Friday, December 13, 2013

MagPile: HBD BCD ! ABD/NBD ?

 Stories are cool, here's one......     Back in 97' I went on my 1st ever trip to California with my good friend Ben Demoskoff. We took the Greyhound from Reno, where my family was living at the time, over to San Fransisco for a few days of skating with Ben's friends Lucian and Jesse.  I think the 1st spot we skated was the old jersey barrier one that was popular at the time, and I rolled my ankle good right away. Not the best start, but SF is an amazing place so I made due. 

  Ben seemed like he was made to skate there, having the same sort of eye for creative skateboarding that Lucian and Jesse clearly possessed. I spent most of the time filming on account of the ankle, which turned out to be some of my favorite footage I've ever shot. We skated all over the city for several days, checking out classic spots such as Fort Miley, where we met a young Brian Wenning and his buddy Tim Achille. They ended up calling us every day at like 8 in the morning to skate.... I think they must have been about 15 or 16...... ripping. Got some good clips of those boys. 

  So what does all this have to do with a Sonic skateboards ad of Louie Barletta Hurricane Grinding Hubba Hideout ?  Well.....

  We convinced Lucian to begrudgingly bring us to Hubba one day, pretty much as skate touristy as you could get. I know the more recent generations of skaters can casually ollie over cars off flat, but Hubba is massive. My mind was blown that people could pop their tricks that high. The ground was perfect, but you've gotta have whatever trick you're trying on choad-height ledges to get on there. Lucian, Ben, Brian and Tim were all skating... that one session produced a lot of clips, including a Hurricane grind by Ben. Wenning and Tim even had a photo dude with them who shot it, but I have no idea what ever happened to that guy.... I think his name was Joe. Wasn't Hammeke or Brook though. 

  So we got some good clips, had a great trip, went home.... pretty much end of story. But then yesterday at work I'm looking through some old magazines that were going to be thrown out, and I find this Louie ad in the September 1997 issue of Transworld. I don't think I ever saw this, or at least I don't remember it. I could care less about NBDs, ABDs or whatever.... skating is fun, do what you want. Louie is the MAN, one of my personal favorites. Still, I had to wonder if maybe Louie had actually beat Ben to a trick we thought hadn't been done.... we were always so stoked that one of our homies got a new trick on an iconic spot we grew up watching pros skate in videos. So I asked Ben if he knew, and he said that he wrote his initials "BCD"on the ledge before we left. I looked at the ad again, and lo and behold, there it was. Ben is a tagger ! Hahahahaha ! Happy birthday buddy ! 

  Wait..... didn't Brian Anderson do a Hurricane on Hubba too ? Who cares.... all awesome skaters. Great minds think alike. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Park Report: No Country for Cold Men

The white devil destroys all that he touches.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Still Jammin'

 Earlier in the summer I had a chance to witness and track the rare Demoskoff Ben-jammin in it's natural habitat, carefully keeping my distance as it jammed onto and off-of everything in it's path. A sighting of this duration hasn't occurred since the turn of the millennium, when the Demoskoff mysteriously took flight from it's urban enclosures and ventured for parts unknown. 

  Enjoy these few images of a real live Demoskoff.... and who knows ? Maybe, if you lurk in the right spots,  you may catch a glimpse of it's mystical maneuvers...... and click on those photos to enlarge em' fools ! It's Benny D !!!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Off The Record #14 - Behind the Wall of Glitches

Among some of the more intriguing records in my collection is this 2002 Black Sabbath Past Lives reissue, put out by Earmark on 2 - 180 gram LPs. Seeing as Sabbath is playing in Vancouver tonight, I figured this little story would be fitting. 

 What's curious about this album is a strange anomaly that occurs just after the drum break in "Behind the Wall of Sleep".... the album skips, but it's not a physical imperfection in the grooves causing the skip - it's a digital glitch recorded directly onto the album when it was pressed. That can only mean the album was recorded from a CD master... HA ! The album hype says it's remastered and enhanced... too bad the dudes at Earmark were out back having a "safety meeting" when the CD started to skip. I wonder how many copies made it out like this ?

