Well, look at what we just found. The OG Jon just found some old ass footage he shot from the long gone Frontside Skate Park, and it features several of the homies and unfortunately a few that are no longer with us. Stay tuned because there is also a heavy Progressive Skate Park video we have we will drop next week. Good times!
Skateboarding and art have always had a symbiotic relationship. Ever since the first graphics were screen printed on the bottoms of skate decks, art has been used to communicate ideals, encrypt messages, and differentiate between sub sections of skate culture. Art and skateboarding both draw inspiration from the streets. Both feed off of angst. And, are both the result of channeling something super personal into a creative outlet.
In keeping with the art/skateboarding love affair, Ambush Skateboarding partnered with ABV Gallery to create a night-cap art show opening on Go Skateboarding Day titled Decked Out. The goal was to gather 30 artists from Atlanta, as well as nationally and internationally recognized creators, to produce one-of-a-kind, hand-painted decks to commemorate the relationship between art and skateboarding on skateboarding’s international day of observance.
If you are anything like me by the time Sunday afternoon rolls around you are already planning out your week. While the thought of grabbing your lunch pail and heading out the door Monday morning is a drag, you’ve at least got a grip on reality and you are readying yourself for the workweek. Part of my Sunday ritual is checking out The Nine Club’s Instagram account in the late afternoon to see what guest they’ll be hosting Monday morning. Chris Roberts and the gang have been bringing us these amazing episodes every Monday morning without fail since January of 2016. I certainly don’t speak for every desk jockey but their show definitely brightens every working skateboarder’s morning.
Seemingly the popularity of skateboarding has started to grow again and it’s now reaching newer participants and groups that it never did before. Overall this is a great thing. However, with newcomers reaching a critical mass, it is becoming apparent that many are not aware of the “unwritten rules” of skateboarding. While it may not seem like a big deal to some, some of these infractions can ruin what we’ve been doing for years. These “unwritten rules” use to help regulate a pretty esoteric activity, but now that skateboarding is more or less mainstream it may be time to consider codifying and enforcing the rules. Or, at least have a mature discussion about them.
It’s now early 2019 and like everyone we have a lot to look forward to in the coming year. Everyone is busy making plans and attempting to execute them. Generally, the first step in every year should be to take down your holiday decorations because you don’t want to be that neighbor. Good neighbors are there to lend a helping hand and help keep you in check. Neighbors build up communities and we should all strive to be good neighbors. While thinking about community I started thinking about the Southeast and our skateboard neighborhood, not necessarily Georgia, but the surrounding scenes. What videos or shops inspired me to want to be better, or at least got me excited to go skate. Here’s what I came up with:
“Do not underestimate the ‘power of underestimation’. They can’t stop you, if they don’t see you coming.”Izey Victoria Odiase
Greyson Beal has always been on the outside looking in. People question his street cred, doubt his “core” bona fides, and generally dismiss his skateboarding as “too contesty”. Greyson is an undeniably talented skateboarder, but why is he always looked at with a sort of side-eyed suspicion? Why are people so quick to write him off? Well, maybe that’s right where he wants to be? Maybe that’s his plan? Maybe we’re all playing checkers while he’s playing chess?
“Only a fool would underestimate a man with nothing to lose.”
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Daily Bread x RJD2 October 6th, 2018
This past Saturday a few of us headed to see our good friend and dope as hell music monster Rhett Whatley (aka Daily Bread) open up for none other than RJD2 at The Variety Playhouse. Talking with Rhett leading up to the show he told us he would dial in some all-access passes if we came out for a damn good time. So you best believe we did.
Myself, John (ABC Buyer) and the other Jon (OG ABC) headed out to arrive for soundcheck around 6:30 or so and seeing Rhett’s name on the marquee upon arrival was dope as hell. I mean…RJD2 and Daily Bread? Variety has gone under some renovation in recent years…and it’s much more open of a venue now and the front bar is open on all sides. We walked down to the stage and see Rhett and we take the tour backstage to the green room and proceed to catch up like old times. It’s soundcheck time by now and we post up in the empty theater and listen to RJD2 iron out some tunes and then Rhett and Obeah. WE. ARE. STOKED. at this point.
