by Sean
Please note: MP3s are only kept online for a short time, and if this entry is from more than a couple of weeks ago, the music probably won't be available to download any more.


Heavy Metal Hysteric

The Monks - "Pretty Suzanne". The Monks at their most sentimental. Which is to say five former American GIs, living in Germany, the sort of men that that flick cigarettes into the harbour's empty boats, that read the newspaper on the toilet, that gaze frightened into the sea at night, that teach visiting girls about drugs, that dream of weddings in sewers, that wish they knew how to build jukeboxes, that wear dark turtlenecks, that kiss like dreamboats, that shout the words of "My Girl" as they ride the Hamburg busess... which is to say a quintet of black-pepper musicians falling head over heels in love, at least for a bit, and needing to trace these feelings in coo, shriek, doowop and the growling prong of a distorted electric guitar.

"Pretty Suzanne" is one of several unreleased tracks included on the new (beautifully packaged) reissue of Black Monk Time - the Monks' single, legendary record. (Previously on StG... 1 2) Buy it from Light in the Attic on CD or 2xLP.

Monks contest! Thanks to the generosity of Light in the Attic, we are also giving away one copy each of Black Monk Time and the Monks - The Early Years 1964-1965 collection. To qualify, all you need to do is leave a comment describing the best tattoo ever, real or fictional. Particularly tattoos you can imagine on the shoulders of the Monks. Our favourite will receive both CDs. Deadline: Sunday, June 7 - 11:59pm.

(photo source unknown)

Posted by Sean at June 4, 2009 11:37 AM

The best tattoo I ever heard about was one a friend of mine got. He was a camp counselor at the time and he told his campers that if they pooled together the money for it, he'd get whatever tattoo they wanted in whatever place they wanted. So the campers put together their money and told him they wanted him to get a "winkin' Lincoln" tattoo on his ass. He had been worried they'd want something horrible in a really visible location (I don't know if even he could pull off a neck tattoo that read 'FART') so he was pleasantly surprised when they so thoughtfully requested such an amusing homage to a benevolent leader. He agreed, took their money and went right out to get a tattoo of a smiling, top-hatted, Abraham Lincoln conspiratorially winking from the center of his right asscheek.

Posted by Casimir at June 4, 2009 12:11 PM

On the back of the neck, with the first tag being "" and just below it, "". :)

Posted by Sikandar at June 4, 2009 12:39 PM

the tattoo that made the biggest impression on me was the word 'lickable' inked right above the minge of a ginger haired prostitute.

Posted by sr-71 at June 4, 2009 1:55 PM

A women who works at a local pub has a fantastically sublime tattoo on her left bicep: a silhouetted telephone pole/phone line with a single crow-like bird perched on it. All black ink, about three inches high and the same in length...

Posted by John at June 4, 2009 3:25 PM

I saw this guy once with a big squid and whale fighting tattooed across his chest. I thought that was pretty dope.

Posted by M Neigh at June 4, 2009 3:53 PM

when i worked at a local sandwich shop one night a drunk guy came in to show off his lower arm tattoo of michael jackson in thriller, and then, his tattoo on his large stomach of the mug shot of the BTK killer, a famous Kansas serial killer. srsly what the hell?

Posted by Alison at June 4, 2009 4:11 PM

Earth Crisis face tattoo of course. Facial tattoos really need to make a comeback.

Posted by Matthew at June 4, 2009 4:50 PM

Okay, this has nothing to do with the monks, but I once heard the legend of a stripper who had a tweetie bird pushing a lawnmower right where her "lawn" should have been. that's my favorite tattoo ever.

Posted by Adam at June 4, 2009 5:07 PM

A tattoo of a bear ripping the head off of an eagle. It starts on the chest and makes its way up the neck. Can't picture anything more beautiful.

