JUICE TOUR 1999
A FANTASTIC JOURNEY FROM NEW YORK TO LOS ANGELES
WORDS BY JOHN PANESSA, BRIAN LENTINI, TERRI CRAFT, JIANCA LAZARUS, JIM MURPHY
PHOTOS BY IVORY SERRA, BRIAN LENTINI, DAN LEVY, SCOTT PERRYMAN, TERRI CRAFT
In 1999, Juice Magazine sponsored a huge skate/music event and concert at the L.A. Coliseum in Los Angeles, CA, called Urban Phenomenon, but first we had to get there. From NYC to LA, here’s how it all started…
Road Trip: NY to LA
[Panessa narrates ]
I was drunk as fuck the night before leaving and, if all was well, most of the JUICE crew were simultaneously with me as we prepped for our adventure across America. Our mission started at the JUICE office where we all met at 9:00AM to load up the van. Right away, luck was against us. Before we even left the front door, we got a parking ticket. We quickly piled into the van, not wanting to tempt fate any further. Even though my feet lay atop 1000 mags and a suitcase was jammed into my neck, I was quite comfy in this overpacked Astrovan. Seven of us were loaded in along with many girlie-packed bags (Dan’s baggage was the girliest). Let’s just go over the names quickly: Terri Craft, Bryan Stahel, Jianca Lazarus, Brian Lentini, Kieran Blake, Dan Levy, and me, John Panessa. Gotta love the overpopulation of cock on this trip. Four breasts and 10 balls. So many round fleshy objects. We quickly charged across Jersey because, technically, who the hell wants to be there anyway? I knew we were in Pennsylvania as the sewer smell left my nasal passages. We made our first stop at the Midway Diner in Dutch, PA. This place was a pauper’s palace in comparison to our over-priced stomping grounds. Club sandwiches for $3.00 with french fries!
[Lentini jumps in as narrator....]
I’m taking over because Panessa is a moron. That Dutch diner was classic white trash, but I had to respect that place just because the waitress spoke to us in Dutch. Leaving the diner, I took a piss behind the dumpster and got to see something you don’t see everyday. It was so great: an 18-wheeler tractor trailer filled with about 850 ducks. Those ducks were packed as tightly as Guatamalans in the back of a landscaping truck. So, being the sick idiot I am, I walked right up to it and I was so stoked. The ducks were shitting everywhere. They all had explosive diarrhea and the smell made me dry heave once, so that was pretty cool. After leaving Dutch country, my shoes came off and I made a vow to myself that I would not put them on again until I absolutely needed to (to skate). So it was at this point in the trip that we became comfortable enough to assign nicknames. I was assigned “Piss Foot” because I chose not to wear any footwear, even in the piss-laden rest stops of middle America. The piss against my bare feet felt like a coyote howling in soft wind. Kieran was “Scoutmaster” because of his uncanny map skills and because he brought a snake bite kit. When asked why he brought it, he told us he lost his pet chinchilla to a snakebite and he wasn’t about to go through that again. Jianca was nicknamed DQ (Dairy Queen) for her non-stop ice cream fetish. We almost had to pick up a cow along the way.
Soon after, we arrived in the surprisingly ghetto town of Columbus, OH. We skated Dodge Skatepark, which was so rad with a snake run and two bowls. It was fun as hell and before leaving, we interviewed the legendary Chad and I’m sure we made a lasting impression.
So, you work here?
How long did it take to build this place?
I didn’t build it. Tony Hawk’s dad did.
It took you like a month?
No, I didn’t build it.
Since you run Dodge Skatepark, do you drive a Dodge?
I don’t know.
Ever drive your little car in the bowl?
No, but I’ve driven it in and around the park.
If I give you $50, will you floor it over that wedge ramp?
[actually pondering whether or not to do it because $50 can buy a cheap Columbus whore for an hour] No, I can’t.
You suck. Come on do it.
What if you let me drive it?
Cool! He’s going to let me drive his car in the park! I’m going to carve around the bowl with it. Great.
No, you can’t!
Chad thought that we were complete idiots. He was weirded out by the whole conversation, so our mission was accomplished.
After Columbus, we ended up in Missouri where I got a quick glance of the GateWay to the West. St. Louis may be a good town but who the hell would stop here when you have exciting Kansas ahead of you? This is an odd landscape. No trees, just grass; Johnny Appleseed hopscotched right over this state. I’m still wondering why Kansas City is in Missouri and not in Kansas. I guess when their trees were stolen, their city went with it. We made it to a skatepark in Salinas, KS, which was named in memory of some hometown hero. I never heard of him and neither had any of the local skaters we met at the park. The park sported a great hip and other unmentionable doodads.
