What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas – unless you get it permanently tattooed on your body.
“This is the best story our band has, hands down,” says Sean Kennedy.
Fort Collins band Tickle Me Pink, which consists of Kennedy, Stefan Runstrom and Johnny Schou went on tour last January in Las Vegas. They came back with plenty of stories, and a little unwanted body art.
“We had this guy whose job it was to make us happy in Vegas,” said Kennedy. “Our bassist at the time told him he wanted to get a tattoo and the guy told us he knew a tattoo artist who would come up and do it in our room.”
According to Kennedy, a 300-pound guy showed up to their room an hour later with a case of beer and a tattoo gun. After their former bassist got his, the intoxicated Kennedy and Runstrom decided they would be next.
“I thought it looked really cool that night,” said Runstrom, who got a skull with drumsticks going through the eye sockets. “The next morning I was like ‘F***.’ We were trying to scrub them off after that. The rest of the trip we wanted to kill ourselves.”
For every stupid move the band has made though, it seems like they’ve made a hundred right ones.
Tickle Me Pink is quickly becoming the most popular band to call Fort Collins home. And for those who are skeptics simply because of the band’s unusual name, get in line. The band’s not too big on it either.
“We started as Tomorrow’s Ending,” said Kennedy. “I thought that was the stupidest thing I ever heard. So for one of our first shows I printed off flyers that called us Tickle Me Pink as a joke. It’s kind of a curse now, we’ve tried to change it and our fans get pissed.”
The band’s fan base has grown quickly since it recorded its first demo album in June 2005. Since then, the band’s schedule has included packed shows at the Aggie Theater, a show at The NewWestFest in August and a trip to Virginia to professionally record its newest compact disc, “Half Seas Over.”
“That trip to Virginia was one of the craziest things we’ve ever done,” said Runstrom.
The band had suffered a loss the night before they were scheduled to make the drive across the country. Their bassist had decided to quit the band due to personal reasons.
“We left that morning with no money,” said Kennedy. “We ate Ramen for three days straight.”
Although the band is signed to a label, Grantham Dispatch, it was still the band’s responsibility for paying for the recordings.
“We got there and it comes time to pay the bill and they tell us ‘You can just write a check,'” said Runstrom. “And we’re like, ‘We don’t have any checks.’ And they look at us and go, ‘What are you thinking?’ They were pissed.”
Fortunately the band’s parents were able to cover the cost of the recording, as Kennedy, Runstrom and Schou don’t exactly have their dream jobs quite yet.
“I think all of us hate our jobs so much it drives us,” said Kennedy. “I don’t think any of us care about getting huge. I just want to quit my job and make a decent living.”
Tickle Me Pink’s greatest shot at doing just that will come on Sept. 26 when they have a scheduled show at the Mercury Lounge Label Showcase. Talent scouts from major record labels will be there to speak with the band before and after the show.
“No matter what, we will benefit from it somehow,” said Runstrom.
Until something major happens, the band will focus on what it has been – writing new songs and increasing its fan base.
“Our first show at the Aggie I was nervous because we had only played at really crappy venues up until then,” said Kennedy. “We played and got our first encore, and that’s when I was just like, ‘Wow. We could be really good.'”
Staff writer Brett Okamoto can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Band Web site