chrome ball interview #147: caesar singh

"The Chrome Ball Incident" by Caesar Singh.

I’m scrolling down on Instagram with my attention vacillating between clips of skateboarders skateboarding and photographs of the dwarf children from the television show "Little People, Big World" awkwardly posing on blankets in a field of grass. And I don’t know what’s weirder… me, a middle-aged man living in his past, staring at young people doing things on skateboards that would’ve been unfathomable back in his day. Or… me, a middle-aged man obsessively staring at the oversized heads and undersized legs of dwarf children who are blissfully unaware of the challenging lives that are assured to come.

I look up to the right of my laptop’s monitor and notice I have a new message. Being a social recluse, I don’t engage in many conversations, internet or otherwise, but in a daft attempt to entertain myself and amuse my girlfriend, I’d recently instigated a romantic tête-à-tête with reality television personality Tammy Slaton of "1000-Lb. Sisters". So, I click the direct message icon assuming its Tammy looking to respond to a charm-filled message that expressed my interest in holding her, but that’s not the case. Instead, I click onto a message from someone by the name of Eric Swisher — the creator of skateboard-inspired website "The Chrome Ball Incident" — asking if I’d be interested in doing an interview.

I’d had a short-lived skateboarding career during the mid-nineties that abruptly ended from an unexpected phone call from Planet Earth — my board sponsor and sole source of income — that informed me that my services were no longer desired. I was 24 years old and had recently returned to school in search of something more, knowing the rug of professional skateboarding would eventually be pulled out from underneath me, so I was relatively unmoved. I just wasn't aware that I was riding for a company that didn’t have a problem releasing me one day before payday… but I was. So, the first of my life's many-mad-scrambles to survive began.

I put on a pair of slacks, an ironed shirt and a Windsor-knotted tie before grabbing a few copies of my resume, a resume that was nearly nude because I couldn't figure out how the ability to frontside flip fire hydrants equated to anything of use back in the working world. Regardless… rent needed making, food needed eating and alcohol needed guzzling, so with near-nude resumes in hand, I headed off in search of employment with a phony smile plastered on my face. And, thanks to a chance encounter in an elevator while filling out applications at a nearby mall, two weeks later, I was working in the men’s department of a JCPenney. The phony smile was replaced with a sullen look of misery as I folded and refolded the same articles of clothing for eight hours at a time. And, my return to the “real” world had officially begun.

I’d go on to live a fairly uneventful life, working one menial job after another. I'd engage in one unhealthy relationship after another. And. Years of drug and alcohol abuse would invariably lead me down one dead-end road after another. So, as short-lived as my skateboarding career was, it is still very much a highlight in my life, representing a simpler time when top ramen and macaroni and cheese would suffice, when friendships were had in abundance and my future, as yet defined, was still full of hope.

Over the years, I'd get the occasional mention in the occasional interview — Montoya in his Chrome Ball interview, Ty on the Nine Club, Jerry and Richard in Bobshirt interviews — and I'd always be left with a face-cramping grin because it was nice knowing that despite being gone, I was not entirely forgotten. And now, to be asked for my own interview was beyond flattering, so I readily agree under the eccentric condition that we conduct the interview via email exchanges. One too many sour experiences has left me moody and misanthropic, and the last thing I wanted was to have an aloof phone conversation that ends up reading as boring because I’m too guarded to open up. And, thankfully, Eric Swisher doesn’t have a problem accommodating my introverted approach. He says he’ll start working on some questions over the weekend and will send them over sometime early next week.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

October 27th. It’s my birthday. I’m 48 years old. And. I could care less about birthdays, but I’m currently in a relationship and women love to celebrate. So, I pretend to care while eating a birthday breakfast that includes pancakes laden with butter and drowned in syrup. I scour the internet while eating and, much to my delight, Tammy Slaton — the heavier sister of "1000-Lb. Sisters" — has written back. She tells me that I'm sweet, that I'm appreciated, and that I'm "so much her type", but follows this with the unfortunate news of a boyfriend and offers up her friendship instead. Being far more entertained than I should be and my girlfriend far less amused than she could be, I decide to move on.

I log onto a poker website — WSOP.com — that I’m completely convinced is corrupt after having a suspect summer playing $1/$2 pot-limit Omaha. I flopped way too hard, way too often to opponents that, curiously, always had draws. The money would go in, and they would connect. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. And, I ended up watching thousands of dollars vanish into the virtual hands of virtual strangers. But... that doesn't stop me from signing up for a low stakes no-limit tournament this morning, with the last of my money, because I'm a degenerate gambler and such is the ridiculous nature of my life.

I mosey over to Yahoo to catch up on the daily news — black lives still matter, the coronavirus still kills, and Donald Trump is still bizarre — before checking my emails. There’s an email from Eric of Chrome Ball that has the first round of questions attached to it. And as I read questions about an era in which ill-fitting pants were in style and switch 360 flips were considered difficult, I get to wondering why I can’t just be a normal human being, get on the goddamn phone, have an hour-long conversation and be done with it. But… unfortunately, I'm not a normal human being. So, after my girlfriend heads off to retrieve my special day's presents, I open a fifth of vodka, take a long swig, and in-between losing questionable hands of online poker, I start in on the first question...

Let’s start off with some baseline info here: where you’re from, when and how you started skating, etc. I know you grew up in Florida before moving out to Salinas in Northern California, right?

Well, I initially moved to Southern California, and that’s when I really got into skateboarding. 

I’d had a Valterra complete — the one as seen in Back to the Future — when I was in Florida, but skateboarding had yet to actually captivate me in the way that it would in California. I find it hard to qualify what I was doing in Florida as actually skating. But yeah, I was 14 years old when I moved and for the first time in my life, I found myself really struggling to fit in at school. Thankfully, skateboarding began to call out to me. So, when my birthday rolled around, I took my birthday money to the town’s sole skateboard shop and, an hour later, was walking out with a John Lucero Schmitt Stix deck, Tracker Trucks and Bullet 66 Speed Wheels. And that was it… I became obsessed.

And was Santa Cruz your first sponsor? How’d you hook up with those guys? 

