Goldilocks & The Bank Robber

Tattoo [node-title]
Published: 07 November, 2010 - Featured in Skin Deep 186, June, 2010

Oh come on, you’re too old to be reading about the three bears, and in any case, this is a true story, so if you are sitting comfortably, I will begin. Whatever next, an honest crook? There’s an oxymoron if ever there was! When I asked Dave how he got into the tattoo game, he pondered his answer before responding. Then he told me, ‘in prison.’ I cautioned him as to what he next said to me, as he never knew where he might read it in the future, but he was happy to continue. 


It transpired that his former profession was, as you might have guessed from the title of The feature, a bank robber. Now, you don’t meet one of those every day, do you! Today, Dave is a totally reformed character, who expends all of his energy on his growing tattoo business, wife Wendy Keezer (who you see here), and his two young children Kaden (4) and Gage (1)

 

My assistant photographer, Simon Webster, had grabbed a few pictures of Wendy during Daytona’s Biketoberfest event while she tended bar at the Dog House, but as I wanted to get the full scoop, I flew back to Florida a couple of weeks later to track her down. Not that that proved difficult, as I knew where she had been inked. What I didn’t know at the time was, that she was married to the boss, and owner of the studio, who is simply known within the industry as Crazy Dave. I’m glad that he understood what I had come looking for when I arrived sniffing around asking for a broad called Wendy, things could have become ugly really fast otherwise. I wonder if he still has any sawn off shotguns?

 

Dave was given a five and half year stint in prison for his succession of bank jobs.  He met tattooist AJ Johnson while in the joint, a man who tutored and mentored him in the art of ink, and put him on the right track to move forward in a positive way with his life. Since his release, Dave has had the honour of working with the likes of Tony Olivas, Thomas Jacobson and Mike Caricco. He also gained a lot of tattoo knowledge from Chris Blinston and Boulevard Bill.

 

 

 

Fast forward to the present day: Dave’s mammoth 1500 square foot, five booth, five artist shop, which he and Wendy started in 2008, is located at 1386 through 1388 North Nova Road, Daytona, Florida, and goes by the name of Hardcore Tattoos; but it is a whole lot more than just a top quality tattoo emporium! It also encompasses Daytona’s Last Call, a sort of after hours club, where you bring your own bottles of booze and an attitude to party. It is open from 2:30 in the morning until 7am, and is only closed on Mondays. While I was in there, I couldn’t help noticing the stripper poles and the punching bags, diverse or what? Hardcore Tattoo artists are made up of: Crazy Dave Keezer (of course), Paul ‘Squablo’ Feinauer, Jimmy ‘Mashed Potatoes’ Rogers, the aforementioned AJ Johnson, and Jeff Hall. Not to be outdone, Wendy Keezer has recently become the in house body piercer.  

 

Six days a week, 33-year old Crazy Dave can be found honing his already considerable tattooing skill, perfecting the passion for ink that he truly loves. His wife, 25-year old Wendy, is one of Dave’s biggest fans, and has given her body over to his ink machines. Her sleeve has taken about a year so far, and there are plans for her legs next. But Dave wasn’t the first to lay ink into her skin. This native born Floridian considers herself to be something of a tattoo collector, they are her way of showing the world who she is, a ‘be yourself’ type of person. Wendy’s initial tattoo was her backpeice, no piddling miniature piece of flash for this young lady; she was straight in at the deep end! The artwork is poignant too; the sky blue and black wings were taken in memory of a lost friend. The initial rendering took something like fourteen hours to complete, but after meeting and falling in love with Dave, it has since been further refined. Wendy’s super bright sleeve is based around an Aztec theme, as she has always been interested in Aztec culture. Another fascination, this time of snakes, led her to choose the emerald green tree boa that you can see coiled on her upper arm, her forearm boasts two baby emerald green tree boas, which in stark contrast, are bright red, the colour in which they are born. Wendy’s interest in snakes doesn’t stop at having them inked either, she actually owns a rabbit wolfing, nine foot long, African python, which she has bizarrely named Angel.

 

Currently, Crazy Dave and Wendy can often be found at many of America’s better tattoo conventions, but they have a strategy to broaden their horizons in the coming years by adding the European tattoo circuit to their travel plans with a view to keep things fresh.  “Well that’s the idea” Dave quipped, “We will just have to see which countries are happy to let me in!” In the meantime, he satisfies himself by telling his local customers to ‘fuck the rent, get a tattoo.'

 

Now, I should end this by writing something like, and papa bear Dave said, ‘who’s been sleeping in my bed,’ but due to the appearance of Kaden and Gage, I think that we already know the answer to that! So instead, I will conclude with, and they all lived happily ever after. The end!

 

 

Credits

TEXT & PHOTOGRAPHY: STEVE KELLY WWW.MYSPACE.COM/STEVEKELLYPHOTOS

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Skin Deep 186 1 June 2010 186
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