Marcus Cuff, Charnel Ground Records
Jake La Botz plays at tattoo parlors and even tattoo conventions.

Acoustic blues man Jake La Botz is playing gigs at tattoo parlors, an idea that was sparked by his fans.

"I've played at tattoo conventions, and I've played at some tattoo places," La Botz said by phone from Gary, Ind. "But it was my fans that gave me the idea. On my MySpace site, I have a lot of fans who have tattoos. A majority of them, in fact. So I thought it would be smart do do a tour of tattoo parlors."

When the idea came to him, La Botz, a Chicago native, didn't have a booking agent. "So I just did it this way."

La Botz got his own first tattoo when he was 14, and he likes the art. "It's a way of giving yourself an identification," he said with a laugh.

While in his early 20s, La Botz was basically homeless, sleeping in cars. "I had some music in my veins, though. I was into Bob Dylan and The Beatles. But as I grew older, I found the acoustic blues and was mentored by Honeyboy Edwards."

But problems arose while hanging out with bluesmen. "I got addicted to drugs and alcohol. When you play with bluesmen, you play bars and they set you up with a tab. In most cases, it's part of your pay. And I got addicted to a lot of things."

Eventually, however, La Botz decided that enough was enough. "I had to get help, or else wake up in handcuffs or just not waking up at all. There is a lot of help out there if you want to get clean. It's up to you if you want to go through it."

Not only has La Botz played music and made CDs — his latest is "Graveyard Jones," available on his Web site www.jakelabotz.com — but he's also appeared as an actor in a handful of independent films, such as "Ghost World." "I would like to do more movies and play on more soundtracks, and I would love to get that phone call from a big wig that says, 'We're going to send you the papers; sign your name on the dotted line.'

"But until then, I'm happy playing wherever I can."

If you go

What: Jake La Botz

Where: Attatude Tattoo, 231 E. 2100 South

When: Sunday, 6 p.m.

How much: Free

Phone: 466-3577


E-mail: [email protected]