MOST Magazine Fashion MAY-JUNE'15 ISSUE NO.9 - Page 122

By: Sabina Bloom US Marine Corps corporal turned Chief Piercing officer, Brian Keith Thompson, owner of Body Electric Tattoo on Melrose in Hollywood, is the face of the company that is modernizing the tattoo and piercing parlor experience. Thompson seems to come to his work with the same methodical fearlessness that one would expect from a previous member of the U.S. Military. At first glance, Thompson does not look like a military man; with gauged earlobes and a full body of ink, MOST inquired what his USMC Commander would say to him now. “First he’d probably call me an ‘idiot,’ but then he’d tell me how proud he is of my successful business and how I’ve been able to maintain it over the years based on the leadership skills that the Marine Corps taught me.” Though initially the business seemed like an investment and his desire to be a piercer was minimal, he now equates it to having a child and watching it grow up and mature. “Good or bad, it’s up to me. And no one gets to tell me what to do [laughs].” In reflection of the first piercing he ever gave, he told MOST, “Body Electric’s previous owner convinced me to pierce my own nose.” That was the hook, he recalls, “I realized I was good at it and kept going with it. The more I did it the more I loved it; the more I loved it, the more I did it.” Though Thompson has now lost count of his piercings and tattoos, he doesn’t re-gret a single one. He considers his ink to be one large connected piece, his favorite part being the goddess Kali. “Visually, I like it the best. And symbolically, she’s a bad motherfucker who kicks ass and takes 122 || FAS HI O N M A G A Z I N E || MAY / JUNE 2015 names, which is the way I run my business. No prisoners.” He now sees himself as, “a craftsman and a decorator.” Thompson was named after the actor Brian Keith, his mom’s crush (a fact that was dis-closed to him much later in life). Growing up, he was called BKT, standing for “Bratty Kid Thompson,” a nickname given by his father. His theme song is “Welcome to the Jungle” by Guns N’ Roses. So where can we find Thompson when he’s not in the shop? Usually in the sky. “I am forty hours into getting my helicopter license,” he says. “Flying is my favorite thing to do besides Body Electric.” Worried about getting judged for that heart that you’ve always wanted on your hip to match Rachel Green from Friends? Don’t be. Thompson says, “If someone really wants some-thing, who am I to judge what they want?” Just don’t complain during the process. “When peo-ple ask if it’s going to hurt, of course it’s going to hurt. Both tattoos and piercings hurt. Life hurts – but you gotta l