Fully Flared: An Extensive Review

Like everyone else, I saw this film when it came out. However, I wanted to wait until the initial hysteria had subsided before I wrote an extensive review. You all know the feeling--the sensory overload of watching a skate video for the first time. Like when I saw the triple-screen for the first time. That was one of those moments. Or Trilogy. There was a lot going on in that one.
Basically, what I'm going to do is a Bill Simmons-esque running diary. I don't know if I will get to 50,000 words though. I hope not. Say what you want about Bill Simmons, he's always good for 65,000 words on NBA trade scenarios.
This fall, we did The Outsiders in the class I teach. As you might expect, we talked about "staying gold" and what that means and shit. It's somewhat of a cliche' now, but one of the best ways to do that is keeping up the shit you did when you were a young 'un, like skating. For whatever reason, one of the best parts of that is watching a highly-anticipated video for the first time. It's indescribably stellar. If I ever lose that first-time-watching-a-video feeling, I'm fucked.
Hey, there's an "AYA" throw-up above Koston's head, right after he explodes through that wall. I didn't see any GAMO, SECS, HYST, or IOMI, though. This intro was rad, but it was no triple-screen. It's hard to verbalize the impact the triple-screen had on my developing psyche in 1993. I think it was something about how the message in the song combined with the excessively technical skating to say, "Hey fucker--there are no answers out there. I don't know. Fuck it. Skate as tech as you can." I suppose if this were college I would write a paper compare/contrasting Virtual and FF--with a Venn diagram and shit...
It's probably more rad when you're high. But what isn't? Why spend all that money on something that most viewers will watch once and then fast-forward through, skip, or however DVDs work.
The answer: ART.More on art later.
The new ledge Jedi , for sure. Is his middle name "Maurice"? I feel weird calling another human being "Mike Mo," for some reason. "Mr. Capaldi" is much more effective. Anyway, I'm not a videography nerd by any means, but the only qualm I have with Mr. Evans' editing is the one shot in this part where Capaldi is being pulled up to that HUGE white jumper, and then when he does the trick he's wearing totally different clothes and everything. Is that unethical or some kind of attempt to deceive? I don't know. Is it like when Ternasky would switch angles in the middle of a line because Sal or whoever messed up? I don't know. The ender in this part is perhaps the most mind-numbingly progressive in the entire film. It's like MJ said in Hot Chocolate--skating is one of the few mediums in this world in which one can take pure thought and transform it into reality--i.e., art.
What city does he live in again? I couldn't figure it out. I think the backlash against this part and its genre is due to the fact that Pappalardo chose a different career trajectory than the one he started out on and displayed in I.E. and Photosynthesis. When he and Wenning, the second wave of East Coast Jedis, blew up, they were doing things at the usual NY/PHI spots that were comparable to the technicality of what you would see coming out of California. That's why they fucking ruled. Wenning stayed on the same path, but Pappalardo eventually became, in effect, the evolutionary Matt Reason, with a hybrid of "cellar door"-type "East Coast" skating and some selective technicality.
Anyway, Did you happen to see that documentary American Hardcore? It's supposed to be about hardcore in the early 80's , but everyone they interview in it mostly talks about the Bad Brains and how they were the most amazing, influential band ever. Indeed, I still listen to Rock for Light on a regular basis. Their new "comeback" (more on comebacks and their effectiveness later) record, Build A Nation, is also decent. For some reason, though, I dig their reggae songs more than the hardcore ones. Anyway, the best part is when John Joseph is describing the into to "The Big Takeover" and how fucking awesome it is. Indeed, it is probably one of the most intense introductions in the history of recorded music.
Holy crap, he caught that b/s 360 kf at approximately the 255 point. Sick. I think that double-kink rail is at the Range Rover dealership near the West Side Highway.

ps. the first wave of East Coast Jedis were Pep, Keenan, Andy Stone, Gino, Pupecki, etc.

Breakout part. A masterful performance from a true virtuoso. Guy is the sentimental favorite, but this gentleman provided the highest quantity of mind-numbing NBD's. I remember when Rodney vs. Daewon II came out, Sam said that J.B.'s part was so progressive, it was as if he had time-travelled from the future. Fernandez inhabits the same future. It's like, in 1993 if you had asked me what will skating be like in 2008, I seriously would have replied, "fakie tre flipping street gaps and shit."
Therefore, the level of technicality shouldn't be as shocking as it is, but it's fucking shockingly technical, delivered with speed and that Euro flare like my man Yngwie here. I have no idea how Europeans got so fucking sick at skating and extrapolating their influences. It's almost as if Welcome to Hell was never released in Europe and everyone just kept watching every World vid from '94 over and over again like Yngwie or someone wearing out a Rainbow lp or some shit.