  It's kind of cool to have this weird rarity. I took the time to record the song (well, just the last bit with the glitches... and I could have done a better job. Sorry, rushed it) directly from my vinyl copy so you can hear for yourself.... enjoy !

 I'd feel bad if I didn't at least do the guys justice by putting up a non-glitched version of "Behind the Wall of Sleep".... let's go with the original album version...

 On a positive note - the album was a deluxe double gatefold with a sick photo of 250,000 people crammed together on the Ontario Motor Speedway in Califonia to see Sabbath during the 1974 "California Jam" concert. It's hanging up in my hallway. 

 Good luck tonight Ozzy ! Don't forget to cook your bacon ! (guess the reference, win nothing)

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Park Report: Foreshadowing

 Sonny, back in my day we used to grind those curbs with no paint on em', uphill !

Vanity Insanity

Self portrait Saturdays using the timer..... 21 beeps..... this one wasn't easy. East Vancouver.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Off the Record #13 - Wild Flowers

 Addicted to Fuzz ? Try this screamer...... so surfy. This is one of the albums I bought early in the Psych Rock stage of my record digging pursuits. Pebbles ain't quite Nuggets, but there's always a few good tracks on their comps. "Love", by The Live Wires - whoever they were - is a standout on this vinyl version of volume 7 in the series. 

 Trip out man ! Gotta put the psychedelic ear parade on outer spaced emerald green clear vinyl for the love children of the sun.... or whatever. Looks cool. See ya on the flip side....  

Friday, July 26, 2013

Park Report: Sign of the Times

 Ahhhhh... the good ol' days. 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

MagPile: Class of 95'

 I was recently looking for a photo I had (my 1st) in an old Concrete Magazine when I realized that there was a crazy amount of O.G. rippers & friends in the same issue. This is the issue that came out after I moved to Vancouver, exactly half my lifetime ago. Get ready for a flashback brothers....

The Cover. Ok.... what is this ? It's probably the essence of an epic pow pow moment or whatever, but it kind of looks like the top half of an outerwear mannequin from Westbeach being thrown into a pile of snow. It says Chalmers and Jeff Logan are in it though.... that sounds good.... (editor's note: the magazine dropped "powder", in name and content years ago. Concrete Skateboarding now, all good.)

 Jeff Logan. One of my all-time favorite skateboarders, and a good friend who hails from my home province of Nova Scotia. He was a legend even before he moved out west. All terrain. Switch 360 flips on 9 inch boards on call. Longest 5-0 grind on vert winner. Still killing it. Look at that nosegrind.... Jeff is the best.

Barry Walsh. The master blaster himself floats some of the biggest backside ollies you will ever witness. This one takes place at the Clubhouse Skatepark, which should need no introduction. Sick EMBC tee.

Alex Chalmers. I met Alex on my first day in Vancouver, when I walked into the Clubhouse. I ended up working and living there... in fact, he's skating above my bedroom at the time in this photo. I built and pimped out a room under the vert ramp when Jason Ellis returned from the European contest circuit and reclaimed his old bedroom. That elevated trailer home you can see in the background of some photos and video clips is where a few Clubhouse employees and locs lived. The things that went down there after hours were nuts. Gonz dropping by to do bonelesses across most of the vert ramp ? Sure. Jason Lee and Dune hanging out while shooting a movie a few buildings over ? Yup. Naked guys forcing me to attempt dropping in on vert for the first time, in the middle of the night ? Ouch. Good memories from that place... legendary debauchery.

Speaking of Chalmers, here he is in classic launch form with a massive (and rare) kickflip tailgrab out of the park during the relocated NFA Blockbuster. Even more rare is this gem of a Patty Morin photo that shares space on the same spread. Boom ! Been a fan since I saw him skate when I was a young teenager. 

