Friday, November 22, 2013

Tommy Guerrero #4.

Chickens can fly.

Tommy was one of the first to turn pro for street skating way back in the 1980s. He rode for Powell Peralta and then started Real with Jim Thiebaud. He eventually retired from the pro ranks to move behind the scenes, but still pops up in the mags every so often. Tommy ran the classic clothing company Forties. He has put together a successful musical career over years, in addition to managing things at Deluxe.

Real has a new clip where they recreated the famous sequence of Mark Gonzales ollieing over Max Schaaf on a motorcycle. This time around they tapped Jake Donnelly and Ishod Wair for the stunt duty. Jake pulled off the ollie and then landed a kickflip over a speeding Ishod. Good times.

I voted for Colin Provost for SOTY.

I did a little organizing of the Vert Is Dead video archives last night. I wanted to watch Brent Atchley's pro debut video from Element for some reason. I discovered the DVD has a 15 minute Element team video called Elementality Vol. 1 Black and White. It's all in BW and has no music, just the sounds of skateboarding. I wonder where they got that idea from? The vid has mostly shared parts with skateboarding from Jacob Rupp, Tosh Townend, Colt Cannon, and Jeremy Wray. Bam Margera and a young Nyjah Houston have solo parts. Tosh goes beast mode on a few spots and any Jeremy Wray footage is worthwhile.

Vert Is Dead will be back on Monday, December 2. It will be the traditional throw back December to the 1988-1990 era of skateboarding starting with a week of freestyle. I'm going to lurk around the comments on the Chrome Ball Incident to see if I can take care of any random requests that might be floating around there, too. Think Monty Nolder. Have a good Thanksgiving and Hanukkah.

Slap - January 1999 Volume 8 Number 1

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Skip Pronier #5.

Exit light, enter night.

Skip is a Huntington Beach local with a habit of finding secret spots. He rode for the Black Label, Vans, and TSA Clothing. I need to scan his old Transworld interview sometime.

Slap - December 1998 Volume 7 Number 12

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Kien "Donger" Lieu #2.

Massive ollies.

I've always liked Lieu's approach to skateboarding. He just cruises down the street and ollies or grinds everything that gets in the way. Maybe it isn't always the hardest tricks, but it is how the tricks are done that makes all the difference. Everything is landed perfectly. You can draw a line from him to modern day street blasters like Brandon Westgate, Colin Provost, Alex Olson, and maybe Dennis Busenitz a little.

Lieu rode for Dynasty, Maple, Planet Earth, Life, and H-Street over the years. He also had a pro shoe from Puma in the late 90s as part of their skateboard footwear effort with Alan Petersen. He might have a board out on the modern day Assault Skates. That company seems to be making decks for all sorts of early 1990s obscure legends.

I gave skateboarding a try last night at the local park. I had my suspicions that the lights were still on and it turned out they were. It was cold, but there was no wind so it wasn't too bad. My shoes are getting old so my toes got a little numb. The only catch was the lights shut off an hour earlier because the timer never was adjusted after the DST switch.

Slap - August 1998 Volume 7 Number 8

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Eric Jay #2.

The eagle is eighteen.

Eric was an am for Anti-Hero. He vanished sometime in the early 2000s. Thrasher recently had an article about Anti-Hero with quotes from everybody who was on the team, except for Eric.

It looks like Enrique Lorenzo has joined the growing number of pros who have started their own board companies. His deck brand is called Louw and is based out of Barcelona, Spain. The team includes Enrique, Octavio Barrera, Pol Catena, and Felipe Bartolome.

Slap - April 1998 Volume 7 Number 4

Monday, November 18, 2013

Tim Upson #5.

Hardtimes Manufacturing.

I figure after a week of Tracker, you have to do a week of Independent.

Upson rode for Black Label and Anti-Hero. He started Hardtimes a few years ago. Tim was also on Dan Drehobl's Freedumb Clothing, which is now back in business.

Slap - March 1998 Volume 7 Number 3

Friday, November 15, 2013

Mark Gonzales #16.

