Frisco Skin and Tattoo Ink

The current generation has Miami Inked; growing up, I had Michael O. Stearns.

Filmed in the late 1980s in and around San Francisco, FRISCO SKIN AND TATTOO INK (Metamorphosis II Productions, 1990 VHS) is what reality tattoo programming could have been; a no-drama time capsule of the life and times of tattooers in the bay area. The sphere of influence that came out of that scene is resounding. Ed Hardy, Daniel Higgs, Freddie Corbin, Henry Goldfield, Erno…. the list goes on and on.

Artists speaking their minds without an agent telling them that their opinions aren’t becoming of a potential ‘Tattoo Celebrity’.

A while back I transferred the VHS to DV. It’s on a backup hard drive somewhere (along with Stearn’s amazing Dave Lum documentary) that I need to find. I can only hope that one day Metamorphosis will make their catalog available on DVD. Truly priceless documents of a time that we’d be lucky to go back to.

(the captured photo is of Higgs pre-giant beard)



  1. Been wanting to get another copy of “Dave Lum’s heavy duty tattooing” for years,my favourite tattoo documentary by far.I wore out the original tape!I presume Mr Stearns is no longer working but have not been able to get any info on him or the availability of his tapes today.My friend John Lomax (Wildcat body jewellery founder) used to sell these tapes in Europe but I don’t think any attempt was made to carry this on into the DVD age.


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