I'm not even going to attempt to list the NBD's, but all his flips out are like a foot above the ledge that he's flipping out of, if that makes sense. When I went to LA almost a decade ago, this guy, his brother, and Daniel Lebron would skate the Venice benches almost every day and holler at the black girls in bikinis. If you never skated that spot, the most mindblowing, for me at least, coming from the East Coast, aspect of it was that the sand from the beach would blow up onto the "pit" or whatever, and the Pacific Ocean was like RIGHT THERE. I know I know... you're saying "big fucking deal" but I tripped the fuck out. Anyway, who knew that ten years later, this dude's part would overshadow, say, Koston's? Although, the fact that Koston's part kind of gets overlooked speaks to the epicness of FF in general. Trip the fuck out. Hard work pays off sometimes.

Inspired song selection. This one would have been a banger, as well. Apparently, they are still packin' em in--unlike the Stone Roses. I mean, how fucking British can you get--the dude is wearing a sweatervest skating past one of those red telephone booths. What country does this gentleman reside in? I couldn't figure it out! Again with the exterior shots...almost as many as an episode of the Real World Philadelphia.

Wait, what city is this television show set it again? OH RIGHT, THERE'S THE STATUE OF BEN FRANKLIN ATOP CITY HALL--I almost forgot.

Someone said evolutionary Oyola? Seems apt. I don't know about you, but Oyola's part in EE3 still fuckin' smokes. The spring that video came out, I must have watched it like 50 times because I stayed in NY during SPRING BREAK!! Problem was, it snowed like a foot so I mostly played Wip3ouT on playstation 1 and skated these tunnels with metal curbs and curb cuts adjacent to the Columbia basketball facility.
The ender seems like it would be super rad if I was on shrooms. A lot of people say the slow motion is overdone in the film as a whole--however, it's fucking rad when Evans uses slow motion to synchronize the ender and the end of the musical composition, like here and in Carroll's [first] part. Again, I'm not one of these dudes that sees every video that comes out, so I don't know if this is commonplace amongst videographers.

If FF is the new Virtual, then this part is the new "Mariano in the friends section in Virtual" part. No wasted space, nor time. The kind of thing where you wonder what's going through the dude's head.

"Okay, I'm just gonna switch laser flip over this street. Tomorrow, I'm going to do a tre flip off this ginormous bump 12 feet in the air. Then, I'm going to 360 ollieflip over a bench."
You don't say...
However, in a way I prefer his part in Bon Apetit because of the "skating down the street" vibe. Progression + naturalistic street skating is fucking unbeatable (see P.J. Ladd's Wonderful, Terrible, Horrible, Modern Life is Rubbish Video).

GILLET: If I wasn't such a big Jew I would have named one of my kids Jean-Baptiste.
What a fucking rad name. It seems like most of his shit was filmed on Lakai tour. However, a sw fs 360 heel on flat that doesn't look shitty is far from throwaway--it's NBD. No one murders sw heel variations like this dude. Whoa--a cellar door--must have filmed that on the east coast somewhere. I mean, his part in Freedom Fries was better (more lines), but Mr. Gillet, the original Euro jedi, is so prolific that it is irrelevant. I think Cliche are supposed to release another vid this year anyway.
This segment is also notable for its highly controversial song. Ironic perhaps...maybe you were expecting some kind of "college rock". However, my friend, this is not Transworld, although there are stop-motion montages. It's the most epic video of the past 10 years. That demands more SWAGGER. Again, it's hard to tell if the use of this song is ironic because different cultures get psyched on aspects of American culture differently than we do. Like Manowar, for example. It always tripped me out how the would play the biggest soccer stadium in Germany and then come back here and play, like, Joe's Corner Bar in Somerville, NJ. Let me illustrate another example: the following two things are HUGE in Japan:

If Dream Theater ever did an in-store at Supreme Osaka, it would be TOTAL FUCKING CHAOS.
Furthermore, it's not 1992 anymore--you can't just use any fucking song from, say, Sgt. Pepper's and expect no one to notice. Everything is too interconnected now. Not in a The Wire kind of karmic causality way, but media-wise. For example, in the old model, Skateboard company XYZ would film skaters A,B, and C over a few weeks on analog video tape, edit the film in a self-contained editing bay, reproduce a few thousand copies on magnetic videotape cassettes, promote said video in a few print publications, distribute said film via United Postal Service to a few action sports retail distributors and retail outlets. The end user, is of course, the skater, who might go so far as to "dub", using co-axial or rca cables, the videotape onto another magnetic video cassette tape using two video cassette recorders. In a word--linear. In the new real-time, constantly updated FUTUREWORLD, whoever owns the publishing on whatever song would under no circumstances fail to notice. Besides, complaining about soundtrack is asinine--if a particular song doesn't appeal to your personal taste, simply turn the sound off and play something more to your liking. It's been going on since the beginning of time. I suggest this piece of music--it's epic, I assure you.
In conclusion, the imagery in most Ca$h Money Millionaires compositions could also be interpreted as absurdist commentary on materialism in American culture as a whole. But perhaps Gillet, Rousseau, and Puig were genuinely, unironically psyched on it.

Hmmm...nothing to say here...not really the biggest fan...nollie hards over that stair/rail thing is decent...I will say one thing: if I ever need someone to f/s n/g a humongous ledge over some stairs, I will call this guy.


Again, I don't really have an opinion here. This gentleman has obviously met and/or exceeded whatever standards of professional skateboarding exist. Perhaps the dudes that aren't on girl/choc got shorter parts. He does, however, catch that one nollie heel in a matter heretofore unseen, but it's hard to tell exactly how because of the slow motion and tripped-out camera angle.


Dear Mr. Johnston:

Congratulations on a long and successful career. Your part in Let the Horns Blow was rad. So was the the time when you Sanchez grinded the orthodontist ledge. My friend has but one request: please bring back the design of your original pro model Lakai. He tried to find an image of said design on the internet, but to no avail. So, if you remember anything about it, please bring it back.
In addition to the Aries or something like it.


If one looks back at the past 12 or so years, Welsh is probably the sickest of the post-EMB SF dudes. He never switched. At the time he blew up, he came out of left field; I was at the banks the day he sw tre'd over the wall, and he didn't fuck around, I assure you. He certainly didn't sit on the section of the wall over the channel, smoking a blunt and critiquing everyone that tried shit across it. His parts in the Aesthetics video (I feel weird typing the title, for some reason) and Free Your Mind are what I would put in a time capsule to exemplify turn-of-the-century gorilla-on-ledgism. Plus the Aesthetics part, like an old Ternasky production, had a philosophy. What it was, I don't know. Truth be told, I often, to this day, find myself walking and talking like I am, in fact, at war.
One could also make an argument that he started the whole "combo" trick craze in 5ive (?) Flavors. Although, it never really caught on, or resurfaced, until The Storm. Come to think of it, I think Simon Woodstock, of all people, had a sequence in Slap of a ns shoveit ns, or some shit like that. This was when SLAP was still all "DIY."
So Welsh gets a one minute part. Again, perhaps Girl/Lakai dudes got the full parts or he was injured. He still has the market cornered on that "ollieing out of noseslides" thing. KF bs noseblunt the Pat Duffy ledge is nothing to sneeze at, either. Nor is the obligatory mind-numbing ender. Hopefully the lines will return in his next effort.


There are two types of people in this world: Those who first saw and heard Mr Olson's part in FF and said to themselves, "hey, King Diamond/Mercyful Fate, that's pretty cool" and those who said "what the shit, this is the worst song I've ever heard in my whole entire lifetime!" I fall into the former category. Truth be told, I once paid good money to see King Diamond/Mercyful Fate at L'Amour in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. If you ever get the chance to see the King or Mercyful Fate, whatever he's touring as this week, I highly recommend it--he sings into a microphone stand that is fabricated to look like an upside-down cross made of bones, and he can bust out some funny stage banter from time to time.
Anyway, the ridiculous thing about L'Amour, when it was located in Bay Ridge, is it was situated directly adjacent to this guido nightclub, the dance floor of which was visible through a one-way mirror in the rear bar area of L'Amour. I don't know if the nightclub was the same space as the famous 2001 from Saturday Night Fever, but that would have been rad. So all these metal dudes would leer at and oogle all these guido girls in those black pants that girls wear when they go out. Truth be told, I haven't "gone out" in so fucking long, I don't even know if you know what the fuck I'm referring to because girls might not even wear said style of pant anymore. I do know that, because this style of pant does not have pockets, sometimes girls would tuck a pack of Marl Lights into the waistband.
Oddly enough, I had never heard this particular King Diamond composition, even though I was actively listening to Mercyful Fate at the time. I think they even had the Voodoo cd at my college radio station. Everyone that hates or dislikes metal cites lyrics like those in this song as a reason--you know, "kill your mother," that kind of shit. However, with the editing being the way it is, this choice makes sense; I dig the beginning with the slow motion footage of the Chinese peasants synthesized with the acoustic intro. As far as skate vids go, Chinese peasants are the new mentally ill homeless persons.

