chrome ball incident #418: pigs and pitchforks

confusion in the marketplace

Rocco vs. Powell

Rocco vs. Larry Balma (TWS, Blockhead, A1 Meats, etc.).

What started as beef with Vallely over leaving New Deal spills over to Balma... ending with the creation of Big Brother, Rick Howard for Plan B, and no World ads in Transworld for several years.

Rocco vs. Foundation

Swank tries to use Rocco's own techniques against the now-established industry leader by allegedly bootlegging world boards (?) while openly-mocking world in foundation ads

Foundation pays for a Mulder ad in Big Brother #5, Rocco takes Mulder and their ad money and runs his own ad boasting about his latest aquisition in the very same magazine.
the Super Co. raises the white flag.

A friend of mine once told me that he only looked up to two people on this planet: his Dad and Steve Rocco. And I can hardly blame him. Looking back on Rocco's rise to power (for better or worse), dude was nothing short of amazing.

Anybody that skated in the early-90's knows that Steve ran the industry with an incredulous smirk and an iron fist... it's hard to relate to younger kids that for several years, this dude WAS skateboarding and his influence is still very strongly-felt 20 years later.

I miss the days when the skate industry had that pro-wrestling flavor to it with companies battling in ads and graphics.

And Rocco always won... until one day when he didn't.

I have a question though... Rickoo wasn't in the orginially-announced list of 10 options for Plan B. Was he always gonna be part of the plan and just remained unannounced as a suprise-type thing or did the Balma beef give Rocco greater motivation to steal Rick? Rocco must've had serious interest in Howard already after his amazing Adventures in Cheese part a few months earlier... Anybody know why he wasn't listed in that initial ad?

Larger post than usual tonight because I got caught up trying to decide between some of Rocco's finer moments and decided to just run all of them.

Thanks for the support everyone.


cheaps said...

Ya gotta admire his style! (not talking about his skating).

Drew said...

Weird, I was just watching his documentary earlier tonight.

Anonymous said...

They wanted Rick because he was good. I guess the Kanten Russell thing fell through too.

chops said...

Yeah, undoubtedly Rick was the man following the Cheese video especially (splendid eye was also real good)... I always just wondered why he wasn't in that original 10?

sprntrl said...

amazing post. my week is off to a great start

Seaver said...

Awesome stuff as always. This was right around the time I was getting into skating. Thanks for making my crappy Monday better.

ps: I can't click on the 3rd pick?

Keith said...

I'm 99% sure Rick Howard was added to the 2nd ad (5 of 11) because one of the original five, can't remember who, backed out. I was in SF after the 1st ad was released but before the 2nd ad came out and was around several ams and pros and a lot of people knew the five already.

Is Tod Swank calling Richard Mulder a lying, snivelling piece of shit? Seems weird cuz Richard Mulder seems like such a nice guy.

I'd say 95% of the boards I rode from 91-95 were World/Blind/101/Plan B boards.

dedleg said...

Been a while since I've dug into this can of worms. Such an interesting time in skateboarding... while it's all a bit silly, you kind of miss it compared to today's sterile corporate company relationships.

jason from oz said...

The greatest era of skateboarding. Sorry I haven't been commenting lately, had a bit of a hiatus.

chops said...

thanks guys.

seaver, that one should be fixed now.

keith, i originally thought it was sal that backed out but he's not listed in that first 10 either.

no worries, jason. glad to see you back. and yeah, the rocco years were definitely an amazing time that can never be duplicated again.

Old School Sammy said...

I remember Rocco's last board on Sims before he got the boot. It wasn't a "freestyle" board, it was actually the first "Street Model" and it was double kicked. Rocco used to ride it on the street, doing curb handplants, etc, and the majority of the industry thought he was a kook. He must be one rich Kook, because he was the Kook who was really onto what people really wanted.

What I wouldn't do to have one of those Sims Rocco deck in my collection now! They are pretty much a piece of history in a big turning point in skating.

Awesome post, Chops--those back and forth battles were pretty hilarious.

sprntrl said...

the industry needs Rocco back in a major way. it's so fucking stale these days. back in those days you learned everything from Rocco, sex, drugs, music..... it was such a great time to be a young skater

Old School Sammy said...


I think Rocco would applaud your exclamation.

Anonymous said...

On crailtap today.

From TC,
Q: Why wasn't Rickk in the original ad for Plan B?

A: Because Rickk was playing hard to get when it was first starting. But he finally settled with the $175 bucks a month.—Carroll