Scoundrels.png__PID:877d73e1-d8c2-433d-9f0a-40fecb3ce962Vallely-Header.jpg__PID:43aba7df-baa6-474b-a395-0b4942f02aac
Drive: My Life In Skateboarding
Drive: My Life In Skateboarding
An excessive heat warning for the cities of Washington and Baltimore the National Weather Service puts this success warning out when we've had two or more days of heat indices of 105 or higher traffic online in Downey 105 eastbound just past Lakewood Boulevard and we do expect a landfall to be somewhere in the western basically foreign [Applause] [Music] now the wickedness skateboarding saved my life it gave me a creative Outlet and in turn self-respect and Hope in my youth the spirit of riding a (01:07) skateboard was all about individuality and to me such a message made the difference empowering me of the very physical yet productive form of self-expression these days I can't help but feel that the brand of skateboarding that most people are being sold on is truly lacking of spirit of Soul it's all hype it's all show I'm concerned by how self-consumed and competitive this industry has become can't believe that this is the same activity the same industry that profoundly and positively affected my (01:37) life as a teenager for me it never was and never will be about any of those things I still believe the skateboarding can and should be a positive experience and as a professional I feel it's my duty to give back all that it has given to me shortcomings of this industry only motivate me to work harder to be more visible and vocal to be in more places and to reach more people they can kill the true meaning of skateboarding on a commercial level but they'll never kill it at the tour or in the hearts of those to whom (02:04) skateboarding means so much more foreign my career as a sponsored skater began in 1986 at Mount Trashmore Park in Virginia Beach Virginia when I was discovered skating in the parking lot by one of my skateboard Heroes Lance Mountain on a Thursday afternoon I was skating with some of my buddies uh in town at one of their houses we were skating in the driveway and I said you know what man it's Thursday I bet you some of the pros are in town over at Trashmore practicing right now everyone's like yeah you know they might be they might (03:01) be so we hopped in the car and we drove over parked in the lot came up sat down with bleachers and watched the guy skate in the boat ramp which used to be out there we watched him skate for a bit but we were so excited so freaked out that it was that it was happening we couldn't contain ourselves so we got off our asses off the bleachers walked over here and right about here we started skating ourselves just doing hand plants and uh I did a HoHo plant right here and I heard this clapping coming from the right round (03:27) just this slow kind of and I look back and I see Neil blender Standing On Top of the vert ramp clapping his hands like this and then pointing at me and I go oh my God my buddies are like dude new blender is pointing at you he's clapping what do I do what do I do let's keep skating man keep skating so I kept doing all my tricks and uh within a few minutes he had taken his pads off and he started walking over here and he came up to us and introduced himself and just started rapping with us a little bit and (03:57) asked me to do some more tricks for him so I just kept doing tricks and he started asking me can you do this can you do this or show me something I haven't seen and I just went through my whole pretty much my whole repertoire of tricks at the time and uh he was laughing and clapping his hands and shaking his head like he couldn't believe what he was seeing and uh I didn't really understand why he was while he was reacting this way to my skating I figured that everything I was doing was what was being done in California or (04:25) you know I remember saying to him isn't you know don't aren't the guys in in Venice aren't the Dogtown guys doing these tricks I mean you know what what's the big deal and he said no I've never seen anybody do these tricks I've never seen anyone skate the way you skate meeting Neil would have been the greatest moment of my skateboarding life if I hadn't met Lance Mountain the next day and gotten sponsored by pal Peralta having Lance kind of take me in he took me in over the weekend basically he he gave me his (04:54) board first of all but she just pulled my board was in such bad condition he just couldn't believe that I was doing these tricks on this board he couldn't believe that I was actually even skating this board at this point so without even without any hesitation the guy just opened the trunk of his car and just pulled out a brand new skateboard and gave it to me complete setup and that was uh that was probably the greatest moment of my skateboard life my skating at Trashmore that weekend would go on to be documented in Thrasher (05:23) magazine with a cover shot serving as my introduction to the skateboard world after talking to Lance about it several years later it was having an original style and doing my own tricks tricks that no one had seen before that's what they were looking for that is why they wanted to sponsor me I don't like to use the word proud too much but I am proud that I had my own thing going at an early age even at 16 my skating was my skating and I am glad to say that the day I got sponsored I came in as an individual and that means (05:52) a lot to me thank you foreign [Music] thank you (07:05) foreign foreign [Music] foreign [Music] foreign (08:13) [Music] [Applause] [Music] foreign [Music] I've always had heroes from the superheroes I read about in comic books to Elvis to Evil Knievel to Henry Rollins and Lance Mountain I've always had someone to look up to or aspire to be like a role model ever since I discovered punk rock music and skateboarding in 1984 one of my biggest influences in both mediums has been Minor Threat in fugazi front man Ian Makai I was fortunate to meet Ian at his house in Washington DC and to go into his home (09:17) and be welcomed so warmly was amazing I can relate to him more than just about anyone else