 Craig Williams. Look at that skinny fella flying high above the crowd like some sort of radical Mothra or something.... how'd he get get up there so easy ? Is there helium in those cheeks ? Love ya Craig ! Jokes. Throw in Tom Hill for a few extra triple O.G. points. I work with Craig everyday.... he's still got airmiles saved up, spending them wisely whenever he gets the chance. 

 Commercial Break. One of the classic old Droors ads. Signature underwear... way back.

Syd & Judah. Both skate with power and style... and they were both on fire at this time. It was like some sort of Colin & Danny thing... feeding off each other. Happy they're both still living in Vancouver. Syd has Menu Skateshop on the go, and Judah has been holding it down at Timebomb trading forever and taking some great photos. 

 Dylan Doubt. Unique ripper who seems to be able to master any transition, regardless of it's jankyness.  This may be the first time the skate world got a glimpse of the infamous Hedley pipe. That thing ain't easy to skate.

 Dylan adds one more spoonful of style to his Penticton bowl feast. Still a great skater to watch, and one of my favorite photographers. 

Spike Jones. The Canadian one. Whiterock skate royalty. Spike, Jon and the boys were bringing the Zero-esque balls out skating to the north before Zero even existed. Something about being from Whiterock means you can just stand on rails in your sleep and jump down huge gaps like you're on your way to the store. Spike is Godfather status. Still killing it, skating all the time. Don't bet on a game of SKATE against him..... 

 Chris "Les" Ramsay. Lester. Loose and well rounded. Ripped for years right alongside his good friend Spike. Les is a talented artist who has been following his art to all sorts of interesting places for a long time now..... miss that soft spoken shredder.

 Jon Laliberte. This photo is almost exactly what I see in my mind when I remember Jon's skating. The old Langley park...... HUGE pop. Jon was one of the guys I always wondered about, he seemed to disappear from the skate world not long after I moved to Vancouver. Really good style, nice cat. Look at that team roster.... ahhhhh, nostalgia. 

 Aren Scott. Multi talented travellin' man and all around ripper getting up on one of the most highly regarded skate spots in history. Funny how this classic 50-50 on the west coast reminds me of the Eastern Exposure aesthetic. Rad, Aren.

 The photo that sparked the trip down memory lane, my 1st ever coverage in a magazine. This was taken a week after I moved to Vancouver by Nicholas Burke, at the Eatons Plaza. I remember being stoked that the big New Deal sticker showed up in the photo.

 Still can't believe how many awesome photos of old friends are in this single issue of Concrete.... glad I held onto it. I feel like going for a night roll downtown....

Friday, June 21, 2013

Park Report: Do you hear something ?

Well this looks promising....

  The scene went from photo #1 to photo #2 while I took my 1st run on that lil' mini... it's been consumed by the skate masses now.

Park Report: The Lost Report

  Happy Go Skateboarding Day ! Couldn't keep this shot from a couple years ago hidden forever... Rick McCrank glides a solitary switch crook on a late winter morning. Rick rules.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Off the Record #12 - Lively 5

 Some Detroit rock royalty right here..... forefathers of punk who were best experienced live. Back In The USA is the second album by the MC5, and their first studio release (Kick Out The Jams being a live recording), which seemed to rob the guys of that intense energy and loudness felt on Kick Out The Jams. Even still, it's a great album that features some of their most classic material, including the iconic and simple "Looking at You". 

  I found this O.G. copy of Back In The USA at 2nd Avenue Records in Portland, on my way back to Canada from 6 weeks in the desert. For $20- bucks, it was a great deal. The album sounds loud and full, unlike some recent reissues I've listened to. Crank it up and jump on the furniture ! 

