I can’t even remember when i got my first tattoo… late 60’s or very early 70’s. Tattooing was not yet the accepted art form it is today. The tattoo parlor I went to for my first ink, was over the Greyhound Bus station on Seventh street in San Francisco. Lyle Tuttle’s place it was. You walked up this dark flight of stairs the walls of which were covered with flash… the pictures you might choose from for your next tattoo. Back in those days, tattoos set you apart from non-inkers… and immediately gave you entre to brothers and sisters of the ink.

My first tattoo was a little Aztec stamp on my back. Over the years I have been tattooed by Lyle Tuttle, and shortly thereafter Pat Martynuik gave me my rose on my right arm. Lyle did another Mayan motif eagle on my left arm and shortly thereafter I met Ed Hardy. Ed Hardy surrounded my Tuttle eagle with a serpent and then did a magnificent back piece, both for my ex-wife Margareta, and myself. I was having my back done when Elvis died. Who could forget that? Bob Roberts inked a moon eyed skull for me about that time and also played some sax with Hot Tuna. I will always remember hanging out with the guys and gals down on Mission St. at Ed Hardy’s Tattoo City. What a world. You start getting tattoos and you inherit a bunch of new friends whether you like it or not. Cool!

So my lovely Vanessa (herself well inked) met this cool guy, Rich Thomas. Rich is a tattooist himself who makes and sells tattoo gear to the world out of his Bicknee Tattoo Supply Company in Bidwell, Ohio… down by Gallipolis. Rich has an unbelievable collection of valuable flash, ancient and modern. If you like skin art, you’re going to love this stuff. As a skin art fan, when I heard about Rich’s collection, I drove down to Bidwell to check it out for myself… incomparable. When I heard about his kickstarter program, I signed on. Check this out:

The Ohio Tattoo Museum is such a cool place and it’s essentially right in our back yard. Check out this great Kickstarter opportunity. It will help with the reincarnation of a successful gallery into an all-new, bigger location. By helping them thru Kickstarter, it will help create an entirely self-sufficient, patron-backed space that is not only visually stimulating, but also interactive. Another benefit to patron involvement is the opportunity and availability to share access to archival materials and information for patrons and for those conducting their own research.
There are no real risks in creating the new space. The museum already exists, in a smaller venue. This new space allows them to not only expand the visibility of their permanent collection, but to bring in new, ever-changing exhibits. Much appreciate anything you can do to help.


There’s some really cool video and some great stories and pictures.

It’s got me to thinking about getting some more ink… something really traditional is starting to get me fired up. Well, we’ll see and I’ll keep you posted. Until then… there’s two kinds of people in this world… people with tattoos… and the rest…

Good times!


  1. Comment made on July 7, 2018 by mark p hill

    I got a tattoo from Tuttle in 1968. I remember used needles sitting in a bottle of of some kind of liquid. I found out later in life that I had been infected with Hep C. I have always wondered if the source of that disease was when I got that tattoo.

  2. Comment made on March 16, 2015 by Hogan

    Hey Jorma,
    I showed my oldest daughter Amber your blog and she was in awe that you had ink done by Ed Hardy he’s the man….she has 15 tats and looking to get another piece done..in fact all my children have ink, including Mom, they are all grown and make their own choices..to each their own I guess.
    Safe travels

  3. Comment made on March 13, 2015 by Steve

    He described in great detail about the 2 sets of needles sitting in “clean” and “dirty” water, and all the off colored stains on the wall. While having his work done and watching the guy take the needle out of the canister and shaking it behind him Greg realized where the spatter had come from-it was the watered down blood out of the canister the needles were soaking in. Not sure if that nails the source of the Hep C but sure makes a great argument for it!

  4. Comment made on March 9, 2015 by andriy

    Oh hoo, she reads this and says now autoclave is not enough for her.
    She does not get the manicure and pedicure before she dust with swiffer and wipe with the lysol. This is real but still is funny.

  5. Comment made on March 9, 2015 by andriy

    To make sure everybody know that she was working and pay her bills at that year.
    No parents but she had choices. She makes the choice because she can do it and not be forced by anybody to do it. This is a personal political statement for her to have choice.

  6. Comment made on March 9, 2015 by andriy

    Jorma, my friend has a small tattoo on a place where it can not be seen. She has it when she was 16 years. No disease from it. Now is 40 years after the time of it. Still no disease because of it. @Jorma

  7. Comment made on March 9, 2015 by Steve

    I believe Greg Allman has pretty much decided he got Hep C in San fran when getting a tattoo. Don’t know if it was Tuttle’s though. I knew guys in the Navy from Treasure Island used to go there as well….

    • Comment made on March 9, 2015 by Jorma

      I’ve been told there’s a number of ways to get Hepatitis C… I guess a dirty tattoo needle might be one of the although I personally have never met someone who contracted the disease that way. I realize that life is a crapshoot… but I would be suspicious of any tattoo parlor who didn’t autoclave their gear.

