baggy bens, stranger t shirt, spitfire hat. worn out vans. From left to right.... myself, pip,onio, and juju. my old 1986 pickup. small wheels skinny board.
I think this was the day i shot my first real ad.... for a couple days i had been trying to do a kick flip backside disaster... at the time a few of us were doing backside kick flips on vert, so when real wanted an ad i wanted to do something no one had done or seen...at least on a vert ramp. The night before jake and i had one of our usual skates, thin lizzy blaring, jake cuing his drop in to the beginning of the song or at least the punchiest part of the song. At the end of the session i got into the the kick flip back disaster, to the point where i knew i had it .... but was terrified to slam, and maybe miss the chance of shooting the sequence for the real ad. this was the time of -the death of vert- and i was well aware of why it was dying,on the top of that list ...the accessibility of a vert ramp to skate. Vert had become slightly robotic, over flared, and i think very suburban. Don't get me wrong.... i love vert skating, i think its so fucking raw, the speed and flying through the air is almost like a super hero come to life. But..... no pads, out on the streets, in the early 90's..... basically street skating was the place to be, the thing to do, and the mecca, EMB was exactly one train stop away from me. So i did see that happening and was fucking blown away by how cool it looked, how care-free it was, but mostly by its creativeness and how rapidly the likes of mike carroll, javonte, ronnie bertino, and other locals at EMB were pushing it. But i felt vert in my bones and was trying to take some of the shit i saw on the street to vert..... not exactly TRYING but maybe absorbing, or mocking.... For me to do a back tail slide across the big block at EMB i'd probably have to pitch a tent on the stage there and camp out for a year, but i could emulate it on our shitty indoor ghetto vert ramp. I became obsessed with trying street type tricks on vert..... and any skater that has done something no one has done, it's a really fucking amazing feeling, and becomes almost addictive. (i don't mean that in a bragging way.. because hosoi was doing 10ft air that you couldn't touch, but just that you were able to throw in your little creative 2cents)
So gabe morford who i barely knew at the time, showed up in a gold late 80's malibu(i think), and asks what i wanted to shoot? i remember kinda mumbling "kick flip backside disaster."... take note this was 35mm film days, so every attempt at a sequence was dollars being spent on film. "how many rolls we on?" was such a common question and so much pressure. I was kinda doubting i could do it, but i figured if i didn't at least i would fail at trying something unseen, and maybe the word would get back to real headquarters as such, rather than trying to shot something more standard..... in fact maybe thats why there is a backside ollie photo in the ad, it was the back up in case i failed, and they threw it in the ad. Within a couple tries, it was flipping really good and i slammed a few to disaster and jumped off..... part due to fear and shock that i was coming so close. any skater knows that feeling, where you kind of surprise yourself and then you have to make the decision..... -am i going to stick this?- I usually go through every possible slam first.... the best would be landing primo or all four wheels on deck, which would launch me head first into the middle of the ramp and there i would die. Ok and... I'm a bailer, i mean, i have to bail something kind of a lot before i make it. I think doctors refer to it as VERTITUS. But somehow for some miracle i landed it quickly.... and the one i made was better than any i bailed..... there was one problem, gabes flash didn't go off on the -money shot- (thats when after you land a trick they take a picture of you cumming all over your own face).....but really it was the middle "catch" photo.....REAL said they'd just cut in another photo from another attempt... but none looked good to me and i was so bummed. I demanded to see the negatives... at the time i was in the local community college photo class... i stood strong in protest stating "my dad's a tv repair man, he can fix this photo" but really i begged Gabe to try to make it work..... and he did, it's just a little darker. I don't know, maybe this is too long winded, but i found the truck photo this morn and then when i was writing this i found the sequence on the internet and it brought up so many memories. These times were really character building and so relevant for the rest of life, I had to got through intense human comparisons, and had to look at myself through the eyes of others and often ask myself "would i be stoked on this" I think thats a beautiful thing about skateboarding... you can really be humbled by it. This sequence was only as rad as it was till the next page of the magazine was turned or until someone did it better. It's painful to see folks in bike world learning these lessons late in life... and trying to hold onto their glory like it will never end. If that makes sense, i know it's got parallels in so many worlds like music, and art, and probably scholastic-ly as well. One of the kids at the vert ramp there other day said have "have you ever done a kick flip lein air?" i quickly replied i think i invented it.... i mean was the first one to do it...i mean i'm a fucking kook. I turned red, and apologized for my words, but you get older and try and hang onto some of the past... i should of just said "yes, but that was a longtime ago"
Fuckin-A life can be that first sip of a cold beer that burns the back of your throat, it can be the bottom warmer part, and lots of times it's the can you reach for thats surprisingly empty and you forget how good it tasted as you pounded it.
best TBT ever
I had that ad on my wall when I was younger. Before the thought of splicing a sequence together even crossed my mind. Wouldn't have mattered. The idea of someday doing the trick was all I needed. Never did get it.
You have obviously heard this before but I feel like you and Frazier were the one that made vert fun to watch. You looked like a street skater popping outta grinds on vert and Frazier looked like a fucking boxer. Both styles were so rad. Thanks for the updates on the blog, I'm sure I'm not alone in saying we missed it.
that was and still is knarly...
max the sequence far ahead of time and the curve. favorite style to date rolling down the half pike and the turnpike. two or four wheels. keep making writing goofing and all the other revenge we wage against boredom.
really enjoyed reading that. As i can relate as well, with skateboarding most defintly and bikes. Thanks man.
wow! great sunday nite read . i can totally relate .
Kickflip liens will always be Maxamelons in my book, blessed to watch you throw em out up over my head. those sessions at your place were fucking nutty. blueprint rolling out in front of Eric and myself. we left speechless, never took it for granted but talked about it for days after. ollie out of tailslides? and back smiths? thats your shit. I remember seeing that footy of you.. its etched into my brain, i also remember you telling me not to go to your corner store without you. i think that might have saved my life or at least the $30 in my wallet. that was 1990's Oakland. shit was real. "these foools wit you MAx"? yeahh they are.. "aliight then bluuuhhh" people dont even know. Lee Ralph. remember when i showed up w him and Shawnee Mack at Jims? that was a fun ride in my camaro over the bridge. fucking Lee RAlph dude. holy crap.
yea Dan... i remember that with Lee Ralph, so rad, he came and skated my vert ramp a few days later and i was so fucking nervous. Yea man, that hood was heavy, a guy on here the other day threw a lot of hate my way, and a lot of his misconceptions about me, one is he said i grew up rich and never worked a hard day in my life.... i wish he could have walked up to that liquor store w/o me, or woked alongside luke o, ferdi, and i all those years l landscaped. So glad there're people like you out there Dan that actually know the history and were there for those times....... not just judging what they think they see through the images they look at through bitter eyes.
Such a good story thanks Max.
Grew up rich?/? uhhh, no. the dude clearly is just talking shit. but you know that's gonna happen. people talk. at this age we just have to laugh.. driving around with Lee in my back seat was gnarly, almost more fun than the sessions. comic relief. wish i had pics..no phones. memories. you remember. thank you for posting more tank pics too, came out so nice.
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