chrome ball interview #68: bo turner

chops and bo sit down for some holiday cheer. 

Alright Bo, so I gotta ask for your opinion on Rob Dyrdek media empire? Have you ever sat down and watched any of his shows? You gotta be impressed on some level, right?

Actually I have to say that I’m highly impressed with the little motherfucker. As long as I’ve known him, he’s always been this determined guy. I mean, most skateboarders are determined... you have to be determined to keep up with this fucking sport because if you don’t, you’ll smash your board into a million fucking pieces and quit. But most of the skaters I knew had more of an aggressive type of determination. Rob was more cerebral. I don’t mean that he was so much more intelligent than the people around him because he’s a fucking idiot. I tell him that all the time. But his brain works in a different way. He was just this weird little dude I know but he really is a great guy. He’s like a little brother to me.

But his success doesn’t surprise me.  Even in the middle of our careers when we were really into skating, during the Wild West days, he was already thinking about his future. And I know if he hadn’t gone down this path and been successful, he’d be equally as successful in something else. He’s just a different type of guy and it’s obviously worked for him.

But be honest, do you think you could take out Big Black?

Oh, I’d fuck that motherfucker up, dude.

You gotta understand something, man. The guy calls himself “Big Black” and that’s fine, but he’s 400-fucking-pounds, dude. By the time he lifts an arm up to hit me, he’s already been hit 7 or 8 times… and after the first 2 or 3 times, he’d be on his ass. Just because you’re big and fat doesn’t mean you know your shit, dude. Being a bouncer, what do you do? You stand in a doorway and check people’s I.Ds. If someone gets out of hand, you call your posse of motherfuckers to throw him out. That doesn’t give you the experience. It doesn’t give you shit. 

Good point. So you probably get asked this all the time but do you still have that Freemason Silverfish? Ever try to use it?

I still have it tucked away in a drawer.

To this day, I really don’t know how serious any of that Silverfish shit is. Lance and Scott Conklin and I actually asked my Dad about it once and he freaked out. Literally. Obviously your father is your father but he started acting in a way that I’d never seen before. He even brought up that he was pissed for letting Big Brother take photos of it for an interview. He didn’t want anything bad to happen.

It got real deep, though. I remember he started yelling all this weird stuff that I guess he had to memorize, “If I reveal the secrets of my brotherhood may my intestines be spread upon the burning deserts of the Earth.”

It was insane. I’ve never tried to use it though.

One thing I remember from an interview is you speaking on some serious beef with Josh Kalis, threatening bodily harm if you were to ever see him again. What was that all about? Kalis says he has no idea where that stems from.

There’s a lot of shit that goes into that and I’ll tell you the real deal. Let me start it like this, and I want all of you motherfuckers to know this: Growing up in Florida and trying to skateboard back in the day fucking sucked. One of the reasons that we were the way we were is because we had to take shit for skating. We had to fight. We’d be in a parking lot skating and within an hour’s time, there would’ve been probably 15 to 20 lowered mini-trucks driving by with the fucking gayest fucking paintjobs, yelling out, “Skaters suck.”

These motherfuckers with their fucking hats on and their mullets hanging out the back. Wearing Z Cavariccis, their Reebok Pumps and their muscle sweatshirt half-shirts with the fucking sleeves cut-off… they’re in high school and have mustaches.

How it would go down would be that we’d respond to these motherfuckers by telling them to fuck off, they’d come back and we’d have a stand-off or just fucking fight it out. Always. It was fucking rough. I swear the heat does something to people down here. 

Scott Conklin and Bo - Mini Truckin' Halloween

So over the years, these dudes in the mini-trucks somehow evolved into this gangster rap shit, which became just another level of shit to deal with. It was like these suburban white kids who grew up going to mall all of a sudden became hardasses overnight. They get the gold chain and the baggy jeans. They put their baseball caps on sideways and now they’re hardasses. Trevor, who we knew from middle school, is now “T-Money” and he’s a gangster. He’s threatening to shoot people even though he’s never been in a fucking fight in his life. It was the biggest joke in the world to us.

Now moving ahead a couple years, I was never a dick to anybody that got Alien… and to be honest, I was never a dick to anybody that didn’t deserve being a dick to. When I got word that Josh was riding for the team, I was stoked. I had heard of this kid and knew he was really good.