I don’t know, everyon was saying “evolutionary Cardiel, evolutionary Stranger,” but upon viewing this part, he doesn’t exude the same, as Kelch would put it, out of control “Cardielness” as Cardiel does. There is some Stranger influence, though—the subtle aggression. Because you get a sense that this dude can do anything, yet he chooses to do shit that he does. Similarly, according to legend, Cardiel and Stranger can also do anything; they would apparently show up at the banks at 8 am drinking forties and murder shit. Cardiel allegedly sw frontside flipped over the wall.
That’s according to legend, though.

Best Trick: Fakie tre flip late 180 over the Hip of Doom.
Nice Miles Davis shirt. Who is him in the biopic? Don Cheadle? Should kill.


“I’m waiting til I’m 25 to start my killing spree.

Live a young youth, then KILL!”

-James Kelch

Remember when pros were cut at age 21? There was this kind of understanding that once you hit 25-30 it was time to get a real job, or a job in action sports retailing. Now—well you know what they say—“thirty is the new twenty.” Besides, what the fuck am I supposed to do—play racquetball like Carcetti from The Wire? Not to toot my own horn, but I am still halfway decent at tennis. However, I will only condescend to use my one to two hours of free time for TENNIS if my opponent is a young lady. IF you know what I mean.

Basically, I’m tripping the fuck out that there is a gentleman on the planet earth in his mid-thirties doing tre flip noseslides. To put that in perspective, the head coach (pictured above) of the Oakland Raiders is 31.
Fuck—now I feel old. Lane Kiffin must have been some kind of football coaching prodigy to get that job. You know, like the Sheckler of football coaches.
By the way, Al Davis is the best, isn’t he? He has to be in the top five Jews of all time, along with Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Sandy Koufax, and....I'm drawing a blank here. I know what you're thinking, but I'm not going to put Jesus on the list, that's too obvious. Maybe Ayn Rand? That list is up for debate. Anyway, how gleeful do you think the NY Times was to run that photograph? He looks like the witch from Snow White.

Pretty heavy preponderance of "flip out" in this one. Also, that fakie nose manual into a steep-as-fuck bank is underrated, as far as the whole video goes.


I was amped from the second I heard that opening riff:

Cause I’m riding—RIDING ON THE WIND!!!

Because that’s how you feel when you’re skating, you know? Like one is riding on the wind.
Definitely my favorite track off Screaming for Vengeance.

Remember that Kelly Bird graphic? I always wondered if Bird was actually a fan or if that was some semi-ironic move by Klindt or Thiebaud.

Anyway, this is the “get amped to skate” part. I was thinking, based on Carroll’s overall career, he might conceivably supplant Jason Lee in the all-time top five. I mean, consider the following…




Choc. Tour


Modus is, unquestionably, the apex of his career. Most skaters peak at around that age (23ish). I think it’s because you’re old enough to be super comfortable and adept at all the tricks that feel good to you personally, and still young enough to jump down shit and not have Old Man Style.
In addition, Carroll’s style kills because he does backside tricks 99% of the time, just like Jason Lee used too. Executing tricks backside will look better than frontside 99& of the time.

Dude Looks Like Dude moment: in the lifestyle shot right before the back tail heel out, Carroll appears to be morphing into this dude:

It's cool though.

