David Lee Roth, 64, recently launched a skincare line dubbed Ink The Original that is geared towards people who want to protect their tattoos and prevent them from fading.
During a recent interview with Vogue magazine, the Van Halen singer explained how he got his first tattoo (a seahorse) 40 years ago in the late ‘70s. When he turned 60, he covered his body in a Japanese tuxedo, a design that he had been planning for 30 years and which took two years to execute. When asked how he got involved in the tattoo-maintenance space, he answered:
“Simple: The product that we’re dealing with now goes hand in hand with what I think is the true Esperanto: It’s a language — ink — that everybody shares, especially if you don’t speak the same language. With ink, we read each other’s signs and icons. In that way, it’s much like music.
He and three others came up with a plan while hanging out at his home in Los Angeles. The company has since grown 34-people strong with an office on both the west and east coasts.
“It’s taken three years and close to $7 million, and I’m involved in every single element of every part of it,” Roth noted. “Surprisingly, there’s almost no competition. And what we have built is absolutely specialized to our community. My business partner, Ami James, is the curator and one of the three owners of Tattoodo, which has more than 500,000 artists curated on their site. They get 2 billion views a month and have 20 million social media followers.”
Roth last performed with Van Halen during a U.S. tour that ended in October 2015 at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. The band released its first live collection featuring Roth, “Tokyo Dome in Concert,” in 2015.
In September, Roth performed a one-off at the Brent Shapiro Foundation’s Summer Spectacular in Beverly Hills. The organization raises money for drug awareness and prevention.