2 LOCAL GROMS
Why would you put a park all the way out here in Kansas?
‘Cause kids like skateboarding.
Who is this park dedicated to? What? You don’t know? You don’t even know his name and you skate his park?
Dad, do you know what his name is?
Do truckers ever skate here?
Truck drivers never stop in?
They never stop in and watch?
I’ve never seen any.
Do a lot of kids come here to skate?
Where are they now?
What time is bingo around here?
I don’t know.
Do your parents play bingo?
Why is Kansas City in Missouri and not Kansas? Did you guys get jealous?
I don’t know. I think Kansas City is here locally in Kansas.
Oh, all right. What’s your name?
What language is that?
What’s your name?
What language is that?
Are you related to Kenny from South Park? Do you watch South Park?
Do you have a problem having the same name as the kid that always gets killed?
No, because I’m dangerous.
You’re dangerous? Wait, I have a serious question. Is there a methane problem with all the cow asses around here?
Do you know how long has this park been around?
(Since) August 1998.
What the fuck is Witchita?
It’s a city.
Witchita is such a stupid word.
Who named it?
I don’t know.
If you had the chance, would you rename it? What would you name it?
I don’t know.
That would be original. How do you say you’re from I DON’T KNOW?
I don’t know.
How do you get to I DON’T KNOW?
Follow the yellow brick road.
Do you ever get scared you’ll get picked up by a twister around here?
Yeah, we almost did last week. There was one in our school. It came close, but it missed us.
In the school?
There was one a week ago that touched down?
Yeah. But in Missouri. There was a hurricane.
Yeah, in Puerto Rico.
Hurricanes don’t form out here; you need water for that. Do you ever get dehydrated around here?
No, there’s water over there, [points to water fountain].
Are you pissed at your parents for moving here?
No, not really.
Do you know where can I get a mullet hair cut around here?
You can probably get one at Snip’n’Clip.
Do you want to ask us any questions?
Do you get free skateboards and stuff from working at the magazine?
Yeah. Why? Is it hard to get skateboards down here?
Yeah, you have to order from a catalog. I got one from Champion Sports.
You had to go all the way to TN for a skateboard?
My dad went there on business and brought one back. He works at Kent State.
That’s in Ohio, isn’t it?
Kenn State. Kenn State’s a college. It’s in Manhattan.
We’re from Manhattan. There’s no Kenn State there.
Manhattan, KS, you idiot.
Okay, so where are the girls?
Well, if you have some money . . .
We don’t have any money, but you’ll be in our magazine. So, where are the girls? Do you have any sisters?
That’ll do. Where is she?
She’s, like, 19-years-old and pregnant.
How old is the guy that knocked her up?
Were your parents pissed?
No, they were at first but now they’re not.
Is she going to marry him?
Yeah, in like a year. But my 15-year-old sister has a skateboard.
Okay, that’s cool. Are you psyched to have a little nephew or niece? Are you ready to be Uncle Kenny?
[Lentini is back...]
At the park in Salinas, I pulled one of the sickest tricks ever. It was an “ollie to smash your side”. I hauled ass at the pyramid and ollied, and the next thing I knew, I landed on the blacktop. I’m still feeling like Caesar Chavez beat the living crap out of me in a school yard brawl and I only protected my left side. Then we got some grub and headed out to Hayes, KS Skatepark, which was thought to have a mini-ramp and a bowl. Well, it had neither, but we still had fun.
THE KID WAS PUNK ROCK
What’s the name of this park?
Hayes Park? I don’t really know the name. I don’t know if they have a name for it.
How long has it been here?
Probably three or four years.
Why did they put a skatepark all the way out here in Kansas?
Some of the kids here, they skateboarded and I think it was their dads that got the idea. Their dads were in construction. They built it and got the shop to back it.
Have you ever seen anyone do a kickflip to shit your pants?
What was the worst injury you ever saw at this park?
Nothing really bad. Kids here don’t really go big, they just kind of fall around. I guess some kid got smacked in the head with a board. There was lots of blood on the ground. I didn’t see it but I saw the blood on the ground the next day.
Did somebody hit him?
Someone’s board got flung off the pyramid and hit him.
Where are all the girls?
I don’t know. I haven’t met any since I moved here.
How long have you been here?
About a year.
Where are you from?
Why did you come here?
I got kicked out of my house, so my mom and I moved here.
Why did you get kicked out?
