Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Mike Taylor #2.

In my first Mike Taylor post back in June, I was wondering if the guy ever went pro. It turns out he did go pro for G & S. He wasn't around too long and I'm betting that giant knee brace had a lot to do with it.

Sin Egelja took the photo.

Note: This is not the same Mikey Taylor who currently rides for Alien Workshop.

Transworld - April 1991 Volume 9 Number 4

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Karma Tsocheff.

This guy has been in the game a long time. There's been a big change since when I started skateboarding. Pros would "retire" when they hit 23, but keep on skating. Now they just keep on going - like Lance or Salba. I tend to think of Karma as one of the "hot new street pros", but when you've had a board with your name on it for almost twenty years, then you aren't the new kid anymore. Keep on rolling.

Thrasher - June 1990 Volume 10 Number 6

Monday, December 29, 2008

Rick Ibaseta.

Time to take it back to the streets.

The photos are by Tobin Yelland.

Thrasher - September 1990 Volume 10 Number 9

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Jeff Phillips #8.

Jeff Phillips #8.

"If you were to ask someone who they thought would be the winner of the Dallas contest, nine out of ten times you would hear the name Jeff Phillips. Not wanting to let anyone down, Jeff put it all together and eased his way into first place."

One last post to make up for yesterday's sleepy and drunk entry.

O did the camera stuff.

Transworld - May 1990 Volume 8 Number 5

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Jeff Phillips #7.

One of the things about Jeff Phillips is that he rocked tie - dye shirts. I guess he was way ahead of one of the current fashion trends in skateboarding. Of course every young whippersnapper in a tie - dye probably doesn't know about Jeff, but they should. Here's a quote from a Transworld interview:

"Is there any connection with Jeff Phillips and tie dying?

Yeah, I think so because I think I was one of the first to bring it back, well, not really bring it back. Tie - dye Mary out of Nashville, Tennessee, who by the way has some of the old farm patterns, knows how to tie so many different patterns. She's the best tie - dyer in the world. Like this shirt I got on right here, this thing's three years old. It's been in the wash so many times - it's still brighter than any new tie - dye you see. Allison turned me on to her. I didn't really think about ties before, but that used to be a white shirt; now look at it. I just flipped out. All of a sudden something clicked. Instant, I dig them. I think they so rad. Tie - dyes are intense. I've got cool - looking - tie - dues that anyone could wear. And she has some of the best patterns ever. After I started wearing them and stuff, then a few other people - Tracker has a tie - dye shirt. And now it's around everywhere it seems."

The photo is by Jamie Mosberg. It was from a Life's A Beach ad. I cropped it because the background was a light screen of the BBC logo that didn't show up when I scanned it. The company ran a series of ads that were a rip off of the American Express "Membership has it's privileges" advertising campaign. I think this might be one of my favorite photos ever.

This wraps up Jeff Phillips week. Thanks to everyone who has checked out and enjoyed the website. There will be more as the weeks go on.

For the photo: Transworld - February 1990 Volume 8 Number 2

For the quote from an interview with Britt Parrott: Transworld - October 1988 Volume 6 Number 5

Friday, December 26, 2008

Jeff Phillips #6.

Speedwheels keeping things sick.

Transworld April 1989 Volume 7 Number 2

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Jeff Phillips #5.

"Enjoying a fun session at the Rocky Point quarterpipe."

Frontside disaster on a janky quarterpipe with PVC coping on the beach in Hawaii. Beautiful.

Merry Christmas and happy holidays.

Jamie Mosberg took the photo.

Transworld - September 1989 Volume 7 Number 5

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Jeff Phillips #4.

I never had a Jeff Phillips deck, but I wanted one. The boards looked like they had a very good shape with lots of concave and kick, especially in the nose. For a company that sponsored mostly vert pros, BBC boards seemed to be built for street skating. They appeared to be more functional than what Powell Peralta or H - Street were putting out. Whether that is how the boards were, I don't know. The Phelper even gave them the thumbs up in Product Patrol, so they couldn't have been that bad.

The shop in my town carried all the Life's A Beach clothing, but they never had the boards. They even had the Skaters From Uranus video. This was one of the first videos I ever saw, along with Public Domain and Streets On Fire. Looking back on it today, I think it was better to get a more rounded view of skateboarding than just the relatively safe Powell stuff.

This photo is from the Shut Up And Skate contest at the Skatepark Of Houston. The event happened in early November 1988. Tony Magnusson won, rookie Brian Pennington took second and Phillips placed third. Danny Way won the amateur contest.

Transworld April 1989 Volume 7 Number 2

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Jeff Phillips #3.

"Blunt at the Skatepark of Houston, 1988."

