ABSTRACT

Focusing on the experience of people with tattoos based on emo band Brand New, who subsequently had their tattoos covered up following sexual assault allegations against the band’s frontman, this chapter explores the intersections between fandom, tattoos, and (im)permanence, drawing on ‘affective’ archiving theory (Baker 2015) and ‘little h’ heritage-as-praxis (Roberts and Cohen 2014). Fan tattoos are underrepresented in tattoo scholarship, with most research focused on commemorative tattoos or tattoos as ‘survival’ symbols. Therefore, affective connections between music, fandom, and tattooing have not been fully explored: few have considered what it means if a tattoo is reflective—or the source—of trauma. Destabilising Atkinson’s (2003) notion of ‘permanence’ as it relates to tattoos, this chapter shows that coverups allow people to repurpose and reclaim their tattoos and, by extension, their living, bodily archives. This has profound implications for callout culture and the relationship between fan and artist.