Successful night in the life of Kyle Bockelman, artist



I drove over to the Pasadena Fairgrounds Saturday evening to pick my son, Kyle up after his day at the Tattoo The Earth Festival. He was there with about 20 other fans, waiting by the security gate for one of the rock stars to come out and give 'em autographs and stuff.

I had the poster he'd made in my van to keep the weather off of it, and right when I showed up he was like, man, the guitar player for Slipknot was JUST here. Argh. Well, we hung around and as it turned out, the friend he had who moved to San Diego was there with him...he'd never moved, so he and Kyle will renew their friendship. That was a great stroke of good luck for both those kids. Anyway, there was a security dude there keeping everybody back. This golf cart comes up with these local yahoos who were working for the Fairgrounds in it. A chick and 3 guys. Everybody was like hassling them and going, c'mon, let us back to meet the rock stars and stuff. I got Kyle's poster from him and I started talking to them and I unrolled it and showed it to them and said, now look. Why dontcha take this back and see if they'll autograph this one and they can keep the other one. I wrote on the corner of one, "Keep This one" and "Autographs, please?" on the other one. The golf cart chick was blown over backwards when she saw the incredible detail and finesse of the poster, which had 7 additions to it than the section shown here. She took the posters back with her. 10 minutes later, the golf cart pulls back up, and it's the head of security for the tour, and he has the driver with him who was there earlier. He stands up and points at Kyle: "You. Come with us." I went, too.

We walked out of the crowd and got on the golf cart and the guy introduced himself and we went back and pulled up next to 21 fully customized scenicruisers and a huge crowd of partying bands and fans. He says, "They want to meet the artist. Zat you?" Kyle goes, yeah, my name's Kyle. He shook Kyle's hand and said, just come with me and I'll introduce you to everybody. It was Big-Time rock n' roll stars: Slipknot, Slayer, Mudvayne, Sepultura, Sevendust, Full Devil Jacket, Nashville Pussy, Head PE, Hatebreed, and a couple of other bands who were on the second stage, all out there. Kyle was presented to the elite of the elite with his poster of Slipknot, and every single person who saw it was knocked out. ESPECIALLY the singer for Slipknot, Corey. He totally flipped. Dude was surrounded by a dozen adoring groupies and fans, and Kyle walked up and the security guy goes, you gotta see this. He held it in his hands and literally howled: "WOW! WOW! Holy S***! This RULES!" He gave a speech to everybody standing there about "'s one thing to have a t-shirt and go to the show and all, but THIS is something special. This is from the heart, man. This represents the true spiritual feeling of an artist, and it makes a real statement..." He thumped on his chest over his heart and then he gave Kyle a firm handshake and hugged him and x-rayed him with his eyes. He was deeply touched. I leaned over and said, "They left your copy of this poster in your bus." He lit up. He went, "Oh, man. THANK you. That's GREAT!" He's the highest-profile guy in the band. The other was the clown and he also autographed Kyle's poster. They all did, except for the drummer and the sampler ("drunk"), but Kyle got their autographs at their last show here a few months ago. Then the security guy took us around the whole place and Kyle got to meet Slayer and get their autographs. It was a big party. Nothing I haven't seen at any backyard barbecue, but these were rock stars. They loved the heck out of Kyle.

He was pretty much speechless after we walked triumphantly back to the van after he'd met the entire army of his heroes and was introduced as the great artist from Houston. He thanked me for starting up that conversation with the golf cart chick and giving her the poster and taking the gamble that they'd sign it. It paid off in spades. Kyle got recognized and accepted for his efforts from the biggest rock band in the world right now. I was way proud. I stayed behind him, out of the way. He handled himself with poise and he immediately was able to just talk straight out to them and communicate perfectly with them on their level. I didn't hardly understand anything they said, but it was all very positive and they understood what he said and did. I made sure that Kyle signed their copy and included his address, email, and phone number on it. On the way out of that scene, the security guy invited us to stay and go to Dallas with Slipknot for the next show and hang out and party with everybody. They didn't want Kyle to leave. Well, we had to go home, but that was really nice of them to offer us to stay for a couple of days. Maybe next time... It was an incredibly successful night in the life of Kyle Bockelman, artist.

This section of the poster depicts a scene in which Slipknot, led by the singer, who is jumping out of the hatch on the metallic death machine, is running over Fred Durst, the singer for Limp Bizkit, a rival band, who has been bad-mouthing Slipknot in the press and in general, making a fool out of himself on TV. I'm familiar with all this stuff, ya know, and I've witnessed Fred Durst exposing his most shallow and revolting side in TV interviews. Kyle's picture put him right where he belongs, if you ask me. He definitely captured the moment. Enjoy.




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