Shanghai Kate on the Sailor Jerry Legacy
08:52 PM
By Pat Sullivan.

Shanghai Kate Hellenbrand is pissed. But that's exactly one of the reasons I admire her so much. Regardless of your opinion (and do the opinions vary), you can't discount Kate's impact on modern tattooing. She busted her way into the tight-knit, dudes only tattoo circles when it was virtually unthinkable to apprentice a woman. And not only did she hang tough, she's made a lifelong career of it, posting little flags along her trail so other women tattooers would know where to pave.

This brings us to Old Ironsides, Sailor Jerry, the man himself who apprenticed Kate. A lot of mud's been slung her way since Jerry's passing and it's only been made worse with the Sailor Jerry brand. Now, Kate's ready to sling some herself. On Sunday she posted to her Myspace a long explanation about Jerry, his stencils, the brand and Louise Collins, Jerry's widow who's never seen a penny from the Sailor Jerry folks and lives off her social security. 

Read up here.

I also want to take a quick second to thank Kate for allowing us to publish this. I finally met Kate this past spring at Roseland and not only is she hilarious, whip-smart and tough, but she's unbelievably nice. (Hey, nobody ever said blogs were supposed to be unbiased.) I wanted to pick her brain about anything and everything, but figured there was enough craziness happening at the booth without someone pestering her with nerdy questions. That, and she was tattooing my girlfriend and still getting interrupted every ten minutes.

Anyway, thanks a ton, Kate. Hope to run into you again somewhere down the line.


WTF with these comments? nail, coffin, etc.

Just spam. I deleted them.

I'm shocked to learn of Sailor Jerry's widow living in poverty. That's just unconscionable.

agreed. I hope this get's blown up to the point where they are guilted into giving her a cut of the profits. I can't imagine what it must have been like for her to be sitting in a Friday's and seeing that bottle. I'd be so angry/confused.

In England pissed means drunk which gives the whole article a whole new slant. We use pissed off

So what can we do? Is there a fund to send money to Sailor Jerry's widow? Letter campaign to SJ company or a boycott of businesses that carry it? Is anyone here in Hawaii and can swing a hammer to help out? Marisa, what can be done legally?

OK, hadn't finished reading, was just hacked off. Donations can be arranged through dameoftheworld(at)adiddilyodiddilyldiddily(dot)com, but you have to drop the diddily. There has to be more we can do. A bottle is in my freezer right now. My honey loves it. Dammit. I have always had trouble with cries of 'sellout', but this is thievery.

Update from Kate: No, thank you. My attorney has just sent out the letter to the company that we are suing them.

So... more on this story as it develops.

Holy.shit. GO KATE!


Kate Hellenbrand is a disillusion whack job. Many people who have been privy to the real information know this. the below information was a response made in another forum. Read it completely and you will understand Kates insanity

this is from Doug Hardy

It's been brought to my attention that kate hellenbrand, former girlfriend of my teacher Mike Malone, has started blogging and ranting about how my father and Mike have stolen the legacy of Sailor Jerry (which she claims to rightfully own) and have completely sold out and left Jerry's wife penniless.

Now, back in the day when Jerry passed, he left instructions for his wife to sell his shop and all his art to either Zeke Owen, Mike Malone, or my father, Don Ed Talbot Hardy (actually his given name... he doesn't have any 'monkiers' nor go by "Don" as in mafia don, as kate claimes), and if none of them were interested in it, to actually BURN all of it.

At the time, Zeke had a successful shop in San Diego and my father was finally living his dream at the time of working in Japan, so neither of them could buy the shop, but Mike, working at the time for Zeke, realized that this was a great opportunity and made the big move to Honolulu.

Now you have to realize that Jerry's widow got paid a very, very good sum of money (especially for 1973 dollars) from Mike for the shop and all of the artwork that went with it. Since it was a large amount of money, it even took Mike a good deal of time to pay it completely. When he did finally give Louise the final payment, he was given even more artwork. All of this art would have been BURNED. Lost forever. Louise got paid, Mike got ownership of the Jerry legacy, and kept it alive. NOT kate, who STILL claims to have tattooed under Jerry (the only woman who Jerry had tattoo in his shop was Micky Uma, who Jerry had called his 'new apprentice' to my father and Mike to rib them... you can see in a famous photo of Jerry a sign he made that said "Beauty and the Beast Tattoo" as a joke... Jerry was always fond of the idea of having a good looking girl in the shop to attract more sailors), which is a total fabrication. Although she was Mike's girlfriend at the time, she did not work at Jerry's shop at all.