Outside the street's on fire in a real death waltz
Between flesh and what's fantasy
and the poets down here don't write nothing at all, they just stand back and let it all be
And in the quick of the night they reach for their moment
And try to make an honest stand but they wind up wounded, not even dead
Tonight in Jungleland

Along the lines of my statements about Howard's part, I'm tripping the fuck out that dudes from Carroll's generation are still filming NBDs--I counted like four or five in this part alone. That's why I think dudes that came up skating in the nineties will be more amped on FF because all the super-elite heavy hitters from that era are still relevant, and the inspiration one derives from that carries over to all aspects of daily life--not just the act of skateboarding.
In addition, I know that "TY THAT EVANS CAN'T EDIT," but the edit of the lifestyle shot going into that line at the Car Wash, just as the last verse kicks in? I'm backing it, in addition to the sw heel over the rail edit. Along those lines, it's funny that in every single subculture, without fail, certain members of said subculture think that whatever is less popular or available is automatically superior. For example, dudes who are way into wrestling think Japanese wrestling is better and seek out Japanese wrestling videos religiously. I'm just sayin'...
One more thing: the line that opens with that ollie in front of Brooks Brothers (Patrick Bateman would be stoked) is the 2008 version of the line at this place:

For some reason, the rail loomed 400% bigger in the minds eye then than it does now. Maybe that's because I was skating curbs on a regular basis.


"It hit's you hard, bro!" QOTY.
In all seriousness, I am of the opinion that "energy drinks" serve as a gateway drug to coke. On a daily basis, I overhear my students saying shit like "Dude, I just drank 6 Monsters--I'm so friggin' wired!" Monster cans litter the parking lot like cans of Bud Lite outside a Buffalo Bills game. I'm telling you, you will see a piece about this on 60 Minutes in a year or two. The way it will go down is once they get to high school, someone is going to approach them on some "this is just like Monster but more intense." shit.

Who are the marketing wizards who came up with this one? I appreciate the honest approach, though--it's as if to say, "We know you are drinking our beverage to get high, and cocaine is illegal and expensive. So, here's the best we could do."
Based on my rudimentary internet research, I found out that it was banned in this country due to its controversial, edgy brand name. The real of masterstroke of beverage marketing genius, however, was that one of its selling points was a medicine-like aftertaste that, ostensibly, was supposed to simulate "the drip"(!!!)

Anyway, back to Biebel—I’m a fan. One could say that his image is ridiculous, or perhaps his style is robotic. That’s what people say when one is ridiculously good at something—He’s a goodamn robot. For example, if I may return to the guitar metaphor I utilized above, one can relate it to the old guitar argument of who is better—a player such as Gary Moore, who always seems to be on the verge of complete fuck-up yet always seems to pull off the most outrageous shit, or a gentleman such as John Petrucci, who can execute the most technical arpeggios with minimal effort.
I suppose the skating equivalent of the former would be James Craig, or Cardiel. Yeah, more like Cardiel. It seems crazy I suppose to compare Cardiel to James Craig, but maybe you see what I’m driving at here.
Anyway, is that a Randy Moss Vikings Jersey? Does that now qualify as a throwback? You know you’re getting old when you have jerseys in your closet that have achieved “throwback” status solely because they’re fucking old. Previously I claimed that Gillet owned switch heel variations; it would appear that Biebel owns nollie heel variations. Case in point: into nose manual @ 3 Up 3 Down. Looking into the camera is still a faux pas—that’s just my opinion, though. It appeared semi-serious. As for skating in sweatpants, they are comfortable--just don't fall. Suffice it to say, Osiris mesh cargo wind pants do not, either.
The main thing Biebel has going for him in terms of marketability, however, is that he always comes across like the realest pro out there—as in this interview. You would be hard-pressed to provide anyone with more useful advice than that which he provides at the end. It beats to hell my high school principal’s favorite saying:

If you always do what you always done, you’ll always get what you always got.

What if you keep doing what you’ve always done, but suddenly it’s just not good enough? Then what? What about kids that do nothing and get everything? One really needs to think this stuff though if one is going to utilize a catch phrase. Or get a new catch phrase.

ps. upon further reivew, the real QOTY occurred when Chris Rock was on Stern. Upon hearing that Stern was getting married again, Rock replied:

that's going to be pretty hard to beat.