I know we always had a really idealistic relationship with skating I think we always thought of we saw it like really clearly it's like this incredibly like important like it's a way of living life it gave you a chance to redefine everything around you like skaters don't see sidewalks or sidewalks they don't see streets and streets they don't see walls and walls everything has been redefined in the rest of the world all the other people (09:47) in the world who don't skate see it completely different they see that's what they should walk or that's a curve or you know as you step off the cart but skaters it's always about like the potential the possibility yeah of the of the terrain and that's like it really in a very weird way it really like hooks up kids with the ability to redefine yeah and they can really find that then they can redefine anything talking about your idealistic look at at skateboard you know I read uh you're interviewing juice I don't know (10:16) who I was telling about I was like this is the best thing I've ever read about skateboarding like you said it you articulated it dead on exactly the way that I thought it should be presented okay exactly the way I would love to be able to present it myself you know and uh and I mean I've been trying for years I've been trying to say the right things trying to be about the right things but I was like man this is like like to be like copied and distributed like every skateboard you know but I actually don't have any beef with like (10:42) the way people skate now either a lot of people I know who are older skaters in her they kind of say like oh this Skidders now is just like you know all this technical stuff but I think like yeah whatever man it's like it's like it's all like every time someone does some technical it can go it makes it may move into an area where everyone's being very technical but it's eventually some artist is going to get a hold of the technique and the artists are going to take that back and apply it to something (11:07) new they're going to find something and it's just going to happen over and over and over again so I'm always psyched that there's just people doing anything yeah so Ian is able to articulate better than anyone what skateboarding is really about because he's not in or consumed by the skateboard industry he has a fresh perspective and an open mind he remains connected to the reasons he started skating and the feelings that come with it he talks about skating at its most fundamental and pure level not the (11:34) tricks the brand names or the hype but skateboarding is an outlet and a form of self-expression that's what I connect with for me skateboarding has always been that creative Outlet of physical and mental discipline an art form a skateboard is like a paintbrush to me and my Approach comes very natural my skating comes from my heart not my head it is something I feel not think my skating is always about the moment about feeling and expressing [Music] me [Music] foreign [Music] foreign (12:58) [Music] foreign [Music] foreign (14:11) [Music] foreign [Music] I feel strongly about getting out on the (15:17) road and traveling around going on tour because that is where I know I can affect change one town one person at a time to be able to get out there to skate and relate is my goal so if I don't do that if I don't get in the car or on the plane then it's just Daydreams but I'm all about making my dreams come true so I go and I go and I go foreign I was the second professional skater to ever demo in Russia and the first to go there in eight years only Rodney Mullen had been there before me and so it was a (15:50) great honor to go to St Petersburg and be an ambassador for skateboarding is asking for um to buy a skateboard and I'm trying to say that there are different boards here in Saint Pete it could be a 150 bucks I'm not surprised at how big skateboarding has grown worldwide I remember quite well how right it felt to me growing up and I think it's the same for people in Russia or Africa or Mexico skateboarding makes sense the scene in Russia is still young and innocent and I felt privileged to be able to help nurture it that's how I (16:38) looked at what I was doing there lending to the foundation of the Russian skaters they created for themselves I saw myself as a support column my coming to Russia was an act of encouragement and the best part about it all I felt that I was effective laughs [Music] [Applause] [Music] foreign [Music] cold memories (18:12) [Music] [Music] [Music] you like black label you like the New York Rangers yes all right on I'm the kind of guy me too man [Music] yes and you're not happy about it (19:20) I mean keep it in perspective you have a place I mean that's important really important uh so this one this one you don't like so much next time they build one get involved and try and help out the design you can't talk to somebody it's very simple if you care enough about what's happening you have to be proactive you have to involve yourself make it better everybody here has to play a role in that you make your own skate scene what it is if you don't like your skating then you don't like yourself (20:02) totally in Finland skateboarding is growing not just in the number of participants but also not the skaters there are maturing and opening themselves up to different aspects of skating I've seen the expansion first hand and I'm glad to have played a role in it when I went there in the year 2000 most of the skaters all have the same style and trick selection but this past year I noticed they were doing different tricks open the hand plants and footplants even inventing a few variations of Their Own it's all about exposure they saw the (20:39) same things over and over in the magazines and videos so that's what they emulated now they are keeping it fresh and fun and this gives me hope for their skate scene [Music] foreign [Music] [Music] [Applause] [Music] [Applause] [Music] (21:44) [Applause] [Music] foreign [Music] [Applause] [Applause] one time [Applause] somehow some way I found that skateboarding transcends all