That was the slogan emblazoned on the back of the first Nirvana t-shirt. The front depicted a simplistic drunken smiley face. Kurt Cobain's blotto logo has popped up everywhere: bumper stickers, clothing, candy. Now, twenty years after the release of their final studio album In Utero and nineteen years after Cobain's passing, fans had the opportunity to sear the iconic image into their skin, for free, with the purchase of a remastered copy of the album or live DVD, compliments of Universal Music Group.
Tattoo artists Matt Marcus (Three Kings Tattoo, Brooklyn) and Jason Schroder (Incognito Tattoo, Los Feliz) spent six hours in the window of Long Beach's Fingerprints Records, putting the small image on the various body parts of over fifty people. Many enthusiastic kids under twenty-one were denied, while several more youngsters with accountability waivers in hand chickened out at the last minute, thus saving themselves from having to hide the tattoo from their parents.
Here are a few of the folks who were united by their love of Nirvana and permanent body art.
Dirty Rich Kidd, 26
"This is my first non mom-related tattoo."
"This is definitely not my first tattoo."
"This is my first tattoo. Sometimes you just want to do something reckless."
"This is my second tattoo. I was going to get one in honor of my son but he'll have to wait. At least here he can watch me get it." (Her teenage son stood quietly nearby.)
"This is my first tattoo. I love Nirvana. And it's free!"
"I've got a bunch of tattoos. This is actually my second Nirvana tattoo."
"I had always wanted to get a Nirvana tattoo. So why not now?"
"This is my third tattoo. I work next door so I came over. Plus, they're my favorite band. It will always remind me of Long Beach."
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