My first board sponsor was Sims, but my first actual sponsor was Bill’s Wheels skateboard shop in Salinas.

Out of high school, I ended up moving to Northern California with my family and, not knowing anybody, I headed off in search of spots to skate by myself. Something strange happened as I explored the neighboring cities, skating alone… I got exponentially better at riding a skateboard. All of a sudden, tricks started coming easier and out of nowhere. And after making a friend who skated and had a camera, we went around filming the progress. I edited the footage and drove to Bill's looking for a sponsorship, which was really out of character for me because I lacked confidence, in general. But I was really proud of my tape, so I handed it to an employee there. 

A couple of days later, he’s telling me to grab a few Bill's Wheels t-shirts from a rack as he welcomed me to the team. That was a turning point-moment in my life as it gave me a confidence I hadn't had before.   

About a year later, I started getting curious about the possibility of a board sponsor, so I put together another tape and decided to try for an NHS brand because of its close proximity. Between Santa Cruz, SMA and Sims, I chose Sims. I sent the tape off and Bill's put in a good word for me. And, less than a week later, I’m on the phone with Jeff Kendall who’s asking me what size wheels I ride. 

I'm not sure if I got a second package from Sims before NHS pulled the plug on the brand, but Kendall just moved me over to Santa Cruz Skateboards and that was that.

Granted, you were probably just stoked to be sponsored, but how was riding for Santa Cruz back then? A traditionally punk brand in the weird pressure flip era of ‘92, did they have any idea what they were even doing at the time?

Yes, I was just stoked to be on a team, any team, because there’s nothing like getting a box of free product. But as far as them knowing what they were doing, I’m not entirely sure they did. I mean, have you seen Big Pants Small Wheels? A white Chet Thomas skates to hip-hop. A black me skates to punk. A vert Jeff Kendall skates street. Jason Rothmeyer skates a four-inch tall manual pad to the song “Iron Man”. And Frankie Mata does a bluntslide transfer over a curb, runs into a wall, comes to a complete stop, pushes off the wall and continues going, the filmer spins the camera 360 degrees, Frankie does a flatground trick that bounces off the ground, the filmer does another 360, Frankie does two more bounce-off-the-ground flatground tricks and… that line makes it into the video! 

Also, Tom Knox has a mediocre part featuring a clip where his friend brags to some random woman about Tom making more than $60,000 a year… all the while, an unpaid amateur, William Nguyen, annihilates the entire pro roster and has last part. 

We were like a bunch of group home kids forced to share rooms with each other, falling asleep at night as we wondered where our parents were and what they were up to these days. 

But what about your part in there? Was BPSW just a fun thing for you to do or were you putting pressure on yourself? Did you like filming early on? 

Well, as soon as I was told that I was on Santa Cruz, I was also told to start filming for a video. I regularly filmed for fun with friends… so yeah, I liked filming. But I do remember feeling a certain pressure. Looking back on the many skate videos I’d watched and remembering the influence they’d had on me, I was just elated to be given the opportunity to be featured in a video myself. I just had to set my nerves aside, quit overthinking, and start filming like I normally did.

How long did you film for that? 

I don’t remember exactly. I think I showed up around the tail end of filming. But considering my part was less than a minute, it couldn't have been more than a couple of months. 

Was Green Day your choice? 

No, I didn't really listen to music back then. I think that was a Jeff Kendall pick.

One thing that stands out about your Big Pants part is that you’re actually not wearing that big of pants, especially for the time. Did you not get into the whole Goofy Boy look?

Let’s just say that I once purchased some pants that were a size 50 in the waist. I tapered them at the bottom and thought I was the shit.

Point taken. The second thing I’m noticing here is a solid trick selection and style, especially for back when bouncing pressure flips were so commonplace. Your part is void of all the late/pressure/backfoot stuff that was so fashionable at the time. Did you just not like that stuff?

Yeah, I didn't really care much for those tricks. Pressure flips would just fuck up your board. Backfoot flips were out of my league and I didn't like the way they looked anyway. And I think I filmed maybe one late shove-it in my life.

As a newly sponsored am, did you feel any pressure to start skating that way? 

No, no pressure. Skateboarding is a form of self-expression. If you’re hanging out with people who are trying to dictate the way you skate, you’re probably hanging out with the wrong people.

How long did that switch tre ender take? Along with Guy and Jed, that’s easily one of the first captured on video. 

It took three trips and a whole lot of batteries. I think that was the first time I ever really battled for a trick, but I remember really wanting that one.

That was definitely inspired by Guy Mariano from Pack of Lies. I remember, years later, seeing him at some college in L.A. He just randomly showed up and was trying switch backside five-o grinds to shove-it out before anyone did that trick, going super fast on a bench. And I went right back to Long Beach and started trying that because of him. 

I was lucky enough to have seen Guy on three separate occasions and it was definitely inspiring to witness him skate. It’s like watching somebody whose gift dwarfs whatever the fuck it is you’re doing. It’s magical to watch.

Was having good style always a conscious concern for you, landing everything clean? Or did it just simply happen?

I'd have to say it simply happened. I never really forced tricks. Maybe I should have, though… I don't know. But your style is your style. 

I've seen a lot of gifted skaters not go very far because of the way they looked on a board. And, to be honest, I think I might have gone further than I deserved because of the way I looked. But I'll take it.

'93 Raw Footage (That Backlip...)

After BPSW, you must’ve moved down south, right? Because it seems like you started getting a lot of San Diego coverage all of a sudden.

Well, a high school friend was going to SDSU and asked if I wanted to share an apartment. At 19, I felt like it was time to leave the nest, and there was a lot more to skate in Southern California, so I took the plunge. My mother gave me a hug and the keys to a used Ford Ranger and I hit the 101 freeway. Scared yet excited at the same time. 

Not too long after that and leading-up to Days of Our Lives, Santa Cruz asks you to go pro? How’d that happen? Didn’t you turn them down at first? 

Yeah, so when I moved to San Diego, I basically had a second skill spurt. My friend/roommate just happened to have a camera, affording me the opportunity to film my progress as it happened. 

