tattoos by kevin haslam

                              ON THE COSTA DEL SOL


Bio:

I STARTED TATTOOING IN 1979 AFTER HAVING AN UNHEALTHY INTEREST IN TATTOOS FROM AN EARLY AGE. I SPENT ALMOST EVERY WEEKEND IN SOME STUDIO OR OTHER WATCHING LISTENING LEARNING & GENERALLY BEING A NUISANCE. CAN'T REALLY REMEMBER THE FIRST ONE I EVER DID BUT IT MUST HAVE  BEEN AWFUL.
I SPENT AROUND THREE YEARS TATTOOING FROM HOME NOT REALLY THE IDEAL THING TO DO, WHAT WITH PEOPLE ALL OVER YOUR HOUSE SMOKING, DRINKING ALL THE TEA AND BEING A PAIN IN THE ASS. UNDERSTANDING WIFE AND A NASTY JACK RUSSELL DOG  SOON SORTED THEM ALL OUT.

 

IN THE OLD DARK DAYS OF THE SEVENTIES THERE WAS AN UNWRITTEN CODE OF PRACTICE, NO TATTOOIST WOULD TELL YOU WHERE HE GOT HIS SUPPLIES FROM, ESPECIALLY MACHINES & INKS ETC.

"ALL OF MY INKS ARE IMPORTED FROM THE STATES AND ARE MADE FROM GROUND SEA SHELLS"   STORY WAS THE BEST I USED TO TELL.

I HAD MY FIRST EVER TATTOO AT THE AGE OF 13. IT WAS A DAGGER WITH A SCROLL DONE BY A FELLA CALLED GEOFF NEAR TO THE RALEIGH FACTORY ON FARADAY ROAD IN RADFORD ( 50 PENCE) , THEN ALMOST ALL OF MY ARMS WERE TATTOOED BY "ERIC" ON GILL STREET IN NOTTINGHAM, WE USED TO HAVE SOME LAUGHS, GET THERE AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE ON A SATURDAY MORNING TO BEAT THE CROWD INTO HIS CORNER TERRACED HOUSE WITH AN OPEN FIRE AND SOCKS DRYING ON THE MANTLE PIECE. HIS MACHINES HAD AN HEALTHY BLUE SPARK GLOWING AT THE CONTACT AND A SLIDE CONTROL AT THE EDGE OF THE KITCHEN TABLE TO TURN THEM UP & DOWN. THE INKS WERE MIXED IN A LITTLE POT WITH LISTERINE AND HE USED PLASTIC ENGRAVED STENCILS AND BLACK POWDER!.

 

I BROUGHT MY FIRST MACHINE AND TRANSFORMER ETC. FROM A TATTOOIST CALLED "AL SUMMERS"  A COLOURFUL CHARACTER INFAMOUS AROUND THE TATTOOING WORLD FOR HIS  COLLECTION OF SMELLY CATS AND HIS TRADEMARK TATTOO OF AN UN-COLOURED EAGLE ON PEOPLES BACKS. I HAVE NEVER SEEN ONE COLOURED IN TO THIS DAY.  SADDLY AL SUMMERS DIED IN 1991 OF A HEART ATTACK.

I WONDER WHAT BECAME OF HIS PARTNER MAXINE & THE CATS?.

 

EARLY IN THE EIGHTIES

I GOT DRAWN INTO GOING INTO A PARTNERSHIP WITH ANOTHER TATTOOIST CALLED "MARK SPARK" ( SPARKY) FROM ILKESTON AND WE HAD A SHOP FOR A WHILE IN THE NORMANTON AREA OF DERBY WHICH FOR TATTOOING WAS A GOOD LOCATION ALTHOUGH IT TOOK A WHILE TO BUILD UP IT NEVER REALLY TOOK OFF. I THINK SPARKY IS STILL AROUND THE DERBY AREA?.

