1001 Tattoo Facts 241-260—Superman, Gladiators and The Spice Girls
By Paul Sayce
241. Damon Albarn (1968-) the lead singer of Brit pop group Blur proved his love for his mother by having a rose with scroll tattoo, with Mum written in it, during the 1990s.
242. The classic British comedy film Carry on Regardless featured a boxing match, with one of the boxers being heavily tattooed. Perhaps this fact doesn’t mean a lot in this day and age, but to see someone with tattoos in a British film or indeed see anything with tattooing from Great Britain in the ’60s was a very rare thing.
243. The “Superman” TV series (1990s), from the U.S.A., saw a woman talking to the Man of Steel and asking him if he had a tattoo? We don’t know if Superman could, really, for how would you get the needles in?
244. The Two Ronnies, the British comedy duo, once did a TV special to celebrate the fact that they had been on television for the past twenty-five years and sang a song about a tattooed lady in this hour-long show.
245. In the feature film Dying Young starring Julia Roberts (1967-), you can see a Chinese symbol tattoo that she has tattooed on her shoulder. She had this tattoo done when she was going to marry Kiefer Sutherland (1966-), in which Kiefer reciprocated in by having the same tattoo done. Of course, they never did get married, not to each other anyway. Still, it didn’t really matter as it did not stop Julia from winning an Oscar for Erin Brockovich, in 2000 or becoming one of the world’s highest-paid movie stars. Kiefer went onto star in the very popular TV show “24” and won a Golden Globe for best drama series, playing Jack Bauer.
246. At the height of their fame, the British female pop group Spice Girls seemed to have had it all, number one records, sell-out concerts, starring in their own feature film (Spice World-1998) and millions of fans, but even though today the girls are all doing their own thing, they do all have one thing in common: they are all tattooed. Here’s the list, as of 2005: Melanie Brown (1975-) (“Scary Spice”) has a tribal bird on the top of her right arm, Chinese writing on her stomach, a black dragon on her left shoulder, a solid-black tribal piece on her backside, a phoenix on her upper arm and a small love heart on her right buttock. Melanie Chisholm (1974-) (“Sporty Spice”) has Chinese writing just above a Celtic armband on her right arm, a Japanese lotus flower on her lower back, a phoenix top of her back, the word “Angel” written on her stomach, a Celtic cross on the top of left arm, Tibetan lettering on her lower back (just above the lotus) and on inside of her wrists, a dragon on her lower right leg and a star tattooed on her right hand . Geri Halliwell (1972-) (“Ginger Spice”) has a black panther tattoo at the bottom of her back and a star design tattooed at the top of her back. Victoria Adams (now Beckham) (1974-) (“Posh Spice”) has DB tattooed on the inside of her left wrist and a three-star design tattooed on her lower back.Emma Bunton (1976-) (“Baby Spice”) has the word “Baby” tattooed on her stomach and a Japanese kanjion her lower back
247. Peter Storey, Watford Football Clubs (in 1996) Lottery co-ordinator showed his love for his team by having a portrait of his club’s president tattooed on his thigh. The portrait, of course, being that of Sir Elton John, CBE (1947-).
248. Wolverhampton Wanderers football star Steve Bull once signed his signature under his tattooed portrait, which fan Keith Nicholls already had tattooed on his leg. Keith later had Steve’s autograph etched on, to complete the tattoo. Bull was an England International and played most of his career for Midland Club, which in today’s English soccer scene is a very rare feat indeed.
249. National Geographic TV once ran an advert in New Zealand to promote the channel by having some of the world’s leading painters displaying and showing their works. It was done in way to show each painting one at a time, all wonderfully framed. we had a Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890) Paul Cezanne (1839-1906) and a Paul Gauguin (1848-1903) all seen via a frame every couple of seconds, until a Japanese-styled picture came into view. All of a sudden it moved and walked away from the camera. It was a tattoo.
250. Star of the now defunct “Gladiators” TV game show (English version) Nikki Diamond, who went by the name Scorpio, once sported the wears of Oriental designer ‘ichiko Kosmino’at ‘London’s Fashion Week, where, to complete the look, Nikki had painted-on tattoos, on her left arm and breast, of a (very nice) dragon and flower design to enhance and show off the Kosmino’ clothing line.
251. Mark Owen of Take That,once the favourite boy band of British girls throughout the U.K., used to visit hospitals up and down the country to cheer up fans. On one such occasion, he went on a mission to the Bristol Children’s Hospital where he gave gifts and autographs to a lot of happy youngsters. He also showed off his Dolphin tattoo (on his stomach) to Louise Sidwick, who was said to have been one of bands (and Mark’s) biggest fans.
252. Northern Ireland had its own tattoo show entitled “Skin Art Ireland,” and drew tattoo artists and fans from as far afield as the USA and all over Europe to attend the two day convention. Considered small (the environmental health people only would allow eleven working tattooing booths) by some, Skin Art Ireland ran for five years, with no trouble whatsoever, although many tattoo artists would not attend because of the political situation. But these who did were more then happy with the way the shows organizers Vic and Sandra Gibson went out of their way to put on such a memorable event.
254. 2005, The Observer newspaper advertised (the broadsheets “Food Monthly” magazine on British TV) using a cartoon of Frank de Burgh (complete with all of his tattoos) in the nationwide ad campaign.
255. In 1996 the Police force of St Albans, England, were baffled by the death of a man aged between thirty and forty who had run down an embankment, put his head on a railway line and was decapitated by a train. All the man’s body had on it was a comb and the police put out a press release asking if there was anyone who knew him, stating that the dead man had a tattoo of two birds and scrolls. Local tattoo artists were quizzed and many other forms of inquiry were looked into but drew a blank. The case is still unsolved.
256. “Yes” magazine, a free supplement from the British tabloid newspaper The Sunday People once had a feature entitled “Cheeky Chic,” asking some of the world’s leading females why they had succumbed to the tattoo needle. It featured a very good two-full-page spread that didn’t take any cheap shots.
257. Florence Vogue put out a line of sunglasses in the late 1990s that carried an advert with two very beautiful male and female models. One lovely young lady model sported a tribal tattoo on her breast . The advert for the glasses was in fashion magazines all over Europe.
258. The very popular English Lozenges Fisherman’s Friend once ran an advert with tattoos in them to get people to buy the mint, and, in 1996, Lofthouse of Fleetwood Ltd., who has sold Fisherman’s Friend since 1865, advertised their new Sugar-free Mints and, this time, a model with a pierced tongue was used to try and make us buy the product.
259. In the British TV show “The Governor” (about prison life), there was a storyline about a con escaping by swapping his identity with another prisoner. But no ordinary criminal, for the man was covered in tattoos. So, before the escape, the guy escaping has to paint on all the tattoos the guy he is swapping with has upon himself. Surely it would have been a lot easier if he swapped with a non-tattooed inmate, but that’s showbiz. And in this fictional show our hero did escape in the end.
260. Lynda La Plante (1946-), the successful novelist, and husband Richard (also a novelist) divorced in 1996. Richard made a couple of appearances at the Dunstable Tattoo Expo in the late ’90s, interviewing people for his friend and tattoo artist Brian Nye, who once made a series of tattoo-related videos. And Lynda was once asked in a press interview, “What was her fondest memories of being married to Richard?” to which she replied, “One of the first things that comes to mind are the tattoos we both had, when we were together.” The tattoos were done by Ian Of Reading. Lynda is one of the most successful British writers ever, and many of her works have been adapted to TV and film. She is also an actress. Richard has had his work produced for TV and has also written many books. They had been together for twenty-three years.