At that point, I didn’t have any relationship with the team and felt somewhat disconnected, so I sent Jeff a tape with some footage, just to let him know that I was earning the boards he was sending. Apparently, he was impressed enough to want to turn me pro, but I turned it down. I didn’t think I deserved that status, and professional skateboarding was never a goal of mine. But they moved forward with the idea anyway, so I just went along with it. I mean, I was working two jobs and still struggling, so I slowly came around to it.

What about that 360 flip noseslide down the Balboa Park hubba? I remember that being a big one for you.

Kendall told me to film something for an ad, which would’ve been my first, and that’s what I came up with. 360 flip noseslides came pretty easy to me, so that happened in one trip and in less than an hour. It was pretty sketchy, though. That hubba had an awkward edge that was difficult to lock onto. I’m not sure why I didn’t try to clean it up… I think I was just happy to have landed it.

Wasn’t that before Virtual Reality?

Yes, and I know that for certain because I was lucky enough to have attended the Virtual Reality premiere in Encinitas. And when Pat Duffy’s part came on, he just destroyed that spot. He did like six or seven ridiculous tricks there to open his part, one of which was a 360 flip noseslide. And in the middle of it all, Sal Barbier stands up, apparently having seen my ad, and yells “Where’s Caesar Singh now?!” 

I was about ten rows back, actually. I wasn’t sure why he was calling me out, I’m a nobody riding for a company that’s past its prime and he’s on a fucking super team. But that’s the great thing about being black: you get a ton of shit from white people and then another heaping load of it from black people, too. Yippee.

What about your switch 360 flip noseslide ad? A lot of people say that was the first one of those, do you remember anyone doing that prior? 

That wasn’t very difficult, either. 

Virtual Reality was already out, I believe, so I don’t think it was the first. I don’t really know.

You mentioned earlier that you actually enjoyed filming, but that ad really plays up a “videophobic” premise, complete with claims of undercover cameramen in order to get footage of you. Obviously exaggerated, but was there any truth to that? Where’d all that come from?

I’m not “videophobic” but I think I was occasionally pegged for being so, for whatever weird reason. In my short career, I put out four video parts and was in 411VM a healthy amount. Not sure what all was expected of me but…

Fair point. What about that noseslide 270 out on the El Cajon rail? Super good. Was that the same day as the 270 shuv out?

Those two tricks were influenced by Eric Koston’s part in the 101 promo, WWII Report. And yeah, there are maybe five tricks out of my whole career that I still like to this day and that’s one of them. Harder tricks were definitely done on that rail, but I liked the way I rolled away from that one, for sure. 

The 270 shove-it out was a different day.

That sequence was in SC’s gnarly “Fuck Us?” ad during their short-lived beef with Foundation. Did you have any idea your trick was going to run with a photoshopped Swank and Rothmeyer fucking? And did Jason ever bring that up to you afterwards?

I didn’t know anything about that, and I’m glad I got disclaimered. 

I actually got an offer from Foundation to sponsor me back then, but I had a feeling they were only trying to use me, so I said no. I don’t even remember what that beef was about and couldn’t have cared less. 

But no, Rothmeyer never asked me about it, and I had nothing to do with it, so I didn’t really care either way.

How’d Foundation hit you up? You’re probably right, but what made you think they were only trying to use you for a power move in the beef? 

I got an out-of-the-blue phone call one day. I don’t even remember who it was from, but there it was: some random person asking me if I wanted to ride for Foundation. 

I just thought it was weird, and something about the whole call felt disingenuous. I mean, I’d just turned pro, Days of Our Lives wasn’t even out yet, and here’s a company wanting to pay me to ride for them? Based on what? My 59 second BPSW part and two ads? Come on. Plus, I wasn’t really a fan of Foundation. It felt like that would have been a lateral move anyway, so I politely declined.

With last part as a new pro, I imagine Days of Our Lives being much different than BPSW, right? And seriously, why was it called “Days of Our Lives”?

It wasn’t that much different. I’d skate, somebody would pull out a camera, and whatever happened, happened. I generally took a lackadaisical approach to filming, which I regret because it’s nice to look back on what was documented. That, and I think a person really needs to push themselves in order to reach their true potential. I don’t think I ever reached mine and I feel that’s reflected in some of my lackluster video parts. 

Anyway, I have no clue why it was called Days of Our Lives.

Days of Our Lives (1993)

How come neither the Balboa 360 kickflip nose or the switch 360 kickflip noseslide clips ended up in anything? Did you even like the 360 kickflip noseslide clip that made it into Days? You step off immediately.

I didn’t really participate in the editing process, so I don’t know. Even though the 360 flip noseslide at Balboa was sketchy, I would have preferred that one over the one used in Days of Our Lives. And I don’t know why the switch one was never used.

What’s the story behind that gnarly board in your first clip with the swastikas and KKK Krux stickers? What’s going on there? 

That was a point in my life where I was really obsessed with racism. I don’t even know why? It’s super unhealthy to obsess over things you have no control over, but that’s where I was at. 

As far as the Days clip, I have a pretty twisted sense of humor. That was me just fucking around. And again, I didn’t have anything to do with the editing... I was actually surprised to see that in the video, but I thought it was funny. I vaguely recall hearing about some asshole getting stoked on that and then being bummed once it panned up to me, realizing it was a goof.

Another rider?

No, I don’t even remember who told me that, but I doubt it was another team rider… at least, I hope it wasn’t. 

I’m always curious as to the experience of non-white skateboarders in what is traditionally seen as a “white boy sport”. How was it coming up as a young skater in the late 80s/early 90s? Outside of the community is one thing, but did you experience much racism from other skaters at the time?

Yeah, actually the biggest piece of shit I’ve ever had to deal with was a kid in high school, a fellow skater by the name of Chuck Wampler. I can’t remember how I found out that he didn’t care much for black people, but I did. So, I avoided the dude. But we just happened to have a Spanish class together and I remember sitting behind him one day when he asked to use the bathroom. The teacher gave him a hall pass and he headed off, but not before he left an origami piece on his desk. It was a small cone-shaped head of a Ku Klux Klansman with two eyes drawn on, and he positioned it to directly face me. 

I just sat there, eyes rolling… like, fuck me!