We were on one of my last Alien tours together… just a small one around the Midwest and the East Coast. I honestly think the owner of Alien was using it to evaluate where each of us were in our careers… maybe trying to weed us out because after this tour, they really started cutting people.

The first time I met Josh, he’s standing there without any laces in his shoes and the tongues are hanging out. He’s this skinny little dude with a snow camo outfit on. A snow camo hat on sideways and a Newport shirt on under his getup. He looks like an idiot. But the best part was this AK-47 gold chain and matching AK-47 gold earrings he had on.

I look at Scott, he looks back at me and we can’t believe it. We don’t want to make a snap judgement, we’re going to try and get to know him… but so far, this doesn’t look good. Maybe he grew up in the hood and has had a hard life? I’m going to find out. 

So we start talking to him over the tour and learn he’s from Kalamazoo, Michigan. Now I’ve been to Kalamazoo and I can tell you that it ain’t fucking Detroit. Not that I’m from some hard area either… I’m dealing with mini-truck driving motherfuckers turned food court gangsters. But when I learned he was from Kalamazoo, Michigan and saw how he acted, I didn’t like it. I got bits and pieces about how he grew up… but the dude was always trying to act so hard. It seemed to me like he was trying to be who he wasn’t and I couldn’t stand that. 

I know he said he had some hard times in Dallas back in the day…

Well, I put up with the kid. We’re on the same team so I’ll be nice. What ends up happening is that one day towards the end of the tour, Rob just straight calls out Josh. Calls him out on his gear, the way he presents himself, the way he talks and the fucking AK-47 earrings… the whole thing. And Josh gets so bummed.

“Dog, you don’t know me. You don’t know how I came up.”

All of this ghetto verbage comes out and he’s flinging his accent. I’m just laughing at it. Maybe he’s grown up since then. Maybe he’s matured a bit over the years. I don’t know. But at that point, I thought that he was a coward. To me, if you’re not being true to yourself, who are you being true to? Maybe he had some hard shit going down in his life at the time, I’m not sure… But if you’re acting like Tupac when you’re from Kalamazoo, Michigan, I’m gonna laugh in your face. It is what it is.

That was half of it.

What happened next had to do with after that tour, when all of these people started getting canned on Alien. It just snowballed. Thomas Morgan got kicked off right away. I got kicked off a few months later. Scott was next and then John Drake got shit-canned. It was crazy.

I ended up getting word through the grapevine that Josh had gone to the owners of Alien after that tour and told them to get rid of these guys or he was going to fucking quit and tell everyone else not to skate for them. He was too much of a coward to say it to my face so he gave them an ultimatum.

Honestly, if he would’ve come to me and explained that he was trying to take Alien to the next level and that he could tell I wasn’t totally into it anymore, I would’ve taken it differently. I’ll be the first to admit that my heart wasn’t fully in skateboarding anymore at that point. I could skate but I just didn’t have the passion for it I once had. But after I got shitcanned and found out that he was the one saying shit the whole time, that’s what set me off. That set me off big time. That’s where the whole thing stems from.

Don’t get me wrong: when I got the call from Sarge telling me that I was off Alien, they were super cool. Yeah, they took my board away but they gave me 6-months severance pay. They didn’t have to do that. And to this day, I can call them up and get whatever I want for me and my kids. Rob does that for me to this day and I love him for that.

Well, you and the Conklins were like the tag-team champions of the world back in the day. What was the gnarliest situation you guys ever found yourselves in?

Aw man, there’ve been more than a couple, dude. Fucking hell. So many incidents that have gone down that will probably never come to light. Just crazy shit. Always.

There were a couple of incidents where guns were pointed in my face. Those were pretty crazy. But one that really sticks out is this night we were at this club downtown. The place had just let out and Lance, Scott and I were all drunk, standing outside talking to people. 

I remember there was this bigger girl there who I had seen earlier and she was wearing one of those stupid Rastafarian hats that people used to wear… a big puffy derby with all Rasta colors and shit. She had big hoop earrings on and she was being a fucking cunt to everybody. Just going up to dudes like, “What are you looking at, motherfucker?”

She hadn’t said shit to me though so I didn’t care. By this point, everyone else had already gone and we’re just finishing off our beer. I finish the last one and throw my empty quart against the wall. Glass shatters everywhere. There’s only other car left besides us and it’s these 3 dudes with this chick wearing the Rastafarian hat.