This is how Jeff did blunts. He'd pop out of the vert ramp and balance on the tail in the space between the coping and the deck. Then he'd yank it back in to fakie. Fucking gnarly. I don't think anybody else did the trick this way.

Another thing about Jeff is that he was into building models of Japanese animated characters. That is what is going on in the small picture of him holding the demon mask by Grant Brittain.

Tod Swank took the blunt picture.

Transworld - October 1988 Volume 6 Number 5

Monday, December 22, 2008

Jeff Phillips #2.

Do you still have your helmet with the skull painted on it?
Yeah, that helmet, people keep asking me, "Doesn't it smell?" Well, don't you think I change the pads? It's just a plastic shell. Come on. I've had it a long time.

Aside from the talent on the skateboard, Jeff was famous for wearing a helmet with a skull painted on the top. He's doing a frontside boneless in Arizona from 1987 for the big photo.

Both photos are by Grant Brittain. The question and answer are from an interview with Britt Parrott.

Note: The photo of Jeff holding his helmet was on a different page in his interview than the frontside boneless. I put the two together in Photoshop because it was a small photo and you can't do a feature on Jeff Phillips without mentioning the skull helmet.

Transworld - October 1988 Volume 6 Number 5

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Jeff Phillips #1.

This whole week is dedicated to the late Jeff Phillips. He was an all around great skateboarder from Texas who committed suicide 15 years ago this Christmas. Jeff was pro for a number of companies including Zorlac, Sims and Life's A Beach. He won some pro vert contests and even beat Tony Hawk without using the McTwist. Legend has it he was tripping on acid at the time. Phillips had a good run during the mid 1980s, got hurt and mounted a comeback in the late 1980s. He won some more contests, Life's A Beach had a solid team and he even opened a skatepark in Dallas. Unfortunately a couple of years later the interest in vert and parks waned, which didn't help out his mental state. As Thrasher noted on their website in the latest From The Crypt section, Jeff Phillips would have won the Rumble In Ramona if he was around today.

Jeff had an interview in the first issue of Transworld I bought. Sometimes the first impressions of new things stick with you the longest.

The photo is by Jamie Mosberg.

Transworld - June 1990 Volume 8 Number 6

Friday, December 19, 2008

Phil Esbenshade #2.

Phil E. throws down a sweeper.

The photo is by Christian Kline.

Transworld - September 1989 Volume 7 Number 5

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Limpies #2.

If you make a giant piece of abstract sculpture that looks like a turd, you figure this photo is going to happen sooner or later.

Transworld - May 1991 Volume 9 Number 5

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Limpies #1.

Limpies was Chip Morton's clothing company with the slightly inappropriate logo. A company like this could really only have happened right at that turnover from the 1980s to the 1990s. You kids don't know what you missed. There was no internet, there were only three skateboard videos a year, cameras used film, people made 'zines and you could buy music on cassette. It was totally awesome. Anyway, that's why guys like Michael Burnett and Michael Sieben advise the young folks to run away when old people start talking. We tend to ramble on.

Now back to Limpies. According to their ads, Limpies didn't sponsor anybody, except for Mike Youssefpour's girlfriend. Several pros who wore the clothes included Ron Allen, Jim Thiebaud and Sean Sheffey.

Transworld - February 1991 Volume 9 Number 2

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

World Industries Nice Ad.

If you don't have anything good to say, don't say anything at all. I bet there are a few people who wished World took this approach more often back in the day.

Thrasher - June 1990 Volume 10 Number 6

Monday, December 15, 2008

Thomas Morgan #2.

"Not quite the age of the majority, but that doesn't really matter, does it? Thomas Morgan. Torontosaurus."

Thomas Morgan in the G & S days. I had a friend who was from Canada and he would go skating at Tornotosaurus when he went to visit relatives. He would bring back stories about how good guys like Morgan, Bill Weiss and Jason Corbett were. I never got to go with him to Toronto, but I did make it to Sud Skates in St. Catharines once or twice. If the internet can be believed, Suds is still around after twenty years.

The photo is by Spike Jonze.

Transworld - January 1991 Volume 9 Number 1

Friday, December 12, 2008

Marc Johnson #2.

"With the charm of Face, the cunning of Murdock, the intuition of Hannibal and the gold links of B.A. Baraccus, Marc Johnson is the new A - Team look out. F/s boardslide on the run, fool."

The week started with Marc and the week ends with Marc. This was from when the A - Team was launched. I miss Big Brother's dumb ass captions. It's all in the hands.

Tobin Yelland did the photography thing.

Big Brother - September 1997 Issue Number 28

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Matt Field.

