Currently reading : Renaud Delmaire aka Mimi picks his ten favourite Rock Star’s tattoos
Renaud, or sometimes known as Mimi was born and grew up in Reunion Island, a tropical French department next to Madagascar existing of only 700,000 people. Once he had finished school at sixteen he moved to Paris to study. At the age of twenty Mimi found himself a place as an apprentice of Tin-Tin at his shop. Five years later Mimi has trained under one of the most important tattoo shops in the world which has elevated him into an accomplished tattooer in his own right and now works from Sang Bleu London. His style incorporates aspects of illustrations rather than the usual constraints of tattoo departments like flash or tribal and often involves notions of rock and roll culture into his drawings. Now living and working in London we’ve spoken to Mimi about a mixture of two of his passion; music and tattooing. Here Mimi has told us about his favourite tattoos on Rock Stars.
Dave has a lot of really great pin up tattoos, however I really love his tattoo of Klimt’s pregnant women which he has on his forearm. I couldn’t find a very good image of it, but I love that Dave’s other tattoos have an essence of the obvious about them. Pin Up girls with whips and tribal bands, but in comparison to that this image is so beautiful, peaceful and calm.
On Lemmy’s forearm he has a classically placed Ace of Spades with the words ‘Born to Lose, Live to Win’ around it. I love how timeless this tattoo is and how relevant it is to his own music. Surprisingly he only has three tattoos and he got the Ace of Spades before the Motorhead song with the same name became a hit.
3. Ozzy Osbourne.
Ozzy has loads of great tattoos, firstly the fact that he has his own name tattooed on his own knuckles is frankly genius, I love how homemade the tattoos are, it seems like that written on his knuckles is so natural to his personality, so careless but still looks so good. I can’t image Ozzy without them.
I also love his tattoos on his upper arm, its a woman in full 80s fashion having her head bitten by a bat. We all know Ozzy’s famous story for biting a live bat on stage, so it seems hilarious that he would have something so similar tattooed on himself. Theres something which is so perfectly 80s about this image especially the women who looks like the bat is having revenge on Ozzy through her!
4. Phil Anselmo of Pantera
Phil’s tattoos fit in so well into what we think of a Metal musicians tattoos, lurid, horror-centric and sexual. They are brimming over the edge with symbolism which fits so well into his character and music. I think that Phil set a standard for metal tattoos, everyone kind of followed his aesthetic after that. He also has the classic Pantera logo tattooed onto the side of his head which I think I must take a certain level of confidence as a musician to get it imbedded on his body, he obviously put so much love into his music to get this done.
5. Axl Rose
Axl got the cover of his first album Appetite for Destruction tattooed on to his arm, like we were talking about with Phil Anselmo it seems like a cocky decision to have your music permanently inlayed onto your skin. He actually got this tattoo before he became famous which makes it more arrogant and fits into the character which we all know of (and love). I also really like the totally 80s girl on his arm too, so graphic and classic of its time.
6. Marilyn Manson
It seems almost a bit childish to get a devils head tattoo now, especially in this style, but I can imagine that when Manson got these tattoos they would have seemed far more shocking. Manson’s music is so dark but his tattoos almost verge on being a bit cartoony. He does have a goats head tattoo which was one of the first that he got which looks a little out of date in comparison to the 90s style of his other pieces.
7. Sigurd Wongraven (Satyr) of Satyricon
Satyr has a HR Giger illustration on his back which exemplifies all things metal. The tattoo shows the devil handling Christ on the cross with devil serpents all around them. Its offensive, dark and morbid – a complete fantasy, what else really fits into the metal look more than this? I think this might be one of the ultimate Black metal tattoos ever made! Paul Booth created this and also tattooed a lot of other metal musicians at the time at the end of the 90s.
8. Tommy Lee
Tommy is so well known for being a heavily tattooed individual, what is so great about them though is they are so perfect for that time. Late 80s and early 90s tribal and Japanese style all mixed together with stars and incredible lettering on his stomach (MAYHEM!). He really had a bit of everything which seemed to be a trend in California at the time to be that covered which such a broad range of different styles without actually being a tattooer.
9. Devin Townsend of Strapping Young Lad
I don’t know whether this alien tattoo is supposed sinister or not but actually it looks kind of hilarious. Devin has so many problems with his mental health that its difficult to know whether its serious or just a private joke with himself. Also Strapping Young Lad are one of my favourite bands of all time.
10. Layne Staley from Alice in Chains
Layne’s rockabilly skull seems so lighthearted in comparison to what a dark musician he was. From all of the other tattoos that I’ve looked at here from the 80s it seems like one of the best made ones, its really clean he is also one of my favourite musicians.