Of course, that girl screams across the parking lot, “Oh, you’re real cool, motherfucker!”

“Fuck you, bitch!”

“What did you say, motherfucker!?!”

She starts running over to us as her dudes get out of their car. She gets right in my face and starts screaming, “I’ll kick your ass!”

You gotta understand, bro. Back in the day, I didn’t give a fuck who you were. I don’t care if you’re a man or a woman, don’t get in my face like that.

So she’s screaming at me and I just cock back and open-handed slap this bitch across the face. She goes flying backwards to the ground. That fucking Rasta hat just goes flying off her fucking head.

Scott loses it with that high-pitch cackle laugh of his and Lance is just like, “Oh shit!”

Next thing I know, Lance is running at one of the dudes and punches him, sending the guy flying off against his car. Dude falls to the ground and Lance just starts kicking him. Meanwhile, Scott wedges this other dude in a car door and starts pounding that guy in the face. A third dude comes at me with something in his hand… I’m afraid it’s a knife or a gun but I stand my ground. He pulls it up and it’s a can of mace! He tries to spray me but when he does, only this tiny little stream of pepper spray peters out. I look at the guy and his eyes get real big.

“You’re dead now, motherfucker.”

He runs off and I try chasing after him for a half-block but he’s just gone. Totally leaving his friends. When I run back, the girl is just now getting up, Lance is still kicking that dude and Scott still has that dude in the car door. The girl ends up jumping on Lance’s back and tries to scratch his eyes out.

“You fucking bitch! Get off me!”

He flips her over onto her back and when she tries to get back up on him, Lance full-on football punches her right in the fucking face, knocking her out.

Next thing I know, the guy that had ran off had come back and tries to jump on me from behind but I got him, too. I start pounding the fuck out of him.

To make a long story short: there’s a car running with all the doors open, there’s three dudes knocked out on the fucking ground and a girl bleeding out of her head.

That was a typical Saturday night.

The Bo Turner Legend is not to be taken lightly. I’m sure there are more stories to come but going back more onto the skate side of things, how were you and Scott brought in to the Alien Workshop plan from G&S?

Scott and I actually got a letter from Chris Carter and Mike Hill. They called us up one day to tell us how they were going to send this letter with a phone number on it and for us to call them after we read it.

So they send us a couple of big packages from G&S along with this letter about how they were going to quit and start their own company in Ohio. How they wanted to get out of California and away from the industry because they don’t want to be influenced by things there. They wanted to do their own thing. Neil Blender, Steve Claar, Rob Dyrdek and Duane Pitre were going with them and they’d wanted us to ride from them as well. 

Scott and I had a long talk and we talked with Lance about it, too. The thing was when you’re on an established company like G&S who had money, that meant something. Are we going to leave that to follow these guys starting something new from the ground up? And what about us? These pros were established but us young guys, no one knew who the fuck we were.  But we were interested, so we went back and to ask what they had in store for us.

“Well, it’s going to be hard at first. We don’t have a lot of money but it’s going to be called Alien Workshop.”

They broke down their concepts and it sounded cool. Back then, nobody was doing the alien thing. And going deeper to find out why these guys wanted to do this and what they were really into, we basically said fuck it. What do we have to lose? Just as long as we were still getting free shit, it didn’t matter. We just wanted to skate and have fun. 

But I will say that once we left to do Alien, G&S turned gay as shit, dude. Overnight, they signed Markovich and all these other dudes. Here we had been on the team for so long and then, all of a sudden, these new guys were all getting pro models. Outta nowhere, these guys are getting paid. It wasn’t anything against those guys really. I knew Shannon May from Orlando. The company just wasn’t the same…  and G&S Trucks were fucking gay.

I remember Markovich actually called us once he got on to say how excited he was to be our teammates… only for us to tell him that we’d quit. Click.

Were you down with the overall Alien Workshop aesthetic or were you just rolling with it?

I had to roll with it, man.

The way things worked was Chris Carter handled the business end and Mike Hill handled everything else. He and Blender would do graphics but Hill did all the ads and the creative side of it. Now I love Mike Hill to death… but I don’t understand some of the shit he does. It’s on a different level and honestly, I don’t know shit about art.

