Monday, April 30, 2012

Anthony Pappalardo #4.

"Late night mission, switch backside 180."

Anthony and Brian Wenning were two of the new ams on the Alien Workshop who had debut video parts in 2000's Photosynthesis. Both turned pro sometime after that, Anthony for Alien and Brian for Habitat. Pops joined up with Chocolate a few years ago. He was on Lakai from the beginning and switched to the revived Converse skate program. His hobbies include woodworking and building benches.

Shawn "Frankie" Brodsky took the picture.

Strength - October 2002

Friday, April 27, 2012

Dylan Rieder.

Young Team Handsome.

Dylan first was sponsored by Birdhouse and Osiris. He left Birdhouse for Rasa Libre, a company originally started by Deluxe. Rasa Libre showcased the art of former Girl artist Michael Leon with a pro team of Matt Field, Reese Forbes and Nate Jones. Omar Salazar was one of the ams, who coincidentally now rides for Alien Workshop, too. Leon has since turned his Commonwealth Stacks art project into Stacks the board company with Reese Forbes.

Anyway, back to Dylan. He joined up with the Alien Workshop after Rasa Libre was put out to pasture. He was the Skateboard Mag's Year's Best Am in 2006. In 2009, he had a part in Mindfield that was good, but maybe not so great. Then in 2010, his shoe sponsor Gravis released a solo video that really put Dylan in the spotlight. He did a bunch of impossibles over very big things and ridiculously nice frontside flips, among other tricks. Dylan rides for Alien Workshop, Gravis, Analog Clothing, Thunder and Spitfire.

All this newer stuff is probably bumming out the older guys. Truthfully, I don't pay attention to a lot of the new ams when they are coming up so this is kind of a refresher history lesson for me as well. I keep up with skateboarding as much as the next guy, but there is so much going on that it gets hard to follow everything. There's been too many check outs and interviews claiming a kid to be the next big thing only to have them vanish in two years.

Rob Brink coined the term Team Handsome.

Ed Dominick was the photographer.

Big Brother - September 2002 Number 88

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Robbie McKinley.

Robbie started out on Society and then got on Blind. He had a part in Tim Dowling's Listen video. The 1998 video is named that because it only has the sounds of skateboarding and no music. He was offered a chance to ride for Girl and took it. Robbie has a full part in Yeah Right video from 2003. I like his trick selection and how he did what he did. He was also riding for DC Shoes. He never turned pro and peaced out on the sponsored skateboard world sometime after that. These days Robbie is a graphic designer, as far as I know.

Skateboarder - April 2002 Volume 11 Number 6

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Kevin "Spanky" Long.

Kevin was one of the new ams on Kareem Campbell's City Stars before that company came to an end. This group included Paul Rodriguez, Mikey Taylor, Devine Calloway, Justin Case and Van Wastell. He got some boards from Toy Machine and then settled in at Baker, where he has been ever since. He won the SPoT's Tampa Am contest in 2003. Spanky has also been on Emerica the entire time.

The photo is by Atiba Jefferson.

Big Brother - April 2002 Number 83

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

P.J. Ladd.

Over the next two weeks, I'm going to mostly be featuring amateurs and rookie pros from the year 2002. Some of these skateboarders will have gone on to become established pros, others will have had a brief time in the spotlight and at least one or two will leave you scratching your head.

First up is P.J. Ladd. P.J. is from the Boston area and was an am for Element. Then in 2002 he blew minds with his part in the Coliseum shop video, P.J. Ladd's Wonderful Horrible Life. The video also had parts from Ryan Gallant, Jereme Rogers and Alexis Slabone. P.J. switched to Flip soon after and deservedly turned pro. In the years since, he joined up with the recreated Plan B, had a pro shoe for DC and has kept an oddly reclusive low profile.

Atiba Jefferson took photo.

Transworld - Winter 2002 Volume 20 Number 13

Monday, April 23, 2012

enjoi #3.