While perusing my co-worker's banker's box of old mags, I found this photo of Mark Gonzalez doing a trick, on a pvc-coping rail in a contest in Ohio in 1988, that Koston does in his FF part.
Not in a line--single-trick.
Trip the fuck out. It's hard to overstate how ahead of his time that dude was. However, this might or might not change the position of my Gonz vs. Penny thesis, which is still in the formulation stages.
So, Koston--in a way, it speaks to the import of FF as a whole that Koston has the sleeper part. It kind of gets lost amongst all the crazy shit going on, gets overshadowed by the dudes who have extrapolated his influence into the next level shit. Also, perhaps his part is overshadowed by the impending reissue of the Koston 1. However, there are some bangers herein, such as:
a)non-illusion switch hard Sacramento triple set. That is the kind of futurism I would have expected in 2008. That is to say, if, in 1994 you had said to me "in 2007 Koston will switch hardflip a triple set," I would have believed you.
b)b/s lip to fully locked-in frontside bluntslide on the dark side of the ledge
c) two new extrapolations of Gino's part in Snuff -who knew that it would evolve into the most influential video part of 1994?
d)fakie 5/0 half-cab flip out of the middle of a round flatbar,

This metaphor might not work, but if Lakai is the 2007-08 Lakers, Koston is the new, understated Kobe, who is capable of blowing doors 99% of the time, yet mostly exists in the flow of the offense, opting to get teammates involved, because that way it's positive vibes all around.
Fuck, the Lakers look tough right about now.


How does one approach the task of conveying or even beginning to describe Mariano to an outsider?

One could take the asinine approach and say “MICHAEL JORDAN OF SKATING,” but that would be horrible, like “Mike Jordan of recordin.”—blech.

When I was trying to conceptualize an analogy on the SLAP board a couple months ago, the most effective one I could come up with was Brian Wilson—a reclusive super-genius from Southern California with a substance abuse problem. In addition, dudes like the dude from Spiritualized are continually inspired by his masterpiece (Pet Sounds/mouse) and constantly trying to equal it to no avail. Speaking of substance abuse problems, if you have not read the pro spotlight from last year, it functions as a companion piece to Guy’s part in FF – like the director’s commentary or some shit. One point, “Skateboarding is hard work,” that he raised reminded me of the the following quote from Atlas Shrugged:

“Productiveness is your acceptance of morality, your recognition of the fact that you choose to live–that productive work is the process by which man's consciousness controls his existence, a constant process of acquiring knowledge and shaping matter to fit one's purpose, of translating an idea into physical form, of remaking the earth in the image of one's values–that all work is creative work if done by a thinking mind, and no work is creative if done by a blank who repeats in uncritical stupor a routine he has learned from others–that your work is yours to choose, and the choice is as wide as your mind, that nothing more is possible to you and nothing less is human– that to cheat your way into a job bigger than your mind can handle is to become a fear-corroded ape on borrowed motions and borrowed time, and to settle down into a job that requires less than your mind's full capacity is to cut your motor and sentence yourself to another kind of motion: decay–that your work is the process of achieving your values, and to lose your ambition for values is to lose your ambition to live–that your body is a machine, but your mind is its driver, and you must drive as far as your mind will take you, with achievement as the goal of your road–that the man who has no purpose is a machine that coasts downhill at the mercy of any boulder to crash in the first chance ditch, that the man who stifles his mind is a stalled machine slowly going to rust…that your work is the purpose of your life, and you must speed past any killer who assumes the right to stop you, that any value you might find outside your work, any other loyalty or love, can be only travelers you choose to share your journey and must be travelers going on their own power in the same direction.”

In effect, this is what Guy is declaring by pushing a broom: He is working. This is his vocation. As for the “fake spot” debate, “authentic” street skating is often more visually appealing –case in point: anything filmed in NYC at night. Realistically, though, if there are no ledges in one’s city at which one can work hassle-free, filming hard-as-fuck NBD's is basically impossible. Also if “the berrics” is a fake spot, then the World park was a fake spot. Was it? Maybe “the berrics” is a more mature, more stylized version of the World park. I was discussing this with “menacetech” the other night—how dudes used to have whole parts of nothing but park and contest footage. Now, this is verboten. Remember all the footage from “Skate Night” in the first three or four New Deal videos? Fake spots – didn’t happen.

I’m not even going to attempt to deconstruct the skating going on here – there is an extremely thorough post covering that on the SLAP board from a couple months ago. The basic gist of it was that Guy skates self-referentially – meaning certain tricks in this part harken back to the past; for example the ollie over the spiked fence. More on a similar theory in the MJ section. For now, though, I will take a more holistic approach. The old Guy’s skating had an effortless, almost, and I mean this in the most complimentary sense possible, idiot savant­-like quality. Case in point: ender in Virtual friends section.

Now he cares. It’s cool to care. Case in point: Obama.

