Wow, imagine this: some actual skateboard news. J. Strickland and Andrew Reynolds have parted ways. J. is best known as the former Birdhouse Team Manager who masterminded the Baker Bootleg videos and has been running Baker since the beginning. However, recently J. has been working hard on getting Bootleg off the ground and so Andrew decided he wanted more of a hand in Baker and J. should be free to concentrate on Bootleg. Let's hope that the good stuff continues for both guys.
More gossip? OK. Watch for Pig Skateboards being launched soon. Despite the recent Pig Wheels ad, PJ Ladd is riding for Ricta Wheels. Eric Koston is also on Ricta Wheels. Is that truly the best team in skateboarding? Do wheel teams count? If so, Pig might've had it a few years back. Jason Adams is off Vans and on Duffs, with a likely shoe coming out soon. Justin Strubing will be sadly leaving his Emericas behind for a happy shoe on the new Kris Markovich company. That company will be through Osiris, which is whose shoes a paroled Jay Adams will be wearing soon, hopefully, as he's getting a pro model shoe. Anthony Mosely is upsetting a lot of people lately by saying things he hasn't thought clearly about, but hopefully the price he'll be paying will help learn a lesson. Gershon Mosely's Blind graphics depicting him knocking out Reynolds are not only macho, stupid, and arrogant, they're nonfactual, if art is supposed to be imitating life. Gershon did punch Reynolds once in their little scuffle about 8 months ago, but it was a little later when a drunken Reynolds was pushed by someone else and fell into a bench that he lost his tooth. Gershon, or "GMOS" as I guess he's going by now, didn't do it, and yet he's still claiming... I guess he's tough, though, huh? A busy Reynolds has left the drink behind for a life of TCB, as outlined above... and speaking of TCB, Tom Penny is still filming for the DVD version of the Flip video SORRY, which I've now seen enough times to know is really, really good. The best video ever? Perhaps.
Haven't skated it yet, but there is a new park in La Habra that's supposed to be pretty damn good. My old friend Hugh bought a '78 Volvo wagon from Steev Claar that used to belong to Neil Blender and he may be living in it soon. Hugh's been ripping up Ocean Beach and Coronado lately, sometimes with other longtime San Jose ripper Kamal Sahota of the infamous Sahota Brothers. Garry Davis made a number of additions to the Apple Website on June 3. Check it. I guess that's it for tonight.
Actual Skateboarding "News" Check Out
In the CD changer: Ramones s/t, Sex Pistols Never Mind..., Clash s/t, Stiff Little Fingers Inflammable Material, Wire On Returning. After spending three days in London doing really dorky things like taking pictures of the high-rise tower blocks where Mick Jones lived, and pictures of myself under the Westway on Portobello Road (site of the riots in 1977 that spawned the back cover photo of the first Clash record), and driving through King's Road (it's now 100% yuppie-fied and full of lame shops), I came home with renewed vigor to learn these records in entirety on the guitar.
The first Clash record is done, the Sex Pistols and Ramones records are halfway there, but I can't seem to get the SLF version of Bob Marley's "Johnny Was" down the way they played it. Stiff Little Fingers stuff isn't as easy as I would've thought. And Wire? The easy ones are easy, the others are impossible. So I'm learning the easy ones: Ex-Lion Tamer, Outdoor Miner, 12XU. They're the best ones anyway.
London's Burning Check Out
I've been to a few countries in my life, but I just got back from Finland and I've gotta say that it's pretty damn amazing. Of course I realize that it's always different than living there when you go to a place for a short period of time. Still, Helsinki is an amazing city. They don't care about skateboarding, they've built some amazing places to skate, the city is clean, safe, and full of trees, and the girls are beautiful. More than any other place I've ever visited, by far, the women are striking. Serious sensory overload.
PJ Ladd won the contest in Helsinki last weekend. It was his first pro contest, and the day of the finals, he didn't even skate on the course, not once, except during his runs, which included a kickflip over a gap he'd never jumped, a 360 ollie heelflip over a pyramid hip, a kickflip feeble grind down a rail, and a nollie-flip into (from the deck) a 6 foot quarterpipe. Pretty damn amazing.
Spanky got second place in the same contest. His first pro contest and he nails it in his run with a clean line and lots of solid amazing tricks. Bastien got third, with typical amazing Bastien tricks and style--he's amazing, too. Fourth was Jani L., who just turned pro for the Firm, and fifth was a tie with Arto and Euro Antilla, who rides for Flip. Fun contest, good times. I'm also stoked that I got to meet Louie Barletta--he's a nice guy and real funny, and a great skateboarder.
Also: being in London for the Queen's Golden Jubilee and the start of the World Cup and Punk's Silver Jubilee was... interesting. More soon, maybe.
