If you’re not feeling Stereo Sound Agency, then maybe we can’t be friends anymore.
Pretty much says it all….
Okay, I’m really going to try and stay positive on this one…..really. Lil Wayne likes to ride skateboards now. Maybe you’ve heard this already. Fine…..just fine. He was inspired by Alex Midler, so he decided to pick up a board and become a “skater boy.” Again fine….just fine. Then things changed. Then he started his own “skate company.” He’s now pushing around with some professionals, he’s on the Berrics, and he’s getting shine from a ton of people including Lil Stevie. Then he went and said “Yes, I made skateboarding cool,” and now he has a signature shoe for Supra……maybe the Mayans were right.
photo courtesy of ditcradio.com
On the positive side, he’s taken some decent slams and continues to get back up. He’s trying to get better at skating, and seems to really be putting his heart into it. I like to see that. He’s promoting skateboarding, and clearly he has a lot of people listening. These are all good things. I do however have some serious concerns.
photo courtesy of livemusiccityblog.com
You did not make skateboarding cool. Please be careful about what you say and how you approach the world of skateboarding. For many of us skateboarding has been cool since you were in diapers. I’m only 4 years older than you my friend, and yet skateboarding has been cool for me since 1984. For others skateboarding has been cool since before Jay Adams made it cool. For others skateboarding has been cool since before Nashworthy urethane became the norm. For many of us skateboarding was cool when the world loved us, then when they hated us, when they thought we disappeared, and then when they loved us again. Skateboarding was cool when we were beat up just for skateboarding. Skateboarding was cool even when most girls hated us for skateboarding. Skateboarding was cool when…as an only child in the streets, my friends and my board were my escape.
I’m glad to hear that you are promoting skating, and it’s a good thing that some kids now think skateboarding is cool because of you. Again though I ask that you are careful in your words and actions. Right now there are kids sleeping in cars and on couches in Southern California just to get sponsored and make a life out of skateboarding. Those kids are hungry as fuck. Those kids would kill for a shoe on Supra. Those kids are what make skateboarding cool.
Congratulations on your success in the music world. I don’t like your music at all, but I give you credit for coming from meager beginnings and succeeding like very few ever have. I ask that as you move forward, please set a decent example for our kids in any way that you can. Don’t tell kids to drink Mt. Dew, let alone mix it with Codeine and Jolly Ranchers (you should stop that shit too by the way, it sounds fucking horrible). Set a good example in terms of skateboarding as well. Don’t forget, that for many of us it is not a passing fad. Skateboarding is who we are. There is a storied history to our world. Have some respect for that.
Ok so I’ve written briefly about Ray Barbee before and here’s why. He is absolutely one of my all time favorite people. I don’t really fan out over anyone (except maybe Gonz). I am however more likely to get riled up like JoJo the Idiot Circus Boy when I come across someone like Ray, than say …(insert random Us Weekly celeb here). Ray Barbee began to influence my skating back in the Public Domain days. To see someone my age, with similar style, skating street, keeping it fluid, and basically stringing together trick after trick…was mind blowing. I followed Ray through the years, and always admired the way he was true to himself, and the way that he grew as a person. For those that don’t know, music and photography are very important to him as well. Ray is a positive person with an incredible outlook on the world. Often in skating the people that get press and highlights are the complete piles of shit. We all love a comeback story, but it just seems like the glamorizing of self destructive behavior is so rampant in our world.
I’m all for bucking the norm, and punk rock ideals influenced me tremendously in my life as well. I don’t think you need to be a lazy, negative, gutterpunk to carve your own DIY path though. You can be a responsible father and husband. You can save your money. You can live in moderation. You can be an educated postmodernist. You can be an artist. You can think for yourself…. Too many good people in the world of skating have been lost to apathy, drug use, and lack of forward thinking. Sometimes when you throw tons of money at 15 year old kids (that have had little guidance in general) this type of thing can happen. We all have free will though, and we all truly care about skateboarding. People like Ray Barbee should be highlighted more often. Take a look at Chris Nieratko’s newest Adventures With Chris, check out Ray’s Independent At Home, and watch the all too short Epicly Later’d. For the young skaters out there please just think for yourself, don’t be a pile of shit, and keep doing what you love. Thanks Ray.
photo courtesy of stussy.com
Got a few million on hand? If so then you….yes you…have the potential to purchase DVS Shoes. On June 13th there will be an auction to see who can bail Brian, Kevin, and The Gav out of bankruptcy. It looks like they’ve been doing everything they can to keep that ship afloat. We wish all the boys well (still can’t believe dude is VP of anything). Check the details over at TW Business, and start saving some dough…..shit it’ll probably be an energy drink company.
photo courtesy of shop-eat-surf.com
Stereo Skateboards speaks to me….for a number of reasons. I have always been surrounded by creative people in my life, and as a result I have a heavy appreciation for Art and Design. I thank my mother for that mostly. Chris Pastras always just seemed like one of the kids I would have surrounded myself with. Chris has an incredibly creative mind, and he expresses that in his skating as well as his artwork. Stereo’s marketing, design focus, and overall attitude balance art and commerce far better than any other product involved in skateboarding. Recently Chris and Jason have had local Utah artist Colt Bowden design their Retro Americana Classics Division. Colt is an excellent skater as well as an accomplished and detailed artist. I’m very stoked for Colt, and I’m so glad to see these two collaborating. It just makes sense. Take a look at Chris’ Hand in Hand, check out Colt’s site, buy some of his work, and then go support Stereo Sound Agency.
photo courtesy of coltbowden.com
I broke my ribs on Dave Amador’s ramp when I was 12. He never knew about it. For those that don’t know…David Amador is what skating and the SLC is all about. Dave was a guy that truly skated for the love of it. He was three years older than me, but was super cool to us as kids. I grew up about a block from him, and followed him through school as well. There were older guys in the neighborhood that would shred the ditch at the old Uintah, and most were super dickish. Dave fucked with us, but was never mean. He was more about treating groms like….well groms. It was a good thing. It gave us humility, and pushed us. Dave was the only guy in our neighborhood to have a backyard ramp, and needless to say we thought he was a God. His dad kicked us out regularly for poaching, but was always very cool about it. Whenever Dave was there and would skate with us, it was all time. He skated with tons of style and power. Skating and Salt Lake owe a great deal to David Amador. I know Dyet misses him, and I’m stoked to see Lizard is paying respect as well. You should pay some respect, read his obit, and check out Angela’s thoughts (along with some of his writing) over at Slug. The skate community in SLC misses you Dave. Thanks for keeping us all on our toes. Rest In Peace.
photo courtesy of slugmag.com
I know for many of you this is kind of old news, but I had to put up a Haroshi post. The guy is an absolute inspiration, and he is the embodiment of DIY. …oh and I must have the new Haroshi-Huf Pro-models…clear cup soles?…so rad. Now stop reading this, and check out his Aberrican Me.
photos courtesy of haroshi.com
Former Skate TM and Co-Owner for RVCA Jimmy Arrighi left the company this last fall. I was bummed to hear this since I’ve always thought RVCA was a rad company, and that Jimmy was a huge part of their skate division’s credibility. We knew he’d be up to some clever big boy shit, and we were right. Eswic Apparel has a slaughterhouse of a team (RVCA exodus apparently), and they’ll be at Agenda this month. Good luck Jimmy we’re stoked for you, and can’t wait to see the new line.
photo courtesy of thrashermagazine.com
Just watch this and trip out….