Field ollies on an Anti Hero Andy Roy Elephantitis deck. He rode for Sheep before IPath started. Sheep was a short lived company done by Sole Tech. Ed Templeton, Frank Hirata, Rick McCrank, Brian Anderson, Mike Manzoori and Matt Reason all rode for them. They had one video called Life Of Leisure. I saw it exactly once and thought it was good, but I honestly don't remember anything about it since it was 11 years ago. Sheep was going more for the arty and/or vegan crowd. I liked their shoes and was bummed when they discontinued the brand. I don't know how much I would like the shoes today because I won't wear sneakers that are predominately black or white. Let's hope there is no reissue plan in the works.

I am by no means one to point fingers on spelling errors, but elephantitis was spelled wrong on the Andy Roy board. It should have been elephantiasis. This misspelling is a common mistake according to Wikipedia. Also in a bunch of the Sheep ads, Matt Field was named Matt Fields. I know this happens all the time in the skateboard world. I used to be a newspaper photographer and it always bothers me when I see a typo in a name.

Big Brother - December 1997 Issue Number 31

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Thrill Of It All.

The other side of mid to late 1990s skateboarding: Zero.

Three things that weren't happening back then were heavy metal, skulls and big drops. Jamie Thomas saw an opportunity and ran with it. The result was money in the bank because the kids ate it up. As long as there are teenage boys, you are always going to have a market for something like this. It's hard to believe that in 1997 there weren't many companies with skull and sword images that were taken seriously, if any. Scarecrow? * I don't think so.

I'm not much of a Jamie Thomas or Chad Muska fan, beyond wishing I could do frontside kickflips on transitions like Chad does/did. I was fascinated by how much people got into them. At the time there weren't really any pros that were worshipped the way these two were. Skateboarding was a little plain, in a good way, without any singular defining trends happening in the mid 1990s. Most of the tricks were tech and lines were important in videos, as they should be. The jeans had slimmed down and plain logo shirts were popular. The fashion meter was definitely tipped toward the fresh side instead of the hesh side until Jamie's group of Zeros came along. They skated big rails. They jumped off dumpsters. They put the slams in their video parts. They were dirty. They had long hair. They wore tighter jeans. Their shoes weren't fresh. And if they were, they got spray painted gold or something.

Two things about the Muska:

JT Alutz gave him some props on noseslides in a Thrasher interview within the last couple years. His advice was to check out the technique on nosesliders because he did them the right way. I don't know why this stuck with me. It's kind of funny.

The reason I went with Chad is because of Marc Johnson's quote from the Direction ad about always carrying a ghetto blaster. It all started when I was looking for Sheep ads and the week filled in from there. Who else do you think of in skateboarding when you hear the words "ghetto" and "blaster" together?

* I did have a Dorian Tucker from them that was awesome, but that was more because it was the only board I could find that was 8" wide.

Note: Some of this was going to go in the comments for the Muska, but I'm brain dead today and felt it deserved to become proper content.

Big Brother - June 1997 Issue Number 26

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Chad Muska.

"All I'm fuckin' doin' right now is skating and partying, that's all my life consists of. I'm not even into doing anything with my life. I don't even care. That's all I've ever done and that's all I plan on doing the rest of my life. I'm not even lookin' toward the future whatsoever. I'm just livin' day by day and doin' my thing and whatever happens, happens."

How did the Muska not win Thrasher's Skater Of The Year at some point in the late 1990s? He was hands down the biggest name in skateboarding from 1997 to 2000 and probably a little past that. I know there was some long since smoothed over politics between Jamie Thomas and Thrasher that prevented the Chief from taking SOTY, but what was stopping Muska? All the kids were either little versions of him or Jamie during those years with a few Tom Penny imitations thrown in the mix.

I think the first major bit of coverage that Chad had was in a Transworld article by Thomas Campbell on a road trip to Las Vegas in late 1993. This was an epic Mountain Dew and Taco Bell fueled tale involving the antics of a sizable crew in Sin City. The group included Tim Brauch, Jason Adams, Chris Pontius and Jesse Paez. They discovered the Muska and he had a couple of pictures in the story. He was soon sponsored by Maple, switched to Toy Machine and was kicked off to become the first rider for Shorty's board team. Chad also had one pro model sneaker on eS, which gave the world a shoe where you could hide your weed in a stash pocket in the tongue. Bless those stoners and their crazy ideas.

Here's the caption on Rick Kosick's photo:

"Chad Muska been born on the moon the way he defies gravity. F/s kickflip."

Big Brother - Number 20 early 1996

Monday, December 8, 2008

Marc Johnson.

"Dude, there he was, my hero lying face down in the gutter. From that day on I've always moved in the right Direction. Carry your ghetto blaster wherever you go. You'll always have a party."

MJ pops a beautiful ollie during the Maple days.

Direction was a mid 90s wheel company done by Santa Cruz. Like any wheel company not named Spitfire or Pig, they weren't around very long. You can see they had a solid team by the list of pros.

