Hello Speakeasy Readers,
This week’s topic is Dave Navarro. A lot of people know him from the popular tv show Ink Master, while others know him for his music career as a guitarist in Jane’s Addiction and Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Regardless of how you know who he is, one thing we all seem to notice about him is he has a lot of tattoos. In an interview with Inked Magazine, Navarro shared his memory of his first tattoo with his bandmate Eric Avery. "[We] were in a bar, getting drunk and talking about tattoos," Navarro recalled. "We were really fascinated with them at that time, because it seemed like an underground lifestyle. The drinks just flowed, we got the courage and we ran over to Bob Roberts’s shop and got them. I was hooked. People asked me, 'What are you going to do when you’re an old man?' And the answer was: I’ll be an old man with tattoos."
For Navarro, all of his tattoos come with special meanings, stories, or memories which is why even a cover up has to have meaning for him. Navarro once said about his ex wife’s initials tattooed on his sternum, "I feel like at some point your body becomes like a walking diary and you’ve got to live with it," noted Navarro. "I still had that experience. It’s a part of my story and my life, so I celebrate that. I feel that to cover up something would be to deny having gone through it. I had a great time being married to [Carmen]. That’s my life. And the fact of the matter is, all those elements are things that, as human beings — not to get too spiritual — are collective pieces of who you are today. I probably wouldn’t be who I am today had I not gone through that marriage. I’m not going to deny that marriage and then go get it lasered off and get a fucking skull to cover up the scar. A skull means nothing to me. It’s similar to trying to un-ring a bell." Navarro would later on cover up his CE tattoo with a heart with barbed wire to symbolize pain, sufferings, and emotional loss.
Navarro’s favorite tattoos are the ones he has in memory of his mom Constance who passed away when he was 15. One is his mother’s name on his lower back and the other is a portrait of her on his ribcage. "It’s my mom’s name and was done in the early ’90s by Charlie McDonald," explained Navarro. "It’s more than likely my favorite because of what it stands for as a commemorative piece for my mom, who passed when I was 15. Second to that is probably the portrait of my mom on my rib cage done by Kat Von D. They are similar in nature, and both of those pieces are actually unusual for me because both of them required appointments. Generally speaking, I’m not the artwork-planning type. I prefer spur-of-the-moment tattoos, like, 'Let’s just roll over and get something done right away.' I like the instant gratification, hence I have a lot of smaller pieces."
So how many tattoos does this tattoo enthusiast have? To be honest we may never know, especially since Navarro is constantly getting new tattoos in the spur of the moment, but the last confirmed count was 93.
Until next time my fellow apes,