bands car show

Ink-N-Iron 2010

2:28 PMDollie DeVille

This past weekend was Ink N Iron. This is a pretty big annual event in SoCal, but this our first time going. In the past I thought it was mostly people just into the tattoos, cars, and pinup girls, and not really about the music. This year the lineup was really good and we knew a ton of people going, so we decided to check it out for the first time. We chose to buy a Saturday only ticket, instead of the weekend pass. Saturday had the bands we wanted to see most, and we didn’t know if we would like it enough to want to stay the whole weekend. We live a little over an hour away from Long Beach, so we didn’t have to get a hotel room. They do have rooms on the Queen Mary, and that would be cool though. The gates open at 2pm Saturday, and we got there about 3:30. Unfortunately, we spend about an hour being routed around the parking areas, and were forced to park in The Pike parking garage a mile or two away from the Queen Mary. The cost for parking was outrageous! $25! That’s more than Disneyland! They did have a bus that took us to the Queen Mary, so that was nice. Then we had to wait in another line to have them look through our bags. Then there was another line for will call, and yet another for 21+ ID check. Because of the horrible parking situation, line for the bus, and lines for tickets, we missed one of our friend’s band we came to see. I was greeted with a foot long margarita from Derek, so that helped. The vendors were all lined up on the concrete outside the ship. It was mostly car show junk, but Nick was there with some vintage clothing and stuff, and there was one CD/record vendor. There were two stages outside, one big one on the concrete and one small one on the grass with a tiki theme. There was a huge dome where all the cars were on display with fancy lighting and stuff. The first fun thing I encountered was a free photo-booth. Alana and I got in there and took some funny pictures. Then Zack and I took some kissey-face pictures. They came out really well for a photo-booth! They print ones for you to take home, and they also put them on the website for you to share. When they are uploaded I will post them. Next door to that was Livemags. They had a little redcarpet photo booth set up where they grab people and take pics, then post them on their website.

On the red carpet.

That and shopping entertained us for about 20 mins. Ha ha. So we decided to go eat dinner before the bands started. We ate at the Promenade CafĂ© on the Queen Mary. It’s a cute little restaurant that has an entire wall of windows looking out to the bay. It was really nice. The service was dreadfully slow though. You can tell they were not prepared to have that many people on the ship. Because the service was so slow we missed another friend’s band we had come to see. After dinner we went to get another drink in the bar down in the ballroom. I think we had to wait about 30 mins for a $7 bottle of beer. We all got two just to avoid that line a little longer. The “Sin Alley” stage was in this fairly large ballroom on the ship. It had a huge parkay dance floor, giant wood beams, and beautiful art deco wood throughout. The porthole windows still function too, so we got to play with them a little. The entire ship is art deco and extremely beautiful and grand. The elevators were brilliantly detailed and gold. They had display cases throughout the ship displaying antique artifacts from the ship, including original art deco soap and tooth brush holders from the suites, pictures of celebrities and politicians on the ship, and even the first issue of Playboy with Marilyn Monroe in it (it was for sale in one of the many gift shops). The ship was surprisingly quiet considering the amount of people on board and the live music and all. It does have that eternally quiet and creepy ghost feel to it. But that just adds to the history and charm in my opinion. The first band we got to see was Paul Ansell. He was really good, and I enjoyed watching his set. After that they had a Carnival Cabaret with a singing ring master equipped with twirly mustache, girls swallowing swords, burlesque….all sorts of crazy stuff.

The ring master

Then they had some international pole performers, which were a big hit with the crowd. They did athletic and acrobatic moves on a 15 foot tall pole wearing bikinis. I have to admit that these were some strong muscular broads to do the things they did up there!

Pole preformer

The next act on for the night was the one we came to see: Rusty and the Dragstrip Trio all the way from Australia! They are one of my favorite bands, but have been on hiatus for a few years (while Rusty was doing another band called the Rusty Pinto Combo). I guess they are back together now and working on a new CD. Their set was amazing! You could tell there were a lot of fans in the house, because it seemed like everyone knew all the words to every song. They did all of their “hits” like “I Ain’t Ready”, “Mama She’s Red Hot”, and “Rock all Night”. They also did a few Elvis covers and a new original which sounded a little different then what they had done it the past, but I really dug it. We got to do a little bopping and a little jiving, and it was a blast. I was so happy to see them again after all this time.

Rusty and The Drapstrip Trio

Rusty and I after the show.

There was a DJ between all of the acts, and he was really good, but I didn’t catch his name. He played a lot of typical stuff, but sometimes its nice to dance to songs you know well and love. And lets face it, with rockabilly, how often does a DJ play a song you have never heard before and don’t already own? Never. It was nice to stroll, bop and jive in such a nice ballroom. It was a shame that people didn’t treat it that way though. People have no respect for history anymore. People kept throwing all their beer cans, cocktail cups, and trash on the dance floor. It’s not nice to the dancers or the fragile aging wood floors. The last band on for the night was Ray Collins Hot Club. I couldn’t think of a better band to fit the style and period of the Queen Mary. The band members were all wearing matching suits and all had their hair slicked up nice. The dance floor got packed with swingers and lindy hoppers. I think the ghosts on the ship liked what was happening here. Ha ha. The band played until the very last possible second before the place closed at 2am.

Ray Collins' Hot Club!

Overall it was a fun event, but it would take a killer lineup to get me there again. I would rather go see the Queen Mary another time, when there are not so many people there. Especially people that don’t respect and appreciate the history of the ship. I did get to check something off my bucket list though: Dance to Bacon Fat to a live band in an art deco ballroom on the Queen Mary. CHECK! We ran into Tom Ingram and he was checking the place out too. Don’t worry Tom, this event aint got shit on VLV. Ha ha.

Bobby, Amber, Tom and Zack

Ahoy Sailors! On the top deck for cocktails.
With the Go Getters. What a blast!


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