Tuesday, September 22, 2020

The True Story of the Ray Romano Death Threat Tattoo!

 It's time to learn the true story of this famous tattoo as told by the artist himself, Gary van de Wouw aka Gary Loco!  The next time you see one of those lists of "WTF?!" Tattoos", pass on the real story and give some credit to the guy who made it happen!  

Tattoo by Gary van de Wouw aka Gary Loco

"So somehow, 15+ years after doing the “infamous” Ray Romano tattoo, this tattoo just keeps following me around and yet nobody has an inkling (pun intended) about the fact who it was who did it and thus, in all the years that this tattoo been shared over and over again on multitudes of blogs and websites, I never once got credited for it. 

Whether or not this is a good thing I’ll leave up for discussion. 

The story told about this tattoo has never been correct. 

The one told here is probably the closest to what actually happened. 

The tattoo was originally done in Toronto at Lucky 13 Tattoos, downtown on Bloor street. 

It was originally shared on my BMEzine account by myself and then got reblogged by the late owner Of this influential body modification community, Shannon Laratt.

This is why and when this tattoo became one of the earlier viral “regrettable” tattoos on the internet around 2004 or 2005. 

In 2008 it was published in the book “No Regrets; the worst, & most #$%*ing ridiculous tattoos ever” by Aviva Yael & P.M Chen with foreword by David Cross on pg. 62, with my permission. It was credited to my “tattoo name” Gary Loco @ Loco Tattoos, which was my then shop in Hamilton, Ontario at the time this book was published.

Anyway.. the story ; 

I had met the girl in question on the subway some weeks prior. 

She came visit me at the shop sometime after having a drunk night with a friend where they were coming up with the stupidest tattoo ideas they could think of. 

She came in on a dare to get the tattoo done. 

No, she was not drunk at the time. 

Yes, I initially did refuse to do it even though I thought it the funniest thing. 

Yes, I did tell her to think about this for a bit and come back if she really wanted it done. 

Yes, she did return within the next few days(Still sober) and,

Yes, I then did the tattoo. 

No, she did not get it for free. Moneys were exchanged. Nothing else. 

The simple bold “Coptic” I think, font was chosen on purpose by her. 

So there’s the real story. 

Spread it! 

I am still tattooing these days from a small town a bit north of Seattle, WA called Stanwood At the Stanwood Tattoo Company. "


This hangs in the hallway of Stanwood Tattoo Company, so that anyone who enters the shop knows they're about to experience a brush with greatness.  

For more of Gary's amazing tattoo work that does not involve threatening Ray Romano, check out his Facebook & Instagram pages! 

Gary Loco on Facebook

Gary Loco on Instagram