1.27.2012

#747: american metaphysical circus













"Mike’s always been Mike. You gotta give him credit. He’s always been into his own thing and he’s always been on his own. He’s really driven, dedicated and stubborn… in a good way." -Dune

Never Forget.

Golden-era interview from Poweredge, 1989... amongst other goodies.

...and I'm putting this here for posterity's sake as I feel this board really needs to be brought into the conversation much more often.

43 comments:

wech said...

what a sullied legacy.

and i had a double-tale. skated it forever.

r. dahl said...

shit what can you say? gonz and natas backed him... i thought he ruled... then high school journal poetry. too bad.

Anonymous said...

When I was a kid I was so into mike V I actually was bummed I skated goofy instead of regs. That top photo of him in the army pants sums up the mike v I idolized. He was on his own trip then, on his own trip now.

Brendan said...

That would be the Vision double kick mold that Rocco bribed a guy with $4000 to take.
Too funny.
A big part of Vision's downfall,right there.
That Barnyard deck looks so silly with rails and..uh..Trackers.

One thing with Mike V-He's always been Mike V,if ya know what I mean.

channelzeroprose said...

'...and I'm putting this here for posterity's sake as I feel this board really needs to be brought into the conversation much more often.'

Fact.

Coals to Newcastle said...

"I've stayed with Mark Gonzales, Natas, and Jason Lee."

Not bad lodgings.

Anonymous said...

The metallica of pros.

Jeff Turner said...

I always have to shake my head when Rocco gets credit for the first double kick. The Vision double kick was out months before the barnyard. I remember because my best friend got the Vision double kick and got super pissed when 2 months later the barnyard came out, and he would have rather had the Vallely board. i think I was still riding around on my Fred Smith III back then.

Jeff Turner said...

LOL, just noticed the Tracker fanny pack on the g-turn photo. Geeze wtf were we thinking back then.

stephen said...

limpies and a fanny pack... the epitome of comfort. haha. i kinda miss those days. yeah the vision double kick... that was balsy, but innovative for sure. i wonder if they sold well. i remember thinking it'd be too heavy/bulky at the time but i was kinda interested. another vision deck that i did love and skate a bunch of was that gonz deck with 2 different wheelbases (double drilled front truck holes). it was the first board i really remember having a huge nose that you could skate, albeit it wasn't a double kick.

Barry Barry said...

Mike V,the original douche bag,most definately one of the biggest hypocrites in skateboarding,used to rate him pre 90's then there was too many temper tantrums and boneless ones

Keith said...

Rocking the fanny pack whilst g-turning. dang. G-turns, in general, are still amazing.

Also what appears to be zero two shoes in that night ollie photo

Interesting line at the end of the interview: "I think street wise... the amateurs are better. ... And the ams are coming with all the new tricks, not the pros." This is also reflected in the Guy Mariano Epicly Laterd, where he mentions that Powell held out a lot of good footage from the LA guys shared Ban This part, most likely in order to not make the pros look bad.

That power edge cover is a great shot.

That Speed Freaks part, imo, was his peak. Such a great part, great song.

The vision double tail might have been the first one but it wasn't functional at the time. Heavy and clunky. The Barnyard was more trimmed down and useable. The Rocco story about stealing the mold is beyond awesome.

It looks like he's re-releasing the barnyard shape with an updated graphic.

Skately said...

Remember taking a 40 minute bus ride as a kid just to look at his first Powell deck. Always try to remember those days whenever I get bummed on his poetry, wrestling, etc.

Anonymous said...

Wow all this shit talking.....would any of you guys say this stuff to him in person?? O the beauty of the internet, its like talking shit from a car to someone on the street

World Industries said...

World Barnyard reissue out in March. Mike V. signed on to make this a legit reissue. Like all the other World reissues. Dune, Jesse Martinez, Kareem Campbell, Randy Colvin.
http://www.worldindustries.com/index.php?id=4326

Daniel said...

I wasn't skating back then, but I've never heard of the Vision V-6 (and that story of Rocco stealing the mold doesn't shock me). Everything I've learned about the development of the double kick is all Vallely Barnyard. Anybody else have any more info about this stuff? It'd be rad to learn some more about it! Thanks!

Ronnie said...

Of all the things skate-related in one's past that someone could regret or be embarrassed/ashamed about, riding Trackers is by far the worst(even though they had some rad guys on their team in the 80's, still doesn't matter).

Leiv said...

“Wow all this shit talking.....would any of you guys say this stuff to him in person?? O the beauty of the internet, its like talking shit from a car to someone on the street”
Says the guy who comments anonymously.

I spent hours in the basement as a kid watching Public Domain over and over again. I thought Mike V was the shit. I saw less of him in the 90’s but then he had a profile in 411 in 95-96. That was really the first time I got to see him as a person and I liked him all that much more. He seemed mellow and level headed. I don’t know what happened but after that he turned into some kind of meathead egomaniac, who portrays himself as some sort of misunderstood victim of the skateboard industry. I’m tired of his sanctimonious bullshit. It bums me out to him today.

