Texas Weird: Richard’s Eyes


Along with Dave Lum and Chris Trevino, Richard Stell helped define true Texas Weird tattooing; rooted in Traditional Americana with a healthy dose of underground comix and biker elements,  it’s a style that directly influenced what I think tattoos should look like.

As with a few other key tattooers who’s work helped make me fall in love with tattooing back in the 1990s, I dicked around and never ended up getting tattooed by Richard, figuring I’d eventually get around to it.

Nineteen months ago, Richard had corrective eye surgery that ended up botched, leaving him effectively blind in both eyes. A Texas surgeon has faith that he can reattach Richard’s retina- which he calls a tough task but absolutely doable- but the expenses are going to (continue to) mount up, so if you can spare a few dollars, I’m sure they’d be appreciated with the eventual goal of getting a machine back in Richard’s hands and have him tattooing again.

I’m saving a little patch of skin for when that happens.



Hex Appeal: Say you love Satan!

OV’s merch wing- Hex Appeal- has teamed up with Berlin based tattooer Alice of the Dead for a a diabolical embroidered patch! Packaged with a header card also featuring art by Alice, this 3.5″ x 3.5″ iron on backed patch is a great way to show your eternal love for ol’ Scratch. Occult Vibrations is totally non-profit, so if you enjoy the content we post, consider picking one of these Satanic som’bitches up to throw a little cash in the tip jar!

Patches are expected to ship on/after 30th April, 2017.


Our Tattoo History


Horrible news out of Somerset PA this week-
Mike and Mary Skiver’s building burnt down on Friday night. The building was home to their tattoo shop, their apartment and their extensive tattoo history and memorabilia collection. Damages haven’t been assessed yet, but the building collapsed so the news may not be good.

Mike and Mary could really use some community support right now, so if you have anything to give- please do.

Our thoughts are with them both.

Paintin’ for Satan


Current Church of Satan Magus Peter H. Gilmore is a pretty fascinating guy. I’ve been following his tumblr a while for his amazingly detailed cinema reviews (his two part review of the 2015 Godzilla remake would make a PhD thesis seem like it didn’t try hard enough) and thoughts on life and generally thought he couldn’t get much cooler.

Then I saw that he was curating a show for the folks at the HOWL TATTOO Gallery down in Florida. It’s one thing to mix Satan with cinema, but when he gets his scaly mitts on tattooing it seems like it could be the perfect combination. I can’t wait to see the book!

From Gilmore’s introduction:
For The Devils Reign, our artists work in many styles to evoke the fantastic and demonic. Their renditions of the dread names from Anton LaVey’s The Satanic Bible serve as keys to unleash oft-hidden aspects of the human psyche. As he said himself, “There is a beast in man that should be exercised, not exorcised!.” Devilish art may mock authority, frighten the gullible, and embody complex emotions. Here you’ll find gateways for self-reflection, for opening one’s mind to unique perspectives.”

Exhibition on Display: December 5th, 2015 – January 30th, 2016
Opening Reception & Book Release: December 5th 7-11pm (18+ Only)
Gallery Hours: 11am-8pm M-Th 12-10pm Fr-Sat
Address: HOWL Gallery/Tattoo – 4160 Cleveland Ave, Fort Myers, FL 33901
Admission: Free
HOWL Gallery Facebook:
HOWL GalleryTwitter: @howlgallery
If you’re in the area you should stop by and check it out!

