"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!" -Benjamin Franklin

Saturday, December 24, 2011

RIP Painless Paul

So, another tattooer friend of mine has passed away.  Why do I have to keep writing this same damn blog entry over and over this year?  I've known Paul for 17 or 18 years, and have lived pretty much around the corner from him for the last 10.  He also had a shop about a mile down the road from me.  Paul was definitely what one would call 'cantankerous'- an old school, biker tattooer.  On various occasions he told me, "I'm gonna out-gottdamn-live you, I'll be dancin' on your gottdamn grave."  Paul was a cool old guy- there were a lot of people that didn't quite get along with Paul, but there were plenty that did.  Paul had been tattooing for 40 or so years in the Atlanta area.  There were periods where Paul quit tattooing for a couple of years, fed up with the business he'd say that he was done with tattooing, but he always ended up being dragged back in.  When he closed 'Painless Paul's Skin and Ink Tattoos', he came into my shop with a 'Welcome' sign from his shop and gave it to me saying, "You want this gottdamn thing, ain't nobody fuckin' welcome in my shop no more."  I still have that sign hanging in my shop, hell, it was painted by Paul.  I also have a 'Pay in Advance' sign that Paul painted.  Paul was definitely the 'Old Man' of Atlanta tattooing- even if you didn't have any tattoos, you had probably heard of Painless Paul Nelson.  He was an old school tattooer in every way, and we would have long talks about our mutual hatred of the Gwinnett County Health Department (I guess from now on I'll have to give them enough shit for both Me and Paul).  Rest in peace Paul.










5 comments:

  1. I have a tattoo from each of you...I feel blessed. RIP Paul...Devina

    ReplyDelete
  2. I had no idea. I had driven by his shop today off Hwy 78 n seen it had been closed. He'd given me 3 tattoos and even found out he'd "dated" my bio mom for a brief period back in the day. Both she n I were tattooed by him and I never knew. He was an interesting individual. RIP Paul

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hey Dave, don't know if you'll remember me, I was Diane's big sister Kay. We met a couple of times at Paul's house. How sad it is to have lost both Diane and Paul in such a short amount of time of one another. I think I might be correct in saying that Paul didn't believe in God; that's what Diane told me on many occassions. I really hate thinking about that, especially knowing he's gone. You are a special friend to him and wanted to let you know how much I appreciated the "RIP" to him.
    Take care Dave.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Did he have a shop in Florida? Fort Walton Beach/Mayport area?

    ReplyDelete
  5. Did he do Tupac's cross on his back? I heard a story from Paul's nephew that he did. Can anyone confirm this?

    ReplyDelete