Backstage with Demented Are Go: Sparky shows us his tats

Backstage at a Demented Are Go gig at The Garage in London, Sparky showed us his tattoos and told us some stories about them! Photos by Richard Collins.

Demented Are Go frontman Sparky decided at the age of 14 that he didn’t want to work anymore, he wanted to play rock & roll! “No other way, it’s not about money.” He heard the Cramps on John Peel’s radio show and the rest is history!

Sparky backstage at The Garage

Gran’s tobacco-stained dentures on a chain around his neck

When he was 14, Sparky paid just £5 for his first real tattoo, a grim reaper “without the scythe ’cause I couldn’t afford it”, which was actually a cover-up of another tattoo because the word “rockabilly” was spelled wrong!

Sparky's grim reaper tattoo

Sparky’s grim reaper tattoo

Sparky’s early tattoos and most of the others were inked by “Nutty Dave” Ayres, who ran Skin Deep Tattoos in Bristol for 20 years until his tragic death in a road accident on 25 January, 2009. Sparky pointed out his memorial to Nutty Dave on his left arm, and he hasn’t had another regular tattooer since Nutty Dave.


Sparky's "Nutty Dave" Ayres memorial tattoo

Sparky’s “Nutty Dave” Ayres memorial tattoo

Sparky said he’d gotten arrested the last few times he’d been in the UK. Why? “Hitting people, mostly. Criminal damage. But I’m trying to change my ways, I’ve learned my lesson.” He has lots of tattooed stitches all over, where he says he’s “stitched back together as a better person.”

Sparky's tattooed stitches

Tattooed stitches: “sewn back together as a better person”




His tattoos are never planned, Sparky spontaneously decides what to get. He also has a Demented Scumcats tattoo on his right shoulder, a dragon and pentagram on his chest, and too many others to list, just take a look!

Sparky backstage at The Garage

Tattooed psychobilly masterpiece!

— Miss Psychobilly Bass