I Heart Helsinki Check Out
Just had a very nice surprise checking out SteveBerra.com Very nice site, good design without being too arty, and easy to navigate through good photos, sequences, articles, fiction, and journal-style entries that eliminate the stage between skater and fan. Well worth checking out.
Steve Berra Dot Com Check Out
Tom Penny is here in California today, and there's an eS sample Penny shoe. It looks pretty amazing and he wore it tonight--everyone was checking it out. The Flip video, "Sorry"... starts off with Johnny Rotten narrating, sort of, talking about the video, and then introducing each skater throughout. Here's the run through: Mark Appleyard got the first part, and it was amazing. The filming here was especially nice, as there were a lot of roll-bys and moving camera dolly-style shots (The "Frangle"). Appleyard is amazing and this is the first really commensurate video part for him. Ali Boulala's part was so much his style, it was great to see. He dawdles some, but somehow it builds into this amazing collection off oddities and raw skating, and the overall effect is very successful. Alex Chalmers is one of the best park skaters--one of the best all-around skaters-- but his part was all park footy, and it was all great stuff. He skated to the Faction... Bastien's part was simply outstanding. He's fifteen and he's already at the most astonishing level. Kickflip back lips and frontboards down huge rails, and some amzingly quick feet--meaning quick gnarly lines. Rowley's part was my favorite, although it was in the middle, meaning that they (the team chose the order) possibly thought others were more worthy of the opening and closing parts. No matter, in this line-up everyone was strong. Rowley did huge ollies, rails, kinked rails, and some really cool long-ass grinds. Rune's part does him justice--he's one of my favorite skaters, and he did stuff I've never seen before, and he always looks good doing it. He did a face high backside alley-oop ollie to tail over the channel at Bob's. What? Tom Penny's part was really good--it started off with some mini-ramp skating, then faded into a cool dream sequence, and then Tom's new footy starts. Parts pure new amazing tricks and part vintage Penny style, it ended up a very accomplished part for Tom. He's never been gone, he's always been there. Arto's part was last and it's long and good, and it's odd to think what he might've gotten if he hadn't been hurt the last few months. A lot of the tricks that have been in ads the last six months, as well as stuff from his Thrasher SOTY interview, his part is last for a reason--it's really, really, good. The music for the video really fit everyone's parts, and the editing is great. Boulala's part is raw and fits his little raw punk image. Bastien's part is to some good beats, and has edit-scratches that match his flair and the music. Arto used two songs--the second is "RocknRoll Suicide" by Bowie, and it's so perfect, the way it builds. Oh, yeah, that was another thing that is really good--each part really builds, from a slower, sometimes sketchier or imperfect (more human?) group of tricks into the real amazing stuff. Fred's got a flair for the editing that matching his quality filming. There's so much to say, but the bottom line is if you're reading this and into skateboarding, you should check out the Flip video yourself. Buy a copy when you can, it won't be available forever. Oh yeah, I also got Johnny Rotten's autograph!
Flip "Sorry" Premiere Check Out
Man, I've written a lot this month already. Anyway, yesterday was a pretty amazing day--got to play music with some friends while other friends were in the backyard skating, then I went skateboarding to San Clemente with a good group of people to skate with, then went to Hollyweird to have dinner and hang out with a different group of friends: Justin and Beth, Erik and Lucy, Spanky and Herman, Trainwreck, Braydon, Miner, and more dudes. And then I went and saw the " Champs" at The Smell with Daniel, Felipe, Peter, Josh, Brian, Joel, and a large contingent of the Rosemead crew. Packed day. I love it.
May 19, 2002 - Yesterday Was A Busy Day! Check Out
About 9 months ago we did an interview with Manny on here, and I've been meaning to do more with the other kids. So, without further ado, here's Taylor Corner, interviewed by Manny, and then by me:
Manny: Taylor, are you hardcore?
Mark: What does that mean, hardcore?
Manny: Hardcore skater.
What's a hardcore skater, Manny?
GSD. No, one who skates all the time and falls all the time. Who cares. Taylor, How come you wear your cuffs so big?
Cause I do, why do you care?
Because I'm just trying to come up with a way to let you know it looks really bad. I don't care. You shouldn't worry about what other people wear and just worry about yourself.
It's highly noticeable. What do you think about Eric poking a pine needle into your ear?
Not very cool. That's all I have to say.
Taylor, what tricks have you learned this week? Uh, none. Not this week. I hate the board I have right now. The last trick I learned was frontside boardslides.
How long have you been skateboarding?
Seriously? I don't know. Maybe three years, but it snowed where I used to live so I couldn't skate when I was younger most of the time. That was in Bend, Oregon.
Why do you like it so much?