TATTOOISTS AROUND DERBY IN THE EIGHTIES:

KEN & CURLY - PAUL ROLLET - DAVE GIBSON

AFTER A WHILE I HAD THE CHANCE TO BUY AN OLD FRIENDS PLACE OUT AT THE COAST IN MABELTHORPE, AT THE MANNA INDOOR MARKET ON VICTORIA ROAD, THIS WAS MUCH BETTER, A LOT OF PASSING TRADE IN THE SUMMER AND A BUSY NIGHTLIFE IN A SEASIDE RESORT GREAT FOR MAKING A FAST BUCK AND HAVING A LAUGH. UNFORTUNATELY NO GOOD IF YOU ARE OR WANT TO BE HAPPILY MARRIED!..  I TOOK THIS OVER FROM A GOOD FRIEND CALLED KEITH JOHNSON OR AS EVERYONE KNEW HIM "THE DOLE MAN", KEITH WAS GREAT WE HAD SOME REALLY GOOD TIMES HE BROUGHT A SHOP IN SKEGNESS AND I RAN THE MABELTHORPE SHOP IT WAS GOING REALLY WELL THEN LATER KEITH SOLD THE SHOP TO A TATTOOIST CALLED JOEY WHO I BELIEVE IS STILL THERE TODAY. AND KEITH WENT TO INGOLDMELLS ANOTHER SMALL SEASIDE TOWN  UNFORTUNATELY KEITH DIED (AGED ABOUT 42),  

KEITH WAS WELL KNOWN AROUND NOTTINGHAM AS A PARTNER/FRIEND TO JIM COOMBES THE TATTOOIST FROM ARKWRIGHT STREET IN THE MEADOWS FAMOUS FOR IT'S SATURDAY FOOTBALL TATTOO CROWD. 

JIM COOMBES AS ALSO PASSED AWAY. 

 

THERE WAS A TYPE OF CLIENT AS WELL 75% OF YOUR CUSTOM WAS FROM COUNCIL ESTATES AND EITHER OUT OF WORK OR THINKING ABOUT BEING OUT OF WORK!. SO THE MAJORITY OF THE  TATTOOED PEOPLE MUST BE THIEVES OR BURGLARS OR MURDERERS OR MAYBE WORSE?. AND TO BE FAIR THIS WAS THE CASE ESPECIALLY AROUND THE BROXTOWE AREA OF NOTTINGHAM WHERE I WAS BASED,  AND LATER AT OUR NORMANTON SHOP IN DERBY!. NOWADAYS OF COURSE EVERYTHING HAS CHANGED AND ANYONE HAS TATTOOS KNOWINGLY OUT IN THE OPEN AND PROUDLY SO TYPE CASTING IS ONLY FOR THOSE WHO GO "OVER THE TOP"

TATTOOISTS AROUND NOTTINGHAM WHEN I WAS A BOUT WERE

 - AL SUMMERS (Broxtowe)  - JIM COOMBES ( Arkwright Street) - 

 DANNY HARKIN  (click for tattoo supplies)

- ERIC (Gill Street)  - PAUL ROGERS (Bulwell) - 

-DAVE AT RIDINGS - JOEY AT EASTWOOD & JIM (Chris) MAEGER- 

I HAD A REST (FORCED BY CIRCUMSTANCES) FOR ABOUT 20 YEARS FROM 1985 - 2005 WHEREBY I STARTED A PRINTING COMPANY AND TRIED TO ADJUST TO A "NORMAL" LIFE STYLE. IT WORKED, NOW I HAVE SOLD THE COMPANY AND RETIRED TO A PLACE IN SPAIN JUST LIKE ALL OF THOSE TV PROGRAMMES. SOMEHOW I GOT THIS CRAZY IDEA TO HAVE A GO AT TATTOOING AGAIN IN CASE I NEEDED TO MAKE A BIT ON THE SIDE IN MY RETIREMENT. 

