Diamonds, cash and tats
Irish Cash just might be the most tattooed man in Sacramento. As owner of Capital Ink Tattoo (1021 Second Street in Old Sacramento), Cash specializes in both tattooing and piercing, and practically bleeds ink and energy. No, Irish Cash isn’t his birth name, but it’s a fitting moniker for a guy who, as a fixture on the Northern California rockabilly scene, says he’s into cars, babes and the Benjamins. Cash recently sat down with SN&R at Midtown’s Ink Eats and Drinks where he talked about skin as art, living the playboy lifestyle and whiskey-drinking leprechauns.
So, what made you pick Ink as the place to meet?
The décor—it’s got a tattoo atmosphere.
You ever think about donating your skin for art?
I figure, by the time I go, my son will have a shop, and he’ll have me taxidermied.
What do you do when you’re not doing tattoos or piercings?
I’m out showing my ’49 [Cadillac] around, doing rockabilly events.
Are there a lot of rockabilly events in Sacramento?
Sacramento has a huge rockabilly car scene here. [It’s] huge—I love tattooed women. I love money. I love tattoos. And I love old bombs.
Yeah, old bombs, like ’40s and ’50s cars—Cadillacs. I got an emblem tattooed on my neck.
What else do you have tattooed on your neck?
(Pulls down collar.) Check it, buddy. People ask me, “Hey, what is all this?” Diamonds, cash, Big Macs and Cadillacs.
That’s my motto: “Diamonds, cash, Big Macs and Cadillacs. Getting tattoos at Capitol Ink back in Old Sac.”
What’s your tattoo studio like?
I built that myself; [It’s also] my piercing studio. I have a 1920s Koken barber chair—that’s the oldest barber-chair manufacturer. They were putting them out in the 1800s, back in the Wild West. All the old-school barbers love it.
Do you get your hair cut at Anthony’s Barbershop?
Yes. But I’ve got to mention Jake at Spanish Fly [Hair Garage]: I traded him a brand-new Mustang for a color [and] cut. It took him a year to pay it back. True story: I gave him my 2006 Mustang, I traded it to him to color and cut my hair in 2006, and he worked it off in one year, to the day. I kept bringing in my model girlfriends every week for him to do their hair.
I’ve never heard of anything like that.
I’ll admit, I am a playboy. I understand it.
Do you still go out with models?
I have a girlfriend now. She’s a model. For a year, I was single, so I would go out with different girls, or two girls at a time. I’ve been with [my current girlfriend] for about nine months now. I didn’t want to settle down, but her body and her look and just the press that this girl [gets]—she’s been on [magazine] covers. She’s a tattoo model [and] a professional fashion model.
You look like you are completely covered with tattoos.
Yeah, covered. I believe I can claim that I am … probably the most tattooed man in Sacramento. I mean, this thing is intense. … there ain’t an inch of skin that isn’t colored in. You see most people have coverage. What they don’t have is solidarity.
How many tattoos do you have?
When people ask me that, I tell them that’s the solidarity I’m talking about: It’s all filled in.
What are you going to do when you don’t have any more canvas, or skin, to ink?
I’ll just go back over the old ones.
What’s your favorite tattoo?
The 4-foot leprechaun on my back with a Jameson [Irish Whiskey] bottle. That tattoo goes from the back of my neck, all of my entire back, to the back of my knees. And it’s a real life-sized leprechaun, with brass knuckles and Jameson … all the typical Irish hooligan stuff.
Well, your name is Irish. Did your parents name you that?
No. … [Irish] is the person I created, and when I turn that person off and I go home to my son and I go to my house in suburbia, that’s where I’m me.