Ten things about my tattoos
2. My second one was in 1991. It's from a flyer for London S&M club The Torture Garden. I later discovered it was from a work of art by Allen Jones.
3. I had one more tattoo between 1991 and 1997. That one no longer exists. It is the only one so far that I have had covered up. I may have my second one covered at some point. I'm in two minds. I still like it, but it doesn't fit in with my ideas for my right arm.
4. Most of the tattoos that I've had done since 1998 feature Japanese imagery. This koi carp tattoo was my first large undertaking. It took four sittings to complete, between June 1998 and February '99. I have no record, but each sitting would have been at least two hours long; some probably three hours. The temple dog on my lower left arm is my Chinese horoscope sign.
5. I have one Adam Ant-inspired tattoo (my first) and one Manic Street Preachers-inspired tattoo (my fourth).
6. Wife and I had mirror-image tattoos of the same picture to celebrate our engagement.
7. I like words. I have eight words on my body and one word in Chinese characters. It's supposed to say "slave", but it could say chicken chow mein for all I know. (It's not Prince-inspired.)
8. I have a sacred heart on my left ribcage. Instead of a crown of thorns around it, it says Wife's name in graffiti script. The flames rise up through my armpit and almost to my elbow.
9. I have a Twin Towers tribute tattoo. It was done in May 2002, two months after I visited Ground Zero.
10. I didn't keep a record of the costs of my early tattoos. I started doing this only towards the end of 2000. Since then I have spent £1,150 (US$2,150) (not including tips) on getting tattooed. Given that two of my largest tattoos are not included in that figure, a more realistic estimated total is around £2,500+ ($4,700+) in almost 16 years. Although this sounds a lot, bear in mind that I don't smoke. The average price of a pack of 20 cigarettes in the UK seems to be £5 ($9.40). Someone who smokes one pack a day will spend £1,825 ($3,425) on fags in one year.