History

Bob Shaw Interview.

I could sit and read these interviews all day. Another one from the very gracious Jonathan Shaw; this time interviewing the legendary Bob Shaw. Bob (1926-1993) was known as an innovative flash painter and letterer. He had full sleeves from Bert Grimm by the time he was sixteen years old and later went on to run Bert’s shop at the Pike. If you haven’t already read the Col. Todd interview I posted, check it out!

Originally Published in 1993, International Tattoo Art magazine Vol. 1 Number 5.


Bob Shaw: The Life and Times of a Tattoo Hero.

Paul Rogers and Bob Shaw.

This interview was conducted with Bob Shaw, several months before his death, at his Aransas Pass home. His frankness, humor and generosity of spirit are clearly felt through his words and anecdotes. Even at death’s door, he was never too preoccupied to share his all with the tattoo world to which he lovingly dedicated to his life and times.

Jonathan Shaw: Bob, you’ve been tattooing for a long time now, over fifty years, right?

Bob Shaw: Fifty-one years.

JS: Fifty-one years. Thats a long time to be doing anything. How did it all start?

BS: It’s kind of strange, I guess. My father died when I was a kid, and my mother remarried when I was 13, and the fellow she married wasn’t very good at taking care of the family. Everything I did was ass-backwards. My brother two years older than me had left home and went into the city about six months before that, and he invited me there in the summer of 1941.
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A talk with Dr. Matt Lodder

Dr. Matt Lodder photographed by Al Overdrive

My friend Matt will be giving a talk about Tattoos perception in the media on July 14th. Anyone in the UK who can make it out should consider the trip; Matt is passionately devoted to tattoo history and culture and I’m sure it will be very much so worth your time. Information follows:

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Dr. Matt Lodder, ‘Not Just for Sailors: A Sceptical Look at Media Perceptions of Tattooing in the West’
Greater Manchester Skeptics in the Pub

14th July at TV21, Northern Quarter, Manchester. Doors 7:30pm. Donation £3.00

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“As an opening line for an article in a popular newspaper about tattoos, the suggestion that “tattoos are not just for sailors anymore” is a familiar one. Indeed, it often feels as if the same sentiment graces every article about tattooing in the mainstream press: Tattooing, we’ve been told again and again recently, is coming of age – finally coming out of the murky shadows of the deviant underworld to leave its mark on the most well-heeled. Tattoos are now to be seen on catwalks, on trading floors and around the chicest tables.

The hacks who churn out these stories might be surprised to learn,then, that the popular media has been reporting the arrival of tattooing in high society for nearly one hundred years.

In a talk drawing on his doctoral thesis, Matt will be presenting a skeptical look at media perceptions of tattooing in recent decades, and present an alternative way of looking at, and thinking about tattoos: as art objects in their own right.

Doors open 7:30pm, talk will start at 8pm.
Suggested voluntary donation of £3

In the Basement at TV21!”