Norman Keith Collins, better known as ‘Sailor Jerry’, was born on January 14th 1911.
Today would have been his 101st birthday. His legacy to the tattoo community is as big as his personality was said to have been.
The following video, shot for the Hori Smoku video, features Zeke Owen talking about Jerry’s reaction to fancy clothing.
Posted by Shawn Porter on January 14, 2012
I started out getting small pieces and then moved on to larger multi-sitting tattoos. I got a lot of satisfaction out of the larger stuff; not just the big pieces themselves but the time spent getting them. As I get older (and more to the point, as I run out of space) getting smaller tattoos has been exponentially more fun…. the road trips to get them, meeting new tattooers and most importantly having them completed when I walk out of the shop.
Continuing with excerpts from ‘Tattoo Zeke’, this snippet finds both Zeke discussing why he prefers doing smaller, single sitting tattoos over larger body work. Ed Hardy weighs in as well.
Posted by Shawn Porter on October 25, 2011
When I first started getting tattooed by ‘Just Plain’ Bud Pierson, he’d often reverently talk about Zeke Owen, citing his lettering as the best in the business. His name kept coming up in conversations with the people I respected the most and through them I watched a copy of Michael O. Stearns’s Tattoo Zeke: His life and Times on VHS.
Zeke came off as a character; someone who could handle the marathon tattoo sessions he jokes about in the film; more tattoos completed in 48 hours than most tattooers do in a week. In a culture where custom work and planned out pieces dominated, Zeke happily tattooed single sitting flash pieces on scores of recruits from whatever military base he was tattooing near.
I haven’t had a copy of the film in years, thankfully a well meaning friend hooked me up with a digital copy.
This excerpt features Daniel Higgs; I knew it would be of immediate interest to most OV readers, but rest assured I’m going to comb through the whole film to get a nice distilled Zeke Owen experience.
Posted by Shawn Porter on September 21, 2011