SURREY — One of Surrey’s biggest Tragically Hip fans has a new tattoo that soars above other tributes to the Canadian rock band.
The fresh ink on Jeremy Deane’s left arm showcases the Hip logo on a hot air balloon along with the words, “Thanks for the ride.”
The tattoo was completed after 12 hours in a chair at Scarecrow Ink in Chilliwack, in three separate visits with artist Cody Wilkins.
“I love the band,” Deane told the Now-Leader, “and anything I can do to keep the memory alive and right there, being able to look at it every day on my arm, that’s cool. That’s what it’s about.”
The symbolism of the balloon borrows from a line in the recent documentary movie Long Time Running. In one scene, Hip guitarist Robby Baker talks about a fan who told him that most rock bands are like balloons that rise and, inevitably, come crashing down. But not the Hip, who managed to land their balloon safely after a successful ride of more than 30 years.
The artwork was created by Steven Wishart, who on Facebook posted an image of it on a Hip fan page, where it was spotted by Deane.
“I contacted him and asked if I could use it for a tattoo,” said Deane, who, in a recent Facebook post of his own, credits Wishart’s imagination and creativity – otherwise, Deane would “still be searching for the artwork I wanted.”
An older tattoo on Deane’s left forearm has the words “Fully Completely” in the font used on the Tragically Hip album cover.
“This isn’t finished yet,” Deane said of his tattooed arm. “I’m going to have a full sleeve, all Hip-related, but I just haven’t figured out exactly what just yet.”
In August 2016, Deane was co-host of a large backyard party in Port Kells that celebrated the Tragically Hip’s final concert, performed that night in the band’s hometown of Kingston, Ontario.
“Right now, I’m covered in tears and covered in joy,” Deane told the crowd that night, following the CBC broadcast.
“I don’t know half of you here tonight,” he said into a microphone, “but you’re coming up to me saying, ‘Wow, this is so awesome, thank you,’ and that’s what this was meant to be. It’s not just a party… it has everything to do with celebrating the Tragically Hip but specifically Gordon Downie. This was a dream night.”
Deane helps run the family-owned Southridge Building Supplies in Cloverdale.