As far as the music goes, truth be told, before FF came out, I heard “Is There a Ghost” on Sirius 26 after my first visit with the therapist I’m seeing now, and thought it was a good enough song that I went home and downloaded it. One can interpret the meaning behind the two songs in any number of ways, but think about it like this: funeral…[death]…ghost…resurrection? As King Diamond will tell you, fucking ghosts are everywhere.

So, back to the task of attempting to relate the space Guy occupies to someone that doesn’t “get it,” for lack of a better line in the sand. One could say “best skater ever,” but they would automatically relate that in terms of contests (do they even have those anymore?), which is inaccurate. I could also reuse the guitar metaphor. That is especially apt, because in the realm of guitar, if one does not practice and skills deteriorate, then it gets depressing. Things that once were easy and routine become impossible. Then you say “fuck it” and give up ever re-attaining the level of technicality you once took for granted.

So, let’s say Jimi Hendrix never od’d, didn’t pick up a guitar from 1970 until 1976, and then crafted a more focused and badass Axis: Bold as Love. Or, to return to my first analogy, say Brian Wilson created another Pet Sounds in 1975. This leads to the inevitable question of:


The only other comeback I can think of where an artist came back after five or more years and was still relavant and extremely effective is (ugh) Jordan when he wore the 45. Then, however, the criteria for effective basketball remained the same. Guy had to, in effect, take his art to a higher level than where he was before.

I’m talking jock shit now, but suffice it to say that Guy doesn’t need to be a skartist because his skating is his art. You know, just like in that old “I am an artist! The streets are my canvas!” Jeff Klindt quote.


Hey it’s Marc Johnson—the thinking man’s pro skater!

Heh--it puts the lotion in the basket!! Funny inside joke. Girl/Choc is, without a doubt, the most interesting skateboard manufacturer. One of many reasons for this is their propensity for inside jokes. In addition, there is probably an inside joke hierarchy. For example, “yeah right” was an inside joke, as were “flare” and “fandangle.” Above that, there are probably some inside jokes that only team dudes know. Above that, there are probably inside jokes to which only Rick and Mike are privy. Then, maybe inside jokes that only Rick and Spike know. The highest level is, of course, inside jokes that exist solely in the mind of Howard.

Are you familiar with the work of Coheed and Cambria? They are similar to a chugga-chugga emo version of Rush, with some Thin Lizzy in there too. Their latest record is, in my opinion, ther finest work, because they add some hair metal Over The Top kinda shit. Anyway, they end every record with a twenty-minute, multi-section progressive opus. Indeed, one of the cornerstones of progressive rock, besides dueling keyboard/guitar solos in the Phrygian mode, is ending the record with a multi-section opus of at least 20 min. in length. That’s what this part is. Indeed, one could also conceptualize FF as a whole like one of those prog masterpieces in which your favorite song rotates every time you listen to it. And just like the prog opus, the sheer density of crazy shit going on is hard to digest at first; nothing really stands out in the mind’s eye. However, after repeated listening one begins to recognize the little riffs, drum fills and shit like that that fucking blow you away upon repeated listening:

1. f/s blunt bigspin flip out—I thought someone should have done this 10 years ago—just add some extra flare to a f/s blunt shove out. Didn’t Welsh do one off a curb or a super low ledge or some shit? This trick also cements Johnson’s status as the…

2. evolutionary Brian Lotti – due to his propensity for zany manual abd blunt variations and going backside 360.

3. nollie heel that street gap…scary –ALTHOUGH that dude in inhabitants (the next review) fakie tre’d it, b/s nollie heel is scarier, conceptually.

4. tre flip b/s 5--shit, the only other dude I remember doing this is Edward Devera on one of those red curbs in The Real Video.

4. numerous Dave Duren homages (b/s ollie tail to b/s flip out)

5. Henry Sanchez homage (5/0 to b/s 180 ng)

Indeed, Johnson alludes to the homages in this interview. You can probably deduce the rest of them yourself. However, like I mentioned before, Gino’s part in Snuff casts a long shadow over FF, as does the whole zeitgeist of 1991-1994. I'm not saying that was THE BEST TIME or whatever--it is what it is.

“We might be through with the past, but the past isn’t through with us."


hairfarmer said...

The Pops review was pretty spot on. I felt like some of the tech tricks detracted from the flow of his part though, specifically the b/s 180 flip fakie 5-0 180. Seemed a bit out of place to me. Also, no lines. Still my favorite part in the video besides Jesus.