barriers I don't really know what it is but through all the time I've been skating (22:47) I've always felt connected to other skaters and welcome in their towns and countries as individuals our connection rises above and beyond borders class status governments and philosophical or religious ideologies it's amazing how skateboarding can knock down walls common ground for so many of us traveling around and living this is one of the most incredible experiences I know [Music] foreign [Music] foreign (24:16) [Music] foreign [Music] [Music] within the skateboard industry a lot of people don't get me they think I'm unapproachable they mistake my intensity and passion for anger and resentment I think a lot of it has to do with that I don't invest myself in the contests and other social gatherings I don't interact enough with or subscribe to (25:19) what the herd is doing and so I'm set apart and being set apart can be tough because people get nervous and intimidated by those they don't have a handle on and so they need to classify and Define them they say I'm violent or angry when they couldn't be further from the truth I just don't put a lot of stock in being number one and being the best or being accepted just for the sake of being accepted there is no guarantee as to what may go down when I get in front of a crowd and skate half the time I don't even know (25:45) myself but the one constant is and has been that I will put on some sort of a show [Applause] [Music] [Music] foreign [Music] [Music] you think (26:57) [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] foreign sometimes by choice sometimes by force and sometimes by necessity I do have a few people I'm close to but things change teams change people come and go people screw you and people turn on you that's okay though I refuse to be jaded or bitter about it I just try to be consistent with those I travel with skate with and befriend (28:00) because that's all I can do I go to often ignored places for that reason alone these are the places I want to go places where the people are open to what I'm all about and what I'm trying to do places where skateboarding isn't jaded or clouded with stagnation Alaska is that kind of place idealistically it is also an important place in the landscape of my thinking it's the last true Frontier and that's why I've made a few pilgrimages up there foreign [Music] this was the kind of trip I'd wanted to (28:34) take for a long time one that wasn't designated or controlled by any certain sponsor or I could just go with anyone I chose and do whatever I wanted traveling with me were friends Jason rothmeyer Josh Rayburn Christian spitak and Jason Adams [Music] better now [Music] Jason Adams is one of the purest skaters (29:45) I've ever seen these Gates fast with flowing style he has a handle on all terrain foreign [Music] [Music] [Applause] [Music] not to be [Music] Christian spitec has impressed me more with his attitude and approach than any other new Pro that's come up over the past few years the guy just loves skating and there's still an innocence (30:49) about him and I like being around him because of that [Music] time now all the time [Music] and I'm late now [Music] [Music] and that's all right now [Music] (32:10) if only for a while foreign [Music] the skaters in Alaska appreciated us coming up and skating with them there's an instant Brotherhood up there and that's how I always thought (33:12) skateboarding should be Alaskan skaters have it right growing up without a skate park or a designated area to ride was tough but it was also a gift my skating grew and became more creative out of necessity I can't imagine that too many young skaters fully realize how lucky they are to have these places and they shouldn't be taking them for granted they should maximize the experience and be thankful they have a place to ride [Music] [Laughter] [Music] thank you [Music] wake me up this morning [Music] [Applause] (34:11) [Music] take me down [Music] [Applause] [Music] foreign [Applause] [Music] 's always on you so they get a little (35:27) weirded out but you guys can learn from those guys man if you ever get sponsored you're ever in the position that they're in don't don't be lame to people that's like the worst thing you can do man it's your skate park this is your town uh it's not mine exactly you know I'm coming in here going okay I hope they don't kick me out you know this is mine pro skater thanks [Applause] spot ready [Applause] peace [Music] I get out on the road and participate in the lives of young people (36:25) because I feel I have a responsibility to pass on the things I've learned there's nothing I enjoy doing more than spending time talking to and working with them [Applause] as soon as you let your weight go you're gonna fall you don't have to fall you can just go up and come back down it's easy you can do it try it again [Applause] she's about bending those knees and standing over centered over your board speaking of your board yeah you got to tightens up I'm not far removed from that 14 year (37:27) old zit-faced kid from New Jersey who found skateboarding and was saved by it I can relate to young people and their needs and their issues and I found that they are receptive and interested in what I'm saying and in what I'm about because they can see that I really do care I'm not faking it and that goes a long way with them [Music] heard of I got sponsored in 1986 and it was unheard of that someone from the East Coast could you know hang with the guys in California yeah and uh I mean all across the country right now you're (38:03) seeing places like this uh everywhere you know skateboarding is growing up a little bit it's more accepted and it's close to where [Music] it is [Music] has always [Music] [Applause] [Music] [Applause] [Music] I met Ryan Romel via email when he wrote (39:07) to me asking for a few banners to hang in his hospital room because he was on his way to Duke University to receive a bone marrow transplant Ryan is 15 years old and has leukemia instead of just putting some stuff in the mail I decided to go to Florida and visit