The full press release/artist listing follows-

Fort Myers, FL – September 3, 2015 – Church of Satan High Priest, Magus Peter H Gilmore, has curated an art exhibition and accompanying book to both debut December 5th in Fort Myers, Florida. HOWL Gallery/Tattoo will host The Devils Reign, a two month art show featuring many of the world’s best known tattoo artists, as well as illustrators, photographers, painters and sculptors. The show also includes work by members of the Church of Satan’s hierarchy. Over 60 artists were selected by Magus Gilmore for the exhibition that runs from December 5th until January 30th, 2016 at HOWL Gallery in Fort Myers, FL. The limited-edition hardcover exhibition book will be available during the opening reception and afterwards.
The Devils Reign features images depicting devils and dark gods from current and past cultures, as well as monstrous characters inspired by HP Lovecraft’s Cthulu mythos. The Satanic Bible, first published in 1969 and written by Church of Satan founder Anton Szandor LaVey, was used as inspiration for the exhibit. Artists referenced LaVey’s roster called The Infernal Names which features a list of more than 50 devilish deities compiled from world mythology, including Satan, Lilith, the Greek fertility god Pan, Dracula, Loki, and even Hindu divinities Shiva and Kali. This is the first show and published art book of its kind associated directly with the Church of Satan.
Notable artists in the exhibit include rock poster icon Derek Hess, whose work is included in the collection of The Louvre Museum in Paris and The Rock N Roll Hall of Fame. Modern day tattoo legends Tim Lehi, Jef Whitehead, Derek Noble, Dusty Neal, Curt Baer, Uncle Allan, and Timothy Hoyer all accepted invitations to participate. Well known heavy metal album illustrators such as Seldon Hunt, Shaun Beaudry, Palehorse, and Florian Bertmer also contributed artwork. Stylistically, the works range from the gothic and grotesque to art influenced by Japanese and traditional tattooing styles. A complete list of artists is available below and on the gallery’s website.
The Devils Reign hardcover book features art from the exhibition as well as additional pieces not displayed in the gallery. The book is being produced and designed by gallery co-owner and accomplished tattoo artist Andy Howl and published in association with the Church of Satan. This limited edition features a two-color metallic cover and the more than 80 full-color pages. Retail price of the book is $60. Pre-ordered copies will come signed by High Priest Gilmore and orders are now being taken on the gallery’s website.
From Gilmore’s introduction: “For The Devils Reign, our artists work in many styles to evoke the fantastic and demonic. Their renditions of the dread names from Anton LaVey’s The Satanic Bible serve as keys to unleash oft-hidden aspects of the human psyche. As he said himself, “There is a beast in man that should be exercised, not exorcised!.” Devilish art may mock authority, frighten the gullible, and embody complex emotions. Here you’ll find gateways for self-reflection, for opening one’s mind to unique perspectives.”
Curator Gilmore has also noted that, “For the first time, the legendary denizens of Hell as denoted in LaVey’s The Satanic Bible are evoked in brilliant, blasphemous detail for you to savor.
Complete list of artists in the exhibition:
AW Storm Anderson
Adam P Campbell
Alexandra Snelgrove
Andy Howl
Cameron John
Chris Reed
Christopher Lee
Clay McCay
Curt Baer
Daniel Byrd
Dave Berns
David Sinclair Smith
David Wallace
Derek Hess
Derek Noble
Dusty Neal
Dylan Garrett Smith
Eric Vernor
Florian Bertmer
Francisco D
Herb Auerbach
Jason Leach
Jef Whitehead
Jeff Srsic
Jett Vincent Bailey
Joao Werner
Josh McAlear
Josie Gallows
Kim Rice
Laney Oleniczak
Lilith Coose
Marilyn Mansfield
Markus Mayer
Matt Lackey
Michaelanthony Alton Mitchell
N! Satterfield
Pale Horse
Robert Lang
Samantha Roman
Sara Ray
Sean Bonner
Seldon Hunt
Shaun Beaudry
Shayne of the Dead
Skot Olsen
Steven Anderson
Stevie Floyd
Thomas Thorn
Tim Lehi
Timothy Hoyer
Tony Karnes
Tracey Pryor
Uncle Allan
Valentin Schwarz
William J Butler
Zac Scheinbaum
Zack Spurlock
Zoth Ommog

The Warrior’s Fund


BROOKLYN, NY – Brooklyn tattoo shop Eight of Swords recently announced plans to host a fundraiser benefitting Lakota students from the Wounded Knee District School (WKDS) on South Dakota’s Pine Ridge reservation. The event, called The Warriors’ Fund, is slated for Friday, March 6th at 7:00 PM and will showcase original artwork from over fifty of the country’s top-notch tattooers, including veteran Scott Sylvia of San Francisco’s iconic Black Heart Tattoo, Timothy Hoyer, known for his decidedly non-tattoo style oil paintings, and Justin Weatherholtz from King’s Avenue, one of New York’s best-known shops owned by internationally recognized tattooer Mike Rubendall.


The WKDS serves 134 students ranging from kindergarten through eighth grade. Reservation schools throughout the country are often geographically isolated, contend with a severe lack of funding, and have some of the highest dropout rates in the nation. But one of the most immediate issues facing the students at the WKDS is hunger. While every student qualifies for free meals during school, the need is greater at home.


Newly-appointed principal Alice Phelps has made arrangements with Feeding America in Rapid City for a monthly food distribution for reservation families. Unfortunately, the need at home is more than they can handle. With only a single convenience store on the reservation and the nearest grocery store a staggering 80 miles away, Phelps started a food pantry that she runs out of the school for families that are the most in need. That’s what The Warriors’ Fund is looking to stock.


