Tag Archives: Facial Tattoo

Mad Hatters: Face

During the mid 1990s I was occasionally contracted to attend tattoo conventions on behalf of bmezine.com;  while content was being contributed to the website, BME’s editor Shannon Larratt figured that targeted content- particularly the kind that was often photographed in hotel rooms on a more discrete section of the modification community- would be worth the cost of plane tickets, hotel rooms and an incredibly humble per diem.

This being the age before digital cameras were in common usage, all he asked was that I try to get at least two rolls of film per event. Forty-eight images. Before it was a community driven site (a process which started with the password wall on BME/extreme and took hold with the creation of IAM.BME in 2000) the acquisition of content was king at BME; if people didn’t have dynamic images to view, they’d move along. Having strong photos to hook viewers into sticking around long enough to encourage them to share their own was a major focus of the boom-years of the site.

This photo was taken on one of those sponsored trips, on the convention floor at the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party in Portland, Maine. At the time, facial tattoos and body piercing were frowned upon at some conventions, so a gentleman like this was a welcome sight.

 

The Illustrated Man

michaelwilsonsacreddebris

One of the most recognizable faces from the 1980s tattoo scene belonged to performer Michael Wilson who joined iconic personalities like Fakir Musafar, Hanky Panky, Anton LaVey and a host of others in RE/Search Publications seminal 1989 book Modern Primitives. He appeared in the Bruce Springsteen video for the song ‘Tunnel of Love’ and performed for the legendary Coney Island Sideshow.

Wilson, who got his first tattoo at the age of 13, passed away at the age of 44. This photograph dates back to the mid 1980s and comes from the collection of Jack Yount.

”He said in his dreams, he had no tattoos.”   1