Green Machine Tattoos is the slime-green painted shop neighboring a psychic adviser and a lingerie shop between Miami Twice and A&M Comics on Bird Road at 67th Avenue. Owner James Rossi says "The place was already green, so I figured it would be a good name, just call it Green Machine. It's catchy. And people that know me know I'm a big Eagles fan, so that had something to do with it too."
We talked to Rossi, who has a BFA, about why slinging ink beats starving as a painter. Check out some pics of Jaws finger tattoos and hear why Green Machine won't ink $20 names.
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New Times: The place came with the paint job?
James Rossi: Yeah that slime green. It was already on the ceiling and I wasn't about to paint the ceiling so...
What was here before?
Right before me was a clothing store that wasn't here very long, and for a couple years it was an aquarium store.
What's your history with this area?
I grew up in this area. I been around here all my life, used to come to the comic book store here. I just wanted to come back to my old hood. I came from Almost Famous over there by FIU. I always wanted to open up a shop in this strip, so I'd been actually looking into it for years. Happy to be here right on Bird Road, it's always the first shop you see on Bird Road coming from the Gables.
How's this place any different from a shop down the street?
I don't want this to be a typical tattoo shop, a flash shop. I want this to be more of a custom shop. We don't really depend on any of that stuff on the walls. That's why you don't see no flash on the walls really. Has more of a gallery feel, y'know, a neighborhood custom shop. Whatever you want we can draw it for you.
I see your college graduation diploma on the wall. Why go into this as opposed to what you studied?
This pays the bills a lot easier. I went to school for painting, but painting is a hard industry to be successful and you're more likely to be a starving artist than anything else. Tattooing is the new medium of the future, of the present, so it's more fun for me. I still try to paint whenever I get a chance.
You do $20 dollar names here?
No $20 names. This ain't My Tattoo Shop, this ain't the flea market. It's $50 minimum. You get what you pay for around here. We're reasonable priced, we're not gonna hit you over the head and charge you by the hour...fair prices.
Green Machine Tattoos is located at 6570 SW 40 Street in Miami. Call 786-619-8760.