The days can seem long working a nine to five or so it seems. Yet if I’m trying to lock in a logo idea, it’s more like twelve to twelve you know what I mean? As a kid it started with drawing and painting, learning to ride a skateboard and singing along to the radio. But it all began in the sixth grade when for movie day my class watched a film that completely wrecked me. Skate Dater, a short film shot in sixties SoCal of a group of cool kids cruising around amazingly beautiful neighborhoods on what else? SKATEBOARDS!!! The instrumental theme song has been a lifelong earworm that surprisingly I’ve never forgotten. Not so long after that I held my first issue of Skateboarder Magazine, which wasn’t even mine. It was my older brothers but he was always so cool to let my brother and I drool over it like we had a reason to be happy for the rest of our lives! The truth of the matter was, we did. By the time I was twelve or thirteen the event that would seal the deal and forever leave me mesmerized would be a live skateboarding demo that came to my hometown featuring some of the big guns at the time. Witnessing the likes of Chris Chaput, Ellen O’Neal, Bobby Boyden, and Laura Thornhill were enough to make me feel helpless and determined.
This experience, lead to our family sending my brother and I out to sunny California from wintery Connecticut for Christmas vacation to visit our sister and experience something really real. The year was 1979 and not only was it the first time we had ever flown on a plane, but it was the first trip to the West Coast to visit my sister and do what? Skate!!!! With a list of skate parks in hand we knew what we wanted to do, hell – it was what we had to do of course as long as our sister was willing to drive us round on her days off of work. One of the highlights of this trip was going to Marina Del Rey Skate Park. Pulling into the parking lot alone was probably equal to what some may have experienced going to Coachella for the first time. Yes, no fucking joke! To see recognizable faces like Eddie “El Gato” Elguera, Brad Bowman, Steve Olson and Tony Alva just hanging round the parking lot was the equivalent to maybe a young kid in the sixties seeing The Beatles for the first time, just enough to put our virgin minds to sleep. As far as I was concerned these guys had just as much if not more moxie than anyone in rock & roll I have ever seen.
The early days in Connecticut
The sights and sounds were overwhelming! There was a consistent audible thread that filled our ears at each and every stop. Yes, a mix of grinding trucks on concrete coping, high speed carves and the iconic guitar riff of Devo’s “Gut Feeling” playing over the outdoor speaker systems that were perched above in every park we were lucky enough to enter. At night tuckered out and showered up my brother and I discovered KROQ 106.7.
After dinner, my brother and I would head into the room that we slept in, which had two twin beds, a radio and a lamp. It was in that room that we would lose our minds at night listening to the other worldly sounds of “Rock Lobster” by the B-52’s, “The Day my Baby Gave me a Surprise” by Devo, or “Los Angeles” by X. It was then that we discovered many greats and could not believe that this was everyday commercial radio. Wow, California is super rad. By the time we returned home, we were spun and nothing would ever be the same. As a teen, playing guitar fronting a band exploring graphic design and riding skateboards became the focus. The amount of time that it took to get comfortable with all of these interests had to have been more like years it didn’t matter, I found my creative zone. At times some would say stick with one thing and you’ll find success. Maybe some of you kind of felt the same? I JUST WANTED TO DO IT ALL! Well, such is life… Trying to find you’re voice can definitely take years and years. Today I am living with the same burning feeling inside that I had when I was a kid, which I carry with me today, as I still love skateboarding. What about you?