About the Organizers

 The Warriors’ Fund is being organized by Patrick Sullivan, a Brooklyn bar tender, along with tattooers Dave C. Wallin and Betty Rose, Eight of Swords’ owner and manager, respectively. Wallin, a Dallas native, has been tattooing for twenty-three years, with over half of them spent in New York. He opened Eight of Swords in 2011. Betty Rose is a ten year veteran of the business and began working at Eight of Swords in 2013. She has since helped organize previous events and is the creator of, an online community spotlighting women in the tattoo industry.


Patrick Sullivan  (347)563-6651
Instagram @warriorsfund

Sailor Vern Pre-Order @ Yellow Beak Press


Pre-orders have gone live over at Yellow Beak Press for their latest offering- SAILOR VERN.

From their website:

An upcoming biography: Sailor Vern Ingemarson, a tattooer for 30+ years, was a disciple of Cap Coleman. In the 1940s, he started his career working alongside Coleman and Paul Rogers in Norfolk, VA and later worked with Duke Kaufman in San Francisco. This book contains never before seen flash, acetates, photographs, and line drawings from Sailor Vern, Duke Kaufman, Cap Coleman, Paul Rogers, Percy Waters, and many more.

  • 258 Full Color Pages
  • 9×12 Heavy Hardcover Format

Yellow Beak consistently puts out the best tattoo history books on the shelves, so jump in early and get yours secured!

Benefitting Zeke


I talk about this all the time, but there was a point in my life where I was terrified to walk into a tattoo shop. Back when there was still an air of mystery to the whole thing; it had it’s own language that I didn’t speak, smells that I didn’t recognize and often unsavory characters behind the counter doing what to my eyes looked like magic.

A few decades later and I’ve learned the lingo as good as anyone else; I know what a dummy rail is and that I’m the dummy. I know that the smell of green soap can make me travel back in time, the proper use of SpeedStick deodorant and that some of those characters- and God were they characters back then- were some of the most amazing people I’m ever going to meet.

One of my early tattooers- willing to put up with the nagging questions of a Plant City farm kid- was ‘Just Plain Bud’ Pierson who owned Ancient Art Tattoo on the Orange Blossom Trail of Orlando. This shop was smack dab in the middle of the Trail, flanked by nudie bars and not too far a drive to the Orlando Naval Training Center and it got all kinds of foot traffic coming through. When I started getting tattooed by Bud I was still wet behind the ears, but getting tattooed was still something I looked forward to (times have changed. Lyle Tuttle calls it the ‘World’s Dumbest Hobby’ and the older I get, the more I hate it) just because of Bud’s stories.

All of those old timers had stories to tell and once I got over the fear of making an ass of myself and nutted up enough to talk with them, I’d soak it all up. it was never work talk. I’m not a tattooer and had no interest in asking them what needles they used for what kind of job. It’s not for me to ask what powdered pigment they use for that super bright purple or any of that- but you get them talking about breaking up a fight between a bunch of sailors or having to stash a mystery package for a local biker gang and I’m all ears.

One of the tattooers that Bud always talked about in absolute reverence was Zeke Owen. It’s not an understatement to say that I grew up hearing Zeke’s name, given how young I was when I first started getting tattooed at Ancient Art, yet fate would conspire to never put me in the same place at the same time with him. At least until a few years ago when I saw him wandering around at the Philly Tattoo Convention, casually strolling from booth to booth and checking out what was going on. I was going to go up and introduce myself, but for the first time in a long time- I was nervous.

It was ZEKE. And I didn’t want to make an ass of myself, gushing all over him like some sort of sap. So I chickened out. I ran into Mike Schweigert of Electric in NJ and told him that I felt like a gigantic goober for being so nervous. Mike told me a few Zeke stories that made me chuckle (and made me even more nervous about saying hello) and thanks to him I finally gussied up the stones to go say hi.

When I approached Zeke, before I even got to say hi, he started flexing a tattoo on his arm to make it dance, and said “give this a look.” And I did. And that old fear was gone and I was able to do exactly what I was worried I was going to do- gush and come off like some sort of sap, but it was fine. Zeke told me a few stories, cracked a few jokes at the expense of some of the younger tattooers working the show, and was every inch of him that (not quite) unsavory character who could do magic.

Zeke is currently in Sanford, Florida and is unfortunately suffering from serious medical issues that are taking an extreme financial toll on him.

If you’ve ever met Zeke or heard a Zeke story, you know the impact he’s made on tattoo culture. If you have a few bucks to throw into the pot it would really help him out.