Anthony Kiedis has 10 (visible) tattoos:
1. Bird on back
2. An Indian chief at the top of each arm
3. A band on each arm
4. A dagger on each arm.
5. A tiger on the inside of his right arm
6. A koi carp (and flower) on the inside of his left arm.
7. The Chili asterisk/star of infinity.
The majority of Anthony’s tattoos are in black ink although the two inner arm ones are coloured; his tattoos are symmetrical in layout with balanced, but not completely identical, designs on either arm. Many of the designs reflect aspects of his life most noticeably his North American heritage (on his maternal side). Several of his tattoos were drawn by, Henky Penky (real name Henk Schiffmacher), a tattooist based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, who is famous for his work on rock n’ roll icons.
Picture showing coloured tattoos:
Anthony’s first tattoo was of Chief Sitting Bull on his upper right arm:
There are various online interpretations as to the origin of the design. The most common views are that it is of an Inca/Aztec falcon but some people claim it is a Haida thunder bird. Hank Schiffmacher began work on the tattoo in February 1988 while the Peppers where in Amsterdam on tour; it was completed over a course of 18 months when Anthony happened to be in the city.
“On our visits to Amsterdam, I had befriended an amazing tattoo artist named Hank Schiffmacher. Hank, also known as Henky Penky, was an icon of his country-an underground philosopher, artist, Hell’s Angel associate, booze hound, drug hound, girl hound, an absolute rapscallion of Dutch proportions. Over the years, Hank had injected much ink into my skin, and in the process, we’d become close.”
‘Scar Tissue’ Anthony Kiedis with Larry Sloman; page 303
“On that first trip to Holland (around the Pink Pop Festival dates in Finland), however, Kiedis was preparing to endure the fist pricks of the enormous cubic Indian totem image that would eventually engulf his back. Schiffmacher told him it would be the work of many visits, each one time-consuming (up to six hours at a time) and also very painful. Kiedis replied, jokingly, that given his own schedule, it would also take several years.”
Red Hot Chili Peppers By The Way: The Biography by Dave Thompson; page 120-1
“A tiger, added in 2001, was to help him get over the pain of creaking up with his girlfriend, and represents both his Chinese birth sign and the Thai tradition of tigers bringing longevity and protection to the wearer- and he enjoys adding the detail that he is Tony the Tiger, the cartoon cat from the Kellogg’s Frosties add.”
‘Inside the Veins of the Velvet Groove’ by Martin Roach
The koi carp was the final addition and was added in around 2006:Blender 2007 interview
The smallest tattoo is perhaps most significant for RHCP fans as it is of the band’s asterisk logo