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Johnny Thunders — July 15, 1952-April 23, 1991

It’s been 21 years since Johnny Thunders was found dead in a New Orleans hotel room; some say from drug-related causes while others point to foul play (his passport, clothes, and make up were gone). Known for his work with The New York Dolls and The Heartbreakers with the classic punk rock anthem as “Born […]

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Let’s Boogie on down to the Boogie Café

It was a cold, rainy November Friday evening when my Japanese friend, rock and roll and tattoo brother Kenny Shangrila took me to the Boogie Café in Yokohama. On my way from Bangkok to Chicago via Japan, I had a three-day layover in Japan where I would be hanging out with Kenny. After he had […]

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Getting inked for the first time

I hadn’t given much thought to getting a tattoo when I joined the Air Force but when I got to Howard Air Force Base in the Panama Canal Zone in September 1976, my first duty station, I had a change of heart: three months later I was ready to be inked. What brought about this […]

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Tattoo Styling with Jimmy Wong

I got my first tattoo in December 1976 when I was serving in the U.S. Air Force in Panama, but it would be over 20 years later before I would get some more ink done and another eight years before I would meet the Thailand’s legendary tattoo artist, Jimmy Wong. I wrote this a few […]

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Tattoos by Jimmy Wong — A work of art in progress

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Jimmy Wong at work

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Think before you ink in Korea?

If you are thinking about getting inked in Korea, you might want to think twice unless you want to land your tattoo artist in jail. I have often heard that tattooing is illegal in Korea, but I didn’t know that if a tattoo artist was caught they could face life imprisonment. “At 1 p.m. on […]

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Some more ink from Thailand’s tattoo guru Jimmy Wong

It’s a quiet May Friday night in Bangkok (the first time I have ever been in Thailand during the month of May) and I am back sitting in my favorite chair at Jimmy Wong’s tattoo studio.I say my favorite chair because I have spent many nights in this chair getting inked by Jimmy. Three years […]

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Jimmy Wong — Thailand’s Tattoo Legend

Without question, Southeast Asia’s most famous tattoo artist who has been leaving behind a legacy of tattoo stylings (and inflicting a little pain along the way) for over 36 years. Even if you haven’t been fortunate enough to get inked by Jimmy, you have most likely have heard about him if you are a tattoo […]

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Kenny’s new tattoo studio — Kofu City, Japan

After a cool, wild, rockin’ night at Club Doctor, a two-and-half-hour drive to Minami Alps, and a few hours of sleep Kenny and I were back on the road to Yokohama for me to get inked by Betty.Before we hit the road though, we made a brief stop in Kofu so Kenny could show me […]

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