Tattoos; The Journey With Ink

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.

harley-quinn
Still my favorite tattoo Harley Quinn

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.

peter-criss
My dedication to Peter Criss

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,

David

 

 

 

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36 Replies to “Tattoos; The Journey With Ink”

  1. Hi David,
    Awesome walk down memory lane! Loved it!
    I never thought about how connected you’d get with tattoos. They really do tell a story, don’t they?
    You had me reminiscing too, lol.
    Thanks for the great post.
    Suzanne

    1. Hello Suzanne. Thank you for taking the time for reading my article. You do really get connected with your ink, when it can bring you to some great memories in your life. I’m really happy I could I could help you reminisce about some of your memory’s. Thank you again for visiting my website and hope you will return for future articles.
      Best Wishes,
      David

  2. Hi David,
    Thank you for sharing your tattoo story. I loved hearing about your vivid memories of your mom and grandmother.

    I’m late to the comic book world but I think Harley Quinn is an incredibly complex character and I’m inclined to agree the Batman also has an aura of mystery. I also think it’s cool that you gravitated to KISS. The band would have been so at home in Gotham.

    I remember records an some of my best childhood memories surround listening to my parents favorite albums.

    1. Hello Nicole. Thank you for taking the time to read my article. I must agree Harley is quite the complex character. I enjoy when I’m able to go back on memories and think about the great times I had with my late grandma and mom. Ya know I had never thought about that Kiss would have fit right in at Gotham and your so right about that. Thank you again for visiting my website and do hope you will return for future articles.
      Best Wishes,
      David

  3. Hello David, I enjoyed reading your post and looking at your artwork. It’s funny how much really has changed since the record player days! I was once a Kiss fan myself, with posters all over my walls.
    Thanks for sharing,
    Devara

    1. Hello Devara. Yes lots of people loved Kiss and still do I to had walls full of Kiss posters. I’m really happy you enjoyed my article and do hope you will return for future articles.
      Best Wishes,
      David

  4. What a great story!
    I got a tattoo as a teenager and I still look at it and remember my days as a teenager. Thank you so much for this fantastic article.

    1. Hello Josh. Thank you for taking the time to read my article. Yes ink can really bring you back to some great times in your life. Thank you for visiting my website and hope you will return for future articles.
      Best Wishes,
      David

  5. Wow!! You have some amazing tattoos!! It is so cool to hear the stories behind the tattoos. As a drummer myself I particularly enjoyed that you have chosen to get Peter Criss on your arm. Have you ever shown these tattoos to the band members? You should share this post with them!

    1. Hello Chris. Thank you for taking the time to read my article. Yes I had to pay tribute to The man who got me started in the drum world. I never have really given it thought about sending them to kiss, really the chance of them seeing them doubtful. Thank you again for visiting my website and do hope you return for future articles.
      Best Wishes,
      David

  6. This is great content with me having tattoos and knowing what it goes through to attain them. I love how batman is talked about in this article my favorite superhero!!!

    1. Hello Jamaar. Thank you for taking the time to read my article. I’m happy you enjoyed it and Yes Batman rocks. Thank you for visiting my website and do hope you will return for future articles.
      Best Wishes,
      David

  7. As always, your article contains a fabulous story and is a joy to read! I was a huge fan of Batman as well when I was growing up, but I tend to favor the Rouges Gallery, I was obsessed with The Scarecrow for a while. so if I had a DC tattoo it would probably be him!

    I love the story of your KISS tattoo, but I’m more of a David Bowie person myself. In my spare time, I’m putting together a Youtube playlist I’m calling David Bowie Timeline: A Life in Music. I’m putting it together chronologically starting from his very first single. At the moment I’m only up to 1986 and my playlist already has 186 songs on it! If I got a rock star tattoo it’d definitely be Bowie!

    1. Hello Khiori. Thank you for taking the time to read my article and thank you for the kind words. I’m happy you enjoy reading them. The scarecrow was pretty cool. David Bowie is awesome and sad we had to lose him. I loved him in the movie the labyrinth. I must say your a dedicated fan with your playlist and a Bowie tat would rock. Thank you again for visiting my website and hope you will continue to return for future articles.
      Best Wishes,
      David

  8. Hi David, what an absolutely wonderful story of your childhood. You really had me hooked and you should definitely tell more as I’m sure we would all be very interested.

    Since reading your posts I have really started to see tattoo’s in a different light… honestly. I can really get into the thinking that goes behind getting a tattoo on your body; after all it’s going to be there for life so it’s not a decision to be taken lightly.

    It’s really wonderful that you have some great childhood memories from back in a time when you could do all the things kids should be doing without any worries or fears.

    I was born in 1975 but I do remember my first record (they were just about still around lol), it was, OMG, Jason and Kylie – ‘Especially for you’! Actually makes me smile thinking about it now. Jeeze, I’m glad I didn’t get that tattoo though!! Ha ha.