Then there was another incident at a community center in town. They’d built a six-foot tall spine ramp and that was the hot spot for a minute. I remember going there by myself one day and Chuck was there. I was trying feeble-to-rail-to-feeble stalls and I remember him scoffing, calling what I was doing "tap dancing" on the coping. He was basically mocking me but I didn't care. 80% of every one of his runs were stand-up frontside five-o grinds, and then he’d occasionally throw in a stinkbug air or something. Trust me: it was boring to watch. But, anyway, I went about tap dancing while minding my own business, but Chuck continued to make me his business because he soon starts yelling, "Nigger!"

At that point, I'd heard about some stupid trend going around amongst racist skaters who, upon bailing, would yell the word "nigger". I hadn’t dealt with that yet because I don't make it a habit of hanging out with bigots. But there I was, communing at the community center, when all of a sudden, Chuck starts shouting "nigger" every time he bails a trick. 

I didn't know anybody there that day, but now there was a handful of skaters looking confused, probably wondering why this lunatic was yelling a racist obscenity for no reason. Staring at me for a reaction that would never come. I wasn’t a fighter back then and Chuck was. He would’ve murked me if I’d said anything, so being the compliant little slave I was, I took a handful of "niggers" to the chin before getting in my car and leaving.

Years later, I saw him at the Vans Venice Street Grind contest. I’d forgotten all about him by then, but there he was, in all his glory, with his greasy black hair and creepy dark eyes. And when we made eye contact, I swear a malicious grin just ripped across his face. You could tell he really enjoyed our history. 

I ignored him, as usual, until he walked away and out of my line of sight for the final time. But, to read about him joining the Los Angeles Police Department years later, was just confirmation of how fucked up of a world we live in.

Thanks to this question, I recently looked him up online and caught sight of a Transworld interview he did a while ago: Don't Quit Your Day Job. I was curious as to his reason for joining the LAPD, considering our history. He lends some insight by saying, “As far as reasons for getting into the job, I think just about everyone who gets into police work has something in them that’s altruistic. They want to help people... (and) it’s a reward knowing that at least I’m doing something productive. I’m not just a parasite that’s collecting social security for nothing." 

On the surface, it reads as noble, but after being the object of his disdain in high school, the fact that he views himself as altruistic is laughable. I know exactly who he's referring to when he talks about “parasites” collecting social security for doing nothing. We niggers, right Chuck?

Bottom line: Chuck Wampler was a piece of shit back in the day and probably still is. He still reads like a man who’s ready to condemn, the only difference now is that he has a gun, a badge and a little bit of authority… and that's a scary proposition. I probably shouldn’t even be saying this stuff because, knowing my luck, he’ll track me down and show up at my house at 1401 East Oakey Blvd, Las Vegas, Nevada 89104 looking for a duel to the death. And that’d suck, right?

Thanks for that. Did you have much input on your Santa Cruz graphics back then? 

Well, I can’t remember if Kendall asked for graphic ideas for my first board or if I just assumed I’d have some say in the matter, but whatever the case was, I came up with a doozy. Again, I was all hung up on racism at the time, so I came up with the idea of an overshadowing Klansman with a chain around his neck and a skeleton key attached to it. Then, there was an attractive white female below, looking up in admiration with a keyhole in her forehead. Sure, it was a little heavy, but whatever. I had a friend draw it up and gave it to Kendall, but it was deemed too controversial. 

So, instead, my first board was an Everslick with a copy of that popular vintage shooting target: “the thug”. A middle-aged white male pointing a pistol. And, again, I liked seeing my name on a board, it was flattering. But I remember thinking to myself, “Why is there a white guy on my board? And what the fuck does this have to do with anything, much less me?” 

I mean, it wasn’t even an original piece of art. But that was that, and I never bothered with my graphics ever again.

Do you have any particular favorite graphics?

No favorites, but the board featured in my Keep Bouncin’ ad was ridiculously bad. 

Yeah, what was up with that ad?

It was weird. They had me go up to NHS and take photos in-between this random girl’s legs. She’s holding that atrocious looking board and her legs are trembling because she’s stuck bending over in an awkward position. I’m still super shy and a virgin at this point, so all I’m thinking about is how this is as close to a pussy as I’ve ever been. I mean, it's just right there; I should just reach up and grab a hold, but no… I’m a gentleman. That, and I’m thinking we’re definitely going to be making love in some NHS bathroom stall after all this anyway. I mean, look at me. A professional skateboarder and all. Handsome as fuck, too. Right? But no, that’s exactly what didn’t happen. 

And then, when the ad came out, I couldn’t figure out what the point was. It was just strange.

Did you like how Days of Our Lives turned out? And how did you see the general public’s reaction to that video? It’s tricky because your part is great but Santa Cruz was in such a weird zone, I’m not sure it got its proper due.

Yeah, I don’t think that video got viewed much. I don’t remember reading about it in any magazines or seeing it in shops. And, outside of my friends, I don’t remember hearing anybody talk about it. I mean, to this day, I can’t find evidence of its existence online. It’s like a part of Santa Cruz’s history was just erased or something.

Anyway, I didn’t mind my part, but I definitely don’t think it was ender-worthy.

How lucrative was being pro for Santa Cruz in 1994?

I got a whopping $500 a month for riding boards, a generous $100 a month for riding Speed Wheels, and a life-changing $50 a month for riding Krux trucks. $650 before taxes. Balling. 

I don’t even know how I survived back then, but I’d order four boards a week and sell two. That and a set of wheels was an extra $85 a week, which meant that I’d be able to splurge on some chili cheese fries down the street every now and then. 

SCSVM (1994)

Did that guy in SCSVM really have a tattoo of your tiger graphic on his chest? 

I think that was just a funny coincidence. I’ve since googled “tiger art” and there are a lot of similarly generic pictures. I don’t think his tattoo was inspired by my graphic, but if it was…good luck with that. 

Was that video just a fancy way of dressing up a tour video or something? I didn’t really get it. Were you into the whole 411 spoofing concept? 

I don’t recall that being a tour video, but I haven’t seen it in a while. That’s another video that just disappeared. But no, I wasn’t really into the spoof. It just lacked originality. I guess the premise was amusing at first, but two minutes into the video and you’re wondering, “What’s the point?” 

