Wednesday, February 18, 2009

John Lucero #2.

Why did it take so long for Black Label to get rolling? When did it move out of your garage?

It took a long time to gain the type of popularity it has today but, to me and the true Label fans, it's always been rolling. When I switched from Lucero to Black Label in '90 I took the whole business to my garage. The garage was the warehouse, we knocked down a wall to the bedroom and that was my office, the other bedroom was the sales office. I had two roommates to help keep the rent going and I slept in the hallway on a couch. Whenever the phone rang in the morning I would answer it "Black Label," and take it from there. That went on for years. It was so small, but to the industry the name was always there. Sometimes we'd go through six-month periods without having any products at all. No boards, nothing. It almost killed us. We loved it. We lived, slept, and died Black Label.

The interview from Skateboarder had a bunch of great quotes so I decided to go with another Lucero entry.

This is a Jamie Mosberg photo from the Shut Up And Skate contest at the Skatepark Of Houston in 1988.

For the quote: Skateboarder - March 2002 Volume 11 Number 5

Transworld - April 1989 Volume 7 Number 2


Keith said...

It's pretty crazy that Black Label is still around. I remember the Schmitt Stix Lucero boards, then Lucero Skateboards started right around when H-street was huge and Rocco was about to take over. Never really saw Lucero boards ever... although I did have a John (Ford) and a crutch (with wheels) shirt from them.

Then they turned into Black Label. Now they're under the Giant Distribution umbrella, which ditched a lot of good companies over the years (Mad Circle, the good Underworld Element, New Deal, Bueno, Stereo, Popwar).

justin said...

Is Black Label still distributed by Giant? I thought they went solo again at some point.

Now that I think about it, I don't think I ever saw Lucero or early Black Label boards either. This might be why I wish I had riden some, but now I realize it might not have been possible to do so. There should have been some around when it was Lucero partnered with Santa Cruz even though that didn't last too long, but then John took that brand to Vision before the Label started. The skate shop in my town did have Lucero shirts at least when the company was done through Vision. I had a Riky Barnes shirt from just before the Label began. I don't remember any boards. I probably would have bought a Barnes deck if they had one.

I did have a Max Evans t - shirt from this time frame. I have no idea where I got it. I also had a Black Label long sleeve that I think I got at Suds. The first Black Label board I had was the Cardiel one with the Mexican Lady from the burrito place on it. That would have been in 1993. The John/Ford was awesome.

One of my friends was on a mad quest to get sponsored back then and he sent videos or called every company. I remember he did call the Black Label and got an answering machine with a message in a fake Mexican accent along the lines of "This is the Black Label." I don't think he ever got a board or anything from them. He did manage a free deck from Liberty and was all happy about that. My favorite was when he called the Alien Workshop. He was asking about being sponsored and they just blew him off by saying, "Sure send a tape. We like to watch stuff, but we aren't going to send you boards or anything." I'd say kids these days, but this was damn near twenty years ago. Why's it always gotta be gimme, gimme, gimme? Damn. I'm wasting good content in the comments.

Old School Sammy said...

Love those old Lucero Boards---I actually have his first one from Madrid, with the jack-in-the-Box. Funny thing is, in the book Disposable, Lucero says "I wanted a hot-pink fluorescent board, but whatever reason Madrid couldn't come up with the right pink. They did come up wih this hot green, though, and I went with that instead."

Mine is hot pink...go figure. Might be popping up on ebay someday, who knows?

Keith said...

I'm not even sure if Giant is even anything anymore. Their website hasn't been updated since the start of 08 and they still have Bueno and Popwar there.

I know Black Label is pressed by Schmitt. I suppose that may be the only connection to Giant.

I've never even paid any attention to Lucero/Black Label. None of their riders through their first decade or more of existence really appealed to me. The fact that they've lasted this long... ya gotta give them props for doing something right.

Speaking of sponsor me tapes... I sent out a few back in the early 90's. Black Label never got one but I did send one to New Deal, H-Street and Dogtown. All I got out of it was multiple "skate faster" comments and a t-shirt from Tony Magnusson LOL Years after I sent New Deal my tape, I got a long distance call from Cali. A friend of mine, who's a photographer, found my tape in a stack of videos and called me up. Then months later, I got a call from AT&T and they said a 1 hour long distance call from this phone in Cali was made to me and the employee (iirc it was Grant Brittain) had no idea who I was LOL