Tattoo Parlor Owner Talks Rihanna Scandal


Jul. 2 2009, Published 12:55 p.m. ET

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Following reports that police are investigating NYC tattoo parlor East Side Ink because Rihanna decided she wanted to play tattoo artist last night, OK! spoke to one of the owners to get the details on how the whole thing happened.

The sexy singer had shown up around 8pm on Wednesday to visit her regular tattooist, who goes by the name of Bang Bang and is responsible for both recent gun tattoos and the "sssh" ink on her finger.

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According to those at the high-end tattoo parlor, Rihanna was not planning on getting any new ink.

"We were all just hanging out, joking, laughing," East Side Ink co-owner Yadira tells OK!. "Bang Bang decided that he wanted a tattoo from her."

So he drew up a design — a simple umbrella with a swirly "R" under it — which was then transferred onto his lower leg. Rihanna, who had never tattooed anyone before, then went over the design with the needle.

Then two other artists, Josh Lord and Patrick Conlon, decided they wanted some Rihanna body art too, so they each got tatts, which were numbered "2" and "3" by the songstress in the order they were completed.

"We were all talking a laughing the whole time," says Yadira. "Joking that she was a pro now... She was so sweet, easy-going, down to earth."

It took RiRi about about 15 minutes to complete each tattoo, and she eventually left East Side around 11pm.

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"I think it was spontaneous," Josh, who got the second tattoo, tells OK! about his decision to get inked. "And she was so nice, and so gorgeous and so charmed by her that we wanted one too."

So can anyone just walk in and start tattoing people willy-nilly?

"They can't," says Josh. "Only her. We couldn't say no to her."

And, he adds, she did a pretty decent job. "It's a pretty nerve-wracking thing to do your first time. We were amazed how well she kept her cool... By the third one, she was good."

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Though he did admit that Rihanna got progressively better as she practiced.

"Bang Bang went first. And let's put it this way, each one was better than the last," he said, adding, "I'd hire her. If her career doesn't work out, she's got a back-up."

And whatever happens with this police investigation, at least he's got a bit of music history etched into his skin. Says Josh, "It's definitely one of my new favorites."

By Oliver Coleman


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