It’s just a straightforward rip-off.

Was "Accidentally Kelly Street" your choice? Not a typical song for a skate video, how did the rest of the crew react to that? 

I thought this might be embarrassing to answer because the song is so queer, but nope. Just put it on right now and I’m snapping my fingers to it. I still hadn’t gotten into music yet and I think William introduced me to that song. I liked it enough, and that was it. 

Apparently, I’ve been rumored as gay, and I’m sure that song doesn’t help but I don’t really give a shit. Because “In the garden, the birds are singing; the sun is shining on the path. The wind is talking to the flowers and the dogs and cats… they’re all taking a bath.” 

And if anybody has a problem with that, well then… they can suck on my supposedly gay dick.

You were actually in Big Brother quite a bit back in the day, culminating in your Sade-scored prank call on the Big Brother #9 cassette. Do you remember that? Did you have any idea what was going on with “Amy” and “Paul”? 

Yeah, I actually do remember that. I patronized a random call from some strangers for a while because there was a female on the line, and that was that. 

I don't really get where the prank was. The fact that they played "Smooth Operator" over the call? I'm sure I'd cringe if I heard the tape now. I mean, I've always had a high-pitched voice, and I was still about a year away from getting a hold of a pussy for the first time, so I’m sure I sounded like a total putz. But still... 

Call me now as a middle-aged curmudgeon and it'd probably go something like, "Yeah, what are we doing here? You want to swing by and lick on my balls for a minute? What's that? You live on the East Coast?" (Click) 

Interesting part was after the chick hung up, dude tries keeping the conversation going but then I hung up. Of course, that got edited out because they don't look cool getting hung up on, right? 

Super classic prank, though. I’m shocked they didn't ask me if my refrigerator was running. 

So how did your switch to Planet Earth come about? Were you shopping around for another sponsor or did PE just kinda happen? 

That was all Rick Jaramillo. Apparently, he liked the way I skated and made a push to get me on the team. I was game. I mean, I was still only making $650 a month on Santa Cruz, and they’d recently merged SMA with Santa Cruz, so I was glad to go in a different direction. 

Santa Cruz had a history of skaters that I never really admired, but Planet Earth had a history that involved Brian Lotti, Jovontae Turner and Markus Wyndham. And currently, there was Matt Schnurr, Rick J., Richard Angelides, Chany Jeanguenin, and a young Montoya before he was doing nollie heelflip frontside noseslides down handrails in gaudy button-ups. To be named amongst that company was an honor. And the aesthetic of the brand felt more appealing and befitting of my style. 

I wasn’t actively looking for a new sponsor, it just happened, thanks to Rick. I ended up talking to Chris Miller for five minutes, he offered up $1000 a month plus photo incentive, and that was that. Sold. 

Was the team vibe any better for you at Planet Earth? 

Yeah, because I was with my people. I respected the way everybody skated on the team. And I ended up living with Rick and Lib in Long Beach, so I would hope that I got to know the team better.

What about that switch back 5-0 ad in Silverlake? Was that an NBD? Did that footage ever come out in anything? 

Yes, that was an NBD and still is because I never landed it. 

That's something that sort of became a staple of my career. I'd just be skating somewhere when somebody would pull out a camera and start shooting photos of me. Two months later, there's a photo of me in some magazine, whether I landed the trick or not. 

I mean, I get it. I’m photogenic and all, but still… 

Another one, the kickflip backtail at JKwon in your Pro Spotlight… 

Yeah, that is another one. That was never going to happen. I was just trying to see if it was possible. Hoping that maybe a miracle would happen, but no… no miracles that day. Still ended up in the magazine, though.

To be honest, that whole spotlight was a mess. I mean, I didn’t make half those tricks. I don't know if it was Transworld's job to not print them or if it was my job to go back on my own and make them, but neither happened. It is what it is, I guess.

And I'm not sure if I ever read that thing all the way through back then, because I recently read that interview for the sake of this one and I was shocked at just how bad it is. I remember asking Bartsma to write the intro — we were best friends at the time and I was impressed with the quality of his writing — but what he ended up handing me was just weird. It was like he was trying too hard to be deep and profound, but apparently “disturbing raindrops were dancing on his windshield,” so I guess I should cut him a little slack. But then he has me quoted as saying, “Life is like water, it’s always in motion and constantly changing.” 

What the fuck? What are we doing here?

Then, I had my roommates Rick and Lib conduct the interview and it reads just as awkward as our actual relationships were. Because they smoked a lot of weed back then, which has never been my thing. I'm already inside my head enough as it is, marijuana takes me to a completely useless head space. So I just avoid the stuff. That said, the two-smoker-one-alcoholic dynamic of our household was pretty odd at times. We’d booze it up at night and be the best of friends, but the very next morning, they’d wake-and-bake and it’d be like hanging out with two acquaintances or something. I think the shallow nature of the questions and answers there really captured how surface-level our friendships were. And that’s not a personal dig at either of them. We just had very different personalities, which made for strained relationships at the time… and a strained interview, for sure. 

And my answers. Holy shit. What an amazing raconteur I was back then, right? I mean, I was 23 years old and I sound like I’m ten. 

"People try to make me be ashamed"? 

Catcher in the Rye is the raddest…”? 

Who talks like that? Seriously. It’s just a super bizarre read and really embarrassing. I honestly can't figure out what was going on with me there. Was I drunk? Nervous? Stupid? A ridiculous combination of all three? 

Either way, I regret rereading that thing recently — ignorance truly is bliss — and I’d be just fine if the July 1996 issue of Transworld Skateboarding never existed.

Anyway, JKwon never happened. And props to Tony Ferguson for knocking that one out.

What about that switch frontside heel ad over the Adams bump?

Well, between Santa Cruz and Earth, I had ten ads and that one is, by far, my favorite. The board. The clothes. The shoes. The colors. The trick. The layout. I don’t know what two-page ads cost, but that one had to be worth it. Definitely one of my prouder moments.

How was filming for Silver compared to your previous Santa Cruz projects? Were you working with Ty Evans on that one? 

I can’t say filming for Silver was any different than any of my other parts. Ty had a lot on his plate, so it wasn’t like he was just focused on me. I took my usual lax approach and it is what it is.

