InkSpot: Hank 3 Shows Off His 5 Favorite Punk/Metal Outlaw Tattoos
Punk and country artist Hank 3 has been getting tattoos as far back as when he was living with his mom. But one tattoo the sometime Superjoint Ritual member will never forget getting is the goat-mule beast that artist Paul Booth placed on his left arm.
“The night before, someone put a shot onstage, and I guess they dosed it with a bunch of acid,” he recalls. “I couldn’t shake it off. Sure enough, with no sleep, I freaked out in Paul Booth’s chair.”
Equally memorable are the cowboy and punk skulls on his arms, which he refers to as Jekyll and Hyde. “There’s something about them that fans feel connected to,” he says, “and we have to keep making them proud.”
Below, he discusses the artists and events that influenced him to get inked.
1. Unknown Hinson
“He’s a musician-slash-genius, as far as the characters that he’s created, like on [the Adult Swim show] Squidbillies. I’ve known him quite a while. He’s always in character. The only time I’ve ever talked to him out of character was when he called me a few months ago when he was having some personal stuff go down. But he said, ‘Hoss, I always appreciate all the respect you gave me.’ He was just very humble.”
2. Smiling Sun
“That’s my first tattoo. It’s a straight-up Deadhead tattoo. The Grateful Dead were a country-western band in their own little way. I totally identified with that.”
3. Hank III Logo with Checkered Flag & Pistols
“I got this after I won a truck-racing video game called Monster Truck Madness out of 40,000 people. I made it into the Final Four contestants, and the other three were, like, computer nerds. I was trying to psych them out, like, ‘Well, y’all never been onstage in front of a bunch of people and I have, so don’t get the jitters up there.’ We raced in front of the whole Toyota factory, with the game up on a screen. My racing name was Rip Buzzed. I won a Toyota Tundra. I ended up having to sell it to a guy in Montana for the money to keep doing what we’re doing. It was an awesome memory, man.”
4. "Risin' Outlaw"
“That’s what I wanted to name my first record. The record label, of course, is giving me shit. They wanted to call it Hank Williams III. The image is just flash art.”
5. "Honky Tonkin'" Native-American Design
“My grandfather had [Cherokee and Creek] in his blood just a little bit. That tattoo is just trying to pay respects to them in my own way, trying to say, ‘hats off,’ to them. It looks more like an Eskimo, though. ‘Honky Tonkin’’ on the Harley badge is just because I’ve always played to a lot of bikers. I’ve played in every bike club that’s out there.”
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