There’s no rest for the wicked when it’s tattoo convention season! We were home for approximately 40 hours after the Philadelphia Tattoo Arts Convention, before we hit the road again to Amarillo, Texas, for the Ink Life Tour. We took off from Harrisburg Tuesday afternoon with Paul, Ella, Josh and Kris, as well as our friends Sam Bower, tattooer Rick Meggison, and piercer Shaun Saylor of Marked 4 Life Tattoo. We drove most of the night before stopping in Indianapolis, IN, to catch a few hours of sleep early Wednesday morning. Melanie from Inkeeze and Sullen joined us in Indy as well, adding to the crew of zombies in our van.
26 hours one way is a long ways.
After leaving Indy we drove straight through to Amarillo, arriving at the hotel Thursday morning at 6am just in time for the hot hotel breakfast. We were even the first ones to sign in on the Ink Life Tour breakfast sign in sheet. After filling our stomachs, we crashed for a few hours before dragging ourselves over to load in to the convention center.
A nice photo of our booth at the Amarillo, TX, Ink Life Tour.
This show was much less hectic than Philly, with about 100 booths, and we were located right in the middle of all the action. We stayed busy throughout the weekend, slinging supplies and hanging out with amazing friends and tattoo artists. Among these were names such as Marshall Bennett, Halo, Kyle Dunbar, Elmo, James Vaughn, Tom Tapit, Erick Melendez, and more. Carl Blasphemy made a great host, as always, giving us some awesome shout-outs throughout the show.
An array of colorful Ego Tattoo Machines.
The Ego tattoo machine was probably the biggest hit of the weekend, selling out by 3pm on Friday (No worries, we will have more in Ft. Myers, FL). A Pound of Flesh was also a great seller, with purchasers such as Steve Tefft and Clint Cummings of Spike TV’s Ink Master. Sarah Miller finally purchased her Dragonfly rotary that she had her eye on, which she said made her weekend. The limited amount of InkAddict clothing we brought sold out quickly as well, and we plan on bringing much more stock to the rest of the shows this year.
The view from back stage during the Drowning Pool concert.
George De Niro Galindo and Ragen St Peter really know how to throw a convention, from tattooing to bands to after parties. Mushroomhead, Drowning Pool, and Hed PE all graced the stage at the convention throughout the weekend. The crowds were insane at times! The host hotel was very accommodating to us as well, offering an array of snack foods at the very crowed bar after the show each night. The hot tub was a favored place in the hotel, though it seemed to depend on who was working that night as to how late we were allowed in. We always like to push the boundaries regardless.
Our very own Josh and Saylor with tattooing legend Marshal Bennett, fresh out of the hot tub.
Our hotel was also right next to the Anchor T Flea Market, which of course we hit up first thing Saturday morning. We found many treasures, and met a few locals. We also enjoyed burritos from an authentic Mexican restaurant during the weekend, a must have when you’re down that way. It wasn’t all fun and games, though. The dry Texan air was harsh on everyone, it seemed. Kris ended up in an Urgent Care Clinic Sunday morning of the show, with an upper repertory infection.
The infamous Cadillac Ranch.
The end of the weekend did not mean the end of our adventures. The drive home from Amarillo was definitely a fun one, starting with visiting the famous Cadillac Ranch first thing Monday morning before we left town. Then we trucked through towards Knoxville, TN, stopping in the middle of the night outside of Memphis at Elvis’s Graceland. It was an epic stop, if only for a few midnight minutes. Then we carried on until just outside of Nashville, where we stopped at a hotel for a few hours of real sleep.
Tuesday we hurried towards Knoxville to set up shop at Ambition Tattoo. Unfortunately about a half hour outside of Knoxville our trailer blew a tire, putting us behind schedule. Kris and Sam waited with the trailer on the side of the interstate while the rest of the crew went in to find a new tire and rim.
Set up to sell supplies to the professionals at Ambition Tattoo in Knoxville, TN.
When we finally made it to Knoxville, we had a good handful of local professional tattoo artists show up to purchase supplies. It ended up being a great day hanging out with friends Danny Fugate, Amanda Marie, and Chris Cross. It was short lived, though, as we hopped back on the road Tuesday night at 9pm.
“This is Foamhenge, a full scale replica of the mystical Stonehenge of England. Foamhenge was completed in six weeks using beaded styrofoam blocks weighing up to 420 pounds, delivered on 4 tractor trailer trips from Winchester, VA, 100 miles north. It took 4-5 Mexicans and one crazy white man to construct. It’s purpose is to educate and entertain.” -M. Cline
We made time to make one last stop that night, at Foam Henge. That’s right, it’s just like it sounds. It is an exact replica of Stone Henge, only made entirely of foam. Unfortunately, due to the fact we stopped there at 3am, none of our pictures turned out great. But here is some proof that we stopped, and if we ever get the chance to visit during daylight hours we promise better pictures!
Josh’s Featured ‘local’ of the trip:
This is Doug Abbot, the great local we met at the Anchor T Flea Market. Doug corners the market on saddles, spurs, and lassos. It is said Doug can tell what size saddle you need just by looking at your ass.