I'm thinking. "I like skateboarding because it's rad." No, that's not it. I don't know why. It's fun.
Do you like interviews?
Do you like skateparks?
Do you like Disneyland?
Do you like your wood shop class?
No, cause Mr. Pruss is mean, but the projects are cool.
What's the name of your girlfriend, again?
It's not my girlfriend.
Yes, it is, it's Yahaira.
And Manny think she's a black Arabian who studies Buddhism.
Does she like you or does she like you?
I like her.
But she supposedly likes him, too.
Manny's making that up.
Does she like skaters?
She's going out with one. That's why Manny can't say she's my girlfriend.
Taylor, do you have any shout-outs?
Don't you want to say hi to anyone?
Wait. No, don't write that... I'm thinking. Hi to Manny, my Mom, my Dad, Matt, not Eric, cause he poked me in the ear, Garry, the Clash, At The Drive-In, Eddie, and Kelly, and John and Christian. And Manny said that every time you write Eddie's name you have to put "ugly" in parentheses.
And now here's Manny, interviewed by Taylor:
What's your full name?
Manuel A. Belmonte.
What's the "A" stand for?
That would start with an "N." Oh, well, Adrian. Do you like rollerblading?
Aren't you yourself a rollerblader, Taylor?
Would that make you a hesh biker? You sure like biking in your Osiris sweatshirt.
This is stupid.
So how many times have I saved your life from going into the street and getting hit by a car. Five or six times.
Pretty good odds.
That made no sense.
I don't care. What tricks have you learned in the last month?
360 flip noseblunts.
What's your favorite trick?
What about wheelies?
I leave those to "Ugly" Eddie.
So who are the most influential skaters to you right now?
You don't even know any gay skateboarders!
Who cares, put it down. Steve Sanderson. This one time, me and Steve were skating in his backyard and there was a water stream from sprinklers, and we were doing tricks over it, and Steve ollied it, and I 180'd it, and Steve said "Oh, you're trying to step it up a notch." So I backside 180'd it, and he's all "Oh, so you're trying to step it up two notches." I said "You're gay, Steve." He said "I know," and he tried to make a move on me, and I backed away and said "Let's just be skate buddies, Steve."
Do you like potpourri hearts that are soft and velvety?
Don't throw that at me, please!
How many hours do you spend Tech-decking a week?
Second to none.
OK, this is starting to make even less sense. That's it. No, no! Mark, you ask me some questions.
OK, Manny. Have you learned any new tricks on the ramp?
Good rock to fakies, fakie hang ups, I almost have axle stalls, and higher kickflips to fakie, and sliding down the ramp on my butt and tearing myself a new a-hole.
Did you make feeble backside reverts on the flat bar yet?
No, I have frontside reverts, or just to fakie down. I call them to fakie because one time I asked Ed (Templeton) how to get out of feebles and he said you just kind of lean back, and he told me to show him one, and I did it 180 out. I leaned back, and did it to fakie, and he said "Or, you can just do it to fakie." So I call them to fakie.
How come you're so into skateboarding, always wanting to go somewhere, but always relying on me to take you there?
There's no good skate spots around here, and they're all too far, so I rely to want to go to a skatepark so I can tag along.
There are a lot of spots around here, where you could skate to them. You're just too lazy.
That's not true, you're lazy. Those spots are killed, from my good skateboarding, and switchstance.
Taylor: And ugly fat guys that yell at you. What's your girlfriend's name?
Taylor. No, put... I'm trying to think. Who's one of those fat ugly chicks in the TV business? One of them. Actually, all of them. You have to ask me to give shot-outs.
Shot-outs? Shouts, I mean.
OK, go ahead.
I would like to give a shot-out to Emerica, all the neighborhood kids, and all the heshers that have chosen the right way to skate. And the ams that better be pro by the time I'm sponsored. And Steve Sanderson, the "gay jock," who'd rather be driving his new truck than skating. And answer your phone next time I call, Steve. And TumYeto...
This list is about to end.
No! Annoying Parker, weird-voice Greg, Brian Sumner, and the box that is going to be made sometime.
Tell me about the Ass-Face Kids.
It's just a group of kids named me, Parker, Javi, and Matt. And it's still awaiting other ugly kids. It is a great group of kids who want to have fun and be creative. I'd also like to give a shout-out to GSD. Come home, Garry!
Manny and Taylor Check Out
Turnover played their first public show tonight--I just got back from there. I actually had a couple of beers so I'm a little bit beer-goggled out right now, but man, it was a good night. We played twice, there were some cute "fans" there, and even though I'm only the bass player it was a lot of fun... Paul Simonon style bass lines are really fun to play, and I'm doing my damndest--I'm still kinda learning how to play.