Because me and my dad got in a fight.
A fistfight? Did he kick your ass?
No, he was all drunk and he was beating on my mom. So, I took him outside. He’s bigger than me but I knocked him down and he was so drunk he couldn’t get up so I started smacking him in the head over and over.
So you basically beat the fuck out of your dad?
Well, I really didn’t know him. It was the first time in 13 years that I had met him.
Do you drink yourself?
Yeah, I drink myself.
Is that the cool thing to do out here?
I guess, if you like getting drunk with your mom.
Is there a music scene out here?
I’ve heard of a couple of ska bands, but nothing I like.
No punk bands?
Any good skaters around here?
Yeah, a lot of ‘em have shoe sponsors.
Do pros ever come through from Cali?
Yeah, a couple of pros have come through here, like Mike Peterchek.
Yeah, he’s a ripper.
When’s the last time you shit your pants?
When I was two.
Did anyone notice?
Have you ever been in a tornado?
When I was little, a tornado took my house.
What’s up with the green grip tape?
They didn’t have black, and they gave me the green for free, so I took it.
They didn’t have black?
No, they ran out.
Were you pissed?
Yeah. I wanted to jump the counter and kick the guy’s ass, but he gave it to me for free.
That’s cool. Now, this is serious. Do you own a gun?
Sort of. I have a bb gun and a shotgun.
What do you think of the Columbine H.S massacre? Ever think about joining the Trench Coat Mafia?
No, I’m kinda against goth kids.
You think it was a goth thing? If you saw one of those kids laughing, would you have beat the shit out of him?
No, probably wouldn’t have even looked at him.
Would you have given him the figure-four-leg-lock?
I would have put him into the mind tamer.
So where are you from?
The next town down, Ellis. It’s about fifteen minutes away.
How do you get here?
My mom drops me off.
How old do you have to be to get a driver’s license?
Sixteen to get your permit, 17 for a license.
How come you don’t have a license?
Oh, I don’t know, I don’t care. I don’t have a car, so I don’t really need one.
OK, then. How far is Denver from here?
About five hours. You should drive slowly ‘cause a lot of people get in accidents.
Fuck you. So what’s in Colorado?
Well, in Breckenridge, there’s this new resort that has a new skatepark.
What do they have there? Is it all concrete?
Yeah, there’s a set of stairs with three rails.
Who do you hang out with?
What do you do when you leave the skatepark?
I go squat somewhere and recuperate.
Did you ever squat and take a dump?
Is that actually where the word squat came from?
Yeah, it’s from people taking shits everywhere.
You’re the best interview we’ve had yet.
Because I haven’t lived in Kansas all my life.
That kid was punk as shit and I now have a newly found love of Kansas. We hauled ass through Kansas while everyone else was sleeping. Panessa, Scoutmaster and I all reached Nirvana in the peaceful night. Without a flux capacitor or a nitrous oxide system, we each reached 100 miles an hour. The one and only sacred rule on driving was that two people had to stay awake at all times: the driver and a navigator. The rule didn’t make it through the first night, so driving fast on flat-ass Route 70 was the only way to amuse yourself.
We all know the whole Juice staff is punk as shit, so we were on a mission to Littleton, CO, home of the Trench Coat Mafia. Never in my life did I think I would be there. We arrived about 10 p.m. on Wednesday. We had just driven through Denver and were amazed at the huge amount of construction and multi-million-dollar complexes in the works. As we drove into Littleton, it seemed to be an expensive, quiet suburb of Denver, and not what I pictured (a town where all there is to do is go out driving drunk in your pick up on dirt roads with a shotgun in hand and a bottle of Jack Daniels on the seat). It was so opposite of that, upper-class with everything but a beach.
As we drove around looking for Columbine H.S., we noticed an eerie, ghost town vibe. There were no cars on the road, no one walking around. As we searched for signs of life, we heard it. The sound of wheels rolling across asphalt. In a deserted parking lot, we met our first Littleton natives. Four locals (not Columbine students, but they all knew one) ripping up the lot. We set up a quick photo shoot and tried to get some info. After a lot of awkward silence – we were afraid to ask and they were tired of being asked – we got directions to the high school and directions to a Columbine jock prom party.
Yes, we had arrived on Columbine High School Prom Night. As 11PM closed in, our new friends picked up their bookbags and started to walk off. When we asked why they were leaving, they unanimously replied, “Curfew at 11. We’ll get a ticket if we don’t have a good reason to be out.” That explained the ghost town vibe.
