Before we begin today’s post, let me announce that we have two winners in the MBIP Contest from two days ago. You can read the details about the contest by clicking here and the two Grand Prize Winners are: Chip Joyce and Mae Gilliland Wright! Chip guessed the right place where I got this week’s sandwich and if you read on, you’ll find out that Mae guessed the correct year that I got tattooed on my right forearm. So we’re going to be going to lunch soon and look for a post from that coming up, hopefully in the next week or so, stay tuned!
Speaking of tattoos, I finally got one to match the MBIP tattoo I got last year! Check out that post here and you can also read about my history of tattoos on that post. Ever since I got the MBIP tattoo on my left forearm, I wanted to get one to match it on my right arm, but I wanted to think of a proper four digit tattoo to put on there. I finally decided on putting the year, 1967 on there because that was my favorite year of all time and it also holds one of my greatest and happiest memories. I’ll write more about that later, but first, let’s go get inked!
Here we are at I’m No Angel Ink, hard to believe a whole year has gone by since the last tattoo! Not having a matching tattoo has kind of caused my OCD to bug me every time I look at my arms and now it’ll be nice to balance everything out today at last! Let’s go in!
There’s the front waiting room with the comfortable leather couch! And over on the wall are framed pictures of the owner and tattoo artist here at I’m No Angel, Wanda Harper.
And check out the guy lurking in the doorway! It’s Matt Buedel who was here last year to take pictures! Matt agreed to meet me here and take photos again this year, what a guy!
Over in the corner is Wanda Harper, owner and tattoo artist extraordinaire! Wanda’s been in business here in Peoria since 1989 and she’s not only Peoria’s best tattoo artist, she’s also one of the more astute businesswomen in town. She turned her love of tattoo art into a booming business here in town and she was instrumental for establishing the criteria for Tattoo Shop codes for the Peoria County Health Department and State of South Dakota Health Department. She’s received global recognition for her work in the tattoo industry and has customers as far reaching as Finland, Switzerland, Germany, Canada, Norway, and Russia. I’ve heard she’s even had clients from Creve Coeur! Not being content to stand still with one successful business here in Peoria, this year Wanda started a new business that incorporates her love of dogs (she has nine dogs, two are pictured there on her computer screen!) and the business is called, Sunka K9 Training and you can read more about it here on the facecrack page.
There’s Wanda showing Matt and myself a video of a dog named, Loki that she recently helped with her training. Loki started off with a muzzle and by the end of the video he’s a happy and carefree dog! The video is really amazing and Wanda is so wonderful at training and reshaping dog’s ways of thinking. You can see the video’s by clicking right here!
It was cool to see Wanda’s new animal business venture, but now it’s tattoo time! It took me a long time to think of what to put on my right arm to match my left MBIP tattoo. Finally I decided on the year, “1967,” because that was my favorite year and one of my favorite memories which I’ll write about at the end of the post. Wanda got the type sized so it would match the MBIP tattoo and now it’s time to go to the tattoo chair!
And it’s also time to surrender my camera to Matt! He’ll be taking all the photos from here on in. Matt’s a talented photographer and you can read about an exhibit he had a while back here along with Scott Cavanah at the Peoria Public Library. You can also see more of Matt’s photos right here. And so now the MBIP Camera is in his able hands!
So what does he do as soon as he gets his mitts on my camera? He turns it against me to get some photos of me looking like a jerkoff texting on my phone! That second photo is my patented, “Alright, knock it off, asshole!” look.
Okay, now we’re on track! Here we are getting ready to put the tattoo onto the arm. Wanda puts an ink outline to follow and then she wanted to make sure both arms matched. That last photo is my zombie portrait!
Here we are chatting for a little bit and then it’s time for the tattoo action to begin!
Wanda’s really good at keeping your mind off of the needle that’s putting the ink under your skin. We had a fun chat about all kinds of subjects while she was putting the tattoo on including Peoria, the internet, local radio shows, New York City, Donald Trump and a certain Uber driver that Matt and I will never forget!
Matt got some great shots from the afternoon! My favorite is that last one, because that’s something that has happened my whole life. I’ll be laughing like a mad-man only to look up to see everyone looking at me like I’ve got a screw loose and then I realize that I was kind of laughing at nothing! This is what happens when you do too much acid in your 20’s, so take notes kids and don’t do what I have done!
Here’s Wanda putting the final touches on the 1967 tattoo. As always, she did a great job, it was painless and quick. She’s a real pro!
Since I was there, Wanda touched up last year’s tattoo, which was so nice of her! I like the photo of my feet hanging over the edge of the chair that Matt captured! And there’s the two tattoos bandaged up for a bit before the reveal.
And here’s the reveal! Matching tattoos, I love them! My favorite blog and my favorite year are now forever etched onto my forearms and I feel balanced and a lot better! Thanks to Matt for taking such great photos and to Wanda for her wonderful ink work as always! And thanks to them both for hanging out for the afternoon, we had so much fun and I can’t wait to do it again next year! We’ll see you all tomorrow!