Jeff Kendall snapped the photo.

Transworld - November 1996 Volume 14 Number 11

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Bryce Kanights.

A big thanks to Bryce Kanights and Chris Sprouls for making Vert Is Dead the site of the week on Skate Daily last week.

The photo is by Steve Sherman.

Transworld - September 1989 Volume 7 Number 5

Friday, December 5, 2008

Reese Simpson #2.

"The subject is Reese Simpson, who's probably considered old and washed - up by the general skating public. But if you were to see him ride today you'd find out just how good he still is. He's a great friend and all - around one of the best skateboarders ever."

Jamie Mosberg's photo of Reese Simpson that ran in the Transworld photographer feature. There was a request for some Reese and I'd been meaning to put more pictures of him up on the site.

Transworld - March 1993 Volume 11 Number 3

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Kris Markovich #4.

"On this day two very young girls rode by on a bicycle. They stopped just a few feet away from the gap and tried to steal something from a woman having a yard sale. Kris saved the day and the woman instantly changed her attitude on skateboarding. All of a sudden skateboarding was good and and the two young girls were the criminals. At that moment, one person's view of skateboarding had changed. Technically the photo was chosen for the same reason as Reese's. If you ever get the chance to see Kris skate he'll most likely blow your mind. Kris does bigger shit than anyone, skates faster, and he's definitely not scared. Kris is a good friend whom I also respect greatly."

This photo and caption are by Jamie Mosberg from a feature in Transworld on all their photographers. Each guy got two pages. Mosberg filled his space with photos of Markovich and Reese Simpson. I'll post the Simpson pic tomorrow.

Transworld - March 1993 Volume 11 Number 3

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Kris Markovich #3.

This was 101's rebuttal to the Foundation ad. When the F - Troop started, Swank was partnered with Steve Rocco. That's why it says that Foundation products are once again available through World Industries. Here's Markovich's take on the whole deal:

"Just Swank having fun. I thought it was funny. Tod's pretty rad, he's the only person who will mess with Rocco. Everyone else is just scared, but Tod doesn't really care. He and Steve are friends, but he just does it anyway. A 101 ad I had that came out in the last Thrasher said I don't ride for Foundation and that Foundation products are being distributed by World Industries. Probably a month later, the first Color ad will be coming out, so I guess there will be a lot of confused kids out there for a little while"

The interview was from when Markovich was starting Color, a short lived effort due to poor financial backing. The team that was assembled for Color
wound up becoming the team for the Rocco distributed Prime, more or less. Some of the guys on Color went to other World Companies - Jason Dill to 101 and Jeremy Wray to Plan B.

For the quote: Transworld - July 1993 Volume 11 Number 7

Thrasher - April 1993 Volume 13 Number 4

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Kris Markovich #2.

"You might have noticed the Foundation ad in the April issue of Transworld because it featured Kris Markovich. It seems Foundation owner Tod Swank liked the photo so much that he called Kris to see if it would be okay to use it for an ad, and Kris said yes. Well, some folks got a little uptight, and word on the street is that World Industries is now claiming that they own the Foundation (and are making copies of all the F. Models) and are even running ads in Big Brother and Thrasher just to confuse everyone. Swank called up to say that he is the sole owner of Foundation and nobody big or small should get in his way."

This was a funny little incident that happened in the early 1990s. At the time Markovich was riding for 101. There were a lot of new companies at that point and riders were switching teams every other month it seemed. Swank's fake ad implied that Markovich was now on Foundation. It confused a bunch of people and pissed a few more off. I'll post the response ad from 101 tomorrow.

For the quote: Transworld - June 1993 Volume 11 Number 6

Transworld - April 1993 Volume 11 Number 4

Monday, December 1, 2008

Kris Markovich #1.

Markovich was one of my favorite pros during the 1990s. You always got an insane video part from him. He skated bigger and faster than just about everybody else. This is probably why companies were willing to put up with his team hopping ways. He bounced around a lot. G & S, 101, Color, Prime, Element, Foundation, Hollywood, Blind, Crimson and Given all put out boards with his name on them. Markovich also rode for Dogtown, but I'm not positive he ever had a pro board for them. I stayed a fan up until Hollywood. That company seemed like a bad idea that never should have happened and then he switched to Blind. I'm kind of liking his current art and the graphics for Given. Maybe he's got one last banging video part in him.

For shoes, Markovich rode for Airwalk, Vans, Duffs and Adio. I'm not even going to try for wheel sponsors, but the list would include A1 Meats, Union, Spitfire and Pig. He seems to ride Ventures a lot. There were some Indys and Orions in the mix, too.

Note: Vert Is Dead is the Site Of The Week on Skate Daily this week. Hot damn.

Transworld - May 1991 Volume 9 Number 5