Nobody ever believes the Gonz rode for Tracker.

Transworld - November 1991 Volume 9 Number 11

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Steve Berra #3.

When it's cold I'd like to die.

Steve rode for Blockhead and Tracker before riding for Birdhouse. There were stops at 101 and Television in there as well prior to a long stint on the Foundation, a second tour of duty at Birdhouse and then the Alien Workshop. He transitioned from being a vert guy to a street guy and filmed a bunch of solid parts over the years. Steve also made the in house truck switch from Tracker to Orion in the mid 1990s. Reoccurring ankle injuries have reduced his board time in the last few years.

What's up with the music in the new Zero video? Is that what the kids are listening to on their headphones? Granted I'm watching Cold War in pieces as it gets posted on Thrasher's website so it might not fully make sense, but whatever Jamie Thomas skated to was horrid. I only made it through half his part and shut it off. Sorry.

Spike Jonze took the photos.

Transworld - September 1992 Volume 10 Number 9

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Omar Hassan #3.

Formula One.

Omar was the hot am who was better than the pros back in the very late 1980s and early 1990s. He earned a board with his name on it from Blockhead at the age of 16 and then spent several years without a pro model at the Acme/Formula One camp. Omar switched to the Black Label in the late 1990s and is still on the team. He has been riding for Independent Trucks since the mid 1990s.

Jerry Hsu is on Chocolate. Didn't see that coming. They even got Gino for a cameo in the welcome to the team clip. Sorry, nobody is riding a skateboard in any of it.

I watched my tape of Birdhouse's Untitled on Monday night. The video is from later in 1993 and not 1992 as is listed on some websites. It was the third Birdhouse video. Feasters came out in April of 1992 and Ravers was released at the end of the year. By today's standards that's a pretty impressive three videos that still have relevant parts in a year and a half. Anyway, there was mention of Tony Hawk's street skills earlier in the week. The Birdman was throwing done some quality street moves. He wasn't messing around with the more tech stuff and stuck mainly to classic tricks, sometimes in full pads on janky plywood ramps.

The Matix mini ramp session looks like loads of fun. It's cool seeing the pros in a more casual setting.

Transworld - February 1992 Volume 10 Number 2

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Rob Dyrdek #3.

Straight outta Dayton.

Rob was one of the original pros when the Alien Workshop started late in 1990. He's been with them ever since and he liked it so much he bought the company. I'm making a safe guess that Rob dabbled with Venture in the early 1990s like everybody else before winding up on Tracker offshoot Orion. He is currently riding for Silver Trucks. The guy might be kind of famous these days, but I don't have MTV so I can't vouch for that.

Transworld - January 1992 Volume 10 Number 1

Monday, November 11, 2013

Tony Hawk #5.

It's a random week of Tracker. I wanted to use stuff from the mid 1990s, but while I was flipping through the Transworlds, I wound up picking ads from 1991 and 1992.

Tony rode for Tracker for a good portion of his career and earned the first pro model truck. When Fury was started in the late 90s out of the Birdhouse camp, he switched. He was recently on Theeve and now is on Indy.

Tracker always gets ripped on in, but their team back in the day was respectable. Neil Blender, Jeff Phillips, Mike Vallely, Kevin Staab, Omar Hassan, Mike McGill, GSD, and a whole bunch more rode the trucks.

Transworld - December 1991 Volume 9 Number 12

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Birdhouse Projects Team 1993.


My parents had the carpets cleaned at their house and in the process of cleaning out old drawers full of stuff, my dad found this. It came with Birdhouse's Untitled video from late 1992/early 1993. You've got some of the classic riders from the early days of Birdhouse with Jeremy Klein, Willy Santos, and Ocean Howell along with new ams Andrew Reynolds and rookie pro Matt Beach. There are also two obscure ams with Brent Marks and Sami Harithi. These were days.

Tracker on Monday.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Tom Boyle #2.

East Coast vert legend.

