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During the late 1950s through the 1960s and into the 1970s, tattoo artists like Zeke Owen, Good Time Charlie, Cliff Raven, Lyle Tuttle, Ed Hardy, Leo Zulueta, Don Nolan, Mike Malone, Spider Webb, Ernie White and others began to take tattoos mainstream. As a result, tattooing started to be dramatically redefined.

What was once badge-like tattooing seen on bikers, sailors, gang members, and fallen women was now finding acceptance among all classes of American society. All types of celebrities, including rock stars, playmates, movie stars, and sports stars, displayed tattoos that defied all misconceptions about tattoos. Traditional tattooing, as the world knew it for most of the last century, is getting smothered out by an emerging generation of tattoo artists relying on things other than traditions vital to the tattoo industry.