The Story Behind Jelly Roll’s Misspelled Neck Tattoo

Jelly Roll has admitted that he regrets a large majority of his tattoos — and, well, stories like this are part of the reason why.

Fans may have seen a black-and-white image of the downtown Nashville AT&T building, fondly referred to by locals as the “Batman Building” and a cornerstone of the city’s skyline, inked on the side of Jelly’s neck. That image is actually a cover-up, the singer reveals in a new, tattoo-focused interview with GQ.

Underneath it is another tat that reads “Surviving the Struggle” — at least, that was what it was supposed to say.

“But we had forgot to put the ‘T’ in it, so it said, ‘Surviving the Sruggle,'” Jelly explains. “The sruggle.”

READ MORE: Jelly Roll Reveals Massive Head Tattoo at Grammys [Picture]

Jelly says most of the tattoos he gets these days are cover-ups — and the tattoos that are “really bad” have been buried underneath more ink — but several early tattoos remain visible on his skin to this day. That includes his first tattoo — a cross on his bicep that he got when he was 14, dedicated to the memory of a loved one who died of AIDS — and a “pick-and-poke” prison tattoo of Jesus on the cross.

“And let me tell you how bad it is: That the first time my wife seen me without a shirt, she asked me, did I have Elvis tattooed on my back,” he recounts. “And I had to let her know, ‘Close, but it’s not Elvis, it’s Jesus. Very close.'”

With all of Jelly Roll’s tattoo stories in mind, it’s no big surprise that his No. 1 piece of advice to people looking to get their first tattoo is to be selective when it comes to their tattoo artist.

“Don’t just think about what you’re tattooing on your body, think about who is tattooing on your body,” the singer points out. “Pick one artist. Spend as much money as you can on the greatest artist you can afford. If you can’t afford the artist you want right now, start putting money in a coffee can until you can. Do not cheap yourself.”

40 Worst Rock Tattoos of All Time


Author: showrunner