Tattooing

Blowguns Beach Whistles and the True Definition of Powerlessness Converted

“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

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8MM: Meadowlands

I’ve been working on restoring footage from an 8mm video cassette that was recorded at the 1991 Meadowlands tattoo convention. It’s a frustrating process sometimes; I’ll find 3 seconds of Eddie Deutsche tattooing but what are you going to do with three seconds followed by a shaky camera move to the next booth.The screen grabs often promise something more interesting than the finished, edited video.

Archival woes, I tell you what.

Tattooing in Action

This clip is an excerpt from an 8mm (film) recording made by Sailor Sid Diller at the Kissimmee, Florida shop of Ken Meyer sometime in the 1970s. It was converted to VHS tape in the mid 1980s and reimported to digital earlier this week at 720p and restored as much as possible though the tape has suffered considerable digital rot.

Amsterdam Tattoo Convention 1995

OVamsterdam009

Twenty years ago today my brother Robert (who took the majority of these photos on honest to goodness 35mm film) and I were strolling around in Amsterdam’s famous Red Light District, winding down from Hanky Panky’s Amsterdam Tattoo Convention. We had spent the previous three days at the Beurs van Berlage, the Damrak’s former commodities exchange and current convention venue, snapping pictures, getting tattooed and- for two L7 farm boys from Florida (I was 20 at the time) enjoying an inescapable contact high from the dozens (or hundreds) of convention go-ers who were enjoying the city’s liberal drug policy. For the last twenty years I’ve used Henk’s event as the yardstick by which I’ve measured every other tattoo convention I’ve attended and one by one they’ve all fallen short. The vibe was perfect; casual and energetic with each booth pushing out one amazing tattoo after the other. As the nights wore on people didn’t leave- they’d grab some floor space to sit down with old and new friends to shoot the shit about tattoos, travel, whatever. The tattoo world was considerably smaller then and every person you met had the potential to be a new friend- I still maintain friendships with folks I met that weekend.

Everything lined up perfectly, including an Amsterdam tour date for the Jim Rose Circus Sideshow- which led to one of the more memorable  events of the weekend- The Enigma, tattooed head to toe in puzzle pieces- had 22 (or 23?) of the attending artists- from Henk and Horiyoshi III to Bob Vessels and Alex Binnie- fill in some of his open outlines with his trademark blue. At the same time. It took quite a bit of maneuvering to get everyone working together, but the craziness of it fit in perfectly with the gonzo  goings on at the show and while I only managed to snap one photo of it (which I didn’t get a chance to scan tonight) I do have it on video. One of these days I’ll get a working 8mm video camera and will get that footage online.

It’s surreal to be able to look back on an event that still seems so fresh in my mind and realize that two decades have passed. I’m happy to be able to share these photos with you folks.

GIP 1992

GIP1992

 

A few weeks ago I made an impulse buy on eBay that ended up reconnecting me with some friends that I hadn’t spoken to in over twenty years; we’ve been emailing back and forth and it inspired me to go through old photo albums to see if I could find any pictures from the last time we all hung out. This little guy here- a sticker given to me by Guy Aitchison in 1992, fell out of one of the photo albums I was flipping through. It’s still perfectly intact after 23 years, a little memento from Guy’s GIP shop in Chicago, IL. I also came across a handful of photos from my appointment with Guy in 92- getting tattooed surrounded by bikers and chaos at Daytona Beach’s annual BIKE WEEK celebration. I’ve dropped them in my scanning queue, really great stuff!

JD at Sailor Sid’s

I don’t have much information on this video; it was shot sometime in the early/mid 1980s at Sailor Sid Diller’s Silver Anchor Tattoo Studio in South Florida. The VHS tape it was captured from was a compilation from Sid labeled 1986, but the footage could have been filmed before that. The artist is credited as J.D.  Sid calls him John early on in the video and he mentions being from New Jersey) but otherwise it’s a mystery. If anyone knows more about J.D. please get in touch.

The video was filmed before wearing gloves was standard practice and is presented for archival purposes.