How’d that train tracks intro come about? And with your interest in acting, I imagine you probably being into filming that type of stuff, right? Were there any hidden meanings in there, like Joey Bast and the white bread?

That was all Ty. No, there weren’t any hidden meanings. And I did enjoy filming that stuff, even though I would hardly classify it as acting. 

Did you have any say with the editing at all? And was De La Soul your choice?

No. And yes.

Lots of lines in this one, is that just where your skating was at the time? What was your process like with lines back then, were things pre-planned or are you just making them up at the spot? 

Not necessarily. No process. No. And yes. 

Well, what about your frontside half-cab noseslide in Chinatown? That’s as good as it gets and you made it look easy. Was it? That has to be in your “five tricks you still like” that you mentioned earlier, right?

Sorry about those last couple of questions. I don’t really like my Silver part, save for the last ten seconds. But Chinatown… now we’re talking!

So, I remember waking up in a bad mood that day. I was depressed and bored of my life. I was lacking fulfillment, in general, and skateboarding just wasn’t cutting it for me anymore. We — the Long Beach area Earth team and myself — are going out to film for Silver. Rick Jaramillo knows Eric Koston, who also shows up because he’s filming for his Transworld Uno part. Koston was my favorite skater at the time, so skating with him should’ve had me giddy like a schoolgirl, but I’m quiet the whole day because I’m in a mood. 

We all do our bullshit little tricks. Boardslides, lipslides, smith grinds, feeble grinds… then maybe somebody does something switch and that’s their banger for the day. 

For some reason, I start trying frontside half cab noseslides. I don’t really have that trick on lock, and it’s a bit intimidating because you’re going blindside. You really have to commit to being on top of it. But I’m in a mood and don’t care, because subconsciously, I’m looking to crack my head open on the sidewalk. Because I need to feel something, anything, even if it’s pain. 

So, I just start locking onto these noseslides and sliding the whole rail. The fact that it’s makeable slowly becomes a reality. 

One by one, people run out of tricks to do and start sitting down to watch, until it’s just me and Eric Koston skating by ourselves. And in the ten years I skated, that’s easily my favorite moment. I’m still in a mood and not even talking to the guy, but even if I weren’t in a mood, I’d be too awestruck and shy. But there we are, having ourselves a session. And the fact of the matter is, while that guy’s bag of tricks is endless, I like to believe he was still skating because he wasn’t going to let me battle that trick by myself. Whether that’s actually the case or not, I don’t know, but he seems cool like that so that’s what I tell myself to this day.

Anyway, when I say that I never really forced tricks, this instance is a prime example. I hadn’t even committed to coming out of that trick forward or fakie. I was just locking on, sliding, and then falling off at the end. Waiting for the trick to manifest itself. I did that over and over again. And, as was the case when taking that approach, if I got lucky, I’d eventually end up rolling away from one in a state of surreality. Like, “Wow, did that really just happen?” 

And thankfully, yes, it really did just happen. And, yes, that’s easily in the “five tricks I still like to this day”. 

Why don’t you like your Silver part?

It just seems a little too simple to me. I didn't make the switch fs heel over the chain, so I'm not sure why that was squeezed in there. And I don't really slide or grind any of the line tricks very far.

But you have two real bangers at the Long Beach Ledges in there. Talk about your switch pop shuv nosegrind to 180 out and that nollie 180 fakie five-o. Can’t help but notice those aren’t in lines, were they a bit more of a struggle? 

Those tricks actually came fairly easy. So easily that I probably could’ve/should’ve put them in a line together, but that would have required some actual work, God forbid. 

I remember doing that nollie 180 to fakie five-o when I wasn’t filming and, surprisingly, I did it rather quickly. I never intended for it to be anything but a single trick because I figured I just got lucky the first time. But when I did it a second time later on with Ty, again, it came quick. For whatever reason, I decided to leave it alone after that. Because why push my luck? 

And the switch front 5-0 on the San Pedro High outledge. Such a gnarly spot.

Well, Montoya does that same trick in a line for his part in Genesis. He starts with that and ends with a switch backside tailslide on the lower ledge. And Bartsma did a switch frontside shove-it out of that trick for his ender in the same video, so that was a day of awakening for me. Those little sons of bitches were not only catching up, they were surpassing. And… the end was near. 

What happened with you and Planet Earth? In the brief time you were there, everything seemed to be going pretty well… 

Well, I don’t recall being on there for that “brief” a period. I mean, I got a $50 a month raise after a year, so I was on there for at least that long. And things were going fine from my standpoint, but towards the end, I started getting pressure from Miller, like I wasn’t doing enough… which was bullshit. 

I had started going to school, and I’m pretty sure that’s what did me in. After rereading my Pro Spotlight, I’m starting to remember what was going on with me at the time. There’s that question asking me if was ashamed to be 23 years old? That’s how absurd skateboarding was back then: 23 was considered old and people didn’t have a problem trying to make you feel that way. So, on my own accord, I went and signed up for a few general education classes at a nearby community college. 

I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, but figured I ought to start doing something. And, much like how skateboarding had called out to me a decade earlier, acting began to call out to me. So, I made my way over to the theatre department at school. I don’t know what it was about acting that intrigued me so much, especially considering how shy I was, but I was very much intrigued. 

It started becoming important to me. So much so that I actually had Planet Earth fly me home early from a US tour because a new semester was starting. In retrospect, that was probably an ill-advised move because it suggested that I didn’t have my priorities straight. But my priorities were, in fact, shifting.

Sometime in the middle of that semester, I was down at Planet Earth when Miller asked me into his office for a chat, which was something he never did. I was always standoffish with guy, and that happens with me on occasion, where I’ll just not be feeling a certain person’s energy and close up. But I actually opened up that day and, not knowing what else to talk about, started talking about acting. He correctly surmised that my creative energies had transferred over into acting, and I think that conversation made him start questioning my commitment to skateboarding. This was probably the beginning of the end for me, because shortly after that, I get a call from him wanting me to develop some sort of goal plan for myself… and if I’d had the financial freedom to do so, I would have just told him to fuck off. 