  8. Comment made on March 9, 2015 by Andriy

    @John B Yes I’m seeing that concert on the special video. It was a long time ago. I Learn history of this music. We are listening to candy man now,back to. Hot tuna!

  9. Comment made on March 9, 2015 by John B

    I saw The Clash open for the Who at JFK stadium .

  10. Comment made on March 9, 2015 by Steve Comeau

    Great timing. It just so happens that I made an appointment with my local tattoo artist to talk about my next piece. Then I read this blog posting.

    I will support the Ohio Tattoo Museum kickstarter and will pass the word on…

  11. Comment made on March 9, 2015 by Andriy

    Mr. Hamneggs is a great father, rock the casbah with his son! Jorma is a great father he teaches his son to play guitar and takes his son to travel with him. Today is. Hot tuna Monday and the ladies are here, ten today. We are rocking them with. Hot tuna music! Picture in your mind these ten ladies rocking with hot tuna music!

  12. Comment made on March 9, 2015 by mark kran

    Got me thinking about the late great Huggy Bear in Brooklyn and all the good times just hanging out in the shop, especially after hours, although knowing what I know now, I would have cut out some of the other late night activities. I met the most interesting people there and it certainly was one of my favorite places. Its funny, its been a very long time since my last work, and I have been getting the urge as of late for some new ink, although as soon as the needle hits, it all comes flooding back a unique yet compelling feeling. I was discussing this with my Girlfriend on the way to your show in Phoenixville, and I have been thinking about getting a Hamsa [The eye in the Hand]. Anyhow thanks for a great show, I have simple tastes and a weekend road trip with Donna and a show, doesn’t get any better than that

  13. Comment made on March 9, 2015 by Hamneggs

    My son has the cover of the first Clash album on his side. When he told me he was getting it I questioned putting the Union Jack on his body – happily he has the green 4 train circle put on instead uptown, Bronx ,Woodlawn. Happy dad! Can’t get him to see you but we did get a Joe Strummer show in Brooklyn.
    Love All Ways

  14. Comment made on March 9, 2015 by Fillmore Sound Man

    I have tattoos from Bob Roberts and Ed Hardy too. I never knew you got tattooed at Picture Machine by Pat. Curios rious how that classic back piece of yours has held up over the years? Everytime I see you, I forget to ask. Ed Hardy has retired. But Buffalo Bob Roberts is still working at his shop in Los Angeles. Good tattoos is good thinkin’…

  15. Comment made on March 9, 2015 by DennisK

    I was fortunately able to see both SOPAC and Newton shows. I want to says thanks to Jorma and Barry for some amazing tunes. I really appreciate and enjoy the new songs. I was mesmerized by the current arrangements of the classics. Hats off to Myron for having the sound totally dialed in. Special thanks to Phil!
    I really thought it was cool to chat with Barry in the lobby. You guys rocked the house both nights!

    I will be tuned in to WNTI to hear the interview in Hackettstown at 4:00 on Monday with Spider Glenn. Safe travels and come back soon.

  16. Comment made on March 8, 2015 by mike higgins

    great concert tonight at the Newton Theatre,great show Jorma and Barry ,…first row on yyour left,Fantastic,first time I saw you Acoustic!!!!!!!

  17. Comment made on March 8, 2015 by cyndy consentino

    Dear Jorma,

    Hmmmm….. should I get another tatt when I come out to FPR to see you and Jack???

  18. Comment made on March 8, 2015 by Jim T

    Is it a dragon tattoo on your right hand ?

  19. Comment made on March 8, 2015 by bob b.

    I’m part of the rest. No thanks for me….

  20. Comment made on March 8, 2015 by richu

    Just curious.When your son comes over next time will he be going with you for some ink?

    These are the things that that really eat at me.

    • Comment made on March 9, 2015 by Jorma

      Actually, I got to thinking about this. Why would I take a seventeen year old kid to get a tattoo and why would these things eat at you? I know I’m old fashioned in these modern times, but in my opinion these are adult decisions to be made by adults who are paying their own bills.

      Just sayin’

    • Comment made on March 9, 2015 by Jorma

      My son is is own man… he’s not into tattoos and I don’t proselytize my children… or anyone else for that matter.

  21. Comment made on March 8, 2015 by Dave Rao

    Lyle was the Godfather. I worked with Rick Turner at Alembic but now I’m next door in West Virginia. Was wondering..Did you pass through Elkins last year? You were walking out of Kroger to five other bikes and one on a trailer. Looked just like you..Ohio plates. We got the same gold tooth. Croz tweeted about you recently. See ya this summer. Taking sons to Skatetopia..just up the road from you. Later.

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