It rained all weekend and I was bored of 2001, so it's going to be 2002 for a spell.

Never forget Van Wastell.

Transworld - September 2002 Volume 20 Number 9

Friday, April 20, 2012

Steve Nesser.

The High Five.

Steve has ridden for Consolidated, Birdhouse and I want to say Iota in the past. He is currently doing the High Five with Todd Bratrud. Steve is from Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Sorry, no 4/20 joke this year.

The photo is by Jeff Landi.

Slap - June 2001 Volume 10 Number 6

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Rob Pluhowski #3.

Melody for a fallen tree.

Happy birthday to the Chrome Ball Incident.

Ryan Gee was the photographer.

Slap - August 2001 Volume 10 Number 8

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Bryan Herman.


Bryan would have been about 14 or 15 in this photo. He was one of the ams when Baker started, with Knox Godoy and Terry Kennedy. He was also riding for Emerica then and still is today. His split part with Andrew Reynold in the Shake Junt video is really good.

I'm going to finish out the week with 2001 and then probably have one more week from '01 next week. I'll be switching to 2002 at the end of April. I've been looking through the issues of Strength, Big Brother and Skateboarder that I have for '02. I'm finding some good stuff, especially since Strength and Big Brother ceased to exist and things from their pages haven't made the way to the internet yet. It's interesting to see what slips through the cracks of your memory over the years.

Sean Peterson took the photo.

Strength - October 2001

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Bobby Puleo #5.

Bobby has been sponsored by Stereo, Mad Circle, Infamous and enjoi. He currently rides for Ricky Oyola's Traffic. Bobby is famous for skating hard to ride spots with rough ground and minimal set up room. He also collects assorted discarded items on the city streets, like post-it notes, playing cards and photos.

Slap - August 2001 Volume 10 Number 8

Monday, April 16, 2012

Tim Upson #4.

F the economy.

Thrasher - December 2001 Volume 21 Number 12

Friday, April 13, 2012

Julien Stranger #15.

Frontside air with his dog Murphy in the background.

Neal Hendrix has joined up with Mike V.'s Elephant Skateboards and dropped a three minute clip filmed at Woodward. I wasn't exactly feeling the overly dramatic lighting or the blandness of the music, but Neal destroys the vert ramp. He does all sorts of nollie variations and his fastplants look amazing. Hee Haw still gets up in the air, too. It's better than a 1080 any day.

Experience Ron Chatman at the Chrome Ball Incident today. Ron actually didn't like that graphic.

Be careful.

Gabe Morford was behind the lens.

Strength - October 2001

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Tino Razo #3.

E = mc hammerd.

Elsewhere, Pete Eldridge is now on Cliché and there's a Todd Congelliere blowout extravaganza over at the Chrome Ball Incident today.

Slap - April 2001 Volume 10 Number 4

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Dennis Busenitz, Damian Bravo & J.T. Aultz.

Dennis was the first of the three ams to go pro. J.T. was second. We're still waiting on Damian. Did anybody win this contest?

Slap - May 2001 Volume 10 Number 5

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Caswell Berry.

Keep on rolling with the Tiltmode Army.

Caswell was on Powell, then Toy Machine and finally enjoi. He had a picture in Thrasher when he was super young in Counterfeit gear at Derby. Caswell's got all terrain skills and isn't just a handrail guy. I'm a fan.

Since I've been using stuff from 2001, I realized I had a few issues of Strength from that year. The mag started as a Midwestern/East Coast version of Big Brother and then evolved over the next couple of years. They toned down the porn stars and other sketchiness while upping the art content in the early 2000s. They also cleaned up the layouts by not trying to jam as much text on the page as humanly possible. I'm mostly going with photos from 2001. I'll use some of the interviews with artists such as Andy Jenkins and Ross Pope when I get to 2002 in a month or so.

Aaron Jones took the photo.

Strength - October 2001

Monday, April 9, 2012

Jason Adams #6.

Punk point front blunt.

