By Kent Smith
I'm going to start this out by saying what an incredibly long week it was leading up to this convention. Crash, John and I all woke at 4 a.m. (well Crash and I did, I think John got up at 5 a.m.) to catch a flight from Atlanta to L.A. on June 3rd...
But for the record we drove from L.A. to Northern Calinfornia hit a small convention, then on to Analog Tattoo, Temple Tattoo, Skull and Sword, Tattoo City, Seventh Son and did around 20 interviews, an art show and then back to Long Beach for the Queen Mary show, all in a week. Talk about a fucking packed week of work, it had been two weeks before any of us have had a day off.
Crash, Jason, Katie Sellergren, Doug Hardy and I all arrive at the airport in L.A. from San Francisco at 8 a.m. on Friday and wait our stellar chariot driver John to come and scoop us up... Well just Jason, Crash and I…
Katie and Doug had other means of transportation (and by the way, this was another 4 a.m. wake up). Apparently, John has been up all night, not from partying but from trying to sleep in a room where “party tats” were going on all night by none other than Alex "Let's Party" Trufant. He is tired, we are tired, and we have a battle to win against rush hour traffic leaving LAX and none of us are morning people... (Except Crash who magically wakes up at 5 a.m. everyday) Insert road-rage and yelling here.
I was wondering that morning, "Why I do this to myself and why I put myself in these situations" but then the convention started and it all made sense. Holy shit! This is the mother of all U.S. conventions. We arrive and the party/work begins. The convention is full of people I have not seen in forever and have been waiting to see for months: Chad Koeplinger, Eric Jones, Holly Ellis, Hannah Sandstrom, Taki, Henning Jorgensen, Brad Fink and the list goes on. This is by far one of the best conventions ever, and it has not even started!
John and I rush to get set up, while dealing with convention woes (trouble finding boxes, having to go to City Hall to get a business license, hotel room not being ready and so forth). We get set and let it all begin. We are on a mission this weekend, and the mission is; get shit done! We knocked out about 20 more small interviews and several longer ones.
Thanks to all that made this possible. Thanks to Ruin for putting on an awesome convention. Thanks to all the Rock-A-Bellies and the wasted girls that were passed out on the convention floor for making us laugh, Chad Koepinger for giving me a sweet fucking reaper tat, Taki for being Taki, Dana Dynamite for being awesome. Sailor Jerry Rum for letting us use their Airstream, Josh, Jason, Steve and Nicki for taking Team TAM up a notch, and every one else for making this an awesome experience...
And then this happened:
Tattoo by Chad Koeplinger (still healing in picture)
Until next time fuckers!