Also, I disagree that Wenning stayed on the same path. I still like his skating, but to me his footage used to seem way rawer; it seems like he has undergone a so-cal/Dyrdek/Plan B/DC makeover - his skills are still there but he has become less interesting to watch.

butterface said...

are u serious?

Eeen! said...

I 100% agree with everything you said Dylan. Pappalardo's part was surely the one that inspired me to go skate the most. Don't have to fast forward through an intro, minimal slow mo, amazing song, short, sweet and bangin.

Wenning is getting real close to being on my totally boring list. Plan Bland man.

pulvenheimer said...

hahah Plan Bland

hairfarmer said...

If I had to break it down, I would say that Alex Olson seems like equal parts Julien and Tincan-era Ethan, with a little bit of Joel Price and mid-90's Ben Liversedge added to the stew. Or at least that is what he seemed like to me in his 'Gnar Gnar' section, which probably could be edited seamlessly into 'Ride On' or 'Damage' without anyone noticing. As much as I like his skating, I haven't really been able to get into his FF part, probably, like you said, because I can't stand the song.

I'm enjoying the review for sure though, can't wait until you decide to tackle MJ's section.

el-be-pee said...

j. lee over carroll?

i like your prose, but sometimes your personal opinions seem inferior to mine.

hurry up with the gonz v penny thesis then i can argue with you.

joking aside, nice work. hurry up and finish then i know what say on skate message boards

** said...

gonz v penny thesis
thanks for reading!
Actually, I have a new wrinkle, to be revealed in the Koston section, to the Gonz vs Penny thesis that will blow doors.


smorales said...

I'm on the edge of my seat.

Watson said...

Scott Johnston's first pro model
Holidy 2001, Spring 2002, Summer 2002.

Yeah so my opinion on Fully Flared is that it's shit. Over-edited, over-slow motioned, over bad-musiced. The skating is some of the most groundbreaking that's ever been filmed, but I also am not feeling all these ledge dances. I mean I thought noseslide to nosegrinds died with EMB? Anyway, I still watch the video often because there is some insanely good shit in there, but I definitely would have enjoyed it more if Aaron Meza had edited it with good music a la Penal Code 100A. I mean whatever happened to Girl videos using some dope-ass old soul and funk and shit like in Mouse and Goldfish? I always thought that was like their image, you know?

Anyway, I think it's a shame that what could have been one of the best videos ever was totally ruined by over editing and horrible music. Inhabitants was a much better video. Actually I could probably name like 5 videos that came out in 2007 that are better, despite the level of skating in Fully Flared.

Mariano should have had last section.

** said...

Scott Johnston's first pro model
Holidy 2001, Spring 2002, Summer 2002.

hey thanks...forgot about that resource. it's almost exactly like an aries...

I mean whatever happened to Girl videos using some dope-ass old soul and funk and shit like in Mouse and Goldfish? I always thought that was like their image, you know?

I think the deal is that, because of "the internet," videos don't exist in a vacuum anymore. That is to say, you can't just be like "oh, I think I'll use this song from 'Sgt. Peppers'" and Michael Jackson, or whoever owns the publishing on that, will never know. One has to obtain rights, which involves lawyers and contracts. If the Music Supervisor (is there a better job than skate video music supervisor?) can't get in contact with an artist, I presume it would be a bad decision to utilize said artist's intellectual property without consent.
That being said, music is so personal and subjective anyway. Also, every video uses the "oldies" music formula now anyway, even TURF...

Mariano should have had last section.

I agree.

Skate Nazi said...

Good shit, real good shit.
Stoked that you are on some Bill Simmons shit and that you're also referencing shit like The Wire and metal! Very nicely written and yes I read the whole thing. Sick.

** said...

I'm psyched that someone picked up on the Bill Simmons reference--that made my day, actually.

j said...

Wow great review. Looking forward to the next thesis!

Say, am looking to teach "The Outsiders" next term. Any resources you might be willing to share?

** said...


i have some pretty generic Powerpoint slides about elements of fiction stuff that I could email you.

Anonymous said...

you people need to get out more, or maybe i do as i'm writing this comment, but jesus, don't you feel like a turd?

** said...

nope...it took me about two months to write the whole thing. I only work on this shit like 1/2 hr a day, if that.

j said...

Dude, I think that was pretty spot on so fuck the haters. Say, I am still interested in those "Outsiders" resources if you are willing to indeed share.