  This clip from an old variety show features the guys miming to the studio version of "Looking at You" from Back In The USA. Aside from Wayne and Fred's hilarious moves, the announcement at the end about Anne Murray from Nova Scotia being next up is also humorous in contrast to the wailing guitars of the MC5. My mom went to University with Anne Murray. Here's looking at you. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Ironbound & Down

Just a few shots from my visit to Newark in 2011....  rap party and street life. Interesting city to say the least...

Monday, June 3, 2013

Bonus Flick.

 Bud kickflipped this can for the Gnartang's next epic video production before I could even grab my own soul thieving machine.... so I made him do it again. Thanks Kreepy Face Killah !

Jump on the Nerd Wagon.

  After seeing various posts online over the last year related to vintage skate sticker collections, I figured I'd take a look in the ol' shoe box to see what gems lurked in the chaotic pile. I didn't even make it halfway through before I gave up.... ain't nobody got ti...... well,  you know. Luckily, this old Chocolate set was near the top..... they always had great art for their series. Stay tuned for whenever I get the patience to take another dive into the sticker abyss...

Friday, April 12, 2013

Park Report: Waterlogged Love

  Great day for giving your lady skate lessons.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

MagPile - Wild Dragon Ride

{o} Pommier

   Stumbled upon this thing a few years ago when lurking around SFU in Burnaby with the Kreep.... it was one of those times when your mind gets blown by how gnarly a spot is in person. Of course Paul kickflipped into it. He's noseblunted rails so big you need binoculars to see him at the top. In the video footage of this you can see an appropriate reaction from a bystander in the background. Damn right it got the cover.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Off the Record #11 - Real Guns

  Sometimes you look for a specific album, or song, for ages..... and then you end up finding it for dirt cheap. That's exactly what happened when I wandered into a little basement shop in Brooklyn last year on a whim. After digging through a large amount of mostly unorganized vinyl, I found this copy of Gil Scott Heron's 1981 album, Reflections, that I had never seen anywhere - original or reissue. Lucky for me it was $4-. 

  This album features one of my favorite GSH songs, "Gun", which I first heard in Real's "Real to Reel" video from 2001. They couldn't have picked a better song to accompany the smooth skateboarding of Nate Jones, and as soon as I saw that part, the song was forever stuck in my head just as much as the image of Nate's 360 flips.... and pretty much anything else he decided to do on his skateboard. The guy just knew how to make it look good. No idea what Nate is doing these days... but his part in that video still comes up when talking with skaters who appreciate style over stunts. 

 Saturday nights just ain't that special..... I miss DJing this stuff at The Waldorf for Endless Summer. Hopefully we can find a new home for the night in the near future.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Park Report: These Emotional Blades

They try to tell me who I am....

I'll show them.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

MagPile - Eatons Minor


   A young Aaron Johnson tosses a bomb over the can at Eatons in Vancouver for his first interview ever (photo Kyle Shura), featured in the May 2001 issue of Concrete. The spot was mostly capped by this point, but it was still a major meet up/chill spot for skating in downtown.... the Dorm guys practically lived there.  AJ came up fast once he moved to the city, and he even obliged to film a part for a video I was making at the time, "VIDEO".... you can see some of his 360 flips in there, whoppers.

   It was a shame when they demolished most of the original plaza for renovations a few years back.... I hopped the fence and grabbed a chunk of the marble as a memento. It's even got the spot where a knob used to be.  

 AJ is playing lots of music these days and still finds time to pop his tricks higher than the rest of us.... with a smoke.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Ice Ice Maybe ?


  One of the things I like about working in skateboard distribution is the random objects/artifacts you find when cleaning out closets and shelves etc...  from ancient magazines to mint condition 80's gear, it's always worth the dig. Today I came across these ice skates for trucks in the back of a neglected closet at Ultimate and figured why not toss em on the ever-so-hot-right-now retro banana style cruiser .... the perfect set up for skate dates at Robson Square. This thing feels dangerous to even hold in your hands, so if you can manage to not severely injure yourself or anyone else at the rink, your date may be impressed. Blizice baby !

