In this episode of Tattoo Highway, Thomas travels to Long Beach to tattoo a pair of U.S. Marines. One served two tours of duty in Iraq while the other just graduated from boot camp. Don't miss Tattoo Highway, Wednesdays at 10PM ET/PT on A&E. Become a Facebook fan of Tattoo Highway http://facebook.com/tattoohighway. Get virtually "inked" at http://lookwhatigotmom.com.
Catch the season premiere Wednesday May 27th at 10/9c on A&E. Renowned tattoo artist Thomas Pendelton has been at it for 15 years, but now he can use some fresh air. Hitting the road in his vintage tour bus, he is bringing a rolling tattoo shop across America. Along the way he will meet everyday people with personal stories and then help them express themselves through tattooing. Through his travels, Thomas plans to inspire clients as well as himself. Become a fan on Facebook http://bit.ly/peC8A and for more updates follow A&E on Twitter http://twitter.com/aetelevision. For more, please visit the official site http://bit.ly/vXANd
Tattoo Highway follows artist Thomas Pendelton as he travels the country in a mobile tattoo parlor of his own design, a converted 1970s Silver Eagle Tour Bus. On the outside, it's a moving metal canvas of Thomas' art on the inside, it's a fully functional tattoo parlor.
Beej's girlfriend, Rhesa, flies in to meet up with the bus and keep Beej company. Thomas fixes a bad tattoo on her lower back while she works out some of her relationship issues with Beej. After the tattoo, Nacho eats a stencil sheet and gets sick. Thomas is desperate to find a vet, and things get worse when the bus overheats and breaks down. Thomas rinses Nacho's mouth out with water to wash out the stencil dye, and it seems to make the pooch feel better. Monica helps get the bus back on the road by suggesting they cool the engine down with water from the bus's water tank. The bus heads to Sedona, AZ and meets Tierza Jacobs, a local psychic. Tierza makes a frightening prediction about trouble at home for Thomas and Monica, but luckily, it turns out to be untrue. Thomas tattoos a dragon on Tierza's hip to complement the art she has collected on her body over the years.
The bus arrives in Phoenix, AZ to meet newlyweds who want matching bride and groom sugar skulls tattooed on their calves. Tommy gets agitated because the couple doesn't like his sugar skull and makes him draw the design multiple times. Tommy's attitude annoys Thomas and strains their friendship. But after tattooing his sugar skull, Tommy realizes that no matter what tattoo he's doing, at the end of the day, he's always happy tattooing. In better spirits, the crew heads across town to meet Bald John, a former tattoo artist who now owns a Vespa scooter company and wants them to tattoo his company's logo on his back. The logo is a giant gorilla riding a scooter, and it's so big that Thomas and Tommy work together on the tattoo so they can finish it in half the time. Unfortunately, the tattoo is also twice as painful, and Bald John has to drink what seems like a dozen beers to make it through the session. The tattoo turns out great, and by working together, Tommy and Thomas have solidified their friendship. The bus heads back out onto the highway for parts unknown.
Thomas hires a new bus driver, Beej, who has to learn on the job. The crew meets up with a client at the Utah Test and Training Center in the Great Salt Lake Desert. Alien Dave is an alien hunter and gets a crop circle tattooed on his arm. On the way to Salt Lake City, everyone complains about the trip until Thomas tells his crew that if they're unhappy they can leave. Tommy has an emotional breakdown and considers going home. The bus moves on to Denver for an appointment with Vanessa, a woman who lost her arm in a motorcycle accident. Tommy tattoos a phoenix on what remains of Vanessa's arm. Vanessa loves the artwork and believes it will help her cope with her disability. Tommy realizes how much he loves tattooing and that it was silly to consider leaving the bus.
Amy, a new tattoo artist, arrives to join Thomas and his crew. From there, the bus travels to Salt Lake City, UT to meet up with Chris, a former Mormon who wants to get a memorial tattoo to remember his brother who committed suicide. Amy does the tattoo for Chris, but afterwards, Tommy tells her that the tattoo was terrible and that she shouldn't be on the bus. Next, the crew meets up with Marie, a photographer who shoots a doggy calendar every year called Pinups for Pups. Nacho, Thomas' French bulldog, gets in on this year's photo shoot. Tommy tattoos a memorial tattoo on Marie's forearm to remember her dog Sir Avalon who died the year before. Thomas takes the bus to Denver to meet Stacey, a woman who wants to get a butterfly tattoo on her hip to remember her father who recently passed away. Thomas gives Amy a second chance and asks her to do the tattoo. Amy does an amazing job and convinces Thomas and Tommy that she deserves to be on the bus.