    Keep up your awesome work and stories please 🙂

    1. Hello Stefanie. Thank for taking the time to read my article. I’m very happy you enjoyed sharing some of my childhood memories. I was just sharing last night with my 12 year old daughter about when we could just run the neighborhood with no fear of the things that happen today.
      It makes me sad kids today don’t have the type of childhood I once had. Tattoos can be great memories and looking at them and being able to go back to those wonderful memories is something I’ll cherish my whole life. I am so glad to you didn’t get that inked on you. Lol. Thank you again for visiting my website and do hope you will return for future articles.
      Best Wishes,
      David

  9. First off I don’t have any tattoos at all but I came across your site and was intrigued so much that I had to check it out.

    What stopped me from getting started with tattoos was my father when I was growing up. You see, I came home after school one day with a couple of those transfers that you used to be able to get, and I kept them hidden just in case I got a clip around the ear.

    Anyway, my father saw them and gave me a right telling off which sort of stuck, otherwise I might have ended up getting my first tattoo.

    Shortly after school, I joined the forces and sort of forgot about that phase. Mind you in those days compared to this current day tattoos were sort of boring although we didn’t know it then, but I love what real artists can produce in the way of portraits and that is what I call a skill and a half.

    Anyway back to Harley and her leather pants and corset, sorry Batman you wouldn’t get a look in with me either!

    I guess one thing that never struck me and really only now reading your journey, is that tattoos when done right, you have your own biography on your body, which is pretty awesome.

    Thanks for sharing a portion of your journey, I really enjoyed it.

    1. Hello Mick. Thank you for taking the time to read my article. I’m really happy you enjoyed sharing a part of my journey. I think it’s safe to say we may be close in age and yes Parents were not about letting their kids get inked mine said when your 18 you can get one. I do agree that they were a bit boring back then.
      Batman did have to take a back seat to Harley when it came to getting that ink done but I do have plans on adding batman in the near future.
      Thank you also for sharing with me a bit of your memories I really enjoyed it. Thank you again for visiting my website and do hope you will return for future articles.
      Best Wishes,
      David

  10. Memories, experiences and living life make us what we are. They also reflect on what we do at work or leisure. It was great to read your stories and memories and how they’ve influenced you through your life. Thanks a lot.

    1. Hello Kari. Thank you for taking the time to read my article. I’m happy you enjoyed reading a bit of my memories and agree with you they help define who we are in life. Thank you again for visiting my website and hope you will return for future articles.
      Best Wishes,
      David

  11. Hello!

    I LOVE BATMAN! AND KISS!

    Thank you for sharing these stories, I grew up listening to Kiss and reading Batman comic books. My father is a huge Kiss fan, also an avid comic book collector.
    Harley Quinn has always been one of my favourite characters as well.
    My tattoo journey is new, at 34 years old I finally got my first tattoo. I chose Stitch, from Lilo and Stitch as the Disney story has always had a special place in my heart. Ohana means family and family means nobody gets left behind. My family is the most important thing in my life, and if you’ve been welcomed into my life as a family member you will always be family. No matter how rough the times get between us, you are always family.
    My next tattoo I will choose something that is very near and dear to my heart as well. I choose things that remind me of a lesson, a person, or a value I hold dearly.
    Thank you so much for sharing your story!

    1. Hello Brianne. Thank you for taking the time to read my article. I love it when I hear others how they grew up with Kiss and Batman I could talk on those subjects for Hrs. I really enjoyed reading about your tats and what they mean to you. And yes family should be everything. I also look forward to hearing about your next tattoo. Thank you again for visiting my website and hope you will return for future articles.
      Best Wishes,
      David

  12. Hey!

    I love that your tattooes are all meaningful.

    I especially connected with this post because I love batman and super heroes very much. And of course, I have a huge crush on Harley Quinn.

    I do have a question for you.

    How badly does a tattoo on your pec feel do you imagine? And, are all tattoos really expensive?

    Russell

    1. Hello Russell. Thank you for taking the time to read my article. The pec can be painful if it’s bony Not all tattoos are expensive it all depends what you get buy size, detail colors all that is taken into account. I’m really happy you connected with my article and yes Harley Quinn is a crush for a lot of guys. Thank you for visiting my website and do hope you will return for future articles.
      Best Wishes,
      David

  13. David, another great article. Until I read this article, I guess I just never realized how deeply tattoos can personally mean to people. The stories that you share, is amazing. The whole time I was reading, I felt like I was right there with you on Halloween with your perfectly done Kiss makeup (and their makeup was ALWAYS flawless so the fact your mother could mimic that is totally amazing to me!) and batman costume.

    After reading your article, it helps me realize and understand just why people go to such great lengths to obtain their tattoos (4.5 hours for a tattoo is total commitment). I truly get it. As you have said in this article, it takes you back to times in your life and having the tattoo is something you will have with you forever. Now, I get it.

    Thank you for taking me into your childhood and explaining the meaning behind your tattoos. The fact you share such a detailed part of your youth with me is significant and I greatly appreciate it.

