Hot off the second season of “Ink Master,” host and Jane’s Addiction lead guitarist Dave Navarro has signed on to do a third season. The tattoo competition show, which airs on Spike TV, has become a surprise hit by showcasing tattooing, not just as a form of self-expression but as another form of art all together.
“I’m excited about season three. I think it’s nice to be able to highlight an art form that used to be frowned upon, yet it’s something that takes tremendous skill, a lot of talent and a lot of care,” says Navarro. “A lot of people have come up to me and said they didn’t realize how much went into the craft,” adds Navarro.
And doing what you love, says Navarro, takes skill. As one of the most influential guitarists in rock, he picked up the guitar at a very early age.
“I was always a creative kid and after playing the piano I developed an ear for music and I realized that some of my favorite music was guitar oriented, so I picked up the guitar and just moved into that. Rock influenced me a lot,” explains Navarro.
He joined Jane’s Addiction as a teenager when his childhood friend and Jane’s Addiction drummer Stephen Perkins recommended him as lead guitarist to lead singer Perry Ferrell. Navarro will freely tell you that music saved his life.
As a teenager, his life was shattered when his aunt and mother Constance Navarro – whom he was very close to – were murdered by her then-boyfriend John Riccardi, a man who had helped raise him. Riccardi was captured years later when the story aired on America’s Most Wanted. Navarro, whose paternal grandparents emigrated from Mexico, went to live with his father and grew up as he says in a “very loving, accepting, supporting and free thinking family.” As a kid he was surrounded by many different groups of people, so he never saw any color or cultural lines. “I remember learning about slavery and the holocaust and completely stunned that there was such a thing as racism or eugenics,” says Navarro.
Though he grew up in a multicultural environment, Navarro says Latino culture was not prominent in his life. “My family was all born in LA, I didn’t listen to Spanish music or speak Spanish. I grew up on Monica and Westwood and in Hollywood there is obvious cultural mixture here,” he explains. “So I’m just as influenced by the hip-hop culture as I am Latino culture as I am by the rock and tattooing culture. I honestly look at myself as a living entity on planet earth,” he adds.
Despite his many hardships, including his stints in rehab, Dave has unexpectedly become a media entrepreneur. Navarro is not just as a member of iconic rock bands like Jane’s Addiction – who’ll be recording a new album in 2013 – and the Red Hot Chili Peppers but also a TV and radio host. His show Dark Matter with Dave Navarro can be heard on Moheak Radio, he writes Hot Tips with Dave Navarro, a sex-advice column for Penthouse magazine, and recently guest starred in a couple of episodes of Sons of Anarchy on FX.
“I just try to do as many things as possible to keep myself active and interested in inspiring things,” says Navarro humbly. “I’m a member of many different teams and anything that I do or any success I have is largely due to the different team players that I have in those worlds.”
Eneida I. DelValle has worked in all areas of media from radio, television and print, traveling across the United States and Puerto Rico covering both the Latino and non-Latino communities. She previously worked at PBS owned Spanish Language station V-me and Peacock Productions a division of NBC News. A self-professed news junkie, book-worm, art and music lover, you can frequently find her at a rock or salsa concert and photographing the streets of New York.