Don’t get me wrong: when you look at it from an art standpoint, it’s really good shit and I know what they were trying to do. But to Scott and I, when we initially got that first Alien Workshop video and saw our parts, we were pretty bummed out, man. I’m not going to lie to you. Not to say that it was wrong or bad, it just wasn’t what we were used to seeing and we were bummed. We didn’t think that video gave us justice to a certain degree.

So you had no idea Memory Screen was going to be the way it was?

We had no clue. Don’t get me wrong, we liked parts of it but it also seemed like there was too much shit in there. A lot of artsy filler in-between shit and we just didn’t get it. Everybody else seemed to love it though.

How long did Memory Screen take to make? How long did you guys film?

Scott and Lance had a video camera and a lot of the footage for Scott’s part and mine came from that camera. Just random shit we’d filmed. We’d been filming on our own for years before that video. But it was a good 2 years from the time they told us about the video until it actually came out.

Our problem was that they included footage from before we even started filming specifically for it. Honestly, there was footage in there so old that I was embarrassed for it to be in there. What the fuck? Why did they put that in there? That’s from 3 years ago!

That’s crazy! But where did the “Stools are Hot” thing come from?

You gotta understand, man. When it came to graphics for boards and video parts, we had absolutely no. When they said that your new board was coming out and they were going to send you a couple, when they came, that was your graphic and that was your board. That was it. The only thing I had a say in was the shape.

As far as the end of my part goes, I just remember hearing this drum going on all of a sudden the first time I’m watching it. Then there’s this weird little fucking kid singing some song that says “Stools are Hot”. It shows a picture of Mike Smith grinding a pool and then there’s a picture of fucking Bo Jackson. I have no idea what’s going on. Why the fuck would they put up a picture of Bo Jackson? What the fuck do I have to do with that? …And that’s the end of my part! I just remember looking at it like what in God’s name was that? So I call up Sarge…

“Oh, Mike thought it would be funny because he has this recording of Mike Smith from Liberty back when he was a kid singing this song about a bar stool and you’re doing that late shove-it over a bar stool.”

“Okay… but nobody else fucking knows that. I don’t even know that. How the fuck is that relevant to anything? So you’re showing an inside joke to the entire world that nobody has any idea about?”

“Yeah, it’s funny.”

“Well, what’s up with the picture of Bo Jackson? Are you out of your mind?”

“We just thought we’d throw that in there, too.”

I’m still not even sure what the fuck that was. But then, everybody wound up liking it so I ended up having to go along with it.

Yeah, great…

So good. But is that real fight footy in Scott’s part?

That fight footage was actually from when we rode for G&S, that’s how old it was.

Lance had this piece of shit ’86 Ford Fairmont back then and we were driving down the road one day, coming back from trying to film shit. We look over and see this guy on the side of the road throwing shit at cars as they drive by. He didn’t look homeless but he was definitely fucking dirty. He must’ve been methed out or something… but when we drive by, Lance decides to go a little slower. Just to see.

Of course, the guy hauls off and throws a rock at Lance’s car. Lance pulls over and as Scott and I are getting out of the car, Scott throws the video camera at me.

“Film it! Film it!”

“Hell yeah, dude!”

It didn’t even dawn on me that we could film all this shit now with their camera. Bam Margera and all those other motherfuckers owe us. We started that shit back in the day.

So I start filming it and Scott goes up to the guy like, “What the fuck, motherfucker!?!”

The guy just starts swinging at him. Holy shit! Lance’s car is in the middle of the road and all these people in the other cars are watching Scott pound this dude while I film it.

“You fucking throw a rock at our car, motherfucker?”

“No, I was throwing it at the other car!”

“There was no other car, motherfucker!”

Now, if you watch the video real slow, you’ll see Scott grab the guy’s wallet and throw it. Somehow Scott saw that the guy had like a thousand dollars hanging out of his billfold and decided on the spot to rob him as well beat his ass.

“Here’s his wallet!”

Scott hits the guy again, drops him and starts walking off.

“Do you have the wallet?”

“What wallet? You mean there really was a wallet? I thought you were just throwing shit.”

So we start looking around for wherever the wallet went and the guy starts to get back up.

“Where’s my wallet?”

Scott ends up picking it up off the ground and throws it at him.

“You’re lucky, motherfucker.”