Related Post: The Fifth Tattoo.
1967—The Summer Of Love and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
1967 is my favorite year of all time, especially the summer of 1967. That was the summer that was known as, The Summer of Love and it was three months that seemed like everything was going to change in this world. I was an impressionable nine-year-old and myself and my brother Jim were really into the music and the whole hippie dynamic that we thought would take over the world and change the very culture that we grew up in.
We couldn’t wait!
The year of 1967 was the year of the first outdoor multiple day pop festival, The Monterey Pop Festival. And there was so much incredible and new music happening.
!967 saw the debut albums released by The Doors, The Grateful Dead, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Nico, Moby Grape, David Bowie and Frank Zappa, just to name a few. “Hair” premeired on Broadway in New York and The Who toured with Herman’s Hermits and Jimi Hendrix opened up for The Monkees!
Oh...and a little album called, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was released on June 1st, 1967. Sgt. Pepper’s has always been referred to as the soundtrack to the Summer of Love. It certainly was the soundtrack for the summer for my brother Jim and myself, but before we ever listened to Sgt. Pepper, we stared at it for about four days in a row.
The summer of 1967 started out really great for me. Our family went on a summer vacation to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. I was so excited to go there and it was really a wonderful time. I saw the ocean for the first time, frolicked in the sand on the beach, watched women in bikinis swimming and swaying everywhere and spent hours staring the album cover of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
My brother’s birthday happened in the middle of the vacation and our family had a little party for him in the hotel room. He opened up his presents and the one I remember him excitedly tearing open was the album, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
We had heard about this album being made by The Beatles, ever since the double sided single, “Strawberry Fields” and “Penny Lane had come out at the beginning of 1967. It was Beatles music like no one had ever heard and it blew me away. Especially, “Strawberry Fields,” I’ve always loved that song. But we had read where The Beatles were recording a whole album of this new type of music.
All year long we waited for this album to come out and now we had it in our hands, the only trouble was we couldn’t play it because there was no record player in the hotel room. This was decades before the internet and we weren’t going to be driving home from Florida for four more days. So we had only one option.
We stared at the album cover.
I remember lying on the hotel bed with Jim and just poring over that whole album cover. We spent hours trying to identify the different people in the “audience” of the album cover. Of course there was The Beatles with their Sgt. Pepper’s outfits and newly-grown mustaches and there was also the old Beatles off to the side. We also recognized Bob Dylan, Marlon Brando, W.C. Fields, Tony Curtis, Cassius Clay, Laurel and Hardy and a bunch more that we couldn’t identify. There was the Sgt. Pepper bass drum with the colorful typography logo on it and plants and flowers at the bottom of the cover. And we noticed a note on a doll’s sweater that said, “Welcome The Rolling Stones Good Guys.” That was so cool!
As much time as we spent staring at the front cover, we spent even more time reading the back cover. This was the first time The Beatles had published all the lyrics to the songs on the album and they were all their on the back cover. We couldn’t listen to it, but we sure as shit could read all of those lyrics.
And we did.
Over and over and over!
I was mystified at some of the words and themes from the songs. I remember saying to Jim that the lyrics to “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” were like a fairy tale and he agreed with me. Imagine being nine-years-old and reading these lyrics without hearing the music:
“Follow her down to a bridge by the fountain,
Where rocking horse people eat marshmallow pies.
Everyone smiles as you drift past the flowers,
That grow so incredibly high.
Newspaper taxis appear on the shore,
Waiting to take you away.
Climb in the back with your head in the clouds,
And you're gone.”
It really made my imagination spin into overdrive wondering what that song sounded like. And all of the others with the different characters, Mr. Kite, BIlly Shears, Lovely Rita. Both Jim and I got obsessed reading the lyrics and I’ve never spent so much time reading words to songs that I had no idea what they sounded like in my life before or after.
By the time we finally got back home to Louisville, Kentucky I remember Jim and I running to the console stereo in the living room and putting the album on the turntable. As the needle hit the record and seconds before it started I just remember feeling beyond excited.
It’s hard to explain but the best I can do is it felt like a combination of having to throw up and falling out of a plane but not being worried about it. Pure adrenaline.
Then the album started to play and the first thing we heard was the crowd and then the opening chords of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band which segued into, “With A Little Help From My Friends.” A Ringo song! Then finally, we heard “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds.” It was more magical than I ever could’ve imagined.
Hearing all the lyrics that we had read and obsessed over come alive in song was like when the Wizard of Oz went from black and white to blazing Technicolor. It was just like being magically transported to the land of Oz.
We played that album over and over and over that entire summer of 1967. And each time was just as exciting and magical as the first time.
Through the years, my brother Jim and I talked a lot about the first time we heard Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band after staring at the cover for days on end. It was always a great memory from that magical summer of 1967 to share with each other.
And it still is.