Later when Mike and kate broke up, she took it upon herself to take a large amount of Jerry's art, stencils, and photos from Mike. She has since then laid claim to Mike's story of being Jerry's golden child and said that these items, which she has been selling for quite some time, as rightfully hers. Mike had just let her have these items for years, not even bothering with her in a fit of disgust. It wasn't until years later he even eluded to her being a thief and taking his life story to make her own 'road to glory'.

Now that Mike has been gone for two years, I can only assume that she feels that the coast is clear for her to start spewing further lies and insults. Somehow she figures that Mike and my father screwed Louise since some of the Jerry art is now being used on clothing and rum. Mike and my father became the sole owners of Jerry's artwork after Louise sold it (Mike had sold a good amount of Jerry's artwork to my father). It would have been burned and lost forever otherwise. Mike decided to make some money off of the artwork, first by partnering with my father to make the Sailor Jerry flash books (which are still used by tattoo artists around the world) and then later partnering with the clothing company that still produces the Sailor Jerry line of clothing. The clothing company made a deal with the liquor producers who make the rum, which apparently is a world-wide smash hit. Recently the liquor company bought out the rights completely, and my father and the executors of Mike's estate got paid in a settlement, which was from I understand, not a huge sum. Mike had been selling Jerry's original art for years, which was just as much of his right as licensing it as he had purchased it in full from Louise years earlier. That's the end of the story.

It's very sad that kate still tries to tell the world her lies. I don't know if it is jealousy that she takes stabs at my father and Mike or dementia. Nonetheless, she wraps herself in a disguise of false sainthood making claims that she is trying to right wrongs. Nothing could be further from the truth.

I tried to comment on one of kate's myspace blogs where she is throwing her garbage against the wall, but she only allows comments to go through that she sees fit, which makes it look like she has a great cheerleading squad. Oh well.

Here is the other forum

Sailor Jerry's family was paid for the artwork. Mike Malone paid them outright 20K in 1973. Kate Hellenbrand is an opportunistic liar; always has been, always will be...she just wraps it up a moralistic/feminist hide the fact that she was and is a complete parasite and liar- ask Zeke, ask Ed, ask any one who knew Jerry!!!! She never, NEVER worked with or for him. She was Malone's girlfriend. THAT IS ALL.
Just an evil woman. And you are being completely duped.

This whole thing reeks of bullshit. Mike Malone bought Jerrys shop and estate-PURE AND SIMPLE. Kate had nothing to do with it at all. She never worked for Jerry- ask Ed, ask Zeke, as anyone who worked or knew Jerry...stop giving this woman a forum to spread her lies....she is wrapping her greed in some moralistic blanket....worst.

I appreciate all the comments. Pat is just presenting another side to the story and we're giving this forum for people to discuss.

No one is disagreeing with the fact that Rollo bought the estate and paid good money for it. There's proof of that. But with other issues, there seems to be a lot of He Said/She Said.

There are no sides being taken here. Pat is just linking Kate's blog and noting a positive personal experience with her.

I will say that it is sad that big companies are making money off the Sailor Jerry name while his widow lives off SS. They may be clear legally but from a PR standpoint (and morally of course), they should reach out.

"no sides being taken here".
and the article is entitled"Shanghai Kate Sets the Record Straight". okayyyyyy.
Maybe Kate should give the family ROYALTIES from all the itemst SHE HAS SOLD (STOLEN) aka stencil books, flash, copies, the fake "script", etc...
Oh wait, that would come out of HER pocket....and where's her payday in that?

You're right. The headline is biased but was more an attempt at alliteration than anything else.

I have changed the headline for fairness and thank you for calling me on it.

Kate is full of shit!! Just because you fuck a famous tattooer doesn't mean you can be one. You stopped tattooing complety for over 10 years!!! now you came back and have the nerve to act like you have something to do with the history of tattooing! and you are not a "grand dame of tattooing" in my book or anyone else I knows book. And Jerrys widow lives well off his pension-i know someone who interviewed her within the last year. And Jerry NEVER mentions her in anything!!

