I started tattooing in Bergenfield, NJ in ’74 and managed to b.s. my way into Captain Jack’s tattoo boutique in Riverdale, NJ in ’75. In ’76 I opened Carlz Tattooz in Nanuet, NY and managed (despite myself) to keep it open till ’80. I worked with Paul Ortloff at Shooting Star Tattoo in Woodstock, NY during the winter of ’80-81 and appointment work at various North Jersey locations kept me busy throughout the early ‘80’s. During that time I worked with Carl “Shotsie” Gorman when he opened his first shop in Union City, NJ and his next shop in Haledon, NJ.
In ’83 I opened Great Northern Tattoo Co. in Middletown, NY and two years later I moved to Daytona Beach, FL where I had a neon sign shop and did a little appointment work. I also worked with “Majak” (Madjack) at Golden Dragon Tattoo in Harbor Oaks, FL and F.E. Craig’s Southern Fried Tattoo in Ormond Beach, FL. As well as its later incarnation Southern Re-Fried Tattoo under the rule of Thomas “Wondo” Wondoloski around ’85.
In the late ’80′s I worked for Lou Sciberras at Lou’s Tattoos in Cutler Ridge FL and Paul Wolsefer’s American Ink in Millington, TN. In ’90 I ended up in Delaware working for Ernie Carafa at Tiger’s Eye Tattoo in Newark, DE. In ’93 I opened Art Alternative Tattoo in Wilmington, DE. Always on the move I went to Texas to work at Shaw’s World Famous Tattoo which at the time was owned by Bob Shaw’s son Larry. Still have one of my Shaw’s bowling shirts but I only lasted there for a few months (hectic place!).
I spent a few months in Houston making machines and was lucky enough to meet Carson Vester and get a job there with Eric Doyle and “Patricio”. The shop was called Hottstuff Tattoo and it was the hotbed of tattooing – machine making and having the best Tattooers ever! The new millennium brought where I did appointment work at my secret bat cave in Richardson Park. I worked with B.J. Betts at Lucky Buddha also. We always stayed busy and managed to have a lot of laughs, too. Thanks Bee!
Around ’01 I opened Apex Tattoo in Wilmington, DE. And started a lot of big projects but finished few so I sold the place in frustration in ’07 and moved to Black River Falls, WI. There I worked with an old friend from North Jersey named Jimmy “Fingers” McAvie. Did a few baby footprints, made a bunch of machines and nearly froze to death. I found my way back to Delaware in ’08 and worked for Terry Manning at Wild Card Studios for about 3 years. Soon after that I worked Sunday’s at Explosive Tattoo and made a few machines there as well. I only lasted a year there and found my new secret bat cave where I tattoo by appointment only and make machines.