Inked Mag Staff
February 10th, 2023
Gabba Gabba Hey! Ramones Tattoos
Hey ho, let's go look at this gallery of tattoos celebrating the seminal punk band
A little bit of serendipity struck the Inked headquarters this morning. I was doing my usual routine of chugging iced coffee and scrolling the internet with my brain off, when I stumbled upon the following tattoo by Dan Smith.
As you can see, it’s a truly beautiful portrait of the late Joey Ramone. it stopped me in my tracks for a couple of reasons. First off, it’s a great tattoo. Secondly, if there was a Mount Rushmore of musicians who influenced my personal worldview, Joey is on there. And lastly, thanks to the hangover I was shaking off I felt like my brain was hanging upside down, so why not fanboy out over the Ramones?
When you look take a deep look at the tattoo above it’s abundantly clear that the piece was made with love. And if you can’t see that from the attention to detail of the portrait, you can tell by the caption Smith used, “Joey died on my birthday.” It feels silly to say this, but you really can sense when a tattoo was important to the tattoo artist.
The Ramones weren’t the first punk band I was introduced to—that would be the Dead Kennedys thanks to my best friend’s older brother—but they laid the blueprint for the type of punk I would love and play (poorly) throughout my life. There’s an element of fun and pop-influenced whimsy in their songs that attracted me. I guess I always approached music as an escape, so while I appreciate the politics throughout much of the best punk rock, I’d much rather sing “Now I wanna sniff some glue” than “Kill the poor,” ya know?
Too often we dismiss simplicity in art. Critics often equate simplicity with a lack of talent or creativity, but the Ramones proved songs don’t need to be overly complex to be brilliant. There’s nothing indulgent about a Ramones song, it’s rock music stripped of all its fluff and filler. There isn’t a single song on their debut album longer than 2:40 and you can count the number of guitar solos on one hand with fingers to spare, yet when it was released it was different than anything anybody had ever heard before. And as scores of imitators quickly proved, it was nowhere near as easy as it sounds to pull it off.
Joey, Johnny, Dee Dee and Tommy had it all figured out. And we can’t discount the contributions from Marky, Richie, CJ and Elvis over the years. The music of the Ramones touched millions of people and influenced more bands than we could possibly count. But beyond that, they’ve inspired a ton of amazing tattoos. In the gallery below you’ll find just a sampling of them. Without further ado… One, two, three, four!
Inspired by Japanese culture and anime, MimiSama combines old school methods with modern technology in her unique style of tattooing
He fights in the UFC, fronts a punk band, runs a clothing line and does a little stand-up comedy on the side—so, yeah, Andre “Touchy” Fili is all the way alive