Tag Archives: Merv Chapman

Knoxville 1986

For better or worse, tattoo conventions used to be a common meeting place for devotees of body piercing; while discretion was often necessary on the convention floor, 1 piercing fans would find community in the privacy of their convention hotel room; clothes coming off to reveal the piercings hidden from the more conservative tattoo crowd at large.

In 1986, at the Knoxville Tattoo Convention, a group of friends that included, among others, Jack Yount (not pictured), Sailor Sid Diller, T.R.A.S.H. publisher J.D., Silver Anchor’s Ed Fenster, Marv from Australia, and Emil G, did just that – enjoying each other’s company, shedding their clothes, and having a little fun. Continue reading


  1. “Since Ed Hardy had brought the subject of piercings up at the I.T.A.A. Reno Convention in 1977 (he felt, as did the overwhelming majority of Artists there that piercing did not belong at a Tattoo convention and should not be linked to tattooing. I.T.A.A. Members voted there and then not to have piercing at future conventions) it was decided on (by the suggestion of Bob Shaw) not to allow facial tattoos or piercings at the National Tattoo Conventions. This was to be a Convention to promote Tattooing and only Tattooing.”  – Source: http://runningthegauntlet-book.com/BME/jimward/20050329.html. 



I’m procrastinating. I have an article I’m overdue on for a friend’s magazine and I’m just hopelessly blocked. I know the direction I want the piece to go but I’m having trouble getting there. I was scanning photos from a 1986 tattoo convention (Knoxville, TN) to accompany the text I haven’t gotten around writing and I found this snapshot of Merv Chapman (left) and Jack Yount (right). The woman in the middle’s name is escaping me, I’ve seen her in quite a few photos from the 80s so I’m hoping I come across it on another print.

Jack loved going to tattoo conventions, shooting video and photos and hosting hotel parties for fans of heavier modifications who were often stigmatized in the tattoo community.