There’s this notion that because you’re collecting a check or two every month, your life has to revolve around skateboarding. This idea is fostered by the companies who, ultimately, are trying to profit off your name and labor, and its encouraged by want-to-be pros who would do anything to be in a professional’s shoes. But… do the math. $1050 divided by four is $263. Subtract 35% of that for taxes, and I was making about $170 a week. I was being paid the same as a part-time employee earning minimum-wage. Why should I be doing anything more than what I was already doing? 

Because in a little over a year’s time, I had a TWS Pro Spotlight, despite its flaws. I had a healthy amount of footage in 411VMs. I was in six Planet Earth ads… I was on Santa Cruz twice as long but only had four ads for them. And I don’t care what legends were on that company, my two-page ad is arguably the best-looking thing that company ever put out in a magazine. That, and I put out a part in Silver. I think it’s fair to say that Chris Miller got his money’s worth. 

So, for him to call and suggest that I wasn’t doing enough by asking me to create a goal plan was just a joke. But I’m embarrassed to say that I still pulled out a pen and paper and patronized his request. And I’m even more embarrassed to say that I actually did call up Vans, like the desperate kook I was, and asked for an ad. And when I reported back to Chris, like the desperate kook I was, he says, “No, that’s not how it works! They ask you! You don’t ask them!” 

Yeah, I know how the fuck it works. But you’re the one sweating me when I’m putting in just as much work as anybody else on the team. And why? Because sales aren’t going well? Or because you have a bunch of wannabe entrepreneurs dipping their hands into your pockets to fund for their unsuccessful side projects? Or maybe it’s because you have a staff that includes an “artist” who’s so lazy and incompetent that he actually misspelled my name on a board? And you’re so inept that you let it happen! 

But the reality was, none of that stuff even mattered because my interest in skateboarding had waned. I didn’t even mind the nudge to move on. But the way that it was handled was so inconsiderate, I can’t help but take a little time to talk some shit.

You just got a call one day? Was there a team meeting or something? 

No, there was no team meeting because I didn’t do anything to warrant getting kicked off. I was taking six hours’ worth of acting classes a week. Big deal. No, I just got a random call from Miller, and he timed it one day before payday so that he wouldn’t have to pay me, and I’m sorry but…that’s just a coward’s move. I mean, I’m a human being. I have rent to pay. I have bills to pay. I need to eat food. So, if he had any class he would have called me two weeks prior, given me a full check and let me go then, so at least I’d know to ration the thing. But, he calls me one day before payday when I’m living check-to-check, and that’s just not cool.

Did you look around for a new sponsor or were you just over skating at that point? At least, the industry portion of it?

No, I was over it. All of it. 

Rothmeyer tells the story of after Planet Earth, you went through and skated all your pro models that you had saved and then quit? Is that true? 

Well, I wasn't making some dramatic statement. I just know myself, and I had no intention of lugging around 13 boards through the unsettled life I instinctively knew I was going to live. My father, as many black men have a tendency to do, opted out of the role of parent, and my mother is a nomad, moving from place to place. So, it's not like I could send a box home to mom and dad’s house and have it sit in a garage until I got my life in order. 

And you actually went through with that? You don’t have any of your old pro boards? 

Yep, I gripped those bitches up, one by one, and there's not a single, solitary part of me that gives a single, solitary shit. That might sound like bullshit, but, as weird as it is, that’s just kind of the way I am.

It took me a while to go through 13 boards, so I kept skating for a little while. But once those decks were gone, I was done. I wasn't asking anybody for a board, and I sure as fuck wasn't buying one, so that was it.

What about your friends who skated? You were just done with the whole thing? Because you basically just vanished, man.

Well, my skateboarding friendships all sort of fizzled away for a variety of reasons, the main one being that it was embarrassing getting kicked off. 

As I mentioned earlier, I worked at JCPenney for a while. And after that, I ended up waiting tables at a steakhouse that had this ridiculous shtick where every 45 minutes, they’d crank up country music and we servers would randomly start line dancing in the aisles. So, there I was, a six-foot-one black guy line dancing in the middle of a restaurant. And if that wasn’t embarrassing enough, there was a local skater who apparently loved himself some Lone Star Steakhouse and Saloon because I ended up serving him, like, four times in three months.

I didn't care much for the kid, nor did he care much for me, but I was forced to fake a smile and take his food order… when it came time to dancing, I just disappeared. But on that fourth time, I was so irritated that I finally asked, “Are you ASKING to sit in my section?!” 

I guess it was coincidental because he gave an exasperated “No!” But still, I just kept thinking, “Dude, please, just go eat somewhere else!”

And that’s kind of how I felt about all of skateboarding at the point: Please, just go eat somewhere else.

It was nothing against skateboarding or the friends I’d made, I just wanted some space. Because I knew that I was probably being seen as this sad pro-to-schmoe case of expendability, when in reality, I was actually happier. I was studying acting during the day, which had its emotional rewards, and I was working at night, which had its financial rewards… add tips into the equation and I was making twice as much money waiting tables than I was professionally skateboarding. Between school and work, I was making a whole new slew of friends that had different sets of interests. And there were actually females around on a regular basis, leading to my first girlfriend. All-in-all, I felt more whole as a person and was glad to have moved on. 

The only friendship that actually weathered that storm was with Ryan Bartsma. That dude was like a brother to me and our friendship ran deeper than skateboarding. But sometimes life likes to throw curve balls at you in the form of insecure, fat women, and well... Ryan found himself one. She eventually changed the dynamic of our friendship to the point where I had no choice but to walk away, and that was that. The last link to the good ol’ days gone. Such is life… because apparently, “Life is like water, it’s always in motion and constantly changing.”

The rumor was that you became a professional gambler, is that true? 

No, that's not true; I'm an alcoholic and quite unlucky. I have played poker for almost two decades now. I've won a handful tournaments here and there, and have had the occasional moment of genius in live cash games and online, but I have piss-poor money management skills. And that, mixed with the fact that I’m a drunk, doesn’t bode well in the life of a wannabe-professional poker player.

How do you look back on your skateboarding career? You have to be proud of your accomplishments, right?