him the way I see it is if my presence could cheer him up and keep him fighting then I had no other choice but to go stinks man or the last that I asked him under the phone before episode was sick I like I lost 10 pounds yeah emails and said you hadn't been eating (39:43) or yeah and I went in for it to the hospital it's like it looks like milk right and this goes to my port and that gives you nutrition so that helped me gain weight so then what's what's the latest you have to get you have to put some weight on and then you can go to dude yeah we're going to do next Sunday oh okay yeah and when you go to Duke that you're gonna get the bone marrow transplant yeah my brother it's gonna be my daughter he's a perfect match all right our conversation quickly turned to (40:16) skating and after rounding up the rest of the neighborhood kids we went outside to do what brought us together in the first place skate ah it's very rare that I take requests watching notified where over it this may take a couple tries all right he's Mike man [Applause] ning yeah [Applause] [Music] [Applause] foreign [Applause] [Music] (41:25) [Music] [Applause] [Applause] thank you it's a board that I've been ice skating in Alaska everyone back up and I skated in Phoenix and Albuquerque so I wanted to give you one of the boards I've ridden it's cool that's awesome that looks cool and then to compliment that you need one of these too he has four decks and since I don't want you to ride that one once you just keep that one when you get better (42:31) I'm sorry yeah you know that reminds me of something you guys make sure make sure that it's always like this you're all there for each other you know don't let little things get between you guys you know you guys gotta your friendship's what's important and uh going out skating with each other have fun but don't make it a competition don't don't make it don't make it not fun don't exclude anybody because they can't do a certain trick or they don't have a certain the (43:01) right board or the right clothes if you see other guys that are just starting out help them out bring them in make them feel make them feel good don't exclude them yeah like this guy and Johnny four months oh like three months ago welcome to the club man yeah man it's great to meet you Eric Jill thanks for everything's not good enough brother no problem thanks for coming okay thank you yeah oh you're welcome [Applause] no problem I'll be thinking about you guys we're going to be praying for you (43:44) while you're on the road it's all coming right back at you yeah yeah so thank you so much we made it up front for Life yeah going to Ryan's home and meeting him his friends and family was a gift I truly felt and feel that God put me there I learned a lot that day about myself and the power of faith and reaffirmed the idea that if you do good good will come back to you meeting Ryan and his family was something good in my life when I find myself away from the skaters and skating away from actually putting (44:23) the miles down when it's just me and my broken body I feel useless and homesick that's when it gets hard that's when the road beats me up and pushes me around but I resolve always to stay strong and get through it because I know the skate scene needs me as a kid growing up in Edison New Jersey I was a dreamer I spent my days lost in my imagination I lived in a make believe world where I was a superhero where I was Elvis where I always won the fight and got the girl I was very introverted and sensitive I (44:59) struggled in school with Social Circles and with an identity it wasn't until I found skateboarding that I found myself the very first time I stepped on a board I knew my life would be forever changed skateboarding was mine mine to enjoy to be creative with and that's What mattered I suddenly felt in control of my environment and in control of my life I knew who I was and I was happy just being me for the first time I had a sense of purpose meaning and Direction and a skateboard gave those things to me (45:29) the importance of it can't be understated because it is the very thing that motivates me now there is very little innocence left in skateboarding these days and that's what I'm fighting for just a little piece of Innocence a little piece of sanity looking back I can no longer believe this is where I grew up that this is the place where all these great memories in my head took place and although I no longer have a connection to it I will always remember who I am and where I come from but once you have been moved once you've (45:56) been inspired how can you not want to get out there and share it with the rest of the world [Music] [Music] foreign [Music] I now live in Long Beach California with my wife Ann and my daughters Emily and Lucinda I love skateboarding I love what I do but my family is my life they are everything to me they make doing the miles and going out (47:00) into a mostly indifferent world trying to make a difference worthwhile the best part about traveling is being able to go home people always associate me as being a man of the road I'm not and never want to be a man of the road has no home and doesn't want one I have a home and a family and it's my life foreign [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] foreign (48:03) [Music] [Music] foreign [Music] [Music] foreign [Music] (49:09) [Applause] [Music] [Applause] [Music] [Applause] [Music] [Music] [Music] foreign [Music] [Applause] (50:34) foreign [Music] [Applause] [Music] [Applause] [Music] to everyone forging his or her own path in life I say stand strong those are the words I live by that's my Mantra I offer these words to Young skaters everywhere and people of all age race Creed and background the world needs more active caring and compassionate participants get involved make a difference you can [Music] thank you (51:43) [Music] foreign [Music] [Music] foreign (52:47) [Music] [Music] [Music] thank you [Music] foreign [Music] foreign (54:00) [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] foreign
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