Monday, June 25, 2007

Another tattoo

As promised, John Rogers has sent pics of his latest (possibly last?) tattoo, created by David Digby. I'll let John explain:

“it is a photo i took when i was a ten year old kid in summer camp in north carolina. it was probably aside from the band i started later the only real happiness i had as a child. the fall after this summer i was off to military school in southern alabama. this photo was part of a huge wall collage i made when i was in nashville. i admit that one night i was pretty wasted (dont drink anymore 6 years clean) and i was moving. i had all these pictures in a garbage bag and accidently threw them all away. this picture was one of maybe 3 or 4 to survive. also it was really the first photo i ever took where i was really proud of it, and i am still proud of it. it takes me back and reminds me (as do the ornette and coltrane pieces) that life has valleys and peaks, highs and lows.”

Although this tattoo seems very different from the other two, it's really another instance of John using his body as a canvas to document his life--his spiritual journey, for want of a less trite phrase. I love the fact that he has sought out David Digby as the artist for each tat. John's body art is an extended collaboration between the two men. John sets the theme, but it's up to David to realize its form, and then John takes it back to give it a life in the world. There's a lot of resonance in that, because music, so important to John, is a fundamentally collaborative art form. That's especially true of jazz. By creating the tattoos the way they have, John and David have turned John's body into an improvisational duet.


Blancodeviosa said...

i think it is a very nice tattoo :)

chayaruchama said...

Simply awe-inspiring, and humbling.
I feel inspired, world-weary, and sad.

BitterGrace said...

Hello, Blancodeviosa. Welcome to the blog. Nice screen name ;-)

Chaya--Why sad?

chayaruchama said...

You said "possibly last...'
That makes me feel like someone isn't long for this world.

Also, many who live the blues / jazz have tough lives.

Something hit me- I'm not sure what it was.
A shudder.

Jen said...

Thank you for the update. I really don't know much about tatoos but David Digby seems like quite an artist. Char is right, John's journey is inspiring.

BitterGrace said...

They do indeed have very tough lives, Chaya. Dave has lost a few music buddies way too soon. But John's a pretty tough guy himself, and I think he'll be carrying those tattoos around for many years ;-)

john rogers said...

who said it was my last??
i never said that :)
i just have to think up some new ones,
and me digby have to stay alive.
i should have died by my count at least
three times. digby has been stabbed, shot twice
(once on purpose), and hit a deer doing 85 mph
on a motorcycle.
ive been hit by two vans, passed out in the bathtub
full of water, nearly hit a deer going very fast,
watched a tractor trailor lose control and flail toward me only to regain it at the last second.
i ve had 3 concussions as well,
but i say live life to the fullest,
and try to find things to make yourself smile
when you can.
art, music, photography and bikes do this for me,
thanks for all the kind words.

BitterGrace said...

Hey, John--You said were were gonna "quit for a while" so I thought maybe the trio of tattoos would be it. By all means, keep us posted if there's more. And watch out for those deer ;-)

Arhianrad said...