The mainstream ubiquity of tattoos is nothing new, but it does make for some pretty hilarious/horrendous Google searches. We chatted with two local tattoo artists to see what regrettable tattoos St. Louisians are getting these days.
Iron Age Tattoo's Joseph Reincke said nothing surprises him after nineteen years of professional inking. Unsurprisingly, he's done a lot of Iron Maiden and Grateful Dead tattoos over the years. When asked if he's given any Insane Clown Posse tattoos, he rolls his eyes and nods ruefully: "lots of hatchet men." He's tried talking people out of branding themselves with the mark of the Juggalo, but said they always end up getting the tat anyway. "They're down with the clown. Anyone that wears funny pants like that is going to get bad tattoos," Reincke said.
Chris Greer, of Enigma Tattoos in the Loop, said he recently inked an eighteen-year-old kid with "Juggalo for Life" on top of his hatchet man tattoo. "He looks at it while I was doing it and said, 'Well, I hope I really like this band for a long time,'" Greer says.
Though each artist mentioned that too many words do not make great dermatological graffiti, the tattoos Greer and Reincke cited as cool were lyrics, and both were penned, (at least in part) by John Lennon. Reincke said he did Lennon's "Imagine" on a guy, and few weeks ago Greer had a client ask for "Blackbird."
A big trend Reincke seeing lately? "The treble clef-bass clef-heart thing."
Greer said he gets a lot of kids who want the same tattoo as their favorite rapper, "even if they're bad tattoos." (We're looking at you, Lloyd.) Greer said he won't give someone a face tattoo like Gucci Mane's lame ass ice cream cone unless they're already pretty well covered--"There's no coming back from that." Stars and crosses are still hugely popular (blech) proving that just because you're committing art to your body doesn't mean you have a shred of imagination.
"A lot of times things just won't translate into a tattoo. Names are a bad idea unless it's your parents or your kid's name," said Reincke. Reincke doesn't have any music-related tattoos, but Greer does: a Social Distortion chest piece, and Clutch lyrics on his back.
Greer and Reincke may have had to ink on some truly horrible stuff. But it gets so much worse: Observe, the ten worst music-related tattoos:
10. So glad my mom didn't let me get that "Future Mrs. Taylor Hanson" tattoo back in '97.
9. Mark McGrath, you bromo you. Bird tattoos? Are you an eighteen-year-old girl with an eating disorder? GTFO.
8. Not pictured: her Fall Out Boy tramp stamp (probably). I think even Panic! At the Disco would be like, oh, honey, no.
7. Juggalos are a scourge on humanity.
6. Coolio's tat packs a one-two punch: 1. It's ICP related. 2. "Jugalo" is spelled wrong.
5. Leave Britney ALONE
4. Put your Affliction shirt back on and we'll just act like this never happened.
3. MMA fighter Alan Belcher is a big Johnny Cash fan. But for some reason he had this bloated swine tattooed on his arm instead of the Man in Black.
Bebe NeuwirthMichael Jackson copping a feel on poor lil' Macaulay Caulkin. (JK Bebe, you da hottest).
1. In case you couldn't tell, this is supposed to be Metallica.
Riverfront Times works for you, and your support is essential.
Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of St. Louis and beyond.
Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.
Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep St. Louis' true free press free.