Wow. A lot of personal slander going on here against me. I am not a liar, it was my money from my family that allowed Malone and me to buy Jerry's estate in the first place. Louise will testify to that. Malone never worked ONE day with Jerry. I worked with Jerry for three weeks. I am so tired of people who know nothing spewing out personal insults against me because I am trying to help Louise and the family. Hardy had no right to sell anything regarding the Sailor Jerry estate. He didn't own one shred of it. Malone and I did and when Malone learned that I was digging into this, he blew his head off. Easier I guess than facing the fall-out of all the years of his lies and destruction . . . not just to me but to himself and those closest to him. As for Louise: she's never been interviewed (especially in the last year!), it took me 15 years to find her. Jerry didn't have a pension, these people are talking out of their hats. Certainly they would hate because they drank the Kool Aid. It will be proved in the courts, it will be reversed from the dishonesty that prevails, Louise and I will be vindicated and these people can slither back into the holes they crawled out of. I don't know them, they don't know me and I'm stunned at the amount and degree of pure hatred and personal attack, even though we are strangers. I'd think they'd want this made right, not perpetrate more dishonesty. But the world is what it is . . . by the way, I stopped tattooing for 10 years because I broke my back in two separate accidents. You are so deluded. I have nothing but pity for these haters.

One more thing: I do contribute to Louise and the family. Why would you think I didn't? None of these vile people have any correct information. They are just nasty.

really showing a lot of class with that last comment. Or should I say, your true self. Mike Malone contributed more to tattooing then you EVER will. You were his girlfriend, nothing else...oh yeah, besides an attention seeking scratch artist.

You are a just plain hateful, and the people that have known you through these years know your true motivations: the all mighty dollar.

You had over 35 years to resolve any issue like this with Malone, yet you just "happen" to find Louise two years after Malone's death...and start the dog and pony show...hows that false morality treating you?

Malone worked at China Sea for 20 YEARS. Jerry's own son got tattooed at that shop by Kandi Everett herself...where the fuck where you???

Evil. You are just plain evil and an opportunistic liar. And you contribute to Louise? You just said it took you 15 years to find her.(I guess you never heard of a phone book)..youve been selling all that STOLEN material for the past 10! C'mon already...please go back on your meds.

Ed Hardy owns the rights to all Sailor Jerry flash and has licensed it to Gyro Worldwide. Gyro is an ad agency that owns the clothing line and developed and marketed Sailor Jerry Rum. So you need to see Ed about why hasn't Jerry's widow gotten any money, Ed shore has.

Seems like most (though not all, to be fair) of the haters and accusers are hiding in this forum behind anonymous posts and false names (we all know Rollo Banks didn't leave that comment above). Anonymity certainly does not lend anything to credibility. Just an observation...don't rape me in response. Thanks.

All i have to say is she hangs out with Chris Crinkle at Big Dogz Ink, and if you know them youll find this entertaining.

Plain and simple: Kate is a fake. I have been doing all kinds of research about these amazing and history making men for years. She never worked with Jerry.
Don and Mike are the ones who apprenticed him and as someone above said he left specific directions to his wife to sell it to one of them or Zeke. If you Kate had anything to do with Jerry then why did he not mention her? And another thing Kate says on her website that Jerry disliked woman and beginners in the tattooing business. Why on earth would he let one apprentice him if her statement is true?
RIP Mike Malone.
Ed Hardy is the shit.
And you kate, you are only trying to dig your claws into the money. You are delusional and somehow have lied to yourself for so long that you now believe your own lies.
We will catch you slipping
your lies will catch up with you and you will be found out. As for Louise Collins... if she wanted any of the money she would have came forward and got it herself a long time ago.
Mike and Don kept her husbands name alive and I am almost positive that she is happy about that.

Malone did not kill himself because he was scared of you telling the"truth"(lies). He was not scared of you in any way. He thought you were shit!! He was a sick man and very unhappy with his illnesses and always said he would end it when he could not wipe his own ass. So shut up you stupid liar, and how dare you pretend you were the reason he committed suicide. You got some bigg steel balls woman, and not in the good way. I hope we get to meet soon, luv, ANNETTE LARUE

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