“I’m an animal rights activist, I love animals and when my cats passed away I started doing memorial tattoos, so the purpose of [the tattoos] started to change. It went from pin-up girls to something even deeper and more personal. Each tattoo has a story but you can see the ones on my back are the ones that mean the most to me. I’ve only had them for about 10 years, [starting with] Bettie Page on my leg. That’s my mom at the bar — she’s got amazing tattoos. Its almost a family addiction.”
Phyllis Sacks (Shannon’s mother)
“It’s to remind me of my love for my cat that passed away. He was named in honor of my brother who was a big fan of musicians and a historian, he loves Sidney Bechet. The cat when I adopted him, I named him after Sidney Bechet because I had just lost my brother and when the cat passed away I felt awful so I decided to have him tattooed on my back.”
Woody Donahue and Poo Screen
Woody: The very first tattoo that I got [at age 30], it’s my sons name, after that it’s my ex-wife. She ate the shit out of my life and my heart.
Poo: My first one [at 17] I got Guns N’ Roses — mine are all music and skateboarding and this side is pirates. I got this whole sleeve when I was 18. And I got another with Black Sabbath, Wu-Tang, and Frankenstein. Everything else, I let all my friends tattoo me — they get to sign me. It’s all super shitty but it’s friends for life now. If I’m at the tattoo shop at the end of the tattoo I have them sign me. I will have it forever.
Woody: We are going this week to get more tattoos, we are going to get our heads blasted. Another secret important tattoo I have is a matching tattoo, we work at a barbershop together and we have a party deer — we put sunglasses on him and a cigarette in his mouth. Poo has the same one but a bit different. It’s cool having the same tattoo.
“There wasn’t really a meaning behind it, but sometimes I make up a meaning when someone asks me about it. I was 16, I got it in Soho. I just went into a shop because I felt like getting a tattoo, I didn’t know what to get so I got a circle.”