In Greek mythology, King Midas had the golden touch. Everything he touched turned from muck to gold. In American tattoo history, there has been no person with this type of luck. Some tattooers may have lived enchanted lives, but there is hard work, persistence, and an unrelenting will that seems to be the forgotten part of their stories. After his start in Coney Island, Crazy Philadelphia Eddie tattooed through countless payday weekends yelling “Next! Next! Next!”, fought the New York City ban, starved through the winters, and built many, many, many tattoo shops.
In Volume Five, Crazy Philadelphia Eddie battles the rats in Chinatown, renovates a dilapidated, empty shell of a building filled with dog shit in Kensington, develops liquid tattoo inks, falls in love with his soul mate, manages the tattooers at his shops, travels the world by ship, hosts conventions, and keeps the peace between rival motorcycle clubs. Not an easy task, but with his determination, Eddie seems to be able to cut through any grit.
In this volume, Eddie shows little restraint when dealing with those that disrespect his friends and tattoo family. Being a solid friend, a man of his word, and relentless, Crazy Philadelphia Eddie demonstrates why he is one of America’s tattoo godfathers.
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I suppose a person will always remember their first tattoo, the shop where they got it, and who gave it to them. I am sure that Eddie’s son, Joe, will always remember the first tattoo Eddie gave him.
Eddie tells a story about visiting Sailor Jerry’s shop in Hawaii, and about the first time he wore rubber gloves while tattooing.
Eddie fully understood the importance of wearing gloves, sanitation, and sterilization. However, he was not so sure the Health Department Officials understood the importance of these precautions. In this clip, Eddie asks some fairly important questions.
Eddie is NOT a man to be trifled with when it comes to his family, friends, or business. A handshake seals the deal, and it is a gentleman’s agreement. There is never a hidden agenda in the fine print with Eddie. If a person breaks their word, cheats him, or threatens one of his friends, Eddie will straighten out everything.