Salt of the Earth.

Following on from the vintage Jack Yount footage Shawn kindly sent me, here’s a lovely video of Sailor Sid Diller tattooing a friend.

DivX download link for BME members: Extreme2 or Full members

This video dates to around 1985 and features Sailor Sid tattooing out of his Ft. Lauderdale, Silver Anchor tattoo shop. The lion’s share of Sid’s business came from the gay S&M community, and it wasn’t uncommon for both Sid and client to be fully nude during the process. The machine Sid is using is a rotary style tattoo machine, for those who’ve never seen one before – it was Sid’s preferred type.

Enjoy, and more later!

Shawn Porter –

You can read more about Sid and his life in this article written by Jim Ward, for

31 thoughts on “Salt of the Earth.

  1. Thats the life right there. Listening to some easy listening music, getting tattooed by a naked guy…. bliss.

    Glad people are digging these.

  2. 1985 must have been so much more sanitary. This is pretty cool to watch though. Send this to the History Channel and PBS.

  3. The first thing I noticed wasn’t the nudity but the lack of gloves. Not sure what that says about me…

  4. #9 And it’s only fair that the client gets to touch the piercer’s balls as well =)

  5. * meant to type piercer’s/tattooist’s balls.
    Sorry, thinking about randomly caressing balls made me typo :p

  6. Shades of the days when I was with Mr Sebastian (Alan Oversby) in London and getting my cock, balls and arse more solidly tattooed. He spoke very fondly of Sid and similarly would often let it all hang out. The sound of his ball weight banging against the bench frame was not uncommon.

    Great to see the video has survived and many thanks to Shawn for sharing this with us.

  7. I really do love how they are both so comfortable, despite being naked and in the middle of a tattoo. Both parties obviously trust eachother and are having a good time.

    Him touching his balls was pretty funny though. I mean..I grab my ball’s all the time at work, my tattoo artist should be able to do the same!

  8. I’m really digging these videos, unfortunately I wasn’t around in the heyday of most of these people so it’s a rare glimpse for me to see them at work, thanks Shawn and everyone else involved in getting them together.

  9. Got another one coming!
    I just captured it- sending it off to Roo in a shortly.
    Circa 1981- another fun (naked) day at Sid’s!
    And I *might* have dug up some old Cliff Raven footage. Tattooing… you guessed it….


  10. That seems like a room full of awesome personalities.

    Think I’ve seen too much modblog when I’m not the least bit fazed by the nudity, but I back up and repeat over and over just to hear the cameraman’s voice? (I’m intrigued by his accent – or lack thereof, like someone in and old movie, especially with the music)

  11. I just dug out some old footage of Ed Hardy tattooing sans gloves. There’s a closeup of blood under his fingernails. I doubt his marketing manager would want that released :p

  12. Shawn – a whole heap of people just went “Ed Hardy tattooed? I thought he just designed those shirts and caps I pay $100 a pop for…”

  13. Man all that pseudo sexual subculture tattoo and piercing stuff in the Jim Ward articles make me miss something I didn’t even have. Also made me change the way I think about piercings and recognizing the erotic nature made me rush to get some of the piercing I had previously only wanted for cosmetic reasons. Now I feel a little creepy writing this.

  14. We’re all creepy now! Awww yeah.

    I know what you mean though, I wish I’d been ‘of age’ in the eighties, not just for tattooing or piercing, just to see how brill (and different) things were.

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