This post will be much like the Fresno convention, short and sweet! The Fresno convention is one of those rare two-day shows that has all the talent and pageantry of a three-day convention, without the Friday blues that many of us are accustomed to. There are very few shows where you don't hear at least one person say, "Friday was slow... I'll kill it on Saturday." So Fresno just cuts out the Friday complaints and gets right to it on Saturday... [Video on expanded page]
I have a couple peeps in L.A. so I decided to fly into LAX hang out for the night (which is technically all I can stand in L.A. One night. Ha-ha!) and drive up to Fresno early Saturday morning. The drive was relatively painless and cruising through the mountains of the Angeles National Park was pretty cool. Sorry, I would normally drop a nice blurry picture of a mountain shot through a car window here, but I was driving... Two and ten... Safety first! Ha.
It seems that I was not the only one to drive up from SoCal as many California natives including Permanent Mark, Tim Hendricks, Dan Dringenberg, Tennessee Dave and Baba Austin all made the drive up too...
The TAM booth was right next to Chris Yvon from Power Tattoo. I had never met Chris before, but I can't think of a more solid dude to have as a booth neighbor. It also seems that we share the same philosophy on conventions, which is; show some respect to the promoters and stay until the end!
I did the Fresno convention a few years back and both promoters Chris and Jason do an excellent job running this show and we are always happy to do this quick and clean two-day romp in California's Central Valley. And hell, TSOL was plying on Saturday... Can't beat that!
I even got to meet Mike Roche, (TSOL's bass player) who was super-cool. He walked over to the TAM booth to pick up a magazine and he said,"Do you like rock 'n roll t-shirts?"
"Why, yes... Yes sir I do..." And then he throws this sweet eagle (or "sweagle" as I call it) shirt at me... I'm just glad I caught it. Nothing says "boner" more than dropping a shirt thrown by a rock-star. Ha-ha!
I'm so use to three-day shows that this convention actually ended before it began. I did get to see my homies from Santa Rosa Mike Bennett and Justin Shaw of Faith Tattoo. These dudes are seriously awesome... They were the only ones to buy Thom deVita prints from me, which doesn't make them automatically cool, but when they called me the day after the convention to tell me that I accidentally gave them an extra deVita print that they didn't pay for and how and where they could send it back to me... well, extra cool points for that! And they are pretty good at tat zappin' too... Shit, I just said tat zappin'! Oh well... wanna fight?
Speaking of fights... just take a look at homeboy in the video below. I would say this is the true definition of a "solid left!" This video really says it all. Thanks to Dean Williams of Elm Street Tattoo for sending me the footage. I don't know who these people are or what this about... But Smokey's famous line from the movie Friday comes to mind...
I also ran into Tim Beck from Freedom Ink Tattoo in Peoria, IL... And I think he was one of last people to finish tattooing on Sunday? He did this sweagle on the back of some dude's head... pretty epic.
Oliver Peck and Dean from Elm St. Tattoo were at the end of my row, and Oliver insisted on throwing "Peeps" (the most disgusting Easter candy of all time) at me from about 50 yards away... So I stole a sticker!
Oh... and then I find out Osama bin Laden was shot and killed at about 8 p.m. PST. Years from now people will ask, "Where were you when you found out bin Laden was dead?" And I'll say, "The Fresno Tat Con bro!"
God Bless 'Merica... wait... what just happen there?