Friday the 13th tattoos; unlucky for some but not for Dave Perry.

Friday the 13th tattoos; unlucky for some but not for Dave Perry.

Dave Perry is a former journalist, TV pundit and one of the finest gamers ever to pick up a controller. He now dedicates his time to tattooing while running his YouTube channel The Games Animal, which focuses on the golden era of video games. Yayo sent resident fanboy Matt Haddon-Reichardt to Revolver Tattoo Rooms to interview Dave and get the low down on Friday the 13th tattoos.

 

 

“I love Friday the 13th,” explains Dave as he thrashes me for the hundredth time at Mortal Kombat II.

Revolver Tattoo Rooms is one of the coolest studios I’ve ever been in and celebrates Dave’s love of tattooing and his history as one of the 90’s top gamers. Retro games consoles hang on the walls next to vintage video game memorabilia, tattoo artwork sits beside images of skulls and an original Mortal Kombat II cabinet is the centre piece of this shrine to all things ink and 16 bit.

“Often the various artists at the shop will produce unique flash sheets, or horror related designs for executing at a special price on those days. We also have a random gumball type machine, that we have used for Friday 13th in the past, when walk-ins are available. Customers can pay £31, turn the handle and get whatever tattoo drops out; you feeling lucky punk?”

 

"As an art school graduate I was fascinated in the art form and how to conduct it."

 

To any game head over 40 Dave is easily recognisable as that dude in the bandanna off Channel 4’s hit show Games Master. When he turned his back on the games industry tattooing was the next logical step.

“I first got into tattooing at the end of the 80s, when my landlord in Bishops Stortford brought a set-up home from his local pub. As an art school graduate I was fascinated in the art form and how to conduct it. But my life went in different directions for many years and I began tattooing again in earnest in the early noughties. In 2007 I opened the Revolver Tattoo Rooms back in my home town of Torquay, and am lucky to work every day with a family of artists who I both respect and enjoy spending time with.”

I ask Dave what the big deal is with Friday the 13th tattoos. 

“Personally, I believe that although number 13 tattoos have always had an attraction within the tattooed world, probably as a demonstration of our need to buck society and rebel against traditional thinking i.e., ‘you say 13 is an unlucky number? Fuck you and your superstition. We are bad asses, and will do what we want.’”

“I think in truth however, as society is becoming less and less personal, and more and more disjointed, there is something in all of us that craves an ‘event’ to be part of, a trend to latch on to. We love to belong to something, and getting a 13 tattoo on Friday the 13th is just something else to be a part of... even though we think we are being rebellious in doing it.”

 

"You say 13 is an unlucky number? Fuck you and your superstition."

 

I agree that tattooing is one of those sub cultures where in an effort to not conform people end up conforming, like all the face painted goths at a Ghost gigs expressing their individuality by looking the same.

“Oh, the ironies of this tattooed world,” laughs Dave.

As Dave pops off to make coffee I practice my Mortal Kombat II special moves. Back, back, forward, high punch. It’s trickier than I remember. Dave returns and hands me my mug.

 

“Hell yes of course I believe in luck. You see the irony now?”

 

“Take a look at this,” he says lifting up his chin. On his neck is his own Friday the 13th tattoo

“I have a huge 13 on my throat.”

I ask him if this is part of his desire to be an individual or his desire to be part of an event or movement.

“Why?” he retorts flashing me a winning smile, “because I am a badass.”

So are Friday the 13th tattoos lucky? I guess that only matters if you believe in luck. I pose the question to Dave as I finally execute Scorpion’s kunai throw.

“Hell yes of course I believe in luck. You see the irony now?”

 

A final thought from the author: "Whether you believe in luck or not don't take any chances when healing your tattoo. Aftercare is as important as the tattooist who puts the ink in your skin. Always use Yayo to heal your tattoos. When it comes to tattoo aftercare in my experience there is no such thing as luck."

Yayo... its a family thing.

 

 Words by Matt Haddon-Reichardt
Images by Dave Perry and Matt Haddon-Reichardt 

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