As the resident tattooed freak at CG, I feel inclined to inform those of you with Rock Band that you’ve got some great Americana included besides those classic rock tracks you’ve been jamming to the last few months. Being able to tattoo your band members in the game isn’t anything new, but do you know any of the history behind some of the tattoo flash that’s available? Have you ever heard of Sailor Jerry?
Allow me to enlighten you on old school tattooing in America. When most tattoo aficionados think of ‘old school’ tattoos only a few names come to mind and Sailor Jerry happens to be one of them if not the only one. He was a rough and tumble sort of guy who sailed around the world while serving in the Navy and during his tours throughout SE Asia he eventually grew fond of the art he saw so frequently. He eventually landed in Honolulu where he opened up shop in Chinatown.
Back in the 30s and 40s you wouldn’t typically see girls with, what I like to call, bullseye tattoos or d-bags with tribal armbands. You’d see burly, drunk sailors stumbling around while on leave getting tattoos on their chest and/or forearms. It was basically a sign that you were one badass mofo and back then those guys really were. What made Sailor Jerry really standout was his line work and bold colors, which, at the time, were new to the scene. In a nutshell, he was a real innovator for his time and made some badass tattoo flash. He also had an affinity for pin-ups, which I dig a lot.
Enough with the history. How does all this tie in with Rock Band? Well, I had a brief chat with Sailor Jerry Ltd.’s brand manager Brigitte Valenzano yesterday about how the whole thing came about. She told me that one of the tattooed freaks (she didn’t call him a tattooed freak- btw) working on Rock Band contacted Sailor Jerry Ltd., which is based in Philadelphia (don’t forget all the cool Star Wars stuff going on, too), and asked whether or not they’d like to have some of his flash showcased in the game. The obvious answer had to have been “duh.” For some odd reason, tattoos and rock and roll go together. Weird, huh? There were roughly 10 pieces submitted that can be found in the game along with SJ posters and look books throughout the game. I haven’t actually played Rock Band yet, but I think I need to get myself a copy now that I know there are sweetass SJ tats to be had. If you’re interested in seeing more of Sailor Jerry’s work then check it out here. You might find something for the tattooed freak in your life or you can just pick up a bottle of booze and/or booze accessories.