I always felt you and Scott were always so underrated. Do you think you guys ever got your proper due down in Florida?

Fuck no, man. Florida was the land that time forgot back in the day. We didn’t get shit down here, man… and it’s not just us. There are amazing skateboarders we came up with that nobody had any idea about. I almost feel lucky that we went as far as we did because there were guys who were better than us at different points who didn’t get shit.

There was a lot of shit we did down here that I know we did before anybody else. Dyrdek is witness to that. I saw Scott and Lance do things that I didn’t see anybody else doing until a year or so later. Crazy shit. But if you weren’t in California, you weren’t getting shit.

What was your side of the story on that Consolidated “Alien” board series back in the day? Were you really offended by it?

Hell no. Actually when the first ad came out, I laughed at it. I thought it was funny. How it all started was being at the Skatepark of Tampa one day and those guys started talking to me about how Consolidated, who was known for fucking with other companies, was now talking shit on Alien. Whatever. But I knew this dude named Roger who was working at Consolidated at the time, I thought it’d be funny to call him up just to fuck with them.

So I call and turns out that Roger wasn’t working there anymore and I end up talking to some other guy. I ask him flat-out what was up with that new board of the guy punching the alien. The dude got an attitude about it.

“What? You got a problem with that?”

“No. But if you want me to have a problem with it, I will, motherfucker.”

I was really just making light of it all. But the next thing I know, there’s another ad talking about how Bo took offense to it. Whatever, dude. If you have to do shit like that to sell boards, so be it. That can be your gimmick. 

A year later, I’m walking through a tradeshow and I see Jason Jessee standing there. I glance over and Jason is looking at me and he kinda smiles. What a minute, that’s Jason Jessee! I loved Jason Jessee growing up. Seeing him skate in all those videos, he was so gnarly. I loved him. So I figured I’d go up to him just to say what’s up…

“Hey man, I just wanted to let you know that all the stuff with the ad was a fucking joke. I didn’t care.”

“Oh… okay, man. I thought you were really mad.”

“I don’t give a fuck, dude. You’re one of my favorite skaters.”

Everything was cool from then on. But that’s how that went down. Just stupid shit.

What about the Big Brother boxing beef with Simon Woodstock? How’d all that go down? He just started testing you out of nowhere!

Fuck him. Simon Woodstock is a fucking idiot. That guy should’ve just quit and moved on a long time ago. I understand what he was trying to do but he looked like a fucking asshole doing it. Being the goofy fucking guy with trucks on a skim board. I’m going to skate the contest in a wetsuit. That’s how I’m going to hold on to my career and make more money off of this shit and sell more boards. Just by being a fucking idiot. Whatever.

Now let me say that I’ve never claimed to be some hardass. I grew up the way I did and people hear these stories and think its funny. It’s like a fucking movie to people. A fucking bad movie. I know at times, I can’t even believe some of the shit that’s gone down.

But when I heard that Simon Woodstock was trying to box different guys for Big Brother, I knew that it was only a matter of time until they’d try getting me involved. I could see it coming and sure enough, one of the guys from Big Brother calls up me on a three-way call with Simon on the other end.

“Oh, I’ll fight Simon. I have no problem fighting anybody. But it has to be on my terms.”

“What do you mean?”

“Fly down to Florida and we’ll go downtown St. Petersburg into an alleyway. No gloves. No cameras. No nothing. If it takes 10 minutes or it takes an hour, we’ll go at it. After that, you can come in and interview us and take pictures. I don’t give a fuck. But it’s on my terms.”

Simon got scared. Simon got really fucking scared.

“I’ll tell you something, motherfucker. You think this is a joke? You’re gonna call me up at my house and fucking say this shit to me? You think fighting is something I just do for fun? That I’m just this fucking tough guy? You think you’re going to make light of this? You don’t understand what we had to go through down here. You’re gonna come down here and we’re going to do it my way and I promise you, you’re going to be carried off. I promise you that. If it fucking kills me, you will be maimed and you will have shit broken. I will rip your fucking ears off and bite your fucking nose off your fucking head. I don’t give a fuck what anybody says. Fighting is fighting. It’s not a fucking joke with your friends. If you want to come at me on that level and fuck with me, I will fuck you up. I will hurt you and you will scarred for life, motherfucker.”