Then we went in search of Columbine. The first clue we were close was the mile-long barricade of crime scene tape. It ran the entire perimeter of the grounds. The sight caused silence to fall over the van packed with seven never-quiet skaters.
We drove all the way around, recognizing the camera angles from CNN. A single police car sat in the middle of the empty lot. I have to tell you, none of us volunteered to get out. Everyone seemed lost in their own thoughts and stunned by the actual sight of it all. We quickly agreed to head out and find the jock party and come back the next day for photos of Columbine.
As we drove, we were flanked on all sides by million-dollar homes, brand-new shopping malls and expensive landscaping with the Rocky Mountains standing regally in the distance. Even at night, it seemed like a really nice place to live. No graffiti, no trash, no gang-bangers holding court on the corner, no sirens, no potholes. We looked everywhere and couldn’t find the “wrong side of the tracks.” No ghettos, no projects, just a really nice place. As we drove into the high-class neighborhood, we started to notice cars with messages soaped onto the windows: “Columbine Forever”; “We Love Columbine”; We Won’t Forget”. We got out and snapped some photos acting like the Enquirer ducking between cars. As we looked around, there wasn’t even a single light in a window.
As we neared the ‘party’ house around midnight, we noticed the party seemed to be winding down: only a few cars out front and a single light. We rolled up to the end of the driveway and tried to talk to the only human in sight. He looked like a jock, so it seemed like a good idea.
Hey, we heard you were havin’ a party.
You got any beer in there?
Do you go to Columbine?
Yeah. [As he neared the van.]
Where’s Klebold’s house?
As he charged the van – obviously pissed – we gunned it and left. Better find a place to crash before we get thrown in jail . . .
That night, we stayed in a hotel and got not only our much-needed rest but showers. I was accustomed to the stench of B.O. brewing out of the infamous backseat. The next morning, we woke up and cleaned out the van. Then we stopped by Totally Board, a skateshop in Littleton, which was pretty rad. It had a mini-ramp in the back as slippery as lubricated latex because it was right next to where they wax the snowboards.
We picked up Shad, a loc dog who, besides his amazing skateboarding ability, was one chill character. Shad took us right to the sickest new spot, Littleton Skatepark. All transition and none of the 30 skaters there looked like a murderer to me.
SHAD: THE MAN
Are there any good parks around here?
Inglewood Park. It’s located by, right by . . .
What? Something famous?
Columbine High School.
Porcupine High School?
So what exactly happened at Cucumber High School?
Two crazy fuckin’ kids decided to annihilate the school.
So you didn’t go to school there?
Why not, you fuck?
I’m from the other side of the tracks. No, I’m kidding. I moved out here from Texas.
Did you know Texas is the reason the president’s dead?
Do you want to hear something funny?
Did you ever hear about David Koresh?
He used to go to my church.
We’re going to go to Waco on the way back. I’m serious.
You guys are completely stressing out.
Do you have those brew-thru places where you can just drive thru and drink and shoot your shotgun?
Yes, and everyone has a shotgun they keep loaded in their car.
Do you own a gun?
No. My parents have guns. My dad used to be a cop.
What? Your dad used to be a cock? Like one of those fighting cocks?
You want to hear something weird? I know this guy who used to fight cocks.
Wait a minute. You mean they had cock fights?
Yeah, this guy in Jackson, LA. They put razor blades on the back of their legs to make it bloody.
Have you ever done a kickflip to shit your pants?
No, but when I heard you guys talk about it, I thought to myself, I really ought to try that.
COLUMBINE HIGH SCHOOL:
1 MONTH AFTER THE SHOOTINGS
We dropped Shad back at the shop and headed back to Columbine H.S. to see what we’d find in the light of day. We parked in the same lot where they found bombs days after the shootings. We split up and I headed toward a guy working right outside the windows of the high school. I had to ask how this had changed Littleton and what effect it had on him. “I was in Denver when I heard about it on the radio. I immediately left the job site in search of a phone. My wife and I recently separated and I hadn’t been spending much time with my kids lately. I arranged to meet my kids that day after work. I went straight there, grabbed them both up and told them how much I loved them. The only good thing to come of this tragedy is that now I make time to see my kids once a day and I make sure they know I’m there for them.”
As I walked away, feeling the frustration of the parents, I noticed to my left a mom and 15-year-old daughter playing a game of tennis and to my right, a dad and his nine-year-old and seven-year-old sons playing some b-ball. Littleton parents everywhere seemed to be taking time for their kids. We fumbled around asking more questions to anyone willing to give their time. But we ran into a lot of resistance. After the mobs of media that had descended in the month since the shooting, Littleton had become protective of its own. Luckily, we ran into one of the Columbine teachers just as we were about to give up. She didn’t want to be named but told her story and what it was like that day.
