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Bad Boys and Tough Tattoos : A Social History of the Tattoo With Gangs, Sailors, and Street-Corner Punks 1950-1965 - John DeCecco

Bad Boys and Tough Tattoos

A Social History of the Tattoo With Gangs, Sailors, and Street-Corner Punks 1950-1965

Paperback Published: 18th June 1990
ISBN: 9780918393760
Number Of Pages: 214

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Explore the dark subculture of 1950s tattoos In the early 1950s, when tattoos were the indelible mark of a lowlife, an erudite professor of English--a friend of Gertrude Stein, Thomas Mann, Andre Gide, and Thornton Wilder--abandoned his job to become a tattoo artist (and incidentally a researcher for Alfred Kinsey). Bad Boys and Tough Tattoos tells the story of his years working in a squalid arcade on Chicago's tough State Street. During that time he left his mark on a hundred thousand people, from youthful sailors who flaunted their tattoos as a rite of manhood to executives who had to hide their passion for well-ornamented flesh. Bad Boys and Tough Tattoos is anything but politically correct. The gritty, film-noir details of Skid Row life are rendered with unflinching honesty and furtive tenderness. His lascivious relish for the young sailors swaggering or staggering in for a new tattoo does not blind him to the sordidness of the world they inhabited. From studly nineteen-year-olds who traded blow jobs for tattoos to hard-bitten dykes who scared the sailors out of the shop, the clientele was seedy at best: sailors, con men, drunks, hustlers, and Hells Angels. These days, when tattoo art is sported by millionaires and the middle class as well as by gang members and punk rockers, the sheer squalor of Bad Boys and Tough Tattoos is a revelation. However much tattoo culture has changed, the advice and information is still sound: how to select a good tattoo artist what to expect during a tattooing session how to ensure the artist uses sterile needles and other safety precautions how to care for a new tattoo why people get tattoos--25 sexual motivations for body artMore than a history of the art or a roster of famous--and infamous--tattoo customers and artists, Bad Boys and Tough Tattoos is a raunchy, provocative look at a forgotten subculture.

Forewordp. 1
Introductionp. 3
From Academia to Skidrowp. 7
A Cut-Throat Worldp. 19
Dr. Kinsey [Prometheus] and the Shopp. 37
Sex and the Tattoo: Motivationsp. 45
The Folklore of Tattooingp. 81
The Clientelep. 91
Barnacles and Leechesp. 139
Excuses - Mine and Theirs, Before and Afterp. 149
Masters, Methods, and Maladiesp. 157
Art and the Tattoop. 167
The Tattooist and His Worldp. 173
The Vanishing Art ...?p. 179
A Brief Historical Sketch of Tattooingp. 183
A Note on the Literature of Tattooingp. 193
Indexp. 199
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780918393760
ISBN-10: 0918393760
Series: Haworth Series in Gay & Lesbian Studies
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 214
Published: 18th June 1990
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Inc
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 21.59 x 15.88  x 1.27
Weight (kg): 0.32
Edition Number: 1