Then I had to tell the Big Brother guys a little something.

“Tremaine, after I fucking maim him, I’m coming after you, motherfucker. For doing this shit and thinking it’s funny. When I’m done with him, you guys are next.

“Dude, it’s cool, man. It’s cool. We’re sorry! We were just…”

“I know what the fuck you were doing. You’re trying to make fun and embarrass me. I’m going to hurt you and hurt you real fucking bad. I don’t want to be involved in any of this shit. Don’t make light of this. It’s not funny.”

Needless to say, after that, I never heard from Simon again. The guys from Big Brother called 3 or 4 times after that to apologize. I understood what they were doing, just don’t do it again.

So what happened with your Time Code part? Were you just over skating by that point? And why was your arm on fire?

Well, the fire thing came from back in the day, like I said, when the Conklins and I would make these dumb videos doing shit. Stupid shit we could laugh at with our friends… like finding someone’s pro board we didn’t like, going out in the Conklins’ backyard and videotaping ourselves shooting it with a shotgun. “Your board sucks, asshole.”

That shit with my arm on fire was a little excerpt from one of those videos. I was making fun of this dude we knew who was another one of those overnight food court gangsters. The white boy dream of becoming a rapper overnight.

We had found some his raps and they were hilariously awful so we decided to make a music video for him. We put on all this stupid gear and film some shit. I’m actually wearing a shower curtain chain with a Biggie Smalls CD on it as a necklace.

One of his lines said something about how he was “on fire” so I decided to try rapping with my arm on fire for the video. Ok. Next thing I know, the fire is out of control and it’s burning the fuck out of me. I start flipping out because it won’t go out. The Conklins are just standing there laughing at me while I’m screaming, “Fucking help me, dude! Put it out! Put it out!”

I had to run and stick my arm in the toilet.

But as far the skating went, it was a combination of a few different things. I had gotten into some big trouble with the law during that time. I’d gone to jail and was on probation and was actually quite worried about my freedom at that point so skating was the last thing on my mind.

Another problem with that part was fucking Scott. I actually had a bunch of footage filmed. Alien had bought us a gnarly Hi-8 camera and Scott didn’t think I was responsible enough to hold on to it so he kept it. We start getting all this footage when Scott goes out and gets wasted one night and this creeper dude ends up stealing all our video equipment with the footage out of Scott’s car.

What was even crazier was the guy who stole it was dumb enough to try coming back for more the following morning. Unfortunately for him, Scott was awake at the time and beat the motherfucker senseless with a pool cue.

But I had more footage than what was in there… like that switch backside smith across the box at the Tampa Skatepark that was in my Big Brother interview. There was that footage and a lot more but it was all stolen.

The two hardflip tricks were on a videotape that I had kept. The line from the school in San Diego was when I had just gotten out of fucking jail. They flew me out to California with only a couple of days left to film and I got that.

I’ll be honest with you though, once that part came out and I saw it, I was pretty much over skating. At that point, it had turned into a job which is not why I started doing it. I hated feeling forced to skate.

Did you spend much with Lennie Kirk at all?

I first met Lennie on one of my first trips to San Diego. He was this crazy little kid but he was a really good skateboarder. I had heard that he had a lot of personal issues back when he was younger, some family shit that was really fucked up, but he was cool.

When I heard that he’d found God, I remember thinking to myself, “Oh, Jesus.” You know how these God people can be. Don’t get me wrong: I don’t have anything against anybody’s religion. You can believe whatever you want, just don’t push it on me or my family. We have our own religious beliefs, fuck off.

Anyway, Lennie started bringing a suit and tie with him on tour to stand out on a street corner with the Bible… motherfucker had cornrows! But he’d try to grab everyone that would walk by and start reciting things from the Bible to them. Telling them that they’re fucking evil.

I had to warn him to stay the fuck away from me. I’d try to talk to him about other shit but everything always went back to God and how everything you did was evil. I finally had to break it down to him.

“Lennie, say I get out of the shower and I walk into my bedroom naked, if the air conditioner hits me right and blows on my balls, giving me a hard-on, is that evil?”

“That’s fucking evil, man. You’re going to hell.”

“So I’m not allowed to get a fucking hard-on?”

“You’re going to hell for thinking like that!”