Are you here taking pictures of (the high school)?
Yes, are you?
Yeah. We’re from Juice Magazine out of New York City and we just wanted to interview people in the town on their thoughts and everything about the whole tragedy.
Oh, well, I can probably tell you a lot; I was a grief counselor here.
You were here when it all went down?
Yes. I was here for the whole thing. It was just horrible.
So you did grief counseling with the kids? What was that like?
It was just really hard, the stories I heard were grotesque. These kids saw everything happen right in front of them. It was really hard.
Are you still doing counseling?
No, I’m not, but some other people are.
Describe the scene at Columbine when you arrived that afternoon.
It was complete chaos. Parents were running all over the place trying to find out what happened to their kids. People were just crying all over the place, embracing each other. It was truly the saddest thing I have ever seen, such a tragedy.
I heard there were a lot of flowers in this field as a memorial. What happened to all of them?
They were removed last week, and put somewhere else. You just missed it.
About how many flowers were there?
Literally thousands. It took up the space of about three-and-a-half football fields.
Are they planning on opening this school again next year?
They haven’t decided. The kids finished up the year at another school and they are still doing investigations inside Columbine.
Do you think kids will go back in that building, after what happened in there?
Many have said they won’t and I don’t blame them. What they went through was horrible.
These Trench Coat Mafia kids. What were they actually like, in your eyes?
They were nice kids who just dressed a little weird. I saw them hanging out in the mall all the time. They were nice kids.
So why do you think they did this?
Well, no one really knows.
Do you think it’s the parents’ fault?
Honestly, I don’t.
What was the mood of Littleton after this happened?
It was very desolate and quiet. It was sad. You didn’t see kids anywhere, not in the mall or the movie theatres. It was a ghost town. Even Friday nights were quiet.
It looks like family is a very important thing around here.
Yes, the whole community worked together to get through this horrible tragedy and everyone seems to be taking more time for each other these days.
I couldn’t wait to leave the Rockies and head over to the desert. But we made another stop one mile high above sea level in Breckinridge, CO. During our gas stop, we did some barefooted moves. WalMart’s floor met with my podiatry problems: bunions, polyps and corns. Townspeople pointed and their mouths dropped in awe as if they stepped on a rusty nail, then avoided a tetanus shot. It was snowing out and we were wearing shorts and were nude-footed. Breckenridge Skatepark was weird with steep transitions and an unfulfilling bowl, but the new bowl under construction is one of the sickest I’ve ever seen. So, now it was time to get the fuck out of Colorado. I miss John Denver. We charged through Utah. Arizona was just an eye-blink but had sick landscapes. Rock was everywhere, a crackhead’s dream.
LAS VEGAS, NV
Nevada, Nevada, Nevada. Las Vegas sits here. When we arrived, it was already light out, so all the glitzy shimmers were absent. Vegas houses the dumbest skatepark I’d ever seen. Inclines with less pitch than a driveway in the Great Plains. Curbs for ledges. I just can’t comprehend such a shitty park in a city where there are banks every five feet and ditches in between. Gambling obviously raped a few of us. I might as well just give my money to some prostitute for a five-minute show. At least I wouldn’t get Carpel Tunnel Syndrome from pulling down the lever. We got into a disagreement in this stupid desert. The sun must have gotten to us. So we threw a few punches and got back in the van.
DEATH VALLEY, CA
Between Vegas and San Francisco lies a great expanse known as Death Valley. Gator should’ve brought his prey here and he wouldn’t be having visions of Bubba. Death Valley reminded me of every desert movie I’ve ever seen. I felt like Mad Max driving the Astrovan in Deathrace 2000. It was 116 degrees out there, we only had a quarter tank of gas left and we had to turn off the air conditioning in the car so it wouldn’t overheat. I was one thirsty bitch. Once through Death Valley, the driver gets to make a decision. I chose the northern route up to Lake Tahoe, crazy scenery.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA
We had made plans to go to Nor Cal and hang with chocolate chip nipples Chad on our way, but we were running behind schedule. Chad is everyone’s favorite: drink, skate and drink. We were in at around 3AM and quickly out before dawn at the San Jose flophouse. Los Angeles awaited us.
