State of Grace Tattoo Convention, San Francisco: PART II

By Crash

To continue with my list of highlights from the SF show… It’s always a treat seeing Thom deVita and, as usual, finding him in the hotel lobby every morning by 7a.m. (He and I are commonly the only people stirring at this hour). Sitting with Thom and listening to a few of his stories each morning was a real treat.

The first morning I asked him what he was doing…”Are you people-watching?”

“Lady-watching,” he said, with a wry grin.

DeVita "Lady Watching" in the morning

DeVita also sold some of his art (which we will soon be featuring on the TAM site) and he did several tattoos on some devoted tattooers over the weekend. (It was the first time I’d seen him wear gloves!)

DeVita in San Fransisco

I was able to successfully film the long-planned Jack Rudy interview and a video of him doing a tattoo for our upcoming 25th issue spectacular!

Everyone who knows Jack can appreciate the sense of accomplishment we felt upon completion of this most difficult task. We managed to get the interview done merely a few hours later than expected and the 2 p.m. tattoo appointment we filmed started well before 7p.m. on the following day! Ha-ha.

We all felt a wave of relief, knowing that the hardest job of the weekend was over. Thanks Jack!

In addition to Rudy’s video I was able to film some upcoming featured TAM artists including; Mike Rubendall, John Glessner, Beppe, Jason Kundell and Robert Ryan (the conversation with Robert was particularly enjoyable for me).

Having Grime give me a personalized copy of his new book Iron Will was a very nice experience. And I’m pretty sure he sold out of all the advanced copies at the show. It’s quite an amazing collection and it also comes with a new printing of his first book– Two-Year Autopsy. You need one.

I was happy to be present for Scott Harrison’s “last convention” as he (sadly for us) officially retires from the world of tattooing after 20 years!

Harrison will be pursuing his art and illustrations full-time from now on. Please visit his site: Headband Brothers. Harrison will also be contributing a new comic strip for TAM entitled, Tatcon Level 3 –beginning in issue #23! It is hilarious!

Richard Stell (thanks to the brain-power of Clay Decker) proved that nothing could slow him down, not even a power outage!

Stell had a crowd around his booth because he was the only tattooer still working when the power went out. He completed his Sunday appointment with a rotary machine and a spliced USB cord attached to his laptop. It was quite a sight and, though we were all impressed, Clay marveled at our collective fascination stating, “I guess people really need more obstacles in life.” Ha-ha.


My favorite quote of the weekend (only slightly ahead of the one listed above from Clay) was by Thom deVita, “I’ve been hungry since the depression.”

Near the end of the show Bob Roberts told me what was wrong with the magazine!

And he was right too! Ha-ha.

It’s never easy to get an unsolicited critique, but it reminded me of the old days of TAM when, following the printing of each issue, Mike (Rollo) Malone would shred it apart. I learned a lot then, and there’s no reason to think it can’t still be helpful now to get reamed out for falling short of perfection. Thanks to Bob for your time and thoughts.



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2 thoughts on “State of Grace Tattoo Convention, San Francisco: PART II

  1. Fuck yeah, by just reading this I was exited man! Shame that Scott stops tattooing but the reasoning is understandable. I guess the time when tattooers tattoo for over 50 years is coming to an end. Naturall progression I guess.

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