“I Regret 98% Of These Tattoos” – Jelly Roll Takes Fans On Tattoo Tour

Jelly Roll Country Music

Have you ever wondered what exactly is tattooed on Jelly Roll?

Well, now you can see some of the ink on Jelly Roll’s skin as he takes fans on a tattoo tour with GQ Magazine. Jelly Roll undoubtedly has a “different” look than other country artists, as he proudly sports face tattoos and has the majority of his body covered in ink. But what images does Jelly Roll have on himself other than the giant cross and “Music Man” script on his forehead?

Earlier this month, Jelly Roll sat down with GQ to give fans some colorful insight into his ink and how it got there. But he starts off by warning that he is not a fan of much of the artwork on his body today.

“I regret 98% of these tattoos. 97%… almost all of them. Like core philosophies I rooted my life in when I was 17…now I’m 40. I’m like, ‘What the **** was I thinking?'”

Jelly Roll ponders where to even start on this tour because he dislikes so many of them.

“Maybe the baby smoking a blunt was a little bit much.”

While he still has that tattoo, he notes that many of his tattoos are coverups, including the huge Batman Building tattoo on the back of his neck from the Nashville skyline. That coverup hides a “no ragrets” moment.

“I had ‘Surviving the struggle,’ but we had forgot to put  the ‘T’ so it, so it said ‘Surviving the sruggle.'”

Jelly Roll started getting tattooed at the age of 14, with his first time in the chair getting a remembrance piece in honor of a woman in his childhood neighborhood after she passed. His most meaningful tattoo is the larger cross on his face.

“As cliche as it is, is probably the big cross. It was symbolic of change in me. It was symbolic of a new beginning, understanding that I needed to bear my own cross. I need to carry my own cross as the Good Book says, so that was kind of a constant reminder.”

This then leads to the question of whether Jelly Roll was tattooed while he was locked up. The answer was an obvious yes. He notes that he had to get tattooed by cheap artists in jail because he couldn’t afford the good ones.

“When they were two packs of cigarettes, I only had a can of coffee.” 

He then details that he has a ‘pick and poke’ tattoo where each line is poked into his skin. The image that he (painfully) got tattooed via this method is a picture of Jesus on the cross…but the fine workmanship of the man behind the needle didn’t translate that image into the skin.

“And let me tell you how bad it is…the first time my wife seen me without a shirt she asked me if I had Elvis tattooed on my back. I had to let her know, close, but not Elvis…it’s Jesus. Very close…it’s Jesus.”

But Jelly Roll’s favorite tattoo is a random one he got drunk on a beach with some people of a quokka. He notes that now he only gets tour tattoos and group tattoos, which is exactly how he ended up with a quokka.

“This is the happiest animal on the planet. It’s native to one island; it has no predators there. It lives off eucalyptus leaves and has a constant smile. Because it lives off eucalyptus leaves, it is STONED. They’re always high.  

And when life starts throwing me curve balls I look down at my little quokka, and I go, ‘Be a quokka. Be a quokka.’ That’s my quokka.” 

Bet you didn’t think you’d be learning about a new animal while reading about Jelly Roll’s tattoos.

His final piece of advice for those wanting to get tattooed is to not skimp on the investment. Tattoo artists are artists, and you get what you pay for. You will be happier knowing that you chose an artist who made your vision come to life perfectly than going with a cheap artist who leaves you with a botched tattoo. He says he regrets most of his tattoos, but if he could do it all over, he’d probably have just as many… just better ones.

I’d take that last bit with some weight… clearly, this man knows what he is talking about. He has the good, the bad, and the ugly on his body.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock