It’s kind of embarrassing that it’s been over a year since my last tattoo. The ink on my skin means so much to me and I love showing it and talking about why I chose certain pieces of art. Being an adult can mean that I can go to Aubrey’s for dinner and skip the Pizza Rockefeller, skip the fried chicken tenders with honey mustard, loaded baked potato and parmesan spinach and go straight for the Apple Walnut Cobbler if I so desire. Being a responsible adult, however, means before I’m allowed to get a new tattoo, I have to buy furniture for the living room (check), buy my wife a one-hour massage (check), put brakes on her car (not needed, check and a fist-pump), buy & pay off a getaway for our anniversary (check). Well, let’s just say I’ve had a very productive last couple of months and it was time once again to hit Kingsport’s 2 Ton Gallery with the famous Rob Jarrett. March 31 saw the development of Ska’d For Life Part 05: The Aquabats!
With no ska scene in the Tri-Cities and the very little exposure given to it by MTV (and my young age that prevented my parents from allowing me to go to shows) my love of Ska was limited to less than three bands up until Napster hit the scene. By this time I actually knew what ska was (third wave, at least) and took it upon myself to scour napster for everything ska I could find to broaden my horizons as much as my 15 year old self could. There I came across the Toasters, The Specials, Less Than Jake, Madness and the Aquabats song “My Skateboard!” A pretty silly song, yes, but definitely ska and definitely worth listening to over and over again. I branched off into other picks from their album “The Fury of the Aquabats!” like “Super Rad,” “Magic Chicken,” and “The Cat With Two Heads.” Years later I would get into some of their other work, both earlier and later picks, eventually picking up some of their work, their concert DVD and a girlfriend-turned fiance – turned wife that got into the Aquabats the same way I did after she downloaded “Red Sweater” from Napster successor Morpheus.
They dress like superheroes and fight crime both on stage and off while singing fun, friendly and upbeat songs that are so fun, friendly and upbeat they have the ability to make ones teeth hurt if they’re offended by such things. I’ve found most people that have heard them either adore them or label them as kiddy music, which is unfortunate because I’ve never heard a band play with such a positive message for their fans. My wife (who is an official Aquacadet) and I have jammed them for years, talking about them with the gusto of a street-corner preacher telling the Good News, ailing for them to tour somewhere nearby, posing with other Aquabats fans at conventions and wishing them nothing but the best with their other entertainment efforts: kid’s shows Yo Gabba Gabba and The Aquabats Super Show! They can make you dance, make you smile and in one case with a friend of mine who I turned on to them, temporarily get you off drugs. Maybe it’s the masks, maybe it’s the message, or maybe it’s just good old-fashioned ska that does the trick. Either way, the Aquabats are on their way, here they go, they’re gonna take over.
The design is their Aquacadet mascot inside a green shield. This is located on the top of my right arm, just above the elbow and sits between my Reel Big Fish “fish” tattoo and my Mighty Mighty Bosstones Jackknife to a Swan tattoo. Check out the photo and listen to the tunes for a better day.