Posted by Mark at June 4, 2009 5:32 PM

It was so extraordinarily small. So small it looked like a large freckle, or a birthmark. I didn't believe it at first. "There's no way someone could carve something out that intricate." That's when she told me. Aliens and robots. Abducted at the age of four, she traveled from our solar system to Sirius and back, encountering only one other being for seventeen years of her life. Her parents worried for her; posters and milk cartons. The news media never got a hold of the story. Girls gone missing in Kentucky isn't as uncommon as you would think.

Eventually, she forgot the significance of her heritage, knowing and loving only her alien caretaker. While she lived with it, the creature appeared to vary in size. It spoke a different language, yet she understood it, and its simple requests.

On her 21st birthday, cruising into earth orbit for the second time, she remembers a prick above her right eyebrow and something like Johnny 5 hovering above her(You can imagine her surprise when she rented "Short Circuit" several years later). She was dropped off with her parents, who had moved to LA to become a hip attorney couple, and to escape the confinement of their memories. Even with all the years of separation, they recognized her immediately, but they didn't know what to do or say... So they drank from their extensive wine collection.

Then they noticed her "freckle". They brought her a mirror. One of those magnifying facial mirrors that are distorted around the edges. She had not seen the mark yet, but she recognized it immediately just as her parents had recognized her. It was the face of her caretaker. The dad had never wanted a dog; and living so far away from the nearest neighbor, she had never encountered one, as far as she knew. To her, it was the best tattoo ever!

Posted by Wes at June 4, 2009 6:01 PM

Dan Boeckner's scared cat

Posted by tim at June 4, 2009 6:27 PM

I once knew a guy who got a tattoo portrait of his own face, on his face. To look at him was like looking at a 3-D moving picture without the glasses. When he looked back at you (as he always would), his stare felt like a crowd.

Posted by Andy at June 5, 2009 1:29 AM

There's a bus and god is on the bus with a crowd of normal humans. god is dressed and shaped like any of his people. Joan Osborne is also on the bus. Joan doesn't know god is on the bus. No one but the owner can tell that god and Joan Osborne are on the bus because god is blending in and Joan Osborne is pretty generic looking; also her nose ring is facing away, towards the windows opposite the ones we are looking through. Because it is too annoying to always have to explain that he has a tattoo of a memorable image from the 1995 top 40 hit "One of Us" on his back and then point out the characters, he always just calls it "people on a bus" when he is forced to respond to inquisitors, like at water parks.

Posted by weeghiz at June 5, 2009 4:06 AM

Turns out former Castor guitarist and current National Skyline maestro (and onetime member of Year Of The Rabbit) Jeff Garber has a depiction of Honcho Overload vocalist Bill Johnson shaking hands with Honcho guitarist(and Hum bassist and Gazelle mastermind) Jeff Dimpsey tattooed across both legs and his 'midsection'. Which is why no one has seen him in shorts in the last 15 years.

Posted by jimjim at June 5, 2009 10:44 AM

3 ideas: a tat of the aerial view of stonehedge on the back. a tat of the washington monument on the chest. and a minnie mouse wherever; maybe the left tit.

Posted by TJ at June 5, 2009 2:02 PM

slightly cartoonish rendition of spock (star trek) frowning, imagining (in a thought "cloud") himself eating a hamburger.

Posted by sam at June 5, 2009 2:58 PM

A friend in high school got this really intricate, and cute, tattoo of a goldfish on her back-right shoulder. Not the most interesting place, but the tat design made up for it. This goldfish was 3D in the sense that it seemed to be swimming towards the viewer, and inked in flaming reds, oranges, and yellows. The rear fin of the goldfish (or maybe it was a koi) blended into a blooming flame. Not only was it kindof badass, it was colorful, unique, and attractive. Not always the case with tattoos. And its the coolest one I've seen since.

Posted by michael at June 5, 2009 3:38 PM

Val kilmers tattoo from 'The Sulton Sea'. Epic.

Posted by Andy McGee at June 6, 2009 2:22 AM

your significant other's face over my heart.

Posted by tyler at June 7, 2009 3:03 AM

a tiny freckle on your right forearm.

