Slayer: The Story of Kerry King’s Demonic Skull Tattoo – Paul Booth’s Last Rites
We’ve teamed up with legendary tattoo artist Paul Booth to get the stories behind his most famous works. In our first episode with Booth, he takes us through the process of tattooing his ‘Leaf Man’ design on the back of Kerry King’s head and the demonic face on the Slayer guitarist’s left hand.
Paul Booth grew up a massive Slayer fan, dreaming about tattooing one of the extreme thrash icons while beginning his career as an apprentice. “My teacher in the shop I worked in would leave for the day. I got left alone in the shop, so I would blast Slayer on the radio while I tattooed,” Booth recalls.
Once Booth began going out on tours, he met up with Kerry King and became fast friends. The day finally came to ink Slayer’s guitarist, and King decided on ‘Leaf Man,’ wanting the face to look at people while King was turned away.
“I can honestly say, not just because we’re friends, but he sat like a rock,” Booth said about Kerry in the chair. “Better than most, really. I think it was a three-and-a-half, four-hour tattoo. Of course you’re going to get some wiggles with anybody, but he sat solid. He made it through, no problem.”
As for Kerry’s hand, Paul put actual devil horns on the guitarist’s pinky and pointer fingers. The face depicted on King’s can actually be seen as Christ or as a demon, depending on the angle you look at it.
Kerry even tattooed Paul at Booth’s Last Rites studio, inking a character called Blob Man on the artist’s left leg. “[He] buried it,” Booth laughs. “But it’s solid. It ain’t going nowhere, I’ll tell you that.”
Check out our exclusive video above and check out Paul Booth’s Last Rites studio.
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