The article credited the photos to Son of Sinan. An alias for Jai Tanju maybe?

Strength - November 2001

Friday, April 6, 2012

Louie Barletta & Jose Rojo.

Hands down this is one of my favorite ads ever. I'm making an educated guess that it was probably meant to be a realistic counterpoint to all the giant bus tours that were going on at the time, such as what Tony Hawk and Osiris put together.

I didn't realize Jose has been with enjoi for as long as he has. Who's sitting in the back seat?

For all the silliness in their image, enjoi made one of the best videos ever with Bag Of Suck. The fact that there's nothing fancy and they focused on just the skateboarding is what makes it so great.

Big Brother - February 2001 Issue 69

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Louie Barletta & Jerry Hsu #2.

How was picking your own team?

Pick, my ass. They stuck me with all those lumptards.

The wit and wisdom of Marc Johnson.

I've actually used a variation of Marc's response to describe a situation at an old job once. The early days of enjoi are maybe a little too influential on my life.

For the quote: Skateboarder - April 2001 Volume 10 Number 5

Transworld - March 2001 Volume 19 Number 3

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

enjoi #2.

I don't even know what to say about this one.

Big Brother - July 2001 Number 74

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Rodney Mullen #2.

1. "We laugh at ourselves to make it okay to laugh at you."

2. "There is opportunity in starting your own project or brand. I did not start a company. I started a division of an existing company. Starting a company is much different and a much more difficult thing. I'm not a damn magician. Hats off to Rick and Mike and everyone at the Girl and Chocolate families, to Lance Mountain at the Firm and Tony Hawk at Birdhouse for doing it and doing it well. Actually, it never occurred to me that I might have to shop around for a new sponsor. What I did was convey my ideas to Rodney Mullen concerning how I felt, which was the opposite of words like "proud" and "stoked" on how the A-Team was going. Everything rested with what his response might be. I had some ideas about something good - that's all it was. There aren't enough of those in skateboarding. People are wrapped up in making sure their product fits in with what's trendy or hot at the time. They'll do anything, sell anything, however much they hate it or stand against it. The bottom line is: the rent has to get paid. Dwindle Distribution knows this. And I had the opportunity to be able to start something through Dwindle - and we didn't have to worry about where the money would come from. Sales schmales, I just want to make good things. Very simple, design-oriented stuff for skateboarders. I like very plain stuff, and advertisements that make me laugh. I don't care if you love it or hate it. I'd prefer that you loved it, but it's not top priority for me. enjoi is for the friends. enjoi is about the friends. If nothing else, relate to that." - Marc Johnson

3. How does it feel to be Rodney's boss? I don't know, but I wonder how it would feel to be his barber.

For the quotes: Skateboarder - April 2001 Volume 10 Number 5

Big Brother - November 2001 Issue 78

Monday, April 2, 2012


Welcome to enjoi week.

"I never thought I'd be running anything. I was always afraid I'd end up packing boxes or schlepping skateboards on the phone. It just happened that I realized that no one gave a shit enough about A-Team to do anything about it, so I stepped up and quit. If I didn't do it, it wasn't gonna get done. I didn't see anyone else make an effort for shit. I guess I'm just a picky, whiny, little perfectionist. So sue me." - Marc Johnson

enjoi was started in late 2000 out of Dwindle Distribution with Marc Johnson in charge of things. The A-Team had run its course and the riders shifted to other companies in house. Rodney Mullen and Dave Mayhew joined with Marc for enjoi. Chet Thomas went to Darkstar, which expanded from wheels to include boards. Gershon Mosley switched to Blind.

Marc wanted to have a company with ads and products that would make you laugh. The imagery used by enjoi certainly harkens back to the early days of World Industries where it was Steve Rocco versus everybody.

Note: This is not the first ad for enjoi, but one from fairly early on.

For the quote: Skateboarder - April 2001 Volume 10 Number 5

Transworld - January 2001 Volume 19 Number 1