You know how when you were a kid there was always that guy a few years older who was just beginning to grow a mustache and had the sweetest feathered hair? He always had a cute girl hanging around, and had the ten speed with the handle bars flipped up? Remember how he could ride wheelies forever on that thing, up and down the block, never missing a beat, looking so cool with his feathered hair blowing in the wind? Remember how you just hoped when you were older that you could maybe be half as cool as that guy? That's how I have always felt about Freddy Corbin.
I just celebrated 21 years in tattooing, and I have known Freddy for about 19 of them. I met him early on in tattooing, and have looked up to and respected him ever since. Freddy was an untouchable persona at an early age. Being a few years older than I was, and tattooing a few years ahead of me, he was the bridge in the gap between the older generation of tattooers and the younger ones like me and my fellow upstarts.
Freddy was working at Tattoo City when I got to know him, and he was part of that unstoppable force. The shop consisted of Freddy, Eddy Deutche, Dan Higgs, Igor Mortis, and of course Ed Hardy. Those were the days that changed tattooing forever. You can't do much in modern tattooing that cant be traced, directly or indirectly, to this team.
Freddy started doing these amazingly dynamic religious tattoos that he is so known for today, and I also loved his new take on tribal. Eddy Deutche pioneered the American-styled Japanese and was a front runner in the biomechanic style which now covers the bodies of so many great tattooers. I don't think what Dan Higgs needs to be discussed, although we have a great thread on him here on LST, and the same goes for Ed Hardy.
I had the pleasure of working for Fred for four years. He treated me with the love and respect that is not easily found in this world, let alone in this job, where everyone is trying to run each other over for notoriety and fame. Freddy just came to work, laughed, smiled, and did the job right, while treating everyone righteously at the same time. I have learned so much from this man in so many ways, but the most important thing that I learned from him is that a friend is hard to find and should never be taken for granted, and most of all, that I'm livin' the dream. I really am, what would my life be without this? Every once in a while I remember to let out a scream of thanks to the universe for putting me right where I am,exactly where I belong, because anywhere else would not be home. And thank you Freddy for being that truly spectacular person that you are. Anyone who has ever met you, or had the honor of being your friend, knows what a gift you are to this profession.
We did this interview in his back yard, and his son, Sonny, was kind enough to join us. It's pretty cool to see this bit of him and his life. I think it's a great interview, I hope that maybe you'll get to take away some great stuff from the heart of it.
Thanks again to Freddy, and Sonny too, for letting me upset their routine, and thank you, fellow LST'ers, for having a look-see.