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 !