Chad Smith’s Tattoos

From the Kerrang! Legends Red Hot Chili Peppers edition

Chad Smith’s Tattoos:

Chad has a number of tattoos. Several of them, like other members of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, have been done by the famous Dutch tattooist, Henk Schiffmacher who is based in Amsterdam.


1. Right Arm:

Top tattoo – Scorpion

Photo: Rebecca Billingham

Lower tattoo – a drum with drum sticks resting on the top, some foliage and a banner underneath with the legend C H S H.

Source: Official RHCP Instagram


2. Lower Inner Right Arm:

March 2019; Chad’s latest (known) tattoo was again by Henk Schiffmacher, but this time he was inked in Cairo, Egypt while the band were there to perform at their landmark concert at the pyramids.

I think this is the design- a stylised wolf.


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3. Left Arm:

Top tattoo – Totem pole design eagle within a ‘heraldic badge’

Lower tattoo – Two creatures snarling at each other in an almost circular design

Source: RHCP Official Instagram

You can see some of the tattoos in this video:

4. Inner Arm Tattoos

Numerous tattoos on both inner arms:

  • Some are his children’s names in Chinese characters.
  • The D in a Gothic font is for the Detroit Tigers.

Photo: Rebecca Billingham

Detroit Tigers logo (thanks to Wil V)

Source: Official RHCP Instagram

Inner arm tattoos can be glimpsed in this video:


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5. Right leg: Octopus


I got this tattoo in 1991 by Henk Schiffmacher, aka Hanky Panky, a very famous dutch artist, painter, tattoo artist in Amsterdam. I was on tour with the Chili Peppers and we were playing in Holland, and I had gotten a couple of tattoos from Henk but I wanted a really big piece and thought it would be great to get one on my leg. I’m a big fan of scubadiving and under sea life and that wonderful world down below. I told Henk I want an octopus, can we draw something up, a really cool tribal octopus? ‘


Source: extract and image: The Artists of Musical Ink


6. Left Leg: Dolphins

I’ve not been able to verify this- can’t find another photo!

Source unknown

Chad’s Tattoo Drum Set

Incidentally, Henk Schiffmacher also designed a drum kit for Chad with tattoo style art representing Smith’s life. More details about the Henk Schiffmacher drum kit can be seen in this Music Radar article.