Thursday, July 4, 2013


It was early 1993. Zyon had just been born. I had work to sort in New York City, so Max and I planned a small trip. Sacred Reich was rolling through New York and Roadrunner Records was arranging a meeting. We bundled up our little mini and headed for the skyline.

Zyon, Dave McClain, and Max
The rumor in the 90's was that the best tribal tattoo artist in the world was an artist in NYC named Jonathan Shaw. His name circled the earth and his tatts were prized possessions. One night, we decided to hit him up and get tatts together. Of course our little Z accompanied us!

Jonathan's studio was super cool with memorabilia everywhere...lots of stories included! His friendly wife was his assistant. Max was really happy with the big forearm piece that was designed for him. It took quite a while to complete. When he was done, I got to slide in the chair and Jonathan designed a tribal piece that sits on my left arm, above my elbow.

Jonathan launched a killer tatt mag called International Tattoo. It seriously was one of the nicest quality magazines around. Featured in its pages were the top tattoo artists in the world, and some of the finest skin canvases on the planet! And then....he disappeared!

Rumors come and rumors go, but a strange one got associated with J. Shaw! The last we heard, he was trying to sell Charles Manson's artwork and some serious feds were looking for him. But let's not believe the rumor mill...let's imagine he is in a small village in South America tatting the locals!
Max, Jonathan, and Myself
A couple years ago, the memory of Jonathan Shaw filed in my card catalog in my brain, I entered an AMPM to pay for fuel. The clerk looked at me in shock and said "You have my grand father and Uncle Mohammed's name tattooed on your arm!" He pointed at my "tribal" tattoo. What could i do, besides protest? I laughed my butt off!

Class dismissed...