If you’re not sure who this pineapple-haired person is, it’s Adam Duritz, frontman of Counting Crows.
A quick reminder that, incredibly and improbably, Duritz has been romantically linked to Christina Applegate, Lara Flynn Boyle, Gwen Stefani, Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox and Mary-Louise Parker among many others...
And now he’s got this tattooed maraschino cherry to garnish his good fortune.
I declare this the worst rock tattoo of all time. You’ll note that I didn’t add a question mark after the title. It’s not a question, it’s a statement of fact. And it’s “straight edge” to boot!
Here we see Bob Garfield and Brooke Gladstone of On the Media, trying hard to look like they never received a Peabody Award
I get it, I really do. There are only so many humorous coffee mugs and tote bags with which to tantalize your listeners. Plus, you’re radio, and it’s difficult to compete visually. My mom has a coffee mug she got from a PBS pledge drive that pictures the TARDIS from Doctor Who; it disappears when you pour a hot beverage into it. You cannot compete with that kind of brilliant novelty!
But temporary tattoos? I know traditional tattoo flash has been appropriated and saturated to the point of white noise, especially to irreverent ends, but this is literally the last crowd I wanted to see it on. I love NPR! And I have traditional tattoos, too (as does my father), but this is not a chocolate and peanut butter situation for me.
I don’t care if this idea came from the golden brain of Ira Glass, himself. You can’t sell me on an NPR crowd that plays dress-up with working-class aesthetics. It’s just… not cute.
Not entirely sure if this dude just loves his Brenda or if it’s a very unhealthy obsession with her? Perhaps he’s dated a whole lot of women named Brenda? So many burning questions and theories regarding this, er, disturbing (or else very sweet!) tattoo.
Cleveland resident Stephen Munhollon explains why he got a portrait of Charles Ramsey tattooed on the back of his calf (right next to his Chuck Norris tat, natch):
You could ask the question, did I want to get Charles Ramsey tattooed on my leg, and the obvious answer is no. The real question is, was I willing to get Charles Ramsey tattooed on my leg, and the answer was yes…In society, a lot of times people choose not to get involved in situations. I think what’s really grabbed people in regards to Mr. Ramsey, is he’s an average, everyday guy. He’s an ordinary person, he was put in an extraordinary situation that he could have walked away from. But he chose to do something.
Apparently this all started when tattoo aritist Rodney Rose offered a free ink job—but it had to be of Ramsey—to anyone who was up for it. Munhollon took him up on his offer.
Fascinating footage of a tattooing convention that was held in St Paul Minnesota in 1978. This was shot a good ten years before getting tattoos became such a common, fashionable thing to do (Believe it or not, giving someone a tattoo was illegal in New York until 1997). How times have changed.
In 1991, I did a piece for Showtime—very similar to this one—at what was then the very first “Inkslinger’s Ball” in Los Angeles (over 9000 attendees) and the topic was even then still considered somewhat “edgy.” (I even interviewed some of the same people. One of them, I won’t say who, was significantly worse for wear a decade later.)
At that time, the main reason people told me that they wanted to get heavily tattooed was to indelibly mark themselves as not being of mainstream society. One woman compared her tats to the warning markings on a black widow spider, letting people know to “back off,” which I thought was a good way of putting it.
Point is, even as recently as 22 years ago, tattooing was really only then entering the “acceptable” mainstream. Over and over again during the day I shot at the Inkslinger’s Ball, I kept hearing some variation on the theme of “tattooing is finally becoming socially acceptable,” the very same thing that was being said in 1978.
These days people seem to get tattoos, I think, for largely the opposite reasons as they did then: less to cordon themselves off from the rest of society, and more like “I want to be different, like everybody else.”
Redditor Kconn04 spotted his own ultaviolet tattoo making the rounds on reddit and decided to chime in on the comment thread. Here’s what he said about his tattoo:
So if anyone is interested in getting one I just have one thing to say. Mine is almost completely faded by now and you can see a couple of the edges of the bones and that’s it. So be prepared for a couple of touch ups on it. I’ve have it for 5 years now and no health problems.
It was just like a normal tattoo except there was no ink so it looked weird. you can’t even tell now, no scars or anything.
The Word Made Flesh: Literary Tattoos from Bookworms Worldwide is a guide to the emerging subculture of literary tattoos — a collection of 100 full-color photographs of human skin indelibly adorned with quotations and images from Pynchon to Dickinson to Shakespeare to Plath. Packed with beloved lines of verse, literary portraits, and illustrations — and statements from the bearers on their tattoos’ history and the personal significance of the chosen literary work — The Word Made Flesh is part photo collection, part literary anthology written on skin.
In 1976 I had Rimbaud’s name framed within a heart tattooed on my left shoulder. It cost me $18 at a parlor in Denver where drunks get tattoos on a dare or impulsive lovers get names tattooed they’ll later regret. I was neither drunk or in love. I wanted something permanently etched on my body that I could look at in my later years and be reminded of what helped form my young rock and roll self. Arthur Rimbaud’s poetry, which I started reading when I 15, was a defining part of my evolution as a songwriter. I never wanted to forget that. I made a commitment to one of my literary heroes. Today the tattoo is illegible, a puckered purplish scrawl bisecting a faded red blot that once was heart-shaped. It looks like shit, but I love it. It has history. And it keeps me connected to a part of myself I never want to lose contact with: the punk who believed that rock, poetry and art could change the world. It’s a badge of rebel honor.
The Word Made Flesh has a groovy website here and you can buy the book here.
What literary figure or phrase do you feel passionate enough about to have permanently emblazoned on your flesh?
Three-year-old Welsh girl is becoming the world’s youngest tattoo artist, putting Hit-Girl from “Kick-Ass” to shame on little girl badass points. She was trained to use an ink gun by her 36-year-old father.