Anonymous said...

Tracker had good riders and sold a ton of trucks. There are/were definitely worse and more embarrassing sponsors than Tracker.

That doesn't mitigate the fanny pack, though.w

Bif said...

Mike V is one of the nicest dudes I've ever met and it always shocks me that people have such negative things to say about him.
I've been a fan of Mike's since I started Skating back in the late 80's (I was 4 of 5 when I started). I followed his career in the mags and in videos, but I never got to see him skate in person until 2005 on his "Man Vs. Skatepark Tour". My ride to the Demo canceled the day before the Demo. I made arrangements for another friend to take me, only to have him cancel on me 30 minutes before the Demo started. I was fucked. The only way I could get to the demo was to drive myself there in my power Wheelchair (I'm not kidding)! It was a six mile "drive" that took my two hours. I made it to KC Indoor in time to see Mike land one trick, but I made it and I could still have a chance to meet him at the signing that took place after the Demo. Now here is why I think Mike V is an great guy... When it's my turn to get my poster signed, I tell Mike about the crazy ordeal I went through to get there, how I only saw him land one trick and how cool it was to meet him after 15+ years of fandom. He ask me to wait for him after the signing and he'd skate a little bit for me. It was amazing. He signed an autograph for every kid, then talked with a group of kids for an hour after that and just when I think he's forgotten about me he says "Hey Bif, let's go to the park". We roll into the park and he skates for another hour and a half. I was I shock that he was so cool. After his "second Demo" he spends an hour+ talking with me and the other kids. When things are winding down and Mike and Co. are about to leave, Mike realizes I'm the only other person still there. My Wheelchair doesn't have enough power to get me home. My Mom's Boyfriend was suppose to pick me up, but he's way late and I think I'm stranded. Mike V stays and waits with me. He tells me not to stress and that he'll take me home, it my ride doesn't show up in the next 30 minutes. My Mom's Boyfriend eventually shows up, but forgot the ramp to get the chair in the Van. Now I have a way home, but no way to get my Wheelchair home. I'm already thinking about asking to leave it in the Office at KC Indoor and how that would work when Mike says "Can't we just lift it in?". I was stunned, I didn't want to impose by asking them to help in that way. Next thing I know, I'm in the front passenger seat of the Van and Mike V, Mike's Assistant and Levi Brown are lifting up my 300+lbs Wheelchair and putting it in the back of the Van and instead of leaving right away (like I thought they would), Mike and Co. stand next to the Van and we have another in depth talk about all things Skateboard related. It was surreal. The only thing that would have made it better is if I could have skated.

Anyway... I always think about that Night when I hear people talk shit on Mike. He isn't a Meathead. Would a Meathead go above and beyond like Mike did in my story? I doubt it. Most Skaters take one look at me and right me of as a poser or some dork who saw Street League an ESPN, liked it and next week will be onto the next fad. Mike didn't do that. He just saw me as a Skater.

I'm sorry about this novel of a comment. I just wanted to share another side of Mike V that most may not know about.

H.M.C said...

fuck world industries and trying to make up for selling out by putting out the reissues....when your shit boards are sold in big 5 you sold out..no person in their right mind would be caught dead riding one of those china made boards...

mdspb said...

Chops- can you please tell me what issue (1986, yes?)of TWS the "Mike v gymnastics" photo is from? First mag I ever saw; been trying to find it for years (thanks so much for running it!)

iSapien 1956672 said...

the thing with the double vision is that they had two sizes, if you got the regular size the "nose" would hit you in the ankle when you ollied due to it basically being a full-sized tail. Way ahead of its time. Also Valley, I never understood that Stale-i-hana thing, I would stare at that for hours, just thinking. That Poweredge was one of my fave issues.

Anonymous said...

rad story bif. i don't think mike v is all that bad either. i'm sure he means well, and i loved his skating/style back in the late 80's/early 90's for sure. i've actually met him a few times over the years too and he's always been cool. i do think he suffers from some type of clinically recognized 'personality disorder' though... probably from Cluster B of the DSM-IV (dramatic, emotional or erratic disorders). maybe 'antisocial personality disorder' or 'borderline personality disorder'... or at the very least 'intermittent explosive disorder'.

D. Philips said...

Some rad riders, Ronnie? Blender -- without whom this site wouldn't have the name it does -- rode Trackers. Hating on a truck company is so stupid anyway, almost as stupid as blind adulation of a truck company. (The irony of the name "Independent" just hit me.)

Another stupid waste of time? knocking someone who loves skateboarding as much as Mike V clearly does. With Mike V, you get the sense there are hundreds of great stories like Bif's -- stoked kids for whom Mike V generously made some time.

