When all is said and done, what will you hope that people will remember about you, or be inspired by you to do?
BB.) I have been involved in Tattooing, for just shy of 20 years now. I have seen a LOT of changes, and I have seen the effect our artwork has had on contemporary tattooing. I am uninterested in all of that. The main difference that stands out, and that I believe we had a profound influence on, but would NEVER take credit for, is the fact that Charity is now a common word in tattooing. When I started, tattooing was inundated and controlled by serious bikers, drug dealers, pimps and ho's, and charity was not a word in our vocabulary. Now I see "Toys for Tots", bike runs for fallen officers, abused animal fundraisers, donations for child cancer, in tattoo based promotion all the time.
This Christmas was the best one yet for that. I clicked on one of my MySpace accounts and saw like 3000 charity events at tattoo shops. While I would never take credit for that, it is awesome to see how constant and prevalent it has become for us as an industry since I climbed in. Charity used to be a bad word that incited argument.
Early on, I did some online charity auctions, and all we got initially was hate mail. "You scumbag, you're keeping that sh*t" (laughter). I believe it was when one of our artists' children was diagnosed with terminal and aggressive cancer that it really took on a life of its own. The whole tattoo industry came together to help! And he received the brutal treatments of chemo while watching his NEW big screen TV and playing his new video games! (laughter).
We raised some money for injured soldiers, a tattoo artist who had a bad car wreck, and did "Toys for Tots" again and again, all while filming the animal charity movie (Vicktory to the Underdog), and all of a sudden the incoming mail changed. It was people with their own ideas on who to help, how to help, or asking what they could do to help US!
As a result, I understood what the TV show "My Name is Earl" is actually all about. Now I f*cking love that show. "Hey Crabman!" But the point is that now it's trendy to do this, and before, it was only thought of as a scam. "Do good and good things happen".
I recently saw you on "Pitbulls and Parolees" on Animal Planet, saving the largest Pit Bull Rescue on earth singlehandedly. Tia Maria Torres as well as Shorti Rossi are now celebrities that you seem to have "discovered". What was it like working with AP, and when can we finally expect to see YOUR show every week?
BB.) First of all I did not do that singlehandedly, I had a lot of people working with me. My assistant Nicole and I, did not eat/sleep much for about 4 months to accomplish all of that with the bands, flights, insurance, permits, artwork, releases, booking, casinos, rental cars, production companies, celebrities, limos, demands for booze and free rooms, shuttles, it was insane, on so many levels. But it worked, and without it www.vrcpitbull.com would have ceased to exist.
A lot of people get all caught up in saving one dog at a time, I figured "let's try and make broader strokes", which is something I learned while filming the documentary. So our goal was not to place a dog or two, but to RESCUE someone who helps thousands and will continue to. She puts the money into the dogs, many do not, and I can personally vouch for that as we have provided her with a LOT of loot, and I continue to see growth as a result, every time I visit. I am planning another trip this summer.