Saturday, June 7th
Queen Mary, Long Beach
The greasers, rockers, 'billies and Betties couldn't ask for a better summer shindig than Saturday at the Ink N Iron Festival in Long Beach. Outside the Queen Mary, thousands flocked to see shimmering custom-designed roadsters, lowriders and jalopies glimmer in the sun while bands played, families - many of them toting equally decked-out tots - frolicked, and merchants, designers, artists and entertainers aplenty presented a dizzying display of "tattoo and kustom culture" both sublime and outrageous. (Usually at the same time. That's the way they roll.) Inside the belly of the royal girl's exhibition hall, tattoo needles buzzing like the hum of a giant beehive, dozens of tattoo designers flocked their wares and inked the faithful while the afficionados proudly sported their designs and participated in contests to determine whose ink was the biggest, or baddest, or both. And there was plenty of raucous and righteous music all day long, highlighted by the Sin City stage featuring the likes of The Hacienda Brothers, Mike Stinson and a blistering set by the incomparable Dave Alvin.