Fayetteville's Oldest Tattoo Shop


You can’t talk about this town’s long history in ink without talking about Bill Claydon, whose first shop here was beside the notorious Rick’s Lounge on Hay Street. Claydon’s legacy dates to the 1940s in Oceanside, California, where his father, retired Marine Buzz Claydon, set up shop, inspired by the likes of Norman “Sailor Jerry” Collins and his bold, iconic style.


The younger Claydon cut his teeth in the shop, situated near Camp Pendleton, starting with a “devil dog” chewing a cigar on his father’s arm, then a half-dollar sized rose on a friend who just happened to be hanging out. He learned from greats like Ed Hardy and Lyle Tuttle. His chest, sides and right forearm bear Hardy’s signature designs: a furrow-browed tiger, a fanged ape, a massive elephant with raised trunk and curled tusk. Claydon carries the art on his flesh, a long-sleeved scar-and-stain tribute to the evolution of tattoo. Since opening up Bill Claydon's Tattoo World in 1986, Bill has become one of  Fayetteville’s favorite celebrities and he has the plaque in his booth to prove it.  A lifetime achievement award is in the form of a metal American flag. It was from Fayetteville’s first All-American Tattoo Convention in 2017.


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Bill Claydon