I went to Erie, PA to get a new winter jacket at the mall. On the way home I stopped at the city's skatepark. It's a nice little pit with some tight transitions and mellow banks to do ollies out of.

A weird one tomorrow.

Slap - August 1998 Volume 7 Number 8

Friday, November 8, 2013

Stacy Lowery #2.


Stacy went to Santa Cruz after Transit ended. He then started Bueno with Michael Sieben doing the art and backing from Element/Giant. Bueno evolved into Roger in 2008 and the world is now a much better place.

How about that new Nike clip of Alex Olson skateboarding and camping?

There will be rare weekend posts on Vert Is Dead. You can't leave out the Rock and then I found something so random that it needs to go on the internet.

Jeff Taylor took the 50-50 photo.

Top: Slap - July 1998 Volume 7 Number 7

Bottom: Transworld - May 1998 Volume 16 Number 5

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Charlie Wilkins #2.

Boston Strong.

Charlie is from Boston. He has ridden for Powell, Maple, and 5boro. He has also been on Etnies and Sheep for footwear. Charlie rips darn near everything. You can scour the YouTube for proof.

The feeble grind photo is by Giovanni Reda. I'm wondering if it could be a Smith since the pavement is looking rough on the approach for a feeble.

Note: Transit ran two page ads in Slap with a lifestyle type picture in one and a skateboard sequence in the other. I didn't realize this until I started putting the week together. The skate photos of Charlie and Stacy Lowery from those ads have already been on Vert Is Dead.

Top: Slap - June 1998 Volume 7 Number 6

Bottom: Transworld - June 1998 Volume 16 Number 6

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Mike Vallely #3.

Taking care of business.

I generally like most of what Mike has going on with Elephant Brand Skateboards these days. The graphics have a certain World Industries quality to them in a good way. Nowhere near as controversial, but the bright colors and bold cartoonish style remind me of what Steve Rocco was making in 1990. Hopefully he has finally found a degree of stability in the shady world of skateboard business. The recent Jason Adams curb session video was cool and Kris Markovich was just added to the team.

Slap - May 1998 Volume 7 Number 5

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Transit Skateboards.

New Day Rising.

A few months into 1998 was when the Transit team took shape. Charlie and Stacy left Powell with Mike and Tom had been riding for Arsenal. They released a three minute promo video set to Hüsker Dü's "New Day Rising" that featured a lot of raw street skating mixed in with Tom destroying some vert.

Top: Slap - March 1998 Volume 7 Number 3

Bottom: Slap - April 1998 Volume 7 Number 4

Monday, November 4, 2013

Transit Wheels.

It is going to be Transit week. I found enough good stuff to use.

Transit started out as a wheel company that quickly switched over to boards in 1998. Mike Vallely was unhappy at Powell and was looking to do something else. The allure of working out of his home state of New Jersey was too much to pass up and thus Transit was started. The team included Stacy Lowery, Charlie Wilkins, and Tom Boyle. J.R. Neves and Rocky Norton were on as amateurs. The brand didn't last very long and was gone by late 1998.

Welcome back, Chops.

For the photos, Kramer is by Adam Wallcavage, Dove is by Ryan Gee, and Vogt is by Dave Malenfant.

Top: Slap - January 1998 Volume 7 Number 1

Bottom: Slap - February 1998 Volume 7 Number 2

Friday, November 1, 2013

Barry & Mark Abrook.

Anarchy in the UK.

Barry and Mark are brothers from England and were pro for Zorlac. I suppose giving brothers a shared pro model eliminates the inevitable bout of sibling rivalry over who has sold more decks.

I should have just done a week of Zorlac, but I got hung up on the quote from Animal Chin.

It was maybe going to be Transit on Monday, but I'm not thrilled with the choices available. Nothing against anybody who was on the team, but too many ads with just a lifestyle shot and text. I might scan a couple and then get random. There's also a good possibility of another Indy week.

Top: Transworld - April 1990 Volume 8 Number 4

Bottom: Transworld - January 1991 Volume 9 Number 1