It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words. If so, how many words is a U2 tattoo worth, uno, dos, tres, catorce? If you’re like me, you look at most tattoos and say to yourself, “WTF were you thinking?” Most tattooed bodies are more toilet wall than canvas, if you know what I mean. Imagine sitting in a job interview in July wearing a turtle neck covering up that Tweetie Bird tat on your neck? Awkward! I have a theory that most people get their tattoos between the hours of black out city AM and pass out o’clock PM and usually end in shame and being ridiculed by their friends and family for the rest of their life. Then, into my GA life walks Beth Nabi and Chris Leclere, co creators of the U2 Tattoo Project Team. I met both Beth and Chris in Boston during the U2 shows last week and within seconds of watching them at work, I knew that not only does love leave such a mark, but so did Beth’s and Chris’ professionalism and determination to tell the story behind each U2 tattoo, leave a mark, as well.
This boy, stupid boy wasn’t ready to sit at the table until he watched these two at work in Boston. Chris making each person feel comfortable to get each image in the best light, the purple irises, the camera couldn’t catch. But for this stupid boy, the real clincher was watching Beth and Chris get each person to shed light on the story behind the tattoo. I quickly got schooled and heard some unbelievable tales of courage, sadness and pure exhilaration. It turns out that not every tattoo was obtained after 10 beers in the middle of the night in some dark alley. I listened to some of these stories and my jaw dropped right there on Causeway Street. Stories of unbelievable strength and how certain lyrics or U2 imagery helped some people get through the most difficult or tragic times in their life. Watching people open up their souls to retell and relive their story was a thing of beauty and sadness all wrapped up into one beautiful mark, permanently featured for the world to see.
Beth and Chris epitomize the best of U2 fans and are doing something productive with their fandom. Both are determined to shed light onto the dark inked U2 images throughout U2 land and will scale the city walls and run through the meadows to be with you, but you can also reach out to them by going to u2tattooproject.com and add onto this very worthy project.