Al's tattoo was done at at Tattoo Charlie's in Louisville, KY by Jeremiah Grant. Check out the shop at Al is guy #6 to have a tattoo posted on these pages! The boys are catching up, but they have a long way to go yet....

In his own words....

I've been a fan of Duran Duran ever since "The Reflex" came out. I was a late bloomer, but hey, better late than never is what I say. I have thought about the possibility of getting a tattoo for years, and then the band released The Wedding Album. I was determined that I'd get the band logo as my tattoo, but I waited 12 years. The timing just wasn't right for me yet to get a tattoo so I waited. I've told all my friends for years that the logo would be my tattoo.

Al's 1st tattoo design

Well New Year's day 2004 my partner of 10 years tells me that he no longer wants to be with me because he needs time to himself to work through some issues. I was then asked 2 months later to move out of our home that we shared together. Long story short - it was the best thing that ever could have happened to me. I spent most of 2004 learning to be a single man again, and I learned a lot about myself and refused to feel sorry for myself. Needless to say, I have grown as a person and am the happiest that I have ever been. In 2005 my 2 bosses gave me the opportunity to study for the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation, and I ran with it. I decided to take an intense 10 month study course (self study takes 2 years to complete this program) to prepare for the exam in November 2005. It was an overwhelming task, but I'm glad that I did it. I promised myself that I would finally get my tattoo once I take the exam and had it behind me. The exam was Nov 18-19, 2005. Everyone knew that I said that I'd get my tattoo once I took the exam, BUT no one really thought that I'd really do it. Well...I proved them wrong.

With all of that said, how did I come up with my design. Well, as I stated before, my tattoo was going to be The Wedding Album logo, BUT then came the summer US Astronaut Tour 2005 and the band had a new design/logo on the tour shirts. THE moment I saw the logo, I knew IT WAS THE ONE!!! Now I know why I waited.

Al's 2nd tattoo design

The only problem was that I had to put my own stamp on the design to truly make it an original. I asked one of my best friends, Jeff, who does graphic design work as a hobby, to help me with the design. It took about 4 - 5 samples before he came up with the final product. He got the design EXACTLY as I had it pictured in my mind's eye.

Al's 3rd and final tattoo design

I got my tattoo at Tattoo Charlie's here in Louisville, KY. Tattoo Charlie's is an innovator when it comes to tattooing. My tattoo artist was Jeremiah Grant, and I give all credit to him because he was able to help me through this experience. I called him the day before to discuss the design with him and let him know my nervousness. I also warned him that I tend to be a fainter at the sight of blood. He told me that he faints at the sight of blood as well, but this process would be nothing like that at all. He suggested that I eat about 2 hours before I come in and maybe even have a soft drink before as well to get sugar into my system. He even suggested that I bring some candy with me to have some sugar handy just in case. I emailed the design to him, and he assured me that it could be done. He totally put my mind at ease. My friend, Jeff, who created the final design was to go with me, but he got sick that morning so I went by myself even though I was a nervous wreck (nothing was going to stop me now). Jeremiah got the tattoo ready and then sat and discussed it with me for a while. The man is a pro...totally put my nerves at ease again. I got my tattoo the day before Thanksgiving 2005, and I absolutely love it.

It's on my left arm, and I had it placed strategically so it could be hidden by a t-shirt. I had to make sure that it could be hidden since I work in the financial services industry. The tattoo is 4" x 5.25" which is a bit larger than I originally imagined, but Jeremiah told me that the design would be compromised if he made it any smaller. Who am I to question his knowledge/judgement?

So what does all of this mean?? Probably nothing to anyone who sees the tattoo, but to me it represents my deep love/admiration for Duran Duran and the music they have given to me over the years. But it also represents the "new" me now that I'm out from under the thumb of my controlling partner of 10 years. And it represents my determination and stamina for surviving the year long process that I've gone through to study for my CFP designation.

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