Before I get ahead of myself I must admit that my trusty old Nikon D3 w/ 50 mm was my weapon of choice for the night. I’ve shot hundreds of shows over the past 15+ years with it…and after a bit I noticed my autofocus was shot. Like…maybe the camera got dropped a few weeks ago, but…anyway…I did the best with what I had. Just like going into battle – use your weapon to the best of your ability.
With showtime quickly approaching and bodies piling in, the vibe was instantly set when Rhett dropped his new joint “Atlanta” featuring Sugar Tongue Slim.
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Electric. Vibes were now at an all-time high. John and Jon were posted up at the back bar with a bird’s-eye view and arguably where the best sound was (sound guy was just under them) and I was floating through the crowd, backstage, side stage…where ever really. I wanted to just capture the evening as best I could. I was really overjoyed/overwhelmed for Rhett and all that he has been doing up to this point. I definitely think his Red Rocks Show with Pretty Lights was a record high, but for me being a big RJD2 fan, this was my highlight for him and almost any show I’ve ever been to.
Daily Bread x Obeah absolutely crushed it. They had so many killer moments in their relatively short 45-minute set. Obeah is a knockout on the mic and on the turntables, and Sugar Tongue Slim killed it.
So my RJD2 story is a pretty quick one from that night. After the homies played there was a 10-15 minute interlude were we all caught up and congratulated him on this show and then I quickly went backstage, as I wanted to see RJD2 get ready to do the damn thing. As I was standing where the artists walk up the stage this crazy ass creature comes running up the stairs and it freaked me the hell out. I couldn’t grab my camera fast enough.
I snapped this blurry image at the same time the creature says to me, “You ready to fucking do this!” Just me and RJ (we’re obviously boys now). He creeps up the stairs just behind the curtain and yells back at me, “Tell them I ready now. It’s fucking showtime!” Like a more handsome version of CJ Parker running down the beach I sprinted to the sound guy and yelled, “HE IS READY!” Hauled ass to backstage and proceed to watch a master at his craft for a few jams then met back up with the crew to watch the show.
It was one for the books. We, of course, went out and bar hopped and talked about the show all night over several beverages, met new friends, and spread the gospel of Daily Bread, just some kid I gave a record player to 10 years ago. Who could have known…
A Photo Gallery of the Night:
Of course, fads like these are not exclusive to skateboarding. Look at the mannequin challenge, dance challenges (#inmyfeelingschallenge), or the infamous Tide PODS challenge. People love to film themselves doing stupid stuff. It’s like the apps were designed just for it.
Back in the day, we had to wait for latest Big Brother video, CKY, or episode of Jackass for inspiration. Afterwards we’d grab our parents’ camcorder, replicate, and that was about the extent of it. We never had any intentions on something being “viral” because it didn’t exist!
Without fail, every year “Go Skateboarding Day” sneaks up on us. Could you blame us? It always seems as though the day just passed. Why shouldn’t we get deja vu since we consider every day “Go Skateboarding Day.” Truthfully, nothing outside the ordinary happens on June, 21st. Sure, there are a few special events, some sanctioned by the governing board of the International Association of Skateboard Companies, and other events that aren’t trademarked. Regardless, to me the day always tends to feel about the same wherever it’s observed. That’s because, at its core, “Go Skateboarding Day” is just another day revolving around kicking it with friends both new and old and celebrating the ever continuous joy of riding a useless wooden toy. The spirit of the day is truly infectious. Although, with all due respect, if the freestyler brainiacs that make up the IASC (in all their infinite wisdom) could pick a shorter day next time around, maybe, my sunburn won’t be so bad.
This year after weighing our options, we decided to keep it simple. “Don’t overthink it, let’s pack up the van with boards, water, Gatorade, and hit the road,” I said. “It’ll be sick because we’ll grab doughnuts and pizza too! Everyone’s hungry, right?” However, as our impromptu “Go Skateboarding Day” progressed, pizza seemed far from mind and, in retrospect, maybe the missing puzzle piece was the missing pizza slice? Next year, I swear we’ll make pizza a mandatory. That…and maybe beer. Like you, I’ll keep my fingers crossed too.