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Off the Record # 10 - You need the ketchup on your pimpin'


 I did a lot of record searching when I was in the south over the last 6 weeks and came up on some great finds, ending up with over 30 albums and about a dozen 45s. I'd been looking for this Positive K single, "Night Shift", for years but never saw it.... until I walked into Amoeba in L.A.  Always a great place for finding old school hip hop vinyl. This was $2.99-..... I wish record shopping was that affordable in Vancouver.

  PK was kind of a distant cousin of the Native Tongues Family who put out an album in 1992 after some success from his single "I got a man", and then that was basically it. This Big Daddy Kane produced track was the 1st I had ever heard of him, thanks to Alphonso Rawls' part from the H-Street "Lick" video in 1993. It samples Lee Moses' "Time & Place".... another album I'm hoping to miraculously find in my travels someday. Until then, I've got this single and Alf's gnarly part from a very questionable era in skate fashion. Love those crazy bleach blotch jeans...  the YMCA tricks were bonkers.

  Interesting coincidence - after I left California, Chris went back to The Honk's vert ramp again and skated with Alphonso Rawls. Bastard.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Southern Exposure: AZ/Cali 2013 (part3) - Extend it...

   It was hard to leave California.... something in me wants to settle there, but I've got some great friends and family in the desert and I couldn't help going back to Arizona for one more visit before the journey home to Canada. 


   Tucson has some historic old neon signs (above) around town that have now been protected by new legislation... sometimes they still stand when the establishment they originally advertised has long disappeared. 

   I'm not sure what the odds are of getting 2 completely unrelated triples skateboarding shots within the same week, especially since I pretty much just poached this one of Chris Cope, Brice Niebuhr, and Brandon Perelson doing an Animal Chin reminiscent invert combo in Tucson's 12 foot bowl. I just walked over  and the 1st one I shot they did, perfect. Dudes even rolled into the same skinny channel at the same time. They were on their own trip with a group of Seattle/San Diego rippers... we had some good times while they were in town. 

   Not long after I got back to Arizona, Chris rolled over to stay with his good friend Andrew in Gilbert for a few weeks, so we met up for a couple days of skating around the Phoenix streets with some of the World Industries guys. I got the entirety of my tan on the trip from one hour at that spot in the photo above....  it was sweeeeeet. Chris slappies the gap yo.

It was really awesome having Skyla on the trip... keeping spirits high.

   She even got in on the action if she could... in this case spicing up the scene of Derek Fukuhara's frontside bluntslide at sick flatbar spot in downtown Phoenix.

Photo: Chris Haslam

   Lean a sketchy piece of rusty metal on there and pivot fakie that bar dawg.

   Tucson loc Jason Coleman knows it's a rock n' roll party now so he throws down on the hip of the Whale Tail for one of my favorite photos from the trip.

   There's Doves all around my folk's place in Oro Valley, they're great at shocking the shit out of you when you walk by a tree/bush they've been hiding in and they come charging out. 

   Suski and his friends are pretty proactive when it comes to DIY spots... this one was rad. Great wallrides and the section in progress that Aaron is smith stalling on.

Aaron Suski.

Jesse Dent.

Speaking of DIY spots....

.... almost.

... ???

   This angle of Suski smacking a body jar on the same wall is less confusing.

   Why not throw one more rock n' roll in there when they look this nice ?

   ..or two. Aaron twists the last one of the trip to back up Jesse.

Jesse at home in the embrace of his own creation.

   I can't thank my family and all my friends who hosted me on this trip enough, nothing feels better than feeling at home while on vacation. The whole experience seems to get better every year, leaving me itching to return more often, for longer. Between Arizona, California and a quick stop in Portland I also came up on a huge stack of records, including many that I've been searching for a long time. Let's all hope for a freak early summer in Vancouver this year so I don't go mental from the non-stop rain....

   ... until then, enjoy this little tidbit that Chris got stuck in my head for the whole trip.... classic !