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Searching for C. J. "Danny" Danzl...

Gloomy Inks

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OK, well this is my first shot at a thread here, so I figure I'd go for something crazy that has my OCD in overdrive.

I'm sure most of you have seen the Sailor Jerry documentary. If not, to spite the car seat covers and shirts, please do. In the out takes, Mr. Owen (I do use the "Mr." quite a bit, simply out of respect) talks about C. J. "Danny" Danzl and his laying a shader down in the gutter where the ladies of the night in the house above his old Colorado Springs shop (pre WW2) dumped their "rinse pots". He took them out after a week and retouched the black fish scales that adorned his right arm. Mr. Owen was laughing about what Danzl said to him, "You see anything wrong with me?"

He was also a heck of a cook, making food during WW2 in the Merchant Marine (my Grandfather, now 91, was MM in the war as well), as well being cook (or in other stories captain) of the tugboat Danny Pazu. Oddly my Grandfather was a tugboat skipper as well. Funny how these things go.

He also worked with ABC Hank in Seattle for a while. Owen said they were "Quite a pair."

It put the hook in me, and a year or so ago I got started on some research on Danzl. I was planning just writing a blog post, but the more I've obsessed, the more I think it may become more. Not that I'm not busy with other things, both writing, tattooing, machine building (such as my machine "building" is), and working on getting a good friend broken in as well.

I spoke with Mr. G (Triangle Tattoo & Museum), Mr. Eldridge (Tattoo Archive), Madam Vyvyn Lazonga (madame-lazonga-), who learned from Danzl personally, and as well Mr. Lyle Tuttle. (Tuttle actually gave me the lead to Madam Lazonga and is a heck of a nice guy who I'd like to buy a drink or 14 for sometime)

I have yet to contact Mr. P. A. Stevens, but that will be coming as soon as I can get around to an hour or so.

Mr. Tuttle didn't have time to help me, although he has a ton 'o Danzl ephemera, including machines and flash. He's a busy man, and I respect that.

Madam Lazonga said she didn't know too much about Danzl, however I did read that he and Sailor Jerry were good friends, respected each other, and wrote one another on occasion.

Mr. Eldridge, who is a wealth of knowledge and provided me with some sound advice that I didn't take for granted at all, told me a few things. One Danzl was forced to put up a "no spitting" sign for one. Two, Danzl had a laryngectomy due to throat cancer and used a "buzzer" (funny how it all comes down to things that buzz, huh?) to talk, but it never stopped him from talking. Also when he visited conventions, he always had great shirts, wild designs, wore colored, lacquered Panama hats, and an ascot to cover the surgery.

I also found out that when Madam Lazonga left the Seattle Tattoo Emporium the social section of the local paper put a head line: Danzl in Distress.

He also suggest that I contact the NTA, and if I wanted to write a piece with cred, I needed to contact Mr. Stevens. That was invaluable advice that a younger me probably would have scoffed at. I thank my stars I'm older, more respectful, but sadly still a dope.

Mr. G was the best out of all. Funny, no big 'tude, and we had a great conversation that somehow got around to what the "old school" really means. That was a big thing for me too and it's very simple: you give respect and get it back.

From Mr. G, who along with Madam Chinchila, visited Danzl's I got a great big hunk of facts.

Danzl had learned from Percy Waters in Detroit, MI. He was a side show tattooer for a while, as well as being "Aqua Boy", hence the fish scales. Sort of pre Weeki Watchee Springs for you all in the know. He also told Mr. G never to use the term "gun", but was a gentleman about it. He wore elaborately decorated shirts, done with an ink tube with a ball point pen tip on it, the same that Mr. G used to mark his "senior 'cords" when he was in high school.

Danzl told him never to tattoo a face, nor hands, as faces distract and hands, well, people never took proper care of them. Again, another touch of the "old school". Danny was also quite the ladies man, and would bring roses or corsages for the ladies who attended the National Convention.

He also had a tank full of red bellied piranha with a sign that read, "Tattoo Removal" over the tank. He also once met Tom Waits at the lunch counter he ate at on the Pike. To the best of Mr. G's knowledge C. J. "Danny" Danzl passed away in 1989.

So, that was rather long winded, if writing can be.

Any one have any more information? Flash? A machine? Or even a tattoo? Any thing would be most helpful, and I'd thank you in advance, not that I wouldn't do it after either, on him? Please let me know, and I hope you all have enjoyed what I've picked up along the way so far.

One last thing. I tried to get a hold of Sailor Cam Cook on the phone, but the listing for his shop was a dead end. Is he still working? If so, does anyone know how I can reach him?

Again, many thanks, and I'm sure you'll read more blather from me somewhere around the ways.


Here is Danzl outside his Colorado Springs shop in the '30s or very early '40s. Note the Waters tattooing sign, and also "beer" in the upper left hand corner. Ah, the good 'ol days.


Danzl working on his wife, possibly staged? Photo reversed. He wasn't no southpaw!


Greg Irons, Danzl, and P. A. Stevens, maybe late '70s or early '80s. See why I don't work for Kodak? I can't tell you from film stock! Big thanks to Mr. Eldridge for this.


A machine made by Danzl, given as a gift to Tennesse Dave James (RIP)


Danzl's road outfit, maybe from his carny days. Note again the Waters influence; "That's Me!" Also, there is a first aid kit in there too if you look close. Now that is weird.


Possible Danzl flash


*For the full story on Danzl and health, here ya go, as only Mr. Zeke could tell it! From Baxter's Tattoo Blog.


Edited by Gloomy Inks
slooooooow brain.
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