THE LIVE FAST HOUSTON
HOT ROD TATTOO CONVENTION

AND KUSTOM KULTURE ART SHOW 2005

by Cory Gillispie and Jess
From the July 2005 issue of Prick Magazine.

Gill Montie and Desiree exchanging vows from Reverend Billy Tinney.


The Park Plaza hotel in Houston, Texas, was the host of the LiveFast Tattoo & Kustom Kulture convention for the second year in a row. Its spacious ballroom afforded plenty of space for booths, art exhibits and several custom hot rods with room to spare. Even with all that space, the show flowed out into several other rooms used for seminars and bands like Go Fast and Honky, and even the parking lot was taken over for the car show, additional stage, and the Ms. LiveFast pageant. On top of all that eye candy, there were the usual contests, an auction for charity, and one particularly touching event the wedding of Mr. Gill Montie, an icon in the tattoo industry, to the lovely Desiree Kleypus.

The Tattoo of the Day contests featured some phenomenal work each day of the show, and everyone involved should be very proud of the work they received over the weekend. Friday's winner was a stunning upper leg piece by Stinky Monkey's Tony Ciavarro, though the judges were hard pressed to make a decision (I know, I was one of them, along with the esteemed Jime Litwalk and Dave Martinez. What an honor to be part of a panel with those two!). Chris Blinston took the trophy for Saturday with an impressive World War II-style tank with pin-up girl, and Tony Ciavarro brought home the bacon a second time on Sunday for his fruit-eating lady monkey on Ms. Shalmarie Madaras. The "open" contests (tattoos not necessarily worked on at that show) were also worth seeing. Along with the usual categories such as best backpiece, won by Kandi Maeckel for work from Chris Lain of Axis Tattoo, and best sleeve (by Chris Trevico on one 2Madd Huerro, who also won for best overall male and large black and gray), were a couple more bizarre classes such as strangest tattoo, an upside down Jesus on the cross, and wurst tatu (I'll spare you all the gory details of that one). The trophies were handmade wrought iron contraptions with a distinctive Texas theme made by Charlie Harmon. Swank!


Gill Montie and Desiree.
Jime Litwalk and Dave Martinez.


Speaking of swank, Saturday afternoon's Miss LiveFast pageant was a sight for sore eyes. A gaggle of gorgeous girls paraded across the stage for our viewing pleasure. The theme was "classy, not trashy" however that didn't stop a few boobies from popping out of their harnesses, nor did it restrain the occasional lascivious comment. But it was all in good fun. The competition was stiff (no pun intended, really) but in the end the victor was one of the few who didn't dare to bare, a sassy roller derby queen who calls herself Betty McNasty.

The car show followed close on the heels of the pageant, and was open to all traditional style hot rods, customs and old-school motorbikes built in or before 1965. But this competition was all about the home-built, regularly driven rides, not the pampered trailer queens you might see in other shows. Prizes went to best kustom, cycle, hot rod, and people's choice, and were won by Lurch, Big Al Bartel, Rodney Belt, and Steve Chase (who received the coveted Golden Wrench) respectively. There was also a class for most driven, however the winner didn't make it to the awards ceremony, sadly. All in all, it was enough to give any grease monkey fits.

The bands did their thing all weekend long. Hailing from Little Rock, Ark., Go Fast put on a true high energy show, playing a lot of southern rock and peppering their "beer, cigarettes and women"-based lyrics with battle cries such as "If you don't like Lynyrd Skynyrd you can kiss my ass!" If you've never had a chance to check them out, get a taste of their surprisingly full three-piece sound at www.GoFastNation.com. Singer/guitarist Scott Diffee was also busy tattooing at the Parlor booth when not tearing up the stage. The trio is rounded out by Matt Floyd on bass and Justin Collins on percussion. Not to be outdone, Honky (featuring J.D. Pinkus of Butthole Surfers fame) did its southern-fried thing as well, every bit as cultured as Go Fast, but a bit less manic. Their smooth Texas-style rock goes best when combined with Lone Star beer or whatever other intoxicants you happen to have on hand. If you want more on them, you can find it at www.honky.net. If you aren't familiar with these gents, you should check them out immediately, if not sooner. Also, look for more on these guys in an upcoming issue of PRICK. Big ups to them, as well as the Riverboat Gamblers and the other bands I just didn't have time to catch up with. The show just wouldn't have been the same without 'em!


Go Fast.
Honky.


The true highlight of the convention was surely Saturday night's event the union of Gill Montie and Desiree Kleypus, which took place right on the ballroom floor. Gill was joined onstage by Reverend Tinney (that's right, I said Reverend), editor of Tattoo magazine, as the bride made her way up the aisle in a beautiful black dress holding a single red rose. As the happy couple prepared to exchange vows, silence descended on the floor; even the tattoo machines ceased their humming to respect the couple. The ceremony was not, however, without its lighter moments. As Rev. Tinney asked if there was anyone who would object to the marriage he produced a pistol and a grin, and after the rings had been exchanged he managed to get some sugar not only from the bride, but from the groom as well, all in one big, sloppy, three-way kiss. All kidding aside, we were all deeply touched, and I personally felt honored to have been in attendance. A catered reception followed in a private room where guests could congratulate the newlyweds, and several of the convention artists completed pieces for the auction to be held on Sunday. We laughed, we cried, and a good time was had by all. CONGRATULATIONS GILL & DESIREE!!

Following Sunday's Tattoo of the Day competition, a charity auction was held featuring the art produced the night before. Items up for bid included pinstriped and painted handbags and plaques featuring art by Jack Rudy and others. However, the crown jewel of the collection was a sublime piece of vintage luggage hand painted by Jime Litwalk and Jeff Shea sporting a crimson-haired lounging lady and the phrase "Like, Get Gone!"

As the auction drew to a close, so did the show. The artists finished up the last tattoos of the event and the patrons, along with those who had already packed up their stations, headed for the afterparty held at the Big Top. With all my energy and money for that matter spent, I said my goodbyes and took the suitcase's advice and got gone. As I hit the highway and the miles rolled by, I reflected on the good times had over the weekend and looked forward to the next show. So until then, y'all, don't do anything I wouldn't do. But if you do, think about me while you're doin' it! See ya!


Rodney Belt, Winner for Best Hot Rod.

Lurch, Winner for Best Custom Car.







For more information, go to www.livefasttexas.com.


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