Only the real palookas would knock him for writing poetry, good or bad. And how would you know good from bad poetry? What, you prefer sestinas over free verse?

tictac said...

I think I have finally run out of my hatred of the guy. I have an image of him from my youth and I didn't want that to change. I have gone through quite a few changes in my life also, but it wasn't made public for everyone to see and comment on. I have done some pretty kooky and stupid shit in my 38 years on this planet. I think it's time to lighten up on the guy. He is still skating and skating well too. Think of all the other pros that have come and gone throughout the years. You truly have to be extremely tough mentally and physical to stay in this industry. Also, I love this blog more than anything other site on the net. Take care

Anonymous said...

great story bif, thanks for sharing

. said...

A meathead vegan, so weird. I haven't had time for him since Rubbish Heap. Anyway, @world industries, fuck your reissues. The Randy doesn't even have felt on it?! Even C&D managed a better version that you.
Stick to what you are good at, aka Wet Willy bullsh.
World died when Mike Crum got on.

Bansaipipeline said...

Never knew about the Vision board. That's intense. I'd always attributed double kick to World.

Did freestyle boards have any kind of nose kick?

I'd always figured the Barnyard was just Rocco enlarging the freestyle board.

Who gets to lay claim for the race to the bottom regarding wheel size?

Keith said...

^ I think Toxic was #1 to the smallest wheels.

chops said...

Sorry guys, this happens every time I do a Vallely post. I can't think of another person in skateboarding that consistenly yields such a response.

and I'd like to thank Bif for the amazing story.

mdspb: that is tws photo annual #2

and just for the sake of argument: while tracker trucks were always shitty (even though i ran them for a brief period), they did have a pretty sick team back in the day: Gonz, Blender, Hawk, Vallely, Jeff Phillips, Sal Barbier... just off the top of my head.

and World Industries, i'm usually not this blunt but you should definitely send me some shit... just because. why not?

(i'm so persuasive)

stephen said...

I liked mike crum :(

Thanks bif.. Nice read

My word verification is 'retruc'

Hahaha

Whatever, I rode tracker six trac ultralights for most of the late 80's and loved them. Of course I was prolly busy doing sadplants in a streetplant circle at the time

mdspb said...

Thank you so much Chops! You rule.

Ronnie said...

D. Philips-"Blender -- without whom this site wouldn't have the name it does -- rode Trackers."

No shit Sherlock, I'm well aware Neil Blender rode Trackers. As I said in my original post I could care less who rode for them, having a good team is not going to magically make a lousy product better. Not sure about you, but I like it when I'm able to turn on my skateboard, and Trackers didn't/don't turn. Props to those who still managed to rip on them though I suppose. Regarding who manufactured the smallest wheels, I'm also pretty sure Toxic "wins". They were called "T-zers" if I'm not mistaken, 39mm.

Anonymous said...

His Public Domain part is one of my favorites. Loving those new graphics for Elephant Brand Skateboards.

~Barney

D. Philips said...

So Watson, I mean Ronald, Blender should be embarrassed that he rode Trackers? That was implied by your first comment.

I rode Trackers and Gullwings. Didn't matter if they turned, we were riding vert in those days. My trucks were so tight they wouldn't have turned if I'd wanted them to.

Ronnie said...

I'm not one to speak for anyone, but I certainly wouldn't blame Blender or anyone else for feeling embarrassed for riding Trackers. You know though, I was skating vert(and everything else)in "those days" too, but had absolutely no idea people were cranking down their trucks super-tight when riding vert, thanks for cluing me in!!!

Anonymous said...

Per Welinder had an early double tail as well circa 1990.

http://media.photobucket.com/image/per%20welinder/Dgr8destroyer/old%20pics/powell1.jpg

http://www.vaskateboards.com/Boards/Powell%20Peralta%20-%20Per%20Welinder%20-%20Nordic%20Sperm.jpg

Leiv said...

I remember New School made an orange colored 38mm wheels back in the day that were called “Little Caesars”. Smallest wheel I know of.

Anonymous said...

The vision double kick came out around the same time. I remember testing it out and it had too much concave, too steep of a nose and tail. We all wanted boards with little concave and shallow tails. Nobody wanted the vision shape -I wouldn't give too much credit to the image around the board -for us midwest kids -if the shape sucked -it sucked. World would hook us small town midwest kids up too! A few years later the image would play a role but all street boards had a more standard shape to them. -old dude

Anonymous said...

small wheel was probably World Ind. around 1991 when product shit got crazy. They had a wheel with some one off name like pig bait that was I think 36 or 38. Dudes with cash would buy them to feel like ballers. It almost looked like a little ball. New Deal had some small shits too.

Anonymous said...

Trackers are sick ... Vallely is king . Great story bif and epic post ... Now let's skate! :)

Keith Mcintyre said...

There was times when I rode one Gullwing on the back and a Tracker Ultralight on the front, just cuz that's what i was ablr to get a hold of.