Posted by matthew at June 7, 2009 3:18 AM

Best tattoo I've ever seen? Simple, a guy I saw with EAT SHIT written on his forehead where the middle bar of the E had somehow eroded and left him with CAT SHIT; an altogether more complex and beguiling statement of intent, i thought....

Posted by loki at June 7, 2009 11:13 AM

This is the unbeatable combo: Wizard, riding a Unicorn, fighting a dragon.

Posted by kwynne at June 7, 2009 2:46 PM

The best tattoo, both real and fictional, is Petunia. Petunia is a woman in a red dress on the arm of 11 year old Pete from the Nickelodean show Pete and Pete. Petunia is the only tattoo to have her own credit in the show's opening sequence. Petunia frequently dances. And Petunia needs to be licensed, as evidenced by one episode, in which a Park Ranger asks "you got a license for that tattoo, son?". Little Pete replys, "read it and weep, fungus-lick!".

Posted by Tim at June 7, 2009 10:47 PM

Earlier today I saw a guy about my age (Twenty Five) with a tattoo of headphones around his neck, as if they were hanging there. Being that he was wearing one of those too-widely v-necked t-shirts, you could easily make out that the style of these headphones was akin to the free airplane/bus pairs that you are handed so you could watch "Fred Claus" twice in one flight (this has been forced upon me by US Airways, no joke).

This was at Five Guys, and almost as soon as I spotted the tattoo, the dude got up to get some ketchup. I don't know if you've been to the Five Guys in Austin, but they have the ketchup pumps pretty far back over the condiment counter, and as the guy reached to get some his too-short-tee-shirt lifted to reveals a Sony Walkman-style portable cassette player tattooed on his hip.

Posted by Preston at June 7, 2009 11:25 PM

Perfect, simply sublime: on the back of her shoulder, the black-inked outline of a cardboard box with three holes cut out of the side, a la The Little Prince. (The sheep is inside.)

Posted by Chen at June 8, 2009 12:17 AM

the most creative tattoo i have seen is on the back of some bikers head...it was a face like eyes,nose, mouth and everything and he was bald on top of his head and on the bottom had like a little mullet which was the faces beard/mustache pretty much looked like a real person on the back of his head

Posted by Armin at June 8, 2009 3:42 AM

There is a friend of mine (and I hope he doesn't read this and then get angry for taking his entry) who has a tattoo of Santa Claus fighting a giant octopus on his bicep. For reals. It is absolutely impossible to not laugh while looking at it.

Another friend of mine has a a businessman in a suit and wielding a briefcase, riding atop a unicorn.

They don't know each other though.

Posted by Quinn at June 8, 2009 9:53 AM

EST. (insert year born) right on the hip

I'm gonna get this for my 21st birthday

Posted by Carmen at June 9, 2009 12:54 PM

I'm not sure if this makes a difference, but these are real:

1. "Never trust a woman" across an old crusty's neck. I mean, what happened to make that seem a good idea?

2. This isn't strictly a tattoo, but still... When i was about 14, i was at a summer school, with loads of other kids, between the ages of 4 and 16. It was where working parents sent their kids during the holiday. Face painting one day, one of the helpers agreed to paint Manchester Utd colours on this 5 year olds face. But, writing the acronym MUFC across his forehead, she realised she'd run out of space, and decided to space it out a little differently. The poor kid ended up with MUF on his forehead and CLUB on his chin. MUF CLUB. (Muf is English slang for female genitalia)

Posted by Stephen at June 10, 2009 6:38 PM

Andy Goldsworthy has a tattoo of Elvis on his forearm, with "The King" underneath, in a banner. You can see it for a second in "Rivers and Tides" (when he's out drinking with his friends).

Posted by Peter at June 22, 2009 9:06 PM

I really want to know the story behind that picture.

Posted by Connor at July 23, 2009 10:34 PM

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Sean Michaels is the founder of Said the Gramophone. He is a writer, critic and author of the theremin novel Us Conductors. Follow him on Twitter or reach him by email here. Click here to browse his posts.

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