LOS ANGELES, CA
We were staying at the Regal Biltmore in downtown L.A. It was crazy: a five-star hotel where they charged you for the air to breathe. There were tons of skateable places but when 6:00PM bared its face, it quickly became a ghost town. So many spots in downtown L.A. were surprisingly never in any videos. Supposedly, no one really goes around there to skate.
[Lentini narrates . . .]
That next morning, to my surprise, I no longer had an elbow joint in my neck. We slowly trudged our dirty asses over to a local place to eat. Downtown L.A. blows for everything except skating. We ate at one of the only affordable places downtown: Bon Appetit. This place has a French name but yet they sold no french fries and the workers didn’t speak French. Anyway, this was the start of an adventure because it was here that I left my Nikon. I didn’t realize until about 3:45PM and I frantically searched ‘til I realized where I had left it. They unlocked the door and got it for me. For that reason and that reason only, L.A. rules. After this, I took some shots of John on this brick bump, when I almost got run over by a Camaro. But who gives a crap, I had my camera! That night, we hung out with Ryan, John and the rest of the Circa boys. We skated for a while across the street from the hotel, then we bombed a hill and Bryan slammed on the soft cushiony asphalt due to the miscalculation of a crack.
We got about two hours of sleep that night because we had to get up early to set up the vert ramp. We arrived to find our three bros for the weekend: Rick Jansen and Kenny Dickenson, the ramp builders, and Scot Burns from OnBoard Entertainment, who helped us land the newly-imported Red Bull Ramp for the event. It took 12 hours to put up the ramp. I was so exhausted and worked by the end of the day, my body was aching as if I had been repeatedly run over and backed up over by a big ol’ jalopy.
THE VIP PARTY
Back at the Regal, we held a get-together for some industry people and friends alike and it was pure mayhem. Ryan brought the whole Circa crew and this crazy kid Garrard. The hotel had three proms going that night, so the place was packed with dressed-up high school kids. Some of us were blasted, some of us weren’t, but we all got caught up in the moment running around yellin’, jumpin’ up and down and all those great immature things.
GOING TO THE PROM WITH ED FROM BLACK FLYS
“Security guards. Keep going straight. . .”
“Okay, we’re in.“[Panessa walks up to the first girl he sees...]
“Alright, undress.”[Security busts in and we are escorted to the lobby to start our antics...]
All right, what’s your name?
Special Ed from Black Flys.
Special Ed. So, you’re that rapper. You look a little different now after jail . . .
No, I just had my own bus growing up.
You had your own bus? What’d this bus look like?
I’m just kidding.
That’s kind of mean, to make fun of retarded kids.
No, I’m not making fun of retarded kids, I’m just on fucked-up shit right now.
Show us this car. What kind of car is it?
It’s a soccermommobile.
Okay, go ahead. Continue the interview.
Wait, you’re not allowed to go off on tangents. Ever been in a soccer riot?
No, that’s what I called my car because I had to drive everyone around.
Oh, so you were a soccer mom?
Yeah, out here they have what are called soccer moms.
We have those in NY. What do you think, we live in Kansas? Tell us your position at Black Flys.
Production Manager. I’m in charge of printing all the stickers and T-shirts.
Alright, let me understand. You’re a pervert?
A very big pervert. I love girls.
Do you scout out the chicks for Black Flys?
Do I get to scout them out?
Like, do you get to choose. Like ‘This girl is hot. She should be a model’?
Depends, the diapers? I am so confused. Are you talking about diapers? Did you ever wear Depends?
Yeah. I tried them on and then I gave them back to my grandmother.
Did you shit your pants?
It was very uncomfortable.
C’mon. If you’re wearing Depends, you have to shit yourself. Did you at least leave a stain?
Nice. I am actually pissing myself right now. Are the Black Flys’ girls porn stars?
No, they’re just fine-looking sluts.
Can we meet them?
Can we touch them?
As long as you can run before they slap you.
I’m quick. Let me ask you something — (grabbing Ed’s sunglasses) These are prescription, right? — Where did you get them?
Oh, the glasses? I got them from an optometrist.
They have Black Flys at the optometrist?
Are you a hairdresser?
Am I a hairdresser?
Your hair is very well put-together.
Thank you very much. It’s many years of experience.
How many years were you a hairdresser?
None at all. I have never dressed anyone’s hair but my own.
What do you think of this whole prom?
I think it’s great.
Do you think we can get any of these girls up to the rooms? Do you have a hotel room here?
No, I don’t.
We do. We have three rooms. Where is Black Flys?
It’s a little bit more southern. Yes. Orange County.
Who is Orange Curtain and where is he?
That’s what they call Orange County.
