M is for Motaur

Every day in October I will be rocking an A To Z Blog Challenge about my terribly terrific tattoos. Every day a new letter. Today is October 16 so the letter of the day is M (I’m taking Sundays off. Columbus Day too!)

M is for Motuar

My tattoo of a unicorn humping a dolphin in front of a rainbow gets all the love. It’s in a few tattoo books and a ton of “best” and “worst” tattoo roundups in the interwebz. But it’s only my second favorite tattoo of a mythical creature. My favorite, of course, is the Motaur. Half-Man Half-Amazing.

It’s all Ben Stiller’s fault. Or White Goodman’s fault. Who can forget his riveting turn as an egomaniacal gym owner in the 2004 celluloid classic Dodgeball. Perhaps the apex of his character’s development came when he was meeting with Christine Taylor’s Kate Veatch in his gym office and she commented on the painting that hung behind his desk. The one of him wrestling a bull. “Yeah that’s me, taking the bull by the horns” he casually yet seductively purred. “It’s how I handle my business. It’s a metaphor… But that really happened!”

In a movie full of incredible scenes, that’s the one that that kept echoing in the chasms of my psyche. As I wandered the streets after leaving the theater, I knew I needed to get as ridiculous a portrait of myself to hang behind my desk at work. It was a negotiating tactic. I figured that anyone who came into my office would be some combination of scared, confused, and aroused. And that combination, in whatever doses of each, would be enough to knock them at least one step off their game and allow me to have the upper hand. I’m still not sure if that ever worked but it sure been fun over the years to watch people’s reactions as they figure out what it is…

Deciding exactly what my portrait would entail took almost no time at all. It must have been divine inspiration. Given my love of motorcycles, that had to be the theme. And it had to outdo White Goodman’s portrait.

I called up my pARTner in crime, Glenn Hidalgo, and said “Glenn, I need you to make a portrait of me. I want to be half man, half motorcycle, set in a post apocaclytpic New York City. I want one hand to be clutching some cash and the other to be throwing the goat. Got it?” Get it he did.

It didn’t take me long to decide that I wanted to get it tattooed on my back. It DID however take almost 4 years for me to work up the cojones to go through with it. The only man who I trusted this job to was Bruce Gulick, who has since gone on to be my business partner and operator of our amazing tattoo shop The Magic Fun Store in Tucson, Arizona. At the time Bruce was living in Maryland, so I made the 300 round trip mile trek down the scenic New Jersey Turnpike. 6 times. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was my back. By the time the fat man roared we had done 7 sessions spanning some 45 hours of work. The last of which was done in my apartment in New York City the day before Bruce moved to Tucson. Timing, as they say, is everything.

The Painting:

The Tattoo:


I’ve been planning this A-Z Tattoo Blog ever since I took part in another A-Z Blog Challenge in April 2013. I knew that the M is for Motaur post would be an important entry to me, which meant that this tattoo warranted more than just a simple writeup and photo. So I did what any industrious concertpromoting rock n roll obsessed tattoo fanatic would do: I commission one of my favorite songwriters, Chris Catalyst, and his band, the Eureka Machines, to write a song about the tattoo and then hired video whiz B.A. Miale – who also make the viral video sensation The Dolphin and the Unicorn – and animator Gregory Stovetop to give it the full on visual treatment.

I gave them both a rough idea of what I was looking for and then let them work their magic. Magic really is the only word I can use to describe it.

Here it is – in all it’s bare chested, balls of a bike glory…

The Song:
THE MOTAUR RIDES (Half-Man Half-Amazing)

Many thanks to the irrepressible spirit and lovely lens of Deneka Peniston for the tattoo pics!