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that's what he is about: he just gets on with things in tiis own quiet, reflective way. Alan Tattooing is an art form in its own right and there are very few people like Xed Who can lay claim to having invented their own style? When you are in that position, if you decide that you don't need to do all the shading for example, you can ask someone else if they want to work with you, and that's ok, it's still in your own style.

XED, WHAT ELSE WOULD VOU LIKE TO SAY ABOUT THE STUDIO?

Xed With regard to the studio, this is phase one of three stages. I don't want, to say too much about phase two or three at this time. I don't plan to leave England, but I do have plans to open a kind of winter retreat in a warmer climate. I know which island I am thinking of, but don't want to name it. All I can say is that it's a nice, quiet, sunny place, not a million miles away. It would be great to have a house there where I could see some of my select clientele who could afford to fly in and out. I'm hoping to go there next winter to research property prices. I love England and I really love London, well London is England. We are like all capital city dwellers around the world, for us there is nowhere else.

There is a sense of humour in London, wtiich is unparalleled. I miss that when I am away. I lived in Germany for a few years and those stiff bastards really do have their humour glands drained just after birth! I came back to London ten years ago and I haven't looked back.

AND WHAT ABOUT THESE ROTARY MACHINES YOU ARE BUILDING? HOW DO YOU FIND THE TIME FOR THAT AS WELL?

Xed Ahh, those machines, well, for anyone who did not see the Tattoo Master interview with Uncle Roy and myself on those machines, I would like to say that they are completely built by Roy to original measurements and ideas by me. Initially, he was just making machines for me alone, but friends starting wanting them and Roy began to build them to order, and as they are sanctioned by me, that's why they carry my name with them. We will be selling them for him through the Divine Canvas studio. So if you're a registered artist, come on down and check them out in person, where i can give you a quick run down on how to set them up properly, coz if they ain't set right, you just won't get the true smooth rotary experience.

OK ALAN, LET'S PUT THE SPOTLIGHT ON YOU. TEll US ABOUT YOUR INTERESTING AND CONTENTIOUS PAST.

Alan I don't know what you mean! (laughs). Seriously, my dad was a barrow boy and my mother was a topless club hostess, so I grew up around the markets and clubs of Soho. About twenty years ago I got involved in car breaking through my interest in banger racing and from there things have just progressed. Nowadays I also do a lot of metal sculpting, artistic stuff. I've had a gas license for welding and making sculpture since I was sixteen, at first they wouldn't, give me one until I took my grandmother along to B.O.C to sign for it so that I could get the bottles. Back then I used to make masks, that was my tiling at the time.

HOW WAS IT GROWING UP IN SOHO IK THE DAYS WHEN SOHO REALLY WAS SOHO?

Alan Fantastic! That is what has made me the colourful character I am. I spent my school holidays selling chocolate and during the weekends I was in the clubs watching dad iron out the money, waiting for the shift to end so that we could all go home. Often I would spend time sitting outside with the working girls, who were waiting for someone to win a few quid and take them out for the night. Life was fantastic, we had our own collective; qui own society and you can't buy into that.

I TAKE IT YOU STILL 6ET OUT AND ABOUT ON THE FETISH SCENE?

Alan I can't help it, it's my way. I really enjoy it. As you know, I'm pansexual; I love to dress up. I can't really say much more without being perceived as a perv, but that's what I am. And do you know that in all the years I've been going out on the fetish scene, I've never seen a punch-up. People there are respectful and anyway when you get all dressed up to go out, you don't want to get too messed up. I spend a lot of time getting ready, so I don't want to get into any aggro, it might spoil my make-up.

I love dressing up, I've dressed up for punters in the past, I've been arrested for running a disorderly house where we were offering sex for money, give us your money, we'll give you sex, I've been in numerous places on numerous occasions in numerous odd positions with numerous people. I am often asked how I can talk so openly about it, but I don't really care, it has made me the person I am today, the colourful character I am. I have four children, two grandchildren and the most beautiful wife in the world, God bless her, and I don't know how she puts up with me.

HOW 00 THEY REACT TO All OF YOUR ECCENTRICITIES?

Alan They don't like it at all. My kids think I'm out of order, they wonder how their mum puts up with it. They don't want me to go to parents' evenings and my daughter has asked me not to pick her up from school in the lorry because the other kids think we are gypsies and they have also asked me not to wear women's clothes to the school.

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