Tonight I had a conversation with a cute girl named Ashley, talking about bands and music, and I was hard-pressed to actually name my favorite bands of all-time. It's weird, because with records, I never seem to be at a loss for a list of desert-island discs, or with live shows, I always have my favorite shows at the tip of my tongue. But tonight it was a little weird trying to figure it out. If I had to name 'em, I'd say the Clash and X are at the top of the list, but those two bands sure don't represent the core of the music I really like today. For instance, I've had Fugazi moments; times where I've not taken Fugazi out/off of the tape player, CD player, record player, but still, the records don't do as much for me over a long period of time as a Clash record. However, I only saw the Clash twice, and I've seen Fugazi countless times. And I'd have to say that the Clash weren't as intense or impressive live as Fugazi was, ever, but because I only saw them twice, those moments are more imbedded in my memory than most of the Fugazi shows I saw. That, and the first time I saw the Clash was a sort of first for me, romantically, so of course it holds good memories... X has always been an amazing live band, and their records, for the most part, have been incredible to me as well--at least the first four... And then there are the bands that I never saw live and who only put out a record or two, but who were incredible: Gang of Four, Minor Threat, Sex Pistols, Radio Birdman. And it's harder to judge a smaller body of work, right? Then there are bands who were incredible (incredible!) on record but somehow had trouble pulling it together when I saw them live: Soulside, Inch, Pitchfork, Monorchid. So then there are bands like Big Boys, Refused, the Wipers, Skull Kontrol, Afghan Whigs, the Jam, who I never got to see live but I still love their records... Anyway, it was nice to be stumped for once, and I think it's good that I couldn't name an all-time favorite right off the bat... and like Ashley said, the Ramones have to be in there somewhere, right?
Beer=typing Check Out
Want a little interesting bit of skateboarding history? Check out the team for Circle-A Skateboards and check the art gallery and shop for Bob's current project, Circle-A Skateboard Shop, San Jose, CA.
Now playing: Inch "Educated Woman: Greatest Hits" CD (Goldenrod) The title of this CD changes every time I play it... I think the last time it was "Inch Digs A Hole in Your Sleep."
After dislocating my shoulder about 6 weeks ago I still haven't really gone out and gone skating, and I'm itching to. I tried once and screwed up my back, so I've been trying to heal completely before I get hurt again. Man, it sucks not being able to skate. At least these days I've got a ton of other things I want to do, so it's not as bad as it used to be.
Now Playing: Fang Discography CD, especially "Money Will Roll Right In." Especially not some of their other stuff...
They certainly don't need any more links or advertising, and I would hope that most people who know about skatepunk.net would know about crailtap.com. But that site is consistently amazing. Really, really good stuff, funny stuff, and as I see it, they're doing it for the "right" reasons: it's not just another front to get people to buy stuff... And also, you can get to BendPress and see (or buy) really, really nice pieces of skateboarding art, such as the original Wrench Pilot comics, the Girl painted ads Andy Jenkins did a few years ago, and other original Bend pieces. I just got Wrench Pilot #4 and I'm psyched.
I'm playing my first show with my new band tomorrow night. It's funny, cause it's just a little party, and still I'm a little nervous. Just a little. Anyway, it'll be good, I'm pretty amped. It's just funny that I'm even thinking twice about it.
Randumbs, May 2002 Check Out
Just got back from Vancouver for Slam City Jam. Had a great trip--one of the best contest trips I've had in a long time, Didn't spend any time in any lame strip clubs (or any strip clubs), didn't have hassles getting into and out of the contest, didn't have to search for things to do at night. On Friday night my friend Rick had the grand opening for his skateboard shop, AntiSocial, and there was an art show opening the same night at his art gallery in back. Tons of people showed, Tony and I got to play a little bit of music, which is one of the best ways I know to spend time with friends, and then Don and I left to go to another Etnies-sponsored party.
I met a great girl and felt this weird connection with her, even though I couldn't tell from her. But we flirted and it was nice, and I got to see her a little over the rest of the weekend. There were other parties to go to on the other nights, old friends to see and new friends to make, and so that's just what we did. We (Me, Don, Tony, Justin, Billy, Dave, Mark, Tony, Corey, even Carrie) were sharing good times--and soaking them in--and Vancouver was a good place to do it. Even got to see Doug Smith some, which is always a pleasure. And the Faction played twice, Mike V. and the Rats played once, and I could go on and on. But I won't right now. Maybe later. I need to write to Kendra Gaeta right now. Have you ever heard Wesley Willis' song about Kendra Gaeta? It goes "Kendra, Gae-ta!" over and over again. I'm getting off the subject here... I love Vancouver, and every time I go there I say I want to move there.
Now Playing: Streets CD--from Vancouver, B.C. I'm sure I'll be ranting about this band on this website at some point in the future.