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Tattoo You: Music Ink : Slideshow

Monday, January 09, 2012


From Whutsiznaim: "About a year ago I got an image of a cassette tape tattooed on my arm by the great JK5 himself. I grew up as a die-hard B-Boy/hip-hop head in the '80s and '90s, and spent about 20 years of my life pursuing a career as a rapper, until I got fed up with the nonsensical world that is the music industry (book coming hopefully sooner than later).  The tattoo is a memorial to good music and the format in which it was available. RIP to good music, specifically good hip hop music, and RIP the cassette tape and the hours we all spent performing surgery with scotch tape and yellow pencils, to ensure we'd never lose the soundtracks to our young lives."

Eighth note

From Richele: "This is my music ink. I got it on my 18th birthday three years ago. Music has played a huge role in my life as both a singer and a fan, so an 8th note was the perfect symbol for something with which I felt connected on such a deep level. To this day I absolutely love my tatt. The only complaint I would make is that I wish I could see it for myself a little more often."


Submitted by TUBA{{FReSH}}: "I've had my tattoo about a year and a half now. Got it in September 2010 as soon as I graduated from 'music school.' I love it. It is the only tattoo I have. I figured since I've been playing the tuba for over half of my lifetime, I couldn't go wrong. It reminds me to work hard and keep my eyes on the prize. It also just celebrates my love for music and the tuba."



"Tennesee Waltz"

Submitted by Erin

Music notation

Submitted by Danielle in Hell's Kitchen: "I've been a musician since I was a child. My favorite musical notation is sforzando, which means 'forcefully.' So, you could translate this tattoo to mean 'love music forcefully!' And I do!"

My Wedding Song

Submitted by Melinda in New Jersey: "This is the piano music from my wedding song, 'I'll Catch You' by The Get Up Kids. I got it around the time of my engagement, about six and a half years ago. It had always been our song, but I made the commitment to always hold it close to my heart with our engagement. My husband and I just celebrated our five-year wedding anniversary in October and this is still one of my favorite tattoos! I get compliments on it all the time and often get questions whether or not the music is 'playable' which it definitely is."

"Imagine" Waveform

Submitted by Gabriel in San Francisco: "It is a representation of a digital waveform based on the first four bars of the chorus of 'Imagine' by John Lennon. I wanted a waveform on my arm to represent my commitment to being a sound engineer. I picked this song for three reasons: One, it's my mom's favorite. Two, it doesn't go out of style. And three, if aliens find my preserved body in a million years, they will decode my tattoo and know our ancient civilization was a peaceful one. (Silly, I know.)

Lisa's Bouncing Souls Tatt

Our on-air guest Bryan Kienlen plays bass in The Bouncing Souls, a punk band that has inspired hundreds of fan tattoos. We received images of several, including this one from Lisa.

Flawed, Yet Beloved

Submitted by Jo in Kitchener, Ontario: "If you look closely at my Bouncing Souls tattoo you can see that the left hand has a gap in it. I brought the 'Maniacal Laughter' album into the tattoo artist and told him what I wanted was on the back -- but not to include the barb wire that went through it. So he traced it exactly, and I found out later that he never bothered to fill the knuckle in. I'm 27 now and I still love it, just like The Souls."



Bill's Bouncing Souls Tatts (1 of 3)

Submitted by Bill: "Here are a few tattoos in honor of the Bouncing Souls specifically. One done by Bryan Kienlen [the band's bassist and Soundcheck's on-air guest]."

Bill's Bouncing Souls Tatts (2 of 3)
Bill's Bouncing Souls Tatts (3 of 3)
Dave Matthews Band

Submitted by Brittany via Twitter: "These are Dave Matthews Band logos that I altered a bit and put together."

Social Distortion

Submitted by Darrin in Palmerston, Ontario: "This is my Social Distortion tattoo, which I've had for a few years now. I have always loved the band. I think their music is amazing. I couldn't think of a better way to show my support for the band. Social D has been a big part of my life in my 28 years, and I can't see that changing ever!"

Cover of Bad Religion album "Suffer"

Submitted by Crash in Chicago, who grew up in a small town in Michigan: "'Thrasher' magazine, when I could get it, solidified my love for punk rock, skateboarding, graffiti and tattoos. One image -- the cover of Bad Religion's album "Suffer" -- appeared in mailorder ads, on T-shirts and stickers. It took my breath away. I'd seek the image out, and stare at it forever, knowing what it felt like to be that kid, on fire with rage, coming to burn down the whole &*&%ing block. And I hadn't even heard the album yet! I swore I'd get it tattooed some day."

Gogol Bordello

Christina posted this on our Facebook page: "This is my Gogol Bordello slingshot tattoo. My friend is an apprentice for Studio Rockstar in Grand Junction, Colo. She surprised me with this tattoo for my birthday. I absolutely love it."

The Black Flag Bars

Chris from Detroit: "Barred For Life is now a book about the communal idea of thousands of people tattooed with the Black Flag Bars logo. The band's name is usually not included with the bars because it is not just a 'fan' tattoo. The tatt usually means that the wearer was part of the American hardcore movement. We were there ... a fan, band member, zine publisher, etc. The D.I.Y. ethic of hardcore punk carries with most of us and I feel that is the most important meaning of the tattoo. Most of us have created something ourselves to be left behind. WE have left our mark."

Anti-Flag, Plus Peace

Submitted by Erica in Reno: "I've had this one for about 3 years now and still love it. It's the "gunstar" symbol that the band Anti-Flag uses as their symbol and uses to represent anti-militarism. I added the red peace symbol in the middle because it complements the idea."

Inspired By Muse (The Band)

Submitted by Michelle in Queens: "On my upper left arm, I have a recreated piece by an artist called Jasper Goodall. He did the album art for one of my favorite bands, Muse. And underneath, it says 'Problematique' which is from my favorite Muse song 'Map of the Problematique.' The camera above it is just an outline of my first digital SLR. I'm a professional photographer, specializing in live music/band photography."

My Chemical Romance

Submitted by Leah: "The art is from My Chemical Romance's 'Welcome to the Black Parade.' Bryan [Kienlen] did it on my arm about a year and a half ago. I love it."

H20 Lyric

"This is a line from 'What Happened?' by H2O. I got it in March of 2010. Music has always been one of the only things that I could trust and count on no matter what. The line 'The reason I scream is a feeling inside' just answers the question why I love music and why I am front and center screaming my lungs out at every show that I go to. There is nothing like going to a show and forgetting about life for a few hours and just letting everything out."

Alkaline Trio

We received two images of tattoos inspired by the band Alkaline Trio. This was submitted by Kelli in Lexington, Ky. "Alkaline Trio's music has really helped me through some rough times in recent years, and I truly admire what they do. So, of course, my first tattoo had to be a tribute to them."

Alkaline Trio Signatures

Christopher submitted our other Alkaline Trio tattoo: "My wife and I are huge fans of the band. This has, of course, spread to our four children. A couple years ago, before a show in St. Petersburg, Fla., I promised my kids that if we met them, I’d have them sign my body and then get it inked on. They didn’t believe me."

A Word From Saratoga Schaefer

A submission from John's daughter Saratoga: "I have six tattoos, and two of them have musical references. I have a treble clef on my wrist. Throughout the years, I've dabbled in different instruments and music has played a huge role in my life. The second tattoo is of lyrics from the Neil Young song "Hey Hey, My My" on my side. The quote reads 'It's better to burn out than to fade away.' It was one of the songs my dad used to sing to me and my sister on the guitar at bedtime. I take them to mean live every day to the fullest and burn your brightest. It's better to make an impact than to slowly disappear into nothingness."