Tattoos and the journey to ink. As I walk through this thing called life, there are many times I will stop and reflect on where it has taken me and to where it might bring me down the road.
Reflecting on past experiences, I feel lucky I can look at each of my tattoos that tells a part of my journey. Some remind me of happy times, and some bring me back to some of the really dark times I had encountered.
I thought it would be awesome to share some of my stories, and how some of my tattoos came about. I did share my first ink experience in a previous article, Tattoos; getting your first one. If you would like a good laugh, then give it a read. So as always, grab a beverage of your choice while I’ll have coffee, and let’s sit and rock this story. You won’t be disappointed.
Oh Harley Quinn, How You’ve Grown
I think it’s safe to say that as boys, most of us will grow up wanting to be some sort of superhero. For me, It was Batman. Batman had this sense of darkness to him and always left people guessing his next move.
That really intrigued me and drew me to him. As a child, my mom was great at sewing and would make me some pretty awesome Batman costumes for Halloween.
Growing up being lucky enough to run around the whole neighborhood till the street lights came on, I got into some pretty cool superhero adventures with my friends. Our imagination was the limit to our next adventure. We played everywhere, from the park to the woods. The woods were my favorite because I could always come up with some pretty cool bat caves.
One might be asking themselves what does Harley Quinn has to do with this. Please let me explain. Anyone who knows their superheros knows how sinister Harley was, yet with a very sexy side to her. She was the Jokers so-called girlfriend, but never for a minute did I ever think she really loved him. She just loved the life of crime.
I believe Harley’s heart belonged to Batman. She wanted to know who he was and what made him tick. His very mysterious character always had her heart going pitter, always leaving her torn between the life of good and evil. As she grew through the years, she went from the jester costume to a very sexy comic book villain. The movie Suicide Squad really put her on the map.
So as a way of reminding me of my childhood adventures as the caped crusader, you guessed it, I went with Harley instead of Batman. I wondered if I should I go with classic or new style Harley, but when I came across her in leather pants and a corset, I went with that. It took a total of four and a half hours to complete, only taking one break. I can say for certain that she’s still my favorite tattoo today.
My Journey Into The World Of Rock And Roll
The year was 1977 and I was 9 years old. Growing up in New England was a wonderful life as a child, as I had many friends and the things to do were endless. It was November and I had ventured with my mom to Springfield Mass to visit Grandma, whom I truly loved. That evening we went to the mall, and Mom and Grandma said that I could pick something out.
We were in one of the stores and I had come across a batman play set and decided on that, although I wasn’t really feeling satisfied with it. We walked some more, and passed a rack that caught my attention. I looked over as my eyes were as wide as saucers. If you can picture it, I looked at my mom with my arm straight as an arrow with finger pointed out and said, “I want that!”
It was the Kiss Alive 2 album, which was put in the rack backwards showing all four Kiss members on it, and it blew me away! Mind you, I had no clue who they even were, but I knew I had to have it. My mom looked at me with this really weird look and asked if I was kidding. “Nope, I want it.” Getting back to Grandmas house, I wanted to listen to it, but mom said that I can listen to it when we get home.
Heading home that night, I had this overwhelming joy. It was 1:00 in the morning when we got home and my mom was tired and wanted to go to bed, but she did hold to her word and let me listen to one side before bed. When I ripped the plastic off the two-sided album I think I was shaking with anticipation of what was to come.
As I opened the album, BAM A full picture of the stage at the end of their show, standing on risers that seemed to be ten stories high, with explosives and so much more. On the Insides of the sleeves, there were even more surprises, it was almost like Christmas. There was a picture album book with all kinds of images of Kiss, and a sleeve of kiss temporary tattoos. WOW.
Being in an older generation, we had what are called record players, which took a needle to play the vinyl album. I placed the needle on the album, and anyone who has had records can remember the static sound it made as you waited in anticipation for the song to start. All of a sudden there it was: Gene Simmons explosive voice. You wanted the best, you got the best and the hottest band in the world: Kiss. It was like thunder through my chest, and I was forever hooked.
Another great thing my mom was good at was doing Kiss make up. For years at Halloween, my mom would paint my face in Kiss make-up, and off for the treats I went.
On Christmas of 1982, I got one of the smallest gifts in size, but was bigger than life when I opened It: Tickets to my first concert to see Kiss. It was the most amazing thing I had ever seen. Anyone who has ever seen them live will tell you it’s like going to the circus, yet at the same time, I must be honest, It was kind of a disappointment. You see, two of the original members had left the band, so I had felt cheated.
In 1996, one of the biggest moments in rock history was the original line up of Kiss, who had laid their differences aside and reunited for one of the biggest world tours, selling out stadiums within hours of ticket releases. I was 28 years old, and a friend of mine surprised me with second row seats, center stage to see this amazing reunion.
It was the most amazing show I had ever seen. For the duration of that two and half hour show I felt like that 9 year old boy with his dream finally fulfilled. After the show I could not talk for three days from all the yelling and screaming, which leads me to why I share this story.
Anyone who is a Kiss fan has their favorite member. Let’s face it, they were like comic book heroes with make up and costumes. Mine was Peter Criss. It was his huge drum set that gravitated me towards him. From then on I went on to play the drums and I was pretty good, but any musician knows making it big is kinda like winning the lottery and it just wasn’t my calling.
I always felt like Peter got the short end of the stick when it came to being a member. Kind of like the little brother you kicked around. When I had decided to get a tattoo of Kiss, I wondered who I should get. For a moment I thought maybe Gene, with the blood coming out that he used for his stage act, but instead I decided to pay tribute to the one I had idolized for years and who Influenced me to be a drummer. Now, Peter Criss forever remains on my left forearm.
With my Tattoos, I can sit anytime good or bad, and can look at them and be brought back to those childhood days and to one of my dreams fulfilled. I smile knowing those memories will never fade. I do hope you enjoyed a bit of my life’s journey, and maybe in a future article I will share of another that helped me in some of my darker days.
Please don’t ever hesitate to leave a comment or thought.
Keep Rocking Your Journey,
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