David Lee Roth is shuttering Ink the Original, his skin-care line devoted to preserving and protecting tattoos. He did not give a reason for the closure.
The former Van Halen singer and his partners broke the news with a simple post on the company website that reads, “First, our favorite restaurant, the corner bookstore, now us. … What a long, great trip it’s been.” (Roth used the same final phrase when honoring Eddie Van Halen following his death on Oct. 6, 2020.)
Roth launched Ink the Original in 2018 with his business partner, Ami James, who cofounded Tattoodo, an app that pairs customers with the best tattoo artist for them. “I started this project with three of us sitting around an upended plastic bucket for a table at my house in L.A.,” Roth told Vogue in 2018, shortly after the company launched. “Now, there are 34 of us, and we have offices in New York as well as L.A. It’s taken three years and close to $7 million, and I’m involved in every single element of every part of it.”
The singer got his first tattoo — a small seahorse on his ankle — in the late ’70s and added several more elaborate pieces over the years. “I waited until I was 60 and got the whole Japanese tuxedo,” which covers most of his body, he told Vogue. “It took me 300 hours of sitting over two years.”
Roth recently announced his departure from the music industry as well. “I am throwing in the shoes. I’m retiring,” he told the Las Vegas Review-Journal last October. “This is the first, and only, official announcement. … You’ve got the news. Share it with the world.” He later canceled his farewell Las Vegas residency, which had been scheduled for New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day and several dates in January 2022 at the Mandalay Bay’s House of Blues.
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