Thomas rolls the bus down to San Diego to tattoo a cross on a firefighter who fought the devastating Southern California wildfires of 2007. As the bus travels further south, the crew stops in Yuma to pick up their new, sexy shop helper, Blake. The whole crew takes the night off to tattoo each other, but Chili and Blake decide to get drunk on the bus. Tommy tattoos Chili who starts making lewd and inappropriate advances towards Blake before passing out. The next day, the bus travels to Phoenix, and Thomas calls a crew meeting to confront Chili about his drinking problem. Fearing that Chili may be drinking while he drives, Thomas has no option but to fire him.
Thomas and Monica fly to Los Angeles and meet with a famous plastic surgeon to discuss Monica's breast augmentation surgery. Meanwhile, Tommy and Krystin drive the bus to meet up with Tommy's friend Tyson. Tommy finishes filling in a tattoo on Tyson's stomach that he started a few years prior. Monica gets her breasts done, and after the surgery, Thomas is happier to see that his wife's okay than to see her new boobs. Tommy visits another friend to help him cover up racist tattoos on his body that he got when he was a skinhead.
The bus rolls into Albuquerque and picks up Lava, a Tahitian dancer who wants to cover up the Thai words for "faith" on her back. Thomas and Tommy convince Lava to get a giant Koi fish that covers two thirds of her back. While in Albuquerque, Monica's hot rod breaks down. In order to fix the hotrod, Thomas makes a "bro deal" and swaps tattoo work for engine parts and labor. For the last leg of this trip, Thomas travels back to Long Beach and tattoos a pair of U.S. Marines. One served two tours of duty in Iraq while the other just graduated from boot camp.
In San Francisco, Thomas hires a portrait artist named Stash to tattoo a picture of his spiritual mentor on his calf. Ajahn Le is a Buddhist monk Thomas met years ago. After the tattoo, the bus heads to San Jose to visit Ajahn Le and show him the portrait. Later, the crew visits a Buddhist temple with Ajahn Le, but Chili grows uncomfortable. To end the day, Tommy tattoos a Koi fish on a man who hopes the symbol will bring good luck to his unborn son.
The bus travels to Sacramento to tattoo Heather, a voluptuous artist who used to work in a mortuary and has a collection of dead animals. Thomas completely changes the artwork she drew for her tattoo, but she ends up loving the tat. The bus moves on to San Francisco to interview potential shop helpers. None of the women they interview are right for the job, so they continue their trip without hiring anybody. While in San Francisco, Thomas and Krystin tattoo matching eggplants on a gay couple. After the tattoo, Thomas performs a renegade wedding for the love birds.
The crew takes a day off from work to celebrate Chili's birthday. Chili is very close to his mom and asks Thomas to tattoo a note she wrote him onto his palm. Thomas uses UV ink so no one can see the tattoo unless it's under a black light. For Chili's final gift, the crew calls a stripper onto the bus to give him a lap dance. Tommy gives her a tattoo as payment, but an argument arises after Tommy can't figure out how to finish the tattoo. The next day, Thomas rents an RV to take his crew on a trip to the mountains. On the way out of town, Thomas hits a fire hydrant, and they end up tattooing prostitutes at the Mustang Ranch to pay for the damage.
Thomas drives the bus to Reno, NV to visit his old friend Chris at his tattoo shop, Sinister Ink. Krystin tattoos a sexy blonde's foot inside the shop, and everyone accuses Thomas of being the biggest flirt on the bus. Later, Thomas visits his old high school, and Monica worries that his bad experiences in school might affect how he raises their daughters. After coming to terms with his home town, Thomas takes the bus to Hawthorne, NV to meet Trooper, a man who recently lost his wife and wants a portrait of her on his chest. Thomas mixes Trooper's wife's ashes in the ink and gives one of his most meaningful tattoos on the trip.
Thomas takes the bus to Las Vegas to drop his daughters off at Monica's mother's house After an emotional goodbye, Thomas tattoos a phoenix on a woman who gave up her child for adoption ten years ago. Later, Thomas pays his respects to the Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E. at their tattoo shop and brings a mother and daughter closer together through his artwork. From Vegas, the bus heads down to Long Beach to see his mentor Rick Walters and visit Burt Grimm's, the shop where he learned to tattoo.
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