Vice Fashion - Tattoo Stories

Photos by Taz Darling<br> Styling by Aldene Johnson<br><br> <b>Skip:</b> The spider web on my face is a cover up of a spider web that was

Aug 1 2006, 12:00am

Photos by Taz Darling
Styling by Aldene Johnson
Interviews by Kevin Morpurgo
Assisted by Denise Dunstan & Pegah Farahmand

Special thanks to Demian of Blood Brothers Tattoos, Holloway Road London and Tom Hooper of Frith Street Tattoos, Soho, London.

Skip wears jacket by Jack & Jones, T-shirt model’s own

Skip: The spider web on my face is a cover up of a spider web that was hand made by my sister. Before, it was a mess. It was another web. The ones on my head are from my sister as well. It was when I was a punk. I’ve had these since I was 17 and I’m 42 now so that’s a lot of years. The one on my neck is a gun. I’ve had that for eight years. I also got “Skins” tattooed on me for a bet. I won a fiver. I dunno why I got them really, I just like them.

Frank wears jeans by Levis, briefs by Jack & Jones, hat by Vintage

Frank: I tattooed myself a gun on the left-hand side of my stomach about four and a half years ago in my friend’s kitchen. I did it with a home-made gun. I was in a band with my friend and he was starting to tattoo so I went and hung out with him and I was like: “I want a tattoo on my stomach, it can’t be that hard.” I drew it on with a Biro and it took about two hours. I didn’t know anything about tattoos so I had to do it twice. It fucking killed.

Demian from Blood Brothers Tattoos wears T-shirt by MA, jeans model’s own, cap model’s own
Phil wears shirt by SkunkFunk, T-shirt by Hot Tuna, jeans by Franklin & Marshall

Phil: I had “Mom” tattooed on my arm when I was living in Philadelphia. One night, me and a tattooist friend bought a load of crack and some PCP and decided to modify the tattoo a little bit. What once was a simple, plain, loving-your-mom rose turned into a snarling, bleeding, thorny monster with bolts of lightning worked into the design to make it exciting. This is one of the reasons I don’t smoke crack any more.

JJ wears T-shirt by Rainy Day Fuck Parade, cap by New Era, shorts by Jack & Jones, shoes by PF Flyers

JJ: My friend had never tattooed before but she was really into tattoos. We went to my house and I had a tattoo gun and some ketamine. She tattooed me all night until about 5a.m. I thought it was all looking pretty good at the time so I got her to carry on. She did a skull that stands for “Taking Care Of Business”. I was playing video games the whole time.

Eric wears top by vintage, trousers model’s own, shoes by Cushe

Eric: This woman on my arm is a famous model from the 1930s / 1940s. I had just got divorced from my first wife, so I was really happy and my friend was starting out as a tattoo artist and wanted to use me as a guinea pig. I let her go ahead and do what she wanted. My friend was a Sid Vicious fan, so she also tattooed his face on my arm. My Chinese birth sign is a wood dragon, so she did me a dragon surrounded by skulls. I like skulls. I work in a cemetery.

Andrew wears vest by Hot Tuna

Andrew: I had an anarchy symbol done with a home-made tattoo gun. There was an old way of making tattoo machines. You cut the end off a Biro, shove a wire through it and attach it to an an old Braun razor and use that as a motor. Russian punks use the top string of a guitar for a needle. Lots of Danish friends had tattoos done that way. Some of them had “Shit” tattooed on their arses for some reason.

Tony wears underwear by American Apparel, ring by Tenderloin

Tony: Dan Higgs from Lungfish did one for me on my left arm. It was a boiling hot summer day in Baltimore but he turned up with a jumper, a beard and a woolly hat. We designed this tattoo together. It’s a book with a candlestick with a chicken foot holding a winged candlestick with seven candles. It says “As Above, So Below”. When he’d finished, Dan took a step back and went: “Hmm. Yeah. It looks like it means something.”

Thomas wears jeans by Wrangler, shoes by Adidas

Thomas: I was living in the Rein Valley in Germany. Nobody spoke English. At the time I had a tribal tattoo on my leg and I didn’t like it. Over two days, I sat down on my own and tattooed a huge black area over the tattoo. My leg swelled up so it was like Popeye’s arm. I couldn’t walk properly for three days. The most painful thing was when I got my scalp tattooed with a lot of Tibetan things. At one point during a session I had to get up and leave, it was so painful. See for Tom’s tattoo shop.

Scott wears jacket by Religion, shirt model’s own

Scott: When I was 16 I was living in Aldershot and I went to Farnborough with a friend who was getting a tattoo done. My mate lent me some money. The tattooist said if you spend over a certain amount of money he’d do one on your chest, so I got an Iron Maiden one there. I got a bat on my neck as well. Skinheads used to get swallows tattooed there but I subverted it and got a bat just above the Vice Squad logo.

Johnny wears T-shirt by Duck and Cover, jeans by Wrangler, shoes by PF Flyers

Johnny: I got “Zoe” tattooed on my wrist in Barcelona about four years ago. I got it covered up with “Void” about six months after we broke up. I was going to get it blacked out but I still had feelings for her and just getting it blacked out felt a bit plastic. Getting “Void” made me giggle. It’s a bit of a giggle. We don’t talk any more. She’s heard of it but she’s never seen it. I hope she sees it.

Dante wears jeans by Levi’s, T-shirt by Carhartt, belt by Jack & Jones, briefs by Calvin Klein

Dante: I got this one on my belly about eight years ago. I always wanted a tattoo off this fella. He was an artist from Zurich called Mick. I thought getting a tattoo on my belly was going to be really simple. It took him about two minutes to sketch the snake out then I laid down and he did one line, another line and then another line and I said: “Hang on a second, I don’t want it anymore. It’s too fucking painful.” It took about an hour and a half to convince me to get it lined.

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