Alright, let me ask you a serious question? Tell us about your laces.
They are pretty phat.
They are pretty phat laces.
What do you feed them?
Whatever weed you guys are smoking, I want some right now.
Can we get with the Black Flys girls now?
I’ve been working there for three years and I haven’t gotten any yet.
So I have to get a job there, then? Wait, I thought you said they were sluts.
Know what’s weird? Every girl that I have ever met or gone out with, all strippers.
Every girl you’ve ever gone out with is a stripper?
Without even knowing it.
Wait. You turn them into strippers?
Well, after high school.
You fuck! I never hook up with a stripper…
As we lounged around the lobby, we met up with the guys from 808 State and their stand-in lighting operator. He was prime for a Lentini & Panessa grilling. . .
What is your position in 808 State?
I am doing the lighting, but I’m only standing in for this show.
And when you’re not standing in?
I do lighting for other people.
Do you use flashlights?
I use all kinds of light. I like to strobe people.
You like to stroke people?
Do you stroke them until they fall over?
I like to do that as well.
What about Lolco? What do you think of them?
Never heard of them.
Long Island Lighting Company. They’re your competition.
I’m used to it.
Have you ever been electrocuted?
How bad? Did you ever blacken your fingertips? Did you go to the hospital?
No, nothing that bad. I’ve gotten an electric shock while balanced on a monitor on stage.
I don’t understand that. Did you shit your pants when you got shocked?
But you got so scared, you almost shit your pants?
Tell us why you hate Americans. You never told us why you want to kill us.
I heard that in Manchester they have two TV stations.
We have five.
Wow, we have 80. Does that make you jealous?
Not at all.
No? You’re happy with five channels?
I don’t like TV.
You’re being rude. You’ve got to calm down.
Do you think the lighting in here sucks? What would you do to improve it?
There would be too much to do in here. You need to do a big overhaul. The lighting doesn’t suit the environment. That’s what’s important.
Where’s the suit?
Do you guys get paid for this?
DAY OF THE SHOW:
URBAN PHENOMENON 1999
LOS ANGELES COLISEUM
LOS ANGELES, CA
There were rumors that Run DMC might not show, so we had a little talk about what we would do if there was a riot, because the arena was in good ol’ South Central L.A. Well, I wasn’t that scared because I remember Dr. Dre saying “Bloods, Crips on the same side.” Since Murf magically seemed to appear at the hotel Thursday night, we decided he could deal with it. Urban Phenomenon went off quite well. We’ll evaluate by the number of women at the event. Um, there were thousands…
JUICE PRO SKATE DEMO
Frontside air missing me by about three inches by none other than Lance Mountain; I’m only 5’2. Climbing down the ladder of the Red Bull Ramp, I find Remy Stratton trying to get his girlfriend and everyone else into the event. Outta the corner of my eye, I see a huge crowd congregated by the flat wedge, where little Ryan Sheckler was blasting off, catching at least five feet of air doing backside grabs. Brian Patch tackles him. Kareem Campbell kickflips off the six-foot quarter pipe . . . No, it’s not a launch ramp. Yes, he lands it. Chris Gentry with lovely wife Ricca, looking hot in the background, pulls everything and anything on the 12-foot Red Bull ramp, while The Muska throws out t-shirts to the little Muska club that follows his every move. ‘The Blaster’ was there and, yes, not only did he show up but The Muska skated and even dropped in on the vert ramp and pulled a few runs. I can honestly say that there was nothing but sick skating all ‘round. Brian Patch and Ryan Sheckler skating tandem on the vert. Spencer Fujimoto skates from start to finish, pulling switch crooked grinds to backside 180 out, every try. JP Jadeed backside kickflips to nose blunt slides twice in a row. Julio De La Cruz bustin’ nollie 180 heelflips on the flat wedge. Pity this wasn’t a contest! Run DMC…, Brand Nubian…, Q-Bert…, 808 State… Thanks to all our sponsors: Soundview Entertainment; Axion; Lethol; Dank; Dawls; Fresh Jive; X-Large; Shorty’s; Circa; Capital; Sire Records; RCA Records; 1500 Records; Activision; Neversoft; Alphanumeric; Tone Casualties; Red Bull; and all the skaters (114 pros) that showed up and skated.
