By Metal Allison
Reno, the land of dreams… Oh, wait, that ain’t Reno. I meant, Reno, the land of toothless hookers. Wait, that’s just rude. Reno: It’s warm here and that’s pretty cool.
I boarded the trolley to Circus-Circus after briefly witnessing and elderly chain-smoking woman yell at pretty much everything. The two men sharing this trolley ride with me spoke to each other loudly about tattoos and rumors of a convention this weekend. I finally give in to their attempt to talk to me about tattoos and confirm the rumors.
I walk into Circus-Circus and it is all coming back to me. The smell of cigarette smoke in the air, the sounds of thousands of slot machines all running together and enough flashing lights to induce a seizure in a T-Rex.
The convention was a cool. Tim definitely puts on a good show –super friendly and helpful people. I see some familiar faces from last year including Lucky from Artful Dodger Tattoo and the guys from Triumph Tattoo.
My neighbors this year were Kevin Leary from American Graffiti Tattoo and Jason Fancher from 323 Tattoo. They both did some cool tattoos over the course of the weekend including a sweet girl head with moth wings and a skull and dagger that read “pride and honor” and some fancy skrit [sic] on one of the coolest dudes I have ever met. This was this guy’s first tattoo at 57 years old. He was so awesome! I managed to squeeze a tat out of Kevin as well! Thanks Kevin!
Not only can these dudes tat zap, they can party! The convention party was put on this year by Scott La Rock (Sideshow Signs) at The Hideout. I hate to admit it but I usually skip these parties, but Scott was such a cool guy and if he throws parties anything like he paints signs I knew it was going to be cool.
I hadn’t had the pleasure of meeting him yet so I didn’t give him the credit he deserves. His signs are amazing and one of a kind by the way… Hand painted… As in….with a brush.
As far as the party, it did not disappointment. It was way more fun than my solo night the night before drinking Bloody Mary, after Bloody Mary, smoking menthols and losing a ton of money to stupid Hexbreaker! The only reason I play that one is because it has black cats, ravens, bats and broken mirrors. I’m such a dork. So yeah yeah the party, cheap drinks, no douchers [sic] around and what tat-party can be complete without a bunch of dudes taking their shirts off? Exactly, it just can’t happen. Even got a little pants-off-dance-off on the pool table courtesy of Zane Leibowitz.
You should see this dude’s dance moves, and his tattoos –Hey-oh! Next thing I know it was last call. I thought to myself this must be an after hours bar because it feels later than 2 a.m. –that’s because it was 6 a.m. After a random walk to another closed bar it was back to the casino, drink in hand, body in cab. I gave stupid Hexmaker a little more of my money and when I went to get more from the ATM and walked sideways past it I decided it was time bed.
Sunday was a strict diet of RedBull and nachos. And R.J. from American Graffiti tattooed a Betty Boop on a woman in the TAM booth. He was doing a guest spot at Triumph Tattoo that weekend and needed a spot to tattoo at the convention –so that’s how we do, right? I’m pretty sure I could have picked any spot to be tattooed by him and still manage to fall asleep during it as long as he kept talking. Most soothing voice ever, ha-ha!
Next thing I knew it was time to pack up and leave again. Unfortunately my man with lashes took 3 days of for his “personal self” so someone else had to help me with my boxes. The next morning I played $5 more bucks on wolf’s something or another slot machine. I like wolves. Nothing! Fart noise.
Then I was headed back to Chicago. So in Reno, I drank too much, smoked too much, spent too much money, stayed up too late, ate unhealthy food, had a shit ton of fun, got tattooed and hung out with some awesome dudes. In the words of Donnie Kizzee, “sounds like my Friday night” This is work? Thanks Reno, this was a fun one.