Ask a Clemente 01/14/113:26:00 PMPaul Clemente
Here is a section where he let the "chux chasers" ask us some questions in hopes we connect on a more intimate level beyond the computer screen.
1. Erin H. - McKeesport PA. ~ what is the story behind your tattoo(s)?
Paul: What a great question! I like it because I can satisfy my need to vanity, and ego. I will go in order chronologically. All of my tattoos were done at: Almighty Studios in Jamestown NY. Not to fanboy, but they are incredible there, the art, atmosphere, and attitude there is like nothing you are used to from a tattoo shop.
This is my first ever tattoo. Its Kanji for Serenity. Simple and to the point. Who doesn't want serenity?
My second tattoo is a pictorial of APerfect Circle's "Mer de Noms" album (french for sea of names). What I interpret sea of names to be is that all the people you meet in your life, may drift away, but they are always there. The runes are a cryptogram created by Billy Howerdel and Maynard James Keenan.
This was a 6 parter. The eye was first. It's the "third eye" from Tool's album "Aenima". Secondly was the ring around the third eye from Tool's album "Lateralus". Thirdly, is the hand with the flaming eye from "Lateralus" again. It took 3 visits to do the hand for all the vein detail. I've had it for 5 years now, and I still catch myself looking at it. Lastly, is the blue lightning from the top another little piece from "Lateralus" album work. The original design for the Third Eye is Chet Zar. The whole Lateralus art is from Alex Grey.
My wife's initials, but her maiden name E.L; Elizabeth Lender.
My wife's intiials in the APC Runes from the earlier tattoo. I just loved the font so much, and I wouldn't imagine that too many people have it.
This is the Buddhist Aspiration Prayer written in Tibetan. I consider myself Buddhist amongst all the religions I know. It seems to bring me a depth to my spirituality, and some balance.
It's translated as:
"May all beings, equal to the sky,
have happiness and the causes of happiness;
May all beings be free from suffering
and the causes of suffering;
May all beings never be separated from the great
happiness which is beyond all suffering;
May all beings dwell in kindness free
from desire and hatred for those near and far."
This was drawn by Stephen Slesinski artist for my favorite Penguins (and possibly of all the internet) website The Pensblog. I am a HUGE Penguins fan. I watch every game I can (and pay 169 bucks for the privilege) and have followed them since 1991. I wanted to get something undeniably Penguins, but not the typical logo. I picked this guy who is called "Dicky Roberts" to forever rep the black and vegas gold on me forever.
Ian: How am I gonna follow this act?! I'm not one for answering this question, ever, much less seriously. Maybe it's because my tats and answers could never equal the passion displayed above, but I guarantee these impossibly silly reasons for the ink are true. This is my first tattoo, about a year old. It's a parallelogram. I think about 8 years ago, I was sitting in this attic, with a few people, not drinking. At that time, I was still considered a charming and exotic sort, behaviorally at least. Someone--I remember it being a guy, but I don't think there were any other guys present--asked what kind of tattoo I would get. I responded flippantly, "A parallelogram," which earned a chuckle. It was my goal to permanently add a mark to my body without any emotional attachment to it at all; how clever and ironic! Well, time passed and for all my impulses and indulgences, a tattoo never materialized. Last year, as part of a charity Tattooing event, Tree House promoted Tats for Cats, a perfect opportunity to finally take advantage of this silly, deconstructive idea. I went to Insight Studios with my friend Kris who flew in from Pittsburgh specifically to get drawn on alongside me. As I drew the design for the tat, the true idea came to light, one of Pythagorean perfection. The dimensions are in perfect proportion--the length is exactly twice the width and the obtuse angles twice the acute etc. I started to think about the idea of perfection. It was attainable and striking on paper, but on my flabby arm, it loses its impact. A good reminder. Though the picture is weak city, the angles are diagrammed in dark blue and the lines in red.
Here's my only other tattoo, also created by the clean and tidy folks at Insight. It's almost a year old, done for another charity even that a different shelter was promoting. I feel my simple designs don't do their craft justice, but this one actually has some influence behind it and represents a subculture I identify with. The story behind this bullseye is the book Please Kill Me which I read as a senior in high school and presented in Mr. Williams' Oral History class. Story goes that Richard Hell drew a crude target on a tshirt with the words "PLEASE KILL ME" under it, or around it. I've always loved that idea, as I do any antagonistic display that forces your demographic or any bystanders into an actual reaction. Apparently, Hell fashioned this statement while still with Television, one of my alltime favorite bands, and before Tom Verlaine ordered him to "Quit jumping around like an idiot" causing Hell to quit and form the Voidoids. So this is my own target, both challenging and accusing the outside world to shoot me in the back. The inker at Insight had to be cajoled into committing this to my upper back because in his words, "It will never be a perfect, symmetrical circle on that part of your body." I doubt I'll find someone who I can convince to add a third ring.
2. Wes M. - Culpepper, VA ~"Are you related to Roberto [Clemente]?"
Paul: I'm not, but I wish he was my dad - I'd sing him a song!
Ian: I wish I had access to a photo of Robert "Popop" Clemente sitting with Roberto in old Three Rivers handing him a novelty sized baseball bat emblazoned with the old Koppers logo to commemorate the opening of the stadium. Apparently Koppers was heavily involved in the construction of the stadium and it made a good photo op. Since leaving Pittsburgh, I can no longer rely on being asked the above question on a daily basis. I'm certainly not embarrassed to share my last name with such a class act. In all seriousness, I'm sure you're all aware of the man's great humanitarian leanings. He was a well-spoken, well-mannered and well-liked individual; incidentally, all qualities shared by Popop Clemente. Pardon the sentimentality, but it's sincere. The article might be available on microfiche...
3. Kelly S.-Lakewood NY ~ why, as men get older, does the hair stop growing on their heads but continue growing on the ears??
Paul: Theories vary but, scientists have come to a vague conclusion that men's ear hair directly correlates to the idea that human's have always been designed to hunt like bats. The echolocation we have not been blessed with (yet) would utilize the ear hair as a receptor that reflects off our pray.
Ian: Men's ears are on their heads.
4. Phil B. - Castle Shannon, PA ~ what?
Paul: Oh, sorry I didn't know you were on the phone.
Ian: I'll break your arm...
5. Jared A.- Lakewood NY ~can I slap you if you a wearing a banana costume?
Paul: Yes, you may. It would be assumed if I was near you in a banana costume, trouble is inevitable anyways.
Ian: A slap on the back maybe for inventing the banana costume, which as far as you know, I did. (Or slap me with a lawsuit if you're the guy who actually invented the banana costume [loosens collar]...