JEFF GROSSO

JEFF GROSSO

INTERVIEW BY GISH
PHOTOS BY PAT MYERS

 

Where have you been?
Huntington Beach, where I’ve always been.

How might someone have heard of you?
I used to be a pro skateboarder, now I’m just a floor nigga.

Who are your sponsors?
I ride for John Lucero’s Black Label Skateboards, the finest skateboard company in the business.

Who have been some of your other sponsors?
My very first sponsor was Variflex Skateboards who wielded such talent as the mighty Allen Losi, Eddie Elguera, Eric Grisham, the Hirsch Brothers, Lance Mountain, John Lucero, myself. My second sponsor was Santa Cruz, then I quit Santa Cruz to skate for Powell, but Powell was too pansy ass. Then I turned pro for Schmitt Stix, then went back to Santa Cruz, but then I got kicked off Santa Cruz and then Lucero started Black Label.

Didn’t you use to live with Lucero over on 7th Street?
Yeah, with Marty Jiminez, Pushead, Tony Keala and Tony Moffet.

Where did you sleep there?
I slept underneath a card table in the living room behind the couch. John had the back room because he had girls. I didn’t have any girls so I used to do coke and stay up all night and I’d use the cardboard table to keep the sun out of my eyes. I wouldn’t go to bed ’til in the morning because I’d have to listen to him fuck all night. It was so depressing. I’m glad it’s over.

Did you and Ross Goodman ever climb pine trees together?
No, God. First of all, I want to say that Ross Goodman is by far one of the finest vert skaters ever, even if he doesn’t ride anymore cause he’s a blue collar tattoo guy. The story goes… we were in a band with the O’Brien brothers and Jeff Kendall. Jason Jessee named it; it was called Tree. And the guys from Wax Trax flew us out to Chicago to record us. The guy lived above a shampoo factory and at night you had to be locked in. Ross and I ate about eleven Darvocets a piece and drank a fifth of vodka and annoyed everyone in the place by playing basketball and taking shaving cream and wiping it all over our heads so you couldn’t see our faces. We wanted more alcohol, so we climbed out the window at the top of this three-story building. We tried to find a way off the roof, but we couldn’t. The only thing we found was some trees about seven feet away from us. So, Ross was like ‘jump through the trees like Rambo, they’ll break your fall.’ So, I did it and made it okay. Ross tries and lands on me, hurting me. Then we had to walk through Breenie Green, the worst projects in Chicago at 7AM ; two white guys with shaving cream all over our heads in an all black neighborhood. The cops rolled up on us and we didn’t even get any liquor.

“I slept underneath a card table in the living room behind the couch. John had the back room because he had girls. I didn’t have any girls so, I used to do coke and stay up all night and I’d use the cardboard table to keep the sun out of my eyes.”

You’ve lived in a lot of places. What about the Hell House?
You’re talking about the Huntington Beach Hell House. That’s Marty Jimenez’ house. I should probably take this opportunity to apologize to Marty and his lovely wife Cindy for putting them through any stress for those four or five years that they gave us a place to live. We weren’t very cool tenants and I am sure we gave them a lot of headaches. We used to do a lot of speed and not work and make collages out of porno mags and generally be idiots.

Was there anywhere Ricky Barns liked to pee? Or that he did pee?
Oh yeah, I had this girlfriend and she was involved with selling the owners of the HB Brewing Company at the time speed and she ended up having to leave the state for a number of reasons. Anyway, I was all in love with this girl, cause I thought I was a poet and I’d sit around on drugs and write really bad poetry and she would come over and let me hang on her fake tits. I thought she was really cool. She came over one night with some of her girlfriends and we were all tripping on acid and Ricky got the notion that I was going to go off with these girls and shoot morphine, so he chased the girls off with a buck knife,then tried to fight me and threw the buck knife at me. I had to run out into the street because he just snapped. I disappeared for a few days. Ricky went back into the house, destroyed my room, took everything I owned and crunched it up in a ball on top of my bed and then peed on top of my bed. He also liked to beat off into my socks, which I didn’t know for like two years. He finally copped to sneaking into my room and beating off in my socks and putting them back into my drawer.

What other sources of income have you had?
Well, I dropped out of high school, which I don’t advise to anybody, but that’s what I did, cause I thought I was cool. Then I was a professional skateboarder for about four years, which is a relatively short time to be a pro skateboarder, but then everything went to street and I went straight into the booze bottle. I was basically left behind and out of a job and then I went the next five years without a job because I was too busy drinking and doing drugs. Then when I was living at Hell House, my roommate Brent got me a job at this stuffed animal factory and you know those claw machines that you put a quarter in and it picks up the stuffed animals. We would stock those boxes with the small bears like the A35 bear and the F325 elephant with the ball and the bear with the heart for Valentines Day, so basically we would show up to work completely wacked out on meth and snort speed all day and pack stuffed animal boxes all day and we’d bring home the stuffed animals and give to Ricky for his kids and he’d rip the limbs off and sew ’em all back together in all kinds of fucked up configurations. Then we finally had to quit that job. We weren’t getting enough sleep after staying up for 6 days in a row. So, then I got a job at Billabong and they tolerated me for a while. Then I worked at Black Label on and off. I got fired from there like five times. John kept giving me chance after chance. Sorry, John. Then Billabong fired me twice and let me come back even after lying to them about being sober and I wasn’t. I was strung out. Then I got a job with the beautiful Straight Edge Floor Coverings out of Costa Mesa, CA, greatest bunch of guys.

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