[Murf adds his bruised self]
At the last minute, we landed the Red Bull vert ramp that had huge trannies with good vert. We scrambled to get some vert pros out there and after some hectic phone calls from LA to Encinitas, we got some commitments from some heavy hitters. A big thanks goes out to Red Bull for making the event even radder by getting to showcase some high-level vert skating. Big shout-outs go to Kenny and Rick, who spent all day setting up the vert ramp in the blazin’ LA sun. Vert- Chris Gentry showed up and ripped with no problem. B.S. 540’s, 360 varials, big airs and consistent. Tas Pappas was coming so close to making 900’s, you had to believe that he’s already made at least one. Brian Patch flowed effortlessly with the loudest body jars and solid airs. Lance Mountain stoked everyone out just standing there. Sad plants, frontals, nosebone indys in classic Mountain style.
BACK AT THE RANCH
So, yes, the event went well. We got back to our temporary home at about 6 a.m. Maybe we could get a few hours sleep because in the morning we had to flex our muscles taking down that Red Bolshevik half-moon. I’m so glad it was easier bringing down then going up. Indecision set in for the rest of the day and the beach was our calling. We cruised the Santa Monica strip overusing initialization. There were GMs everywhere (see glossary). During the evening hours, we rolled four deep down Sunset Boulevard, screaming out the window at people while on the search for Mel’s Diner. It has now been documented that Lentini’s scream voice has a queer factor to its pitch.
THE DAYS AFTER
The next morning at 9:00, I was awoken by a swift whack to the head from a sleazy porn newspaper. My buddy Panessa goes, “Come on, let’s skate.” I just jumped out of bed, threw on clothes, grabbed my board and we were out. Dan said he wanted to sleep. So being the good friends we are, we tore all the sheets of his bed and ran out the door with them. He caved and came with us. John was being ridiculous and crazy landing some nutty stuff. He backside kickflipped on the crazy steep carwash banks. Actually, the night before, he landed it in pure darkness. Nuts. Later that day, we split up. Scoutmaster, Dan and I took the subway to Redondo Beach. John hung out with some girl he met the night before. Sellout. Terri, Jianca and Bryan went to Venice. I love the fact that the L.A. subway is on the honor system. What were they thinking?
We reconvened later that night and made plans for a hesh session at Vans. The street course was literally non-existent because our minds were set on the concrete bowls. The combi pool sat there wide open inviting like a woman’s crotch. It was talking to me, asking me to plunge between its two hollowed-out buttocks. I wanted to be with this woman, so I entered her womb. It was worth $14 for prostitution of this sort. We once again returned to the Biltmore and decided to party for our departure. I was bent before we even got home. We ran into a fine young lady named Kelly. She had just entered the largest sausage party ever. Everyone in the room was wondering who was winning with Kelly. Well, not one of us did. I passed out, Dan passed out, Jianca wasn’t dyking out, Murf returned to his room with Perryman, and Scoutmaster questioned Kelly with unsuccessful answers. As the sun came towards Cali from New York, we were headed head-first into that big mother. We made a brief stop at World Industries where Abe Smith gave us the most amazing hospitality. He hooked us with so much product. Thanks, Abe!
After I left my wallet in El Segundo, we headed out to Flagstaff, AZ to skate some park. We got there at nightfall. This is when Dan got out of the car and transformed into Daniella. Daniella puked while John, Bryan and I checked out the park. It was by far the most amazing park I ever set my eyes upon. It was dark but Bryan and I still skated. I’m going to go back there and live in that virgin cloverleaf bowl for the rest of my life. I will live off mud and grass, and drink from the sprinklers at night. After driving away, I thought about throwing the car in park, grabbing my board and never looking back. Instead, I sucked it up and drove straight back to NYC. I was so tired that I was delirious. I was seeing things on the side of the road that didn’t even exist. I was so stoked when I saw those naked Swedish girls on the side of the road. While in the grip of my coma I decided one thing. The next time I travel cross-country I’ll remember not to bring any clothes. I will buy them as I go along at truck stops. Y’know, mesh NASCAR* hats, Wranglers and crappy t-shirts. I would travel across the country again without a doubt in my mind. America is the best country in the world and if you don’t think so, leave.
This page clockwise from top left:
1. Urban Crowd: Serra
2. Run DMC Photo: Serra
3. Ryan Sheckler Photo: Serra
4. Q-Bert Photo: Serra
5. Lance Mountain, Sadplant @ RedBull Ramp Photo: Perryman
Facing page from top left
1.Dodge Skatepark overview Photo: Craft
2. Ben Bertlemann, frontside 50/50, Kansas Photo: Lentini
3. Bryan Stahel, layback, Kansas Photo: Lentini
4. Ben Bertlemann, portrait, Photo: Craft
5. Groms, Salinas, Kansas Photo: Lentini