outrageous. Does this mean that your not going to call Bob Parks about that insurance job? You've gained instant cred at a biker rally. Out of curiousity what's the first tattoo?

3:19 PM

Blogger Dave said...

Lori, I'm guessing you mean has he done a Cash tattoo before, and the answer is yes, but not this particular portrait. There a few other versions of Cash tattoos on Bob's site, which you can follow the link to.

I've been inked three times before. The first time I got the lion on the Scottish flag (1/2 Scottish), which was done poorly, so I had it fixed a few years later. And the other one is a spikey, flamey design I drew. Back of shoulders, nothing spectacular, but I still like 'em.

And fuck Bob Parks. He can take his liability waivers and stuff them up his ass.

1:24 AM

Anonymous The Illustrious Steve-Dave said...

hey fag, nice henna tattoo.

4:40 PM


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