“Fuck off, Lennie. Honestly, you’re taking this shit way too far, dude. Stay the fuck away from me. Don’t bring your shit on me.”

So he wasn’t allowed to come into my van on that tour anymore. I couldn’t deal with him after that.

We touched on what ultimately happened with you and Alien but how did you end up on Balance?

Balance was a basically a paycheck while I figured out what I was really going to do after skating.  I was scared, man. I didn’t know what to do. There was still a bit of skate left in me. I still liked doing it, I just didn’t like to do it a lot. So I got on Balance. Unfortunately Bill Weiss was involved… which for those who know Bill Weiss, you know you can’t have him involved with anything because he’s a fucking idiot.

But I was really just trying to figure things out at the time.

Understandable. So who’s a pro from back in the day that you felt deserved a beatdown and never really got one?

Let me think… I broke a mop handle over Chris Gentry's back once already but I think he probably deserved a few more beatdowns than what he got.

Jaime Thomas probably deserved a beatdown. He really rubbed me the wrong way the first time I met him and to this day, it still bothers me. He seemed like an arrogant dickhead. That’s how I saw it. Maybe he’s a nice guy and was having a bad day… but the way he was introduced to me, I didn’t like it. I don’t care if someone’s a rad skater. If he’s a cocksucker, he’s a cocksucker. I don’t give a fuck.

Chad Muska probably deserved a beatdown. I met him a few times and just thought to myself, “Are you fucking kidding me?”

There were a few pros that deserved to get their asses kicked but due to the politics of skateboarding, they could get away with whatever they wanted. No one would call them out. Whatever.

So what are you doing now, Bo? Do you still keep up with skateboarding at all?

I run an auto garage now in a suburb called Seminole. I’ve been doing that for a long time. Fixing cars was the only other thing I knew how to do besides skating. Now I run a shop.

I’m married to a woman named Jennifer and have 4 boys: Thomas is 17, Justin’s 11, Colton’s 8 and Walker is 5.  I absolutely love my wife to death and honestly, if it wasn’t for her, I would probably either be dead or in prison. It’s amazing what meeting the right person can do for you and what you can accomplish with a good person behind you. She’s the best thing that ever happened to me. I have 3 awesome fucking kids with her and they are every bit crazy. I call them “the Wolfpack” because everywhere we go is chaos. I just sit back and laugh. It’s funnier than hell.

Justin and Colton are into skateboarding and I try to keep up with it to a degree. I still love skateboarding. I love it for how I remember it being before I got sponsored. I miss it tremendously. I’d love to work in the industry… and not just to make money. If I could ever give back to skateboarding after all it’s given me, I’d love to. Skateboarding is such a positive, creative thing for someone to get into.

Advice for any kids trying to make it in the skateboarding industry?

You have to think about your future, man. To everybody that’s reading this interview, I cannot stress that enough. Regardless if you want to stay in the industry or go into something else, think about your future. Get as much as money as you can, while you can, to help you. I don’t mean to be greedy or selfish, I’m just saying to get paid what’s fair. Demand you get what’s fair. If you’re giving $1000-a-month to some kid who never had shit his whole life, that may seem like a lot of money to him but in reality, it ain’t shit. Think about beyond skating.

By all means, have fun and do it because you love it but be smart about it.

Thanks for doing this, Bo. Is there anything you’d like to add? Anything you’d like to say just to have on record?

Have this on record: I had fun. I’m still having fun. But everybody who ever crossed me in the past and pissed me off, it ain’t over yet. Believe that. I hold grudges forever and I’m a very vengeful person. If I see you, it’s coming. You motherfuckers that come to these Tampa contests, be careful. I might show up there one day and settle it. I don’t care if it’s 10 years, 20 years or 40 years, we will settle it.

I love my family, I love my kids and I love all of my friends. Thank you to Lance and Scott Conklin, Mike and George Daher, John Montesi, all of the Florida guys, all of the Toronto guys, some of the California guys. Dyrdek, I still love you. You know that. All of the Alien guys, I still love you. Kalis, you can go fuck yourself. Freddie Gall, I love you. He’s my little brother and I wish him and his mother the best.

Other than that, everybody else can go fuck yourselves.

special thanks to nick halkias, rob dyrdek, josh kalis and bo for taking the time.

editor's note:

"I never knew what Bo was so mad at me for but I can assure him that I had absolutely nothing to do with his departure from the Workshop. Also, I'm from Grand Rapids, not Kalamazoo." 
-Josh Kalis 


chops said...

Kalis responds:

"I never knew what Bo was so mad at me for but I can assure him that I had absolutely nothing to do with his departure from the Workshop. Also, I'm from Grand Rapids, not Kalamazoo."

stephen said...

I'm afraid to comment lest Bo not approve of what I have to say. Hahaha. Kidding. Good read, thanks! Hope Bo reads Kalis's response and lets bygones be bygones.

Joon said...

Wow. Such a good read. Glad to see content still coming out. Merry Christmas chops!

boil the ocean said...

Thank you very much.

welch said...

being from tampa, i had the chance to session with bo once. he was easy going, and as i grew older hearing all these stories about him being a hard ass... it just never seemed to match up with the dude that was working on nollie 360 flips to manual, while i was just working on manuals at SPoT. good read as always. thanks chops. merry xmas.

Anonymous said...

the part about who still deserves a beat down is hilarious.

D Howman said...

sick interview chops,
i got to feel Bo's verbal vibe firsthand after 'cheering too loud' for Kareem at a world demo in '91 0r'92 at altamont springs in Florida, and to be honest, he had a point. The fastest slap on fs stalefish disaster reverts in the business.

lance conklin said...

Yup, thats Bo for ya....

Lari said...

Been missing CBI. Good job on the new stuff!

Dave said...

Good as always, Chops. Thanks for sending us some new content.

Keith said...

Interview came out less gnarly than I expected.

Royce said...

Many heads from my circle were just like Bo. Rare breed these days, and that's sad. Everyone loves a nice guy, but real deal thumpers keep the whispering sewing circles looking over their shoulders. Much needed today more than ever. 1up!

Unknown said...

I always thought this dude was goofy footed. Now that I realize hes not, he's a way better skater than I realized.

Plain and simple, this dude is too real for skating. In a world of MTV, power drinks, and mall displays, a dude who puts people in their place is in the wrong business being a skater. Its all metrosexual now, real men have no place. And I'm not saying fighting makes you a "real man." I'm saying speaking the truth and backing it up does, not acting and flitting.

For what its worth, I randomly met Kalis on the Invisible tour, before he was anybody, and he just acted totally nice and just..."normal." No "slang," his hat was sideways but he was just a chill dude. But who knows once he started getting props maybe it went to his head?

Unknown said...

Skating in SW FL back in the day was the shit and Bo, the Conklins and Montessi were legends. And its true, Bam and Steve-O got their edge from Bo and the Conklins. I saw Bo do some real gnarly shit back in the day, way ahead of its time type stuff, and his video parts never really reflected that- I was always confused by that, but now see why. This was an excellent interview. Bo for Prez...

Anonymous said...

I really don't get how you guys are cheering this guy... It looks like a ignorant that was talking shit on everyone when he was doing a lot of dumb shit without any reason at all.

anDREa said...

does anyflorida ripper remember jermicheal yazel????

Unknown said...

Ohhhh grand rapids eh? That changes everything why didn't you say that in the first place??

DR said...

Just gave this a re-read. It's perfect. Thanks again.

WShelton said...

I just wanna say, Bo, your awesome as fuck man! These interviews are rad! Being from the south myself, it's obvious he means what he says! Beyond all that, Bo is gnarley as fuck and tells it how it is!! Cheers to you Bo and thank you for such far out skating!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Read this interview a few years back, then reread this again today from a skate forum link. Damn and its still aging like fine wine. Such a classic interview and one thing i never understood is how Bo permitted that fish photo and the reference to the esoteric significance of such to be printed. He should already be well aware to not expose publicly things that should never be in the light. SMH.

dgarvin1 said...

"Now I’ve been to Kalamazoo and I can tell you that it ain’t fucking Detroit"

Hilariously, Kalamazoo is ranked #2 in per-capita crime in Michigan, and Detroit is #4

Bo Turner has no idea what he's talking about, never mind the fact that Kalis is from GR

Anonymous said...

Can someone name all the guys in the Alien Workshop "Fourteen Heads and a Toilet" picture? Looks like every single dude you don't want to pick a fight with in one place!

Anonymous said...

This dude is the embodiment of too many head injuries.