Don Ed Hardy front/back pieces, late 1970s.
Scanned from 35mm prints from the Sailor Sid Diller collection.
“I’ve heard that the Internet is a powerful form of communication”- Scott Harrison.
A much less embiggenable version of this video used to be available on Scott Harrison’s HEADBAND BROTHERS website. It’s probably one of the greatest films ever made. Much more enjoyable than, say, Citizen Kane or The Godfather. Check it out.
Blowguns Beach Whistles and the True Definition of Powerlessness Converted
A Video Project by Scott Harrison, featuring stories told by: Michael Malone, Oliver Peck, Daniel Higgs, Kevin Q, Annette Larue, Michael Palmer, Jason Mast, David Quale, Jerry Ware, Bobby Love, Jennifer Reeder, Ernie Gosnell, Seth Ciferri, Eric Perfect, Robert Winslow, Clio Weisman, and Don Ed Hardy. © S.D. Harrison 2005
Donald Edward Talbot Hardy was born on 6th January, 1945.
Almost his entire life has been devoted to tattooing. Happy birthday, Ed!
This photo, scanned from a 3″x5″ print, dates back to the 1970s and features Ed tattooing a unicorn on his client’s hand.
I hate that, to most people, the name Ed Hardy is synonymous with heavily cologned, spraytanned douchebags who hang out on the Jersey shore or at overpriced bars with stabbing problems. I prepare myself, every time I bring him up to non-tattooed friends, for the onslaught of easy jokes and snide comments about the t-shirts and hats and Valentine’s cards and perfumes that were adorned with his name/artwork during the Audigier years.
What we’re concerned about here at OV is his legacy as a tattooer; the artists he inspired with his work and with the Tattoo Time book series and that when you look at a 35+ year old photo of a ‘golden era’ Hardy tattoo you still think “man that’s cool.”
This photo was scanned from a 3×5 print that could date from the late 70s/early 80s that had no annotation. Other artists unknown.
The life of Samuel Steward has all of the makings of a feature length movie. A Professor of English at Loyola and De Paul Universities, a confidant of Gertrude Stein, the author of Bad Boys and tough tattoos and assorted pornography, a tattooist known for mentoring Ed Hardy and tattooing Hells Angels members and Occult filmmaker Kenneth Anger and a major contributor to Alfred Kinsey’s human sexuality studies Steward (who also went by the names Phil Sparrow and Phil Andros) lived a life worthy of the silver screen.
Or better yet, in comic form. Artist Eric Rivera has been illustrating stories from Sparrow’s Bad Boys & Tough Tattoos and from the sample pages I’ve seen it would be a killer full length adaptation. His style is a perfect match to the content. You can check out his work here: Eric Rivera.
If you’d like to read more about Steward’s life, Justin Spring’s Secret Historian is an amazing biography worth checking out.
All tattooing is folk art.
Vice.com has finally begun airing the Thom DeVita arc of their ‘Tattoo Age’ series, with episode 1 currently streaming.
You can check it out here.
The first episode features Ed Hardy, Nick Bubash, Clayton Patterson, Scott Harrison, Angelo Scotto, John Wyatt, Robert Ryan, Bubba Reeves and of course Thom. If you use the Freddy Corbin arc of season 1 as a yardstick for quality, it’s really hard to imaging it getting any better. But seeing the enthusiasm that other people have for Thom and his work wins you over. Harrison’s face lights up when he talks about his ‘bad’ DeVita tattoos. These episodes- five in total- will end up being a once in a lifetime view into the life of an iconic artist.
Check it out.