10 musicians from New England share what their tattoos mean


To coincide with our 10th year anniversary, Limelight Magazine has decided to post ten of our favorite tattoos that were submitted to us by local musicians throughout New England. These musicians have also explained what their tattoos mean to them. Read below to learn more about these musicians and the reasons why they decided to get a variety of intricate and meaningful tattoos.

Emil Belisle (of Impending Reflections)

“My two face tattoo stands for inner struggle between good and evil.”


Emil Belisle (of Impending Reflections)

“My wolf tattoo is really special. It is a painting that someone very special in his life did. My tats were all done at Altered Images in Cumberland, RI.”


Nicole Marie Coogan (of The Devil’s Twins)

“Johnny Cash was a familiar background voice in our home growing up. My dad has always had great taste in music and truly immersed us in a huge variety of big and small name artists in all different genres. I think that’s what really kept me open to hearing and loving all different types of music. Johnny Cash was always one of my favorites though. He definitely followed an interesting path in his life and sometimes he didn’t make the right choices but those were the choices that led him to his happiness in the end. His storytelling ability and charm were something that really stuck with me. I took a lot of that along in the back of my mind when I started writing and helped form my narrative based writing style. It only seemed right to thank him with a reminder of his voice and songs following me through my life. “


April Cushman (of The April Cushman Band)

 “This tattoo I got for my grandmother and grandfather, who have both recently passed from liver disease and liver cancer. My grandfather, Paul Daoust, who passed on Sunday, September 18th, 2016, was an extremely skilled archery champion and hunter who came from very deep French-Canadian and Native American roots. The arrow symbolizes his hard work, determination and most of all his passion for doing what he loved the most. My grandmother, Kathleen Daoust, passed away on May 6th, 2004. She was the most kindhearted human on this planet. She laughed often, gave more than she ever received and was a very skilled chef. She was in love with angels and is coincidentally my guardian angel. I feel her often and know she is always with me. The beads on this tattoo represent liver disease and cancer awareness, as well as my angel number, 66. My grandparents had gifted me my very first acoustic guitar at Christmas when I was just five years old, which shaped me into the person and musician that I am today. My father (their son), is also in my band, sharing the family’s love for country, folk and acoustic music.”


Mike LaRoche (of Landsdowne/Blameshift/State of Emergency)

“I started getting this sleeve when I was 18. I was inspired by the TOOL music video for “Schism” where a little creature comes out of the body and only has a mouth and no eyes. I also loved H. R. Giger’ s work with biomechanical drawings so I wanted to incorporate that as well. I started off with a small scene on my forearm. Within the next year, I kept adding a couple scenes at a time eventually forming into a full sleeve. My entire arm is one full theme. There are a bunch of those little creatures running around inside my arm pulling levers and climbing ladders essentially running it like a factory.”


Ken Macy 

“This tattoo celebrates 10 successful years of my business: Ken Macy Music. I started to become a professional musician ten years ago and wanted to live out my dream. Now 10 years later, the tattoo reminds me of the people I’ve met and the places I’ve been. It’s my first tattoo (I got it this past August 2016) and it means a lot to me. The logo is the Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers logo to which he and the band influenced my writing. I was also born on Valentine’s Day hence the heart and V guitar (arrow) through the heart. We as artists all go through blood, sweat, and tears to do what we love for a living so my tattoo is for all the musicians out there who wear their heart on their sleeve.”


Stan Matthews

“I have two tattoos, one on each arm. The tattoo on the right is “Pat Patriot”, the old Patriots logo. To say that I’m a big Patriots fan is just a start. I went to my first game in 1967, my dad was a season ticket holder for many years.”


Ryan Stark (of Far Above the Ground)

“One of my tattoos is of Frank Sinatra on my right arm driving a 1955 T-Bird. I got the tattoo because to me Frank is the original rock star. He had a rollercoaster career and ended up on top of the world.”


Arline Urquhart (of The Teter Todders)

“I got this tattoo to represent my passion for music. I sing for self-therapy and would not have overcome so many obstacles without being blessed with my musical gift. If you notice the notes flow up as well as my faith and belief that music heals.”


Mark Vinciguerra

“Ok so Seven League Boots was a rock/reggae band from Boston in the early 90’s featuring Bobby Sullivan of Soulside along with trhee local guys from Massachusetts – including former Rumble winner Bow Thayer.

They were the band who influenced me in 1992 to start my own band and become a musician, which I still am. I’m not in a band right now though since I’m waiting on hand surgery and can’t play guitar. The last band I was in was Jah Fist out of Providence who are still playing, just without me.

So 20 years later on a whim I searched and found the guys on Facebook. Started that page above for them, then ended up DIY (do it yourself) remastering and re-releasing their only CD release, which had been out of print for 20 years.

All their music is HERE, along with a full set live video from 1992.

They ended up doing a couple reunion shows in 2012, where I was made an official member, although they have since split up again.

One of the shows was at a huge festival in Vermont where I got to play with pretty much everyone from the ‘90s Boston scene…Roadsaw, the remaining members of Morphine, Laurie Sargeant, Dan Blaksee, etc…When I got home, I got this tattoo with the money I was paid to play the festival.”



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