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Monday, August 24, 2009

Weekly Ink: Riff-Raff Repellent

Posted By on Mon, Aug 24, 2009 at 11:59 AM

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Vital Statistics: James Mueller, 42, chef

Spotted at: Four Barrel Coffee

Tattoo(s): Lightening bolt, tiger, dragon, octopus, daughter's name, and more

Why/When: I started getting work done on my 18th birthday. It's one of those things where you shouldn't open the door, don't look in that box. I'm Jewish and my grandmother told me I wasn't supposed to ever get a tattoo. I never gave it any thought, other than to think that they were bad and that they had this magic appeal to me. So the night of my 18th birthday I got my first piece. The first one was this tiny little lightening bolt that tattoo artists refuse to cover up for me because it's my first one and it's now 22 years old. It was the beginning.

For years I just had three tiny pieces and I knew the next piece was going to have to be big. The dragon came next and that was my first big piece. Bob Roberts did that in Los Angeles. The tiger was six or seven years ago. My whole theme is sort of the duality of who I am and the duality of what man is. I have a very soft side, a very loving side and a very nasty side. 

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Strangest/Funniest Comment: Now that tattoos have become so prevalent people don't talk about them or comment on them anymore. But I noticed that when I first got tattoos it was still about criminals. It hadn't gotten to butterflies yet. But now we're a few years down the road from that and everyone has a tattoo. My mom is thinking about getting a tattoo. She's 63 and it would be her first one. When I first started getting mine she was just mortified. But now it's just become so accepted.

I'm a really soft guy inside so my front is my pieces. It's basically a "don't talk to me" thing. I'm a private person and having a lot of tattoos definitely helps eliminate the riff-raff. I've been growing out my hair from cancer for a couple years. So usually I'm bald, and when I'm bald and tatted up like this, no one comes up and talks to me, they don't ask me for the time of day, and I'm okay with that.

Got a sweet tattoo? Know someone who does? Like for it to be featured right here in SF Weekly? Think we can work another question into this paragraph? You do? Well, why don't you write to us here?


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Andy Wright

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