David Gahan’s 10 Tattoos & Their Meanings

Dave Gahan or David Gahan is an English songwriter, singer, and the lead singer of the band Depeche Mode. David is best known for his commanding presence when he is on the stage and his deep voice. Gahan has also released albums as a solo artist which are Paper Monsters, and Hourglass. Although Martin Gore writes most of the songs for the band, David has also written many hit songs for the band. David has many interesting and special tattoos on his body. Let us take a look at what they are and the meanings they hold.

David Gahan

Chest Tattoos

1. Symbol Tattoo

David Gahan symbol tattoo

Tattoo: The right side of his chest, just near his shoulder contains a tattoo of a symbol.

Meaning: The symbol is the ancient Hindu symbol called “Om” or “Aum”. It is a sacred sound or hymn in many Indian religions and is depicted as the chant of the universe and all living things.

2. ‘Phoenix’ Tattoo

Tattoo: The left side of his chest contains a large tattoo of an intricate phoenix with a long tail that reaches up to his shoulder.

Meaning: The phoenix is the symbol of resurrection.  The phoenix bird burns at the end of its life and then is reborn from its own ashes which is why the tattoo represents survival and also the beginning of a new life or phase.

Arm Tattoos

3. ‘Dagger’ Tattoo

David Gahan dagger tattoo

Tattoo: The inner side of his left forearm, just below his wrist contains a beautiful tattoo of a dagger. The dagger is also surrounded by tattoos of a design consisting of swirls and lines. The dagger tattoo was done to cover up the skin after the removal of an eagle tattoo that matched the one on his right forearm.

4. ‘Cross and Heart’ Tattoos

David Gahan crosss heart tattoo

Tattoo: The upper left arm of the singer contains two very interesting tattoos. His left shoulder contains a tattoo of a cross that is made out of green lines. At the junction of the cross is a tattoo of a purple eye. Below this tattoo, just above his elbow is another tattoo of a cross with pointed edges that is piercing a heart. The heart is also covered up in tattoos of black flames.

Meaning: The Celtic cross represents the religious views of the singer. The second tattoo of the cross piercing the heart, burning up in flames is a tattoo of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The Sacred Heart of Jesus is the symbol of, “God’s boundless and passionate love for mankind”

5. Flower Tattoo

David Gahan flower tattoo

Tattoo: The left shoulder of the singer contains a tattoo of a small flower along with leaves. The tattoo was later covered up with the Celtic cross.

6. ‘Eagle’  Tattoo

David Gahan eagle tattoo

David Gahan eagle tattoo 1

Tattoo: The upper side of his right forearm, just below his elbow contains a tattoo of an eagle. Below the eagle is a banner with the name, “DAVE” tattooed inside it.

Meaning: Dave’s real name was David Callcott. But due to his father being absent, he changed his name to Dave Gahan which was the last name of his father-figure. So he got this tattoo on his arm for his change in life.

7. ‘Snake’ Tattoo

David Gahan snake tattoo

David Gahan snake tattoo 1

Tattoo: The right shoulder of the singer contains a large tattoo of a snake. The snake is hissing with its mouth open and is climbing its way up a flower and a vine.

8. ‘Letters’ Tattoo

David Gahan letters tattoo

Tattoo: The lower side of his right wrist contains a tattoo of the letters, “JJSR” on it.

Meaning: The letters on his wrist stand for the names, Jack, Jimmy, Stella, and Rose.

9. Bird Tattoo

David Gahan bird tattoo

Tattoo: The latest of the singer’s tattoos is one on his right arm. The lower side of his right forearm contains a tattoo of a small swallow bird. There are also two banners tattooed below the swallow that read, “JENNIFER FOREVER”

Meaning: David got this tattoo to his love for his spouse, Jennifer Sklias-Gahan. They have been happily married since 1999.

Back Tattoos

10. ‘Back’ Tattoo

David Gahan back tattoo

Tattoo: The back of the singer is covered by a very large tattoo design. The design is in the shape of an inverted triangle. There are two snakes that start at the bottom and make a loop on each side, before facing each other in the mid of his back. There are several patterns made out of lines, both light and dark, along with nets around both the snakes which complete his back tattoo.

Meaning: The design on his back is a protective tattoo that protects him from evil.

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