Freddy Corbin - Tattoo Age - VICE - 4 of 4

Uploaded by vice on Nov 30, 2011


FREDDY CORBIN: I tell them the story, you know, well, I did
my brother's funeral here, and I got married, and I'm having
a baby, so I'm kind of coming back for good juju for his
birth and stuff like that.
And they just got it.
They're way into thinking like that.
You know what I mean?
So they just totally got it.
We were trying to figure out a place to tattoo.
They told them what I was doing, and asked them if it
was OK if I tattooed at the temple.
They really dug the intention of what we were doing.
They were just dumbfounded, why would you come here and
tattoo us for free?
Now, the temple would literally only fit a few
people in there.
But we would do a puja every morning, build an altar donate
fruit to the sadhus, the Brahmin
priests that are monastic.
My friend, Vinnie, that I was telling you about, made a big
flower mandala.
We decorated the whole temple with flowers and
marigolds and stuff.
It was really beautiful.
It was really magical.
So I just drew up this piece of flash, any of these seven
designs for free.
I wrote it out in Hindi that there was no charge.
It was only symbols.
It was religious symbols.
So there was a Tibetan om, a Hindu om, a Buddhist om, a
cross, and a swastika with a--
The swastikas over there usually has four dots in them,
one for each element.
And it's funny because I did tons of crosses, and I didn't
do one swastika, which I thought was kind of unusual.
But they were like, since World War II, we don't really
push the swastika so much.
It's all over our religious artwork.
It's all over our buildings and our clothes, but, at the
same time, they get that it kind of hurts people's
feelings, in a way, which I thought was pretty cool.
There was probably 50 guys hanging out, and everybody's
like, oh, me, me, me, me, me first, me first.
So we were basically trying to figure out how are
we going to do this?
And are we going to give them tickets?
So my friend, Little Mary, was really good.
She had a great idea.
She's like, just take a Sharpie and just draw a number
on them and sign it.
So I would basically just write number one,
cross, and sign it.
Number two, om, sign it.
Dustin, my apprentice, was just on point.
He was right there next to me, handing me a clean set up as
soon as I--
I'd take a smoke break every four or five or whatever, but
we worked pretty labor intensively because we were
tattooing under the light of day.
MALE SPEAKER: Were you the only guy tattooing?
Going into the night, I had a head lamp on.
So we only had a little bit after dark to do it before
they had to do the closing ceremony and lock
the doors and stuff.
Then we'd go in back and smoke hash with
the priests and stuff.
It was really awesome.
A really sweet thing when I was there the first time, I
met this two really cool kids.
It was Raj and Raju, they're brothers.
So Raj wanted to be the first one.
He's like, Freddy, can I be the first one?
Of course, of course.
And just perfect for India because no rules apply.
I had the seven that you could only get, but at the bottom,
there was a little pyramid with an eye,
and he wanted that.
So the first thing I did was break the rules of only
getting the seven and then everybody was like,
well, can I get it?
And I was like, no, no, no, only Raj.
Only Raj.
Only Raj.
So I tattooed a cross on his younger brother's neck and it
looked pretty cool.
I mean, it was on his neck, he's like 16 years old now.
And my cut off point was 15 years old.
So there was a lot of kids there wanting to get tattooed,
and I'd say, I can't touch you, your
parents would get mad.
I have no parents.
I am alone in the world.
They give you this shtick.
You know half the time it's true, maybe.
I don't know.
There was a deaf kid named Raul.
He was deaf and dumb.
And he obviously couldn't speak or hear, and the older
guys would let him hang around.
But you'd see other guys kind of fucking with him a little
bit, like teasing him and stuff.
He was young, so he kept saying,
I want to get tattooed.
I want to get tattooed.
I was like, no, no, no, no.
And so after the first night, I went to dinner with Dustin
and Vinnie, and fortunately, they
brought it to my attention.
They said this poor kid is already missing out on so much
in life, like not being able to hear or speak.
Other people are mocking him and teasing him and stuff.
This is just like one more cool thing that's coming
through town that he doesn't get to participate in.

And I immediately wanted to tattoo him, but I'm
like he's so young.
You know what mean?
I know he was 11.
I got Raul, the 11-year-old, tattooed, and he got an S and
an I with two periods after them.
Still to this day, nobody knows what that stands for.
So I said OK, we'll go to your house.
I'll tattoo you and Raj again.
I'll tattoo Sunny.
He's like, maybe my mom wants to get tattooed.
I started getting nervous as we're going to the house
because I'm going to meet his mom.
And I just tattooed her kid's neck.
You know what I mean?
So I'm like, was it OK with your mom that
you guys got tattooed?
Oh no.
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
It's totally cool.
It's totally cool.
I don't know if they're just telling me that because they
want to get me there--
it's really cool or whatever.
So we show up at the house and the first thing I said after
nice to meet you, was I really hope it's OK that I tattooed
your sons' necks.
And she was like, oh, we're Christians.
I was like, oh, killer, OK.
Like no problem.