Tell me a Story…Max Barna

6 Oct

Max Barna tells the story of getting his first tattoo.

“Well, when I told my parents that I wanted to get a tattoo, they needed a bit of convincing. After they found out the tattoo I wanted to get, they were a little more accepting, and agreed to let me get one if I agreed to let them accompany me to the tattoo shop. So I called some high profile shop that everyone used to rave about, and they had a 3+ month waiting list. Rather than stuff the idea in my back pocket for three months, my dad and I decided to take a ride around to see if we could find a decently clean shop. We wound up coming across this shop about 15 minutes away from where we lived, and we checked it out, made sure it was clean, and made the appointment.

The day I walked in, I looked for the oldest man in the tattoo parlor (because it’d probably take an elderly man to identify the origin of my dad’s piece, being as it was so old). I walked up the oldest gentleman, introduced myself, told him what I was looking for, pointed to my dad’s arm, asked him if he could put it on my arm, and he just kind of laughed at me. He said, “Kid, not only can I put that on your arm, but I can tell you where your dad got it, when he got it, and who he got it done by.”

As it turned out, the random gentleman who I just so happened to have ran into inside of this random tattoo shop my father and I just so happened to have driven by, was apprenticed by the man who originally did my dad’s tattoo in the 70’s. This is pretty remarkable, because in the tattoo world, tattoo artists don’t just offer to apprentice anyone — especially the heavy hitters like my dad’s old guy, Tony “The Pirate” Cambria.

So the old man, visibly excited, told my father and I to wait in the front of the parlor while he went in back and got something that he said would amaze us. After about 20 minutes of looking at all these crazy, old-school designs on the wall, the old man came out with this old, dusty, brown piece of paper in his hand. It looked so tattered and old that if you so much as looked at it wrong it’d disintegrate. But lo and behold, it was the original drawing of my dad’s tattoo, signed and autographed by Tony Cambria himself, dated 1977. Remember that thing I said up top about listening to your gut? Well, here’s a perfect example.

Anyway, he traced up the original, shaved my arm, slapped some transfer paper on me, and got the job done. Two hours later I walked out with a tattoo”.


*This story is the exact thing he said, I did not edit anything, or embellish anything.







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