chrome ball incident #141: paid in full

If one sits back and starts to think about everything this dude has had a part in (and continues to have an influence upon) in not only the skate world but pop culture in general, it's pretty amazing actually.

pretty stoked on this steve rocco interview from 1988: the (relative) calm before the storm.

this catches steve as he just got on Santa Monica Airlines after getting the boot from Brad Dorfman and Sims. Broke and living on Natas's floor... 3 years later, he'd be a millionaire and have the skateboard industry by the balls.

"Mike Vallely. First of all, I'd like to apologize to Stacey Peralta. No harm done. Sorry. Hey look, babe, we were just trying to make friends with the guy. We weren't trying to steal him from you."

Its fun to look back. Yes, my man is rocking a bert in the centerfold... and yes, that was actually considered a trick back then. Oh, simpler times. To put it in perspective, this article came out around 2 years before Mike Mo was born. The tricks in the sequences (prehistoric by today's standards) are without captions because street skating was so new at this time, I'm not sure if Transworld knew what to call them.

And just how sick is that "Search for Gonz" shirt...


Keith said...

wow... it's been a longtime since I first read that interview. Rolling with Mullen, Gonz, Natas and Vallely in those days, something groundbreaking was bound to happen.

Anonymous said...

I hate Rocco! Well that's what it said on the old skool SMA t shirt at least.

chops said...

yeah keith, that's essentially the foundation of street skating right there. the blueprint. rocco was just the right guy with the right people at the right time.... and nuts enough to try take on the big boys. but if you chip away at the team, the company will fall... a lesson that would later catch up to him to big time.

what an amazing time that must've been, that whole crew skating together. throw in some young j lee, too... insane.

didn't lucero come up with "i hate rocco" first due to rocco's bootlegging lucero's boards... or was the slogan purely a rocco invention. regardless, steve ran with it and it fucking rules.

Anonymous said...

You summed it up chops "...the right guy with the right people at the right time...".

Anonymous said...

I love how this site digs deep and doesn't focus on the "it" skaters of the moment. It's like a great history lesson... we could all learn some things from keeping skateboarding's history in mind. Plus, I still love doing berts and laybacks.

Anonymous said...

I remember thinking that powerslide sequence (half-cab style) was pretty funny to put in an interview. Even back then. But those stall tricks on the bench were somewhat next-level.

And I think most people skating at the time knew Powell's days were numbered (especially after a small upstart with a former rollerskater snatched up Danny Way).

Anonymous said...

I remember this article being pre-Public Domain, thus before Danny Way left. Powell was still the shit at this point.

chops said...

thanks fellas.

what's up austin, yeah this interview is definitely post-chin, pre-public domain when powell was probably at their most popular. not sure if vallely was even pro yet. could've been cracks at this point, but i was so young at this point that i would've never noticed them.

I'm not even sure if Way was on Powell at this point yet and if he was, he was just starting to build a name for himself... I seem to remember seeing a photo of him skating a G&S Blender around this time.

wasn't way's big break when he beat tony hawk at skate with that madollie move he used to do? wasn't this right before he went to h-street, post-public domain because way's shackle me not song is considered by some a hawk diss.

(can't believe i remember all this... but i have been going through the magazines of this era a lot lately).

Keith said...

So what issue was this interview from? month and year?

Public Domain
then Shackle me Not

Speed Freaks
then Rubbish Heap

Hokus Pokus was in 89 as well... can't remember exactly if it was before or after Speed Freaks.

chops said...

the steve rocco article ran in feb 88 transworld back when it was bi-monthly.

I remember it like this...
Chin came out in summer of 87.
Public Domain came out in the early fall of 88 followed shortly by Shackle Me Not (late '88).

Nobody was leaving powell between chin and public domain... except for jess the mess (who got kicked off). That was their golden era and you had to be nuts to leave. chin was classic and public domain was gravy too. powell was pretty much bulletproof at this point.

I remember Hokus Pokus coming out in late winter/early spring of '90 (march-ish, i think). And I know that Rubbish Heap didn't come out til that summer ('90).

I think Way leaving was a blow but i think the problem for powell specifally was shackle me not in general... that's when i started to see problems for that empire. that video highlighted the swing towards street and low-bugdet videos, not those ridiculous stacey peralta cheeseball film affairs and the vert rockstar dudes. H-Street came out of nowhere and killed public domain with a cheap-ass video full of dudes that most had never heard of before, with equal emphasis on vert AND street. And Hensley became a star overnight, virtually slaughtering the Rubber Boys (Powell's big push at the time). I think Mullen and Vallely leaving in late '89 was when it became obvious that times were changing for georgie.

all this is open to interpretation though.

Page Mill forever.

Beancan said...

I just felt the need to throw this into the mix:
I still have the issue of Homeboy with the Rocco right after World started too. I can scan it if anyone wants it.

chops said...

holy shit, beancan. you stole the show with that one. haha... i think thats the ad jesse makes fun of in man who souled the world.

sorry guys if i was kinda rambling in that last response, i think being bored at work got the best of me.

Keith said...

I just saw beancan's ad at robbrink just today. Vallely bailed pretty close to after he turned pro cuz I remember kids riding both Powell and World elephant boards and the shops had stock of both. Everyone thought the Powell elephant was finished but the shops were still getting them in months after the World one was out. The progression of skating from Shackle to Virtual Reality was straight up crazy.

pizzy said...

I'll always remember watching shackle me not for the first time. I didn't think it was going to be that good because I didn't really like tony mag. That video instantly became what we watched before skating over public domain.

"he doesn't know whats up, cracked his head on a frontside"

chops said...

for real, pizzy. i remember the first time i picked up shackle me not... i thought it was gonna be a joke. i remember thinking "who the hell are these dudes? this is gonna suck!" then i got home and as soon as hensley started out down that sidewalk, it was over.

my friends and i were in disbelief just how amazing that shit was. and just like that, powell was done for us. public domain was too slick and overproduced-almost alien in a way... shackle me not felt like kids we knew, with no gimmicks involved... it felt real.

easily one of the most influential videos of all time... and to think that all of those household names could just come out of nowhere like that. unbelievable.

Golden Eskimo said...

Transworld was way ahead of itself, and came out every other month. The February issue came out around November and had photos taken in late summer. I remember reading the Rocco interview before 1988 started.
" I didn't even know Sims dropped me. I found out from some kids on the street."
Photos may have been taken at the oceanfront in Solana Beach but I could be wrong.

Anonymous said...

damn this site is the truth! this article was in the first transworld i ever owned. i always think about it when i hear mention or rocco. truly the calm before the storm.