Scary Gary. Indiana.

Royboy.
There’s pretty much no way around how eccentric Indiana tattooer Royboy Cooper was. He had tigers and cobras in his shop. He didn’t always wear gloves. He had a mullet and occasionally referred to himself in the third person. He could fill a body suit with nothing but fairy sparkles, dots and lion heads.

He passed away in 2010.

During the 1980s and 90s, Royboy was a mainstay in biker tattoo magazines; and even produced a handful of, for want of a better word, iconic tattoo videos that played out like tapes to be submitted to his insurance agent rather than sold to tattoo collectors.

Royboy’s boat?
His cars and motorcycles?
Guns?
Lots of fur coats and bling?
They were like rap videos with Royboy and his wife as the stars.

His films are best described as surreal; documents of a bygone era. Half of the people interviewed seemed annoyed, the other half usually wink at the camera, get naked or espouse random unprompted controversial sentiment.

As you can imagine, they’re a trip to watch. It’s hard to present this without seeming like I’m making fun of him, but for my money, Royboy was a true character and these videos are bizarre time capsules of….. something. Christ. I don’t know. Just watch it and love it.

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14 comments

  1. Cool video. His ways weren’t in keeping with my views on tattooing, but everyone has a right to be into their own. thing. He did things full tilt his way and I have a lot of respect for that.

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  2. ROYBOY is where im from gary indana….is the the father of indiana tattooing the 1st but not the last there are 10 vids in total…ck them out…this IS 80’s tattooin at its best…..oh ya…. he is taught by the great CLIFF RAVEN…..its fuckin great…..

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  3. His tattoos were terrible for the most part…. but he was just such a character that (love him or hate him) he sort of grabbed your attention. I bought each of his videos as they came out; and they always ended up being 80% “this is dumb” and 20% “this is awesome”.

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  4. He was not terrible!! It was an Honor to be tattooed by him. Tattoos may be not that great but never terrible. And you had to be a biker to love the movies and if you have any of them I will take em off your hands. Just realized thats you Shawn!! HI!!

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  5. Yeah, I could see how bikers would get the most out of his stuff.
    I think I have three or four of them on VHS; Exotic Expressions, Ink up and Pierce out, Return to the Badlands and maybe one more. I still have things to sort through. And hi!

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  6. He was also a street legend and kicked a whole lot of ass. Spent his entire life in Glen Park Gary, IN. Hardcore is the word best suited. R.I.P dad…

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    1. Royboys a street legend?…damn right he was..I’ve known Roy for 35 yrs…I wear his ink with pride..he didn’t run out of Gary IND like everyone else..he stood his ground..even when they shot..or stabbed him…he stood tall…he still is the baddest motherf#@ker I ever met…RIP….Greg

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