    Once again, thank you, thank you for such a personal article. Keep up the great work, David.

    You ROCK!

    Keep it going.

    Regards,
    Yvette

    1. Hello Yvette. Thank you for taking the time to read my article and for your very kind words. Tattoos really can bring you to some really great memory’s and something yes I’ll carry forever. My mom yes was able to help me live out my childhood fantasies through her talents. I am deeply touched I was able to bring you into a couple of my memories that truly mean so much to me. Thank you again for visiting my website and hope you will return for future articles.
      Best Wishes,
      David

  14. Hi David. I was an Entertainer/ Singer-Songwriter for 25 years and I LOVE Kiss- always had this fantasy that I would play an electric guitar and be a heavy duty rock star lol, but I was born to Sing Country Rock and Blues. This didn’t stop me loving those great bands and I love your memories of KISS- Amazing musicians and showmen
    Love this post

    1. Hello Vicki. Thank you for taking the time to read my article. Wow 25 years of show biz that’s so awesome. Kiss rocks they were a band that changed rock forever and they believe in giving the show they always dreamed of going to. I’m so happy you enjoyed my memories and do hope you will return for future articles.
      Best Wishes,
      David

  15. David, you are a brilliant author.
    It feels like we just sitting there with a coffee and having a chat.
    Your choice of tattoos have great meaning and memories, in the same way I look at photos.
    Tattoos are so artistic, creative, unique, and freedom to express oneself.
    This world needs more people to free themselves and express life authentically through their eyes.
    I believe you do this!!!

    1. Hello Diane. Thank you for taking the time to read my article and for the kind words. My tattoos yes have a lot of meaning and I’m able to cherish those each time I look at them. I agree people should express themselves and be unique and authentic. Thank you so much for visiting my website and do hope you will return for future articles.
      Best Wishes,
      David

  16. When I go into the tattoo world it seems to me that it can have great significance especially when it concerns churning up one’s childhood memory, and you have shown that in your article.

    The past is always sweet because it’s no longer here, and you know what? Everyone treats the past memories with a dominating focus so dear and killing to the soul.

    Now, it doesn’t matter whether one’s hero is Batman or the Harley Quinn, your tattoo memory in the imagery world of the Kiss Rock Band has overshadowed the rest.

    Great article.
    All the best.

    1. Hello H Phomrong. Thank you for taking the time to read my article. The tattoo can always bring you to a place of ones past and it can be a very memorable time and yes for me I can go back and be that little boy anytime I want. Thank you so much for visiting my website and do hope you will return for future articles.
      Best Wishes,
      David

  17. Thanks for the read and sharing some of your personal stories in an intimate way. I’ve always heard that there is a story behind ever tattoo. Great read thanks for sharing it.

    1. Hello Donald. Thank you for taking the time to read my article and very happy you enjoyed it. Yes most tattoos do have a story to them. Thank you so much for visiting my website and do hope you will return for future articles.
      Best Wishes,
      David

  18. Hi David!

    It’s funny that you have tattoos with so much meaning behind them. That is how I would come up with mine too. Most were based on childhood memories, heroes, and the like.

    My first tattoo was the Mockturtle from Alice and Wonderland. It was a character that spoke to me at a young age as that book was (and still is) one of my all-time favorites.

    On the subject of heroes. Batman is my favorite too. I always related to him and admired him because he was the only superhero at the time that had no superpowers. He was this cross between Sherlock Holmes and Bruce Lee. I crushed on him for years.

    Through him, Catwoman was my idol. She was fierce, smart, independent, and beautiful. And she had a whip. She probably influenced my style pretty early on as I headed into the goth scene almost naturally.

    But back to tattoos, I think the only way to get a tattoo is for it to have that kind of meaning to it. Turn the art on your body into a story about you. I once wanted to get a tattoo on my arm covered up as it was something that meant a lot to me once but didn’t anymore later in life. That’s how I found out most artists aren’t willing to cover up another artist’s work. Everyone I asked would outright refuse to.

    I was getting some work on my leg done and mentioned it to the tattoo artist at the time to see if he’d be willing to cover it with something else. He seemed willing to do it but he was resistant to the idea. He said,”This is a memory about you. Even if it doesn’t hold the same meaning that it used to it is a story in your life. Are you really sure you want to cover that up?”

    I told him that I would think about it and give him a call if I decided to do it anyways. I never did.

    Thanks for sharing some of your stories. It’s always a pleasure to read your posts. And like you, I enjoy hearing about the meaning behind other people’s tattoos. It’s like a photo album on the skin.

    Best, Tina

    1. Hello Tina. Thank you for taking the time to read my article. I must agree Batman rocks and always seemed to be the toughest of super heroes even without super powers. I agree tattoos should tell your story and have meaning, but there are those that just get something they might like and that’s ok too. I wouldn’t cover your tat it does tell about a time in your life and done the road you may regret getting it covered. Thank you so much for visiting my website and do hope you will return for future articles.
      Best Wishes,
      David

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