For this round of The Three Questions I decided to pull from some of the wealth of stories and tattoos of one of LST's first LSTers Hogg/Ross. Though we both live in the Bay Area I never got to meet Ross until at the Blackheart Pre-party for last years State of Grace Tattoo Convention and must say he's one nice guy. He has become a regular on the site and we are very grateful for him being a part of this project.
Through the site I have gotten to know him and the riches that he brings to tattooing as a customer. His tattoos and respect for tattooing and tattooers is top notch. He has been tattooed by a list of tattooers that makes my jaw drop then you see the tattoos and continue to be impressed. I got to watch the Tim Lehi tigers take shape on his ribs with him sitting impressively. Here is Hogg's LST profile if you wish to take a look at his tattoos. Thanks again for doing The Three Questions, being a part of the site and here they are:
1) The who, what, when, where, and why of your first tattoo? Picture? I got my first tattoo in March of 1992. I was living in Austin and going to the University of Texas. I had some friends with tons of tattoos from Dave Lum, and while I thought theirs were cool, I knew that Lum's style wasn't for me. But they told me that Rollo (Mike Malone) was coming to town, as he did roughly once a year back then, so I decided to get my first tattoos from him.
I called him at China Sea in Honolulu and set up the appointment. He told me that he'd be staying at the Rodeway Inn and that he'd be tattooing me in his hotel room. When I got there, he had an open suitcase on the bed filled with machines, presumably for sale to local tattooers. Those of you who were fortunate enough to spend any time around Rollo will know what I mean when I say I immediately picked up on his gruff but friendly (and dryly hilarious) nature.
I was just shy of my 21st birthday, which means that I knew absolutely nothing. And remember: this was pre-Internet (aka The Dark Ages), so my points of reference were few and far between. However, I did have a dog-eared copy of Modern Primitives, which I brought with me to the appointment. I turned to Hanky Panky's section and pointed out the Borneo rosettes I wanted--but I told him that I wanted them in green. That's right, folks: I was lucky enough to get tattooed by one of the premier practitioners of Americana tattooing, and here I was asking him for tribal tattoos. In green.
To his credit, he didn't talk shit to me. He did, however, talk down on my book, saying that he didn't appreciate that it associated tattooing with "this kind of shit," turning to the page of the guy with a bifurcated and pierced penis. He then went on to tell me some Sailor Sid stories over the course of putting a rosette on each arm. Afterwards, he was kind enough to take a pic with me, each of us holding one side of this hand-painted China Sea sign.
A few years ago, I was getting tattooed by Rollo's old friend Chris Trevino. He was reworking some wind bars he'd done years before and asked me if he could re-outline Rollo's tattoos. He said that he and Rollo were close, and that Rollo would approve, so I agreed. Over the years, I've considered getting them filled with black, but I've had them for almost 20 years now, and they were my first. I've covered other tattoos, but I think I'll leave these alone. Thanks, Rollo.
2) The who, what, when, where, and why of your latest tattoo? Picture? I just realized that I've come full-circle, as my most recent tattoos were sort of like English rosettes, done by Stuart Cripwell of Spider Murphy's in San Rafael.
3) The last band, album, and song you listened to? I just worked out in my basement and listened to the album "Dirty Money" by UGK. The last song I listened to was "Wood Wheel" by UGK.