Baxter's Blog

NEW SERIES

Posted in A LIFE IN INK by misterroadtripper on January 17, 2011

We are starting a new TATTOO CHRONICLES series on www.vanishingtattoo.com. It’s all about my nearly fifteen years as editor-in-chief of Skin&Ink magazine, all the characters I met, places I visited and battles I fought. Following is a sample. We worked really hard on this project, and hope you take a look.

Bob Baxter’s

A LIFE IN INK

Lyle Tuttle says that tattooing began when primitive man accidentally poked himself with the sharp, burnt end of a stick he had plucked from a fire. And the stick left a mark. An accident that, subsequently, left its brand for over fifty million years. It seems, as Lyle tells it, the next day, the primitive man left his cave, encountered a saber-toothed tiger and slew the terrible beast. Since this was something this particular Neanderthal, Piltdown Man or monkey man or whatever had never accomplished before, his sudden prowess was attributed to the powerful, magical mark left on his skin. The one left by the carbon on the stick. The one left by the tattoo.

My first tattoo was also a mistake. An accident. I was in the fourth grade at San Mateo Park School, back when Eisenhower was president. Back before the current tattoo phenomenon. Back before I knew anything about tattooing. Back before I knew who Lyle Tuttle was. Or cared.

My tattoo was emblazoned on my knee, the result of my goofing off with a ballpoint pen and unexpectedly jamming the sharp end into my kneecap. My tattoo, as far as I can reckon, lasted for over forty years. Three times longer, in fact, than I served as the editor-in-chief of Skin&Ink, a magazine some say was the most respected tattoo publication on the newsstand. The fact is, when I was asked by the infamous Larry Flynt (universally dubbed “the king of porn,” in case you didn’t know) to take over Skin&Ink, a magazine he had owned and operated for about seven years, I didn’t know shit about tattoos.

Click for MORE.

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