Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Izzy's Ink: A Tatt-alog, Part 1

On occasion here on Tattoosday, we go a little ink-wild. Someone I meet will show me piece after piece of great body art, and I will snap away and scribble notes as quickly as I can.

And when I share a half dozen or more tattoos from one person, in one post, I call it a tatt-alog.

I was heading home later than normal, having attended a New York City open house on applying to public high schools when, after one stop on the R train, a few people boarded at Pacific Street.

I noticed the woman first, and a bicep covered with flowers, and then I nudged Melanie (my lovely wife) and drew her attention to the back of a man's calf:

So I had no intention of letting that piece exit the train un-documented by yours truly, I quickly got up and introduced myself, but the woman knew who I was, I think she said "It's the Tattoosday Guy!"

She, of the flowered bicep, was Lauren, whose Mastodon tattoo was featured here back in June, and her boyfriend Izzy had a ton of ink (approximately 16 pieces). What follows are 5 of the more noteworthy tattoos. For the sake of brevity, I have a few more saved for a later date.

The first piece Izzy talked about was this Sailor Jerry-inspired monkey. Legend has it that the original Sailor Jerry had a pet chimp upon which he tattooed the letters "A L" on its left buttock and "H A" on its right. He then trained the chimp to bend over and look at someone through its knees. The resulting message "A L o H A" was visible thanks to the extra letter provided by the monkey's nether orifice. Sailor Jerry designed flash to commemorate the trick:

Izzy's homage to the monkey replaces ALoHA with BROoKLYN:

This was tattooed by Josh Everett who, Izzy explained, quit tattooing to run the family business.

Everett was co-owner of the now-defunct Macdougal Street Tattoo Company, but it's worth checking out this article here from The New York Times archives, in which he is interviewed about giving free tattoos to 9/11 rescue workers.

Everett was also responsible for the incredible Jimi Hendrix tattoo on the back of his right leg:

Definitely worth a second look.

Remember, we're talking and the camera is flashing on the R train, so we certainly were drawing some stares. Izzy moved on to this intriguing tattoo:

"Ever hear of a band called Pantera?" he asked.

Melanie laughed, the tattoo made sense, I knew what the crux of it was immediately - Izzy had the autograph of Pantera guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell forever inked on his flesh. Sadly, for those who don't know, in 2004, Dime was murdered on stage in by a crazed fan.

Above Dimebag's signature is the logo CBH CFH from their debut album Cowboys from Hell and below it is a guitar drawn by the legendary musician.

Izzy met Dime about 11 years ago, outside of the building where Howard Stern was broadcasting his radio show. Dime drew it all on with a Sharpie and an artist named Eric tattooed it in the back of Bleecker Bob's Records.

Moving to his left arm, Izzy shared this design:

Although not immediately apparent, this tattoo is also an autograph-turned-tattoo. This was drawn on Izzy's arm by Slash, former Guns N' Roses guitarist, backstage at a Velvet Revolver concert.

As a guitarist in a rock band (God's Green Earth), I can understand why Izzy might want the autographs of two of the most influential rock guitarists from the last twenty-five years permanently inked on his being.

Since meeting Izzy, I also have met a guy in our neighborhood with Paul Stanley's autograph inked on his calf. See here for previous examples of "signed tattoos" appearing on Tattoosday.

Further up his left arm is this amazing belly dancer tattooed by Joshua Lord at East Side Ink:

Izzy and Lauren rode with us all the way to the end of the R line, definitely winning the honor of being the subject with whom I have spent the most amount of time (about 30 minutes).

I am eternally grateful to Izzy for sharing his work with us here on Tattoosday and for doing so with such genuine excitement.

Be sure to check out his band at their MySpace page here.

And stay tuned for some additional shots of Izzy's Ink!

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