THE GEAR IS STILL THE SAME IF NOT SOMEWHAT CHEAPER AND READILY AVAILABLE!. AND EVERY TATTOOIST WILL SELL YOU TATTOO RELATED GOODS EITHER INKS OR MACHINES WHICH IS AN AMAZING CHANGE FROM WHEN WE WERE IN THE "OLD SCHOOL" WE HAD TATTOOIST'S COMING AROUND WITH BUCKETS OF PETROL AND HEAVIES WARNING YOU OFF IN THE SEVENTIES NOW THERE IS ONE ON EVERY STREET CORNER. ON A RECENT TRIP TO ORLANDO I MET 8 TATTOOISTS ON INTERNATIONAL DRIVE ALONE!. HAS EVERYONE GONE SOFT OR AM I JUST GETTING OLD?. ON THE ARTIST PICTURES PAGE THERE IS A PHOTOGRAGH OF ME AT MIAMI INK WITH AMI JAMES, WHAT A NICE GUY HE IS, WE COMPARED TATTOOS AND HAD A FEW CIGS, WELL WORTH A VISIT IF YOU ARE IN MIAMI.

 

TATTOOING OR THE STYLE OF TATTOOING HAS COME FORWARD SOMEWHAT FROM MY DAY, NOW THERE IS A LOT OF ARTISTRY RELATED TO A TATTOO NOT JUST FOLLOW A TRANSFER AND COLOUR IT IN. THERE ARE SOME EXCELLENT TATTOOISTS OUT THERE WHO ARE MASTERS IN THE ART OF USING BLACK & GREY SHADING TO GIVE A SPECTACULAR FINISH TO A DESIGN, IT IS A WHOLE NEW LEARNING CURVE, I AM STILL DOING TATTOOS FOR FAMILY & FRIENDS AND WITH GREAT RESULTS MUCH BETTER THAN I USED TO BEFORE AND I AM LEARNING NEW TECHNIQUES, GETTING MORE IDEA'S WITH EVERY TATTOO I DO AND FROM EVERY DESIGN I SEE. REMEMBER THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR EXPERIENCE AND AS LONG AS NEW UP AND COMING ARTISTS LEARN IN A SHOP FROM A REGISTERED TATTOOISTS THEY STAND A GOOD CHANCE OF BECOMING THE BEST AT THEIR CHOSEN PROFESSION ONLY PRACTICE AND ENTHUSIASM WILL TELL IF THEY HAVE WHAT IT TAKES.

 

MOST TATTOO ARTISTS ESPECIALLY IN THE OLD DAYS MADE MORE MONEY THAN THEY COULD READILY SPEND FOR WHAT SEEMS TO BE VERY EASY WORK!. SO YOU WILL FIND TATTOOISTS ARE A WEIRD BUNCH USUALLY NOT SAVING ANY MONEY AND SPENDING ON CRAZY THINGS LIKE REPTILES?. HOW MANY TIMES I HAVE VISITED A SHOP TO FIND SNAKES OR LIZARDS IN A TANK SOMEWHERE OR FISH OR MEAN LOOKING DOGS?. 

IS IT A MACHO THING?.

 

MOST ARTISTS GET INTO THE HARLEY DAVIDSON SCENE MAYBE THROUGH TATTOOING A LOT OF BIKER TYPES. THERE ARE ONLY AN HANDFUL OF ARTISTS WHO HAVE USED THEIR HEADS AROUND HERE AND SAVED THEIR MONEY OR INVESTED IT INTO SOMETHING MORE CONSTRUCTIVE AND THEY DO DRIVE BENTLEYS & MERCS!. UP & COMING ARTISTS TAKE NOTE THIS COULD BE YOU IF YOU DON'T GET INTO BLACK MAGIC, FISH, DOGS DIRTY WOMEN OR THE OCCULT!..

IF YOU GOT THIS FAR CHECK OUT MY OTHER PAGES FOR INTERESTING PICTURES AND LINKS.

THINK WHEN YOU GO TO A STUDIO FOR A TATTOO ARE YOU COMFORTABLE WITH THE STUDIO CLEANLINESS? THE PROFESSIONAL ATTITUDE OF THE ARTIST?

WORD OF MOUTH AS ALWAYS BEEN THE BEST ADVERTISING, HAVING A TATTOO FROM SOMEONE ON HOLIDAY MAY NOT ALWAYS BE THE BEST IDEA, KNOW YOUR ARTIST IF POSSIBLE AND PLAN YOUR DESIGN CAREFULLY IT IS THERE FOR LIFE!.

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