I look back with fondness. Those were some of the greatest times of my life. And yeah, I'm proud of what I accomplished. I do think everything happened a little too effortlessly, though. It's not like I set a goal for myself and then worked hard to achieve it. Outside of handing a sponsor-me tape to Bill’s Wheels and sending another one to NHS, everything was sort of given to me. So, it was hard to appreciate on a certain level. 

But still, 30 years later and I meet a new girl, you bet your ass that I'm working "I used to skateboard professionally" into the conversation somewhere. Three weeks later, and they're like, "Yeah, yeah… You went to Europe one time on a skateboard trip. Nobody gives a shit. Just eat my ass out and shut the fuck up already."

Is there anything you would’ve done differently? 

I would have drunk less in social settings because I made a fool out of myself on quite a few occasions. But, other than that, I wouldn’t change much.

My life’s real regret is not pursuing acting further… because, as usual, alcohol played a role. If I could go back, I probably would’ve never touched the stuff. But the shyness I had back then was genuinely crippling, so once I discovered the freedoms of intoxication, my fate was sealed, unfortunately. It's been bottoms up and dreams deferred ever since.

Do you think your career would've been any different with different sponsors?

Regardless of how things played out, I think Planet Earth was my ideal match. There’s one picture in my Pro Spotlight that captures this perfectly. It's the switch backside five-o at Ramona Elementary. There’s the blue sky above, the greyish-blue ledges, the grey corduroy pants, there’s a blue in the board that matches the navy blue sweatshirt I’m wearing with the Earth logo stitched onto it... I can’t think of another name that I would have rather had stitched onto that sweatshirt. 

Do you ever skate at all these days? 

No. My old Earth teammate, Dennis Bellew, brought me a board a few years ago and I linked up with a local Vegas skater, Douglas, that I met on Facebook. We met up at a nearby park and it was fun for about five minutes, then I was tired. Then I caught my shin on an edge and was over it. I had a purple leg for three weeks and put that board out to pasture not long after.

But I will tell you one thing, I’d never met Douglas before, but that seven-ply piece of wood created an instant bond with him. It felt like I was hanging out with an old friend. And, if anything, that's one thing that I miss and will forever love about skateboarding: the way it brings people together. 

I love the fact that, despite not having any desire to skate myself, I’m still very much fascinated by the act of skateboarding. It continues to be taken to genuinely impressive levels. How tech they’re getting, how high they’re going, how fast they’re going, how long they’re sliding, how far they’re grinding, and how consistent they’ve become. It’s mind-boggling. 

Skateboarding is still just as cool as I thought it was back when I asked my mother for my first board. And, as I look back on my life—the ups, the downs, the highs and the lows—the decade I spent riding a skateboard was definitely time well spent and will forever be cherished. 

Special thanks to Caesar, Mark Whiteley, and Jason Rothmeyer


D Howman said...

These last two interviews (Robbie McKinley & Caesar) have been incredibly insightful, honest and open.
Thank you to the interviewees & interviewer.

Parish Lavoisne said...

Wow never really got into reading interviews but this was great

Anonymous said...

I remember skating with him and another Earth guy whose name I can't remember in Paris La Défense in July 93 I think. All I remember is that he was super nice and wore no socks.

du_repi_unda said...

Great interview. Shuffle up and deal.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to you both for taking the time, much appreciated.

Fayth said...

What an Amazing Interview! So good to Learn So Much. Great Job with the Asks... And Caeser.. Thank You for Such Honest and Unadulterated Answers.

ChrishallZ said...

Dope interview. Caesar, you were a ripper.
Chris hall.

ChrishallZ said...

Dope interview. Caesar, you were a ripper.
Chris hall.

ChrishallZ said...

Dope interview. Caesar, you were a ripper.
Chris hall.

Dustin Umberger said...

Props from Chris Hall - dope. On top of that a great and thought provoking read. Caesar you contributed something special and timeless to skateboarding and Swisher you are a treasure to our culture. Reading a new chromeball interview is a huge pleasure I try not to take for granted. Cheers

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Caesar looked so great on a board. "I was about ten rows back, actually". I couldn't stop laughing. It's funny because the whole Santa Cruz thing seemed odd to me, even back then, like Planet Earth made way more sense as a sponsor. For what it's worth---skateboarding remembers. Peace.

sfaparazzi said...

Silver is one of my favorite videos ever and your part is a big reason why.

TheKed said...


DR said...

Would love to learn more about his poker journey.

Christheman said...

Amazing skater. I remember the switch bakside kickflp bakside nosegrind in a switchstance montage at the skatezone. Nobody else fucked with tech tricks of that caliber on ledges back then. Such an intersting read about his life after skateboarding, even though it was really depressive. Felt like something Buckowski could've written.

slumbrain said...

A racist vert skater who's also a cop?

What a Shyamalan twist.

I can only imagine Wampler skating Lockwood looking similar to the clip of Gator's parking block meltdown.

Caesar's intro was great, real honest.
Put gown the bottle though, you can do it.

Anonymous said...

Great stuff love Caesars style and trick selection. Would love to see you do a Russ Milligan interview Chops! Peace

Keith said...

It's not often you get to hear an uncensored honest assessment of events from the past, particularly in the professional skateboarding world. This one was a good read! Good job Eric and Caesar. That SC ad with the nose slide bs 270 out blew my mind when it came out. Always thought he deserved better than SC.

chops said...

The previously edited text has been added back into the interview.

You just got a call one day? Was there a team meeting or something?

No, there was no team meeting because I didn’t do anything to warrant getting kicked off. I was taking six hours’ worth of acting classes a week. Big deal. No, I just got a random call from Miller, and he timed it one day before payday so that he wouldn’t have to pay me, and I’m sorry but…that’s just a coward’s move. I mean, I’m a human being. I have rent to pay. I have bills to pay. I need to eat food. So, if he had any class he would have called me two weeks prior, given me a full check and let me go then, so at least I’d know to ration the thing. But, he calls me one day before payday when I’m living check-to-check, and that’s just not cool.

I had previously edited this paragraph as I felt that the points had already been made in his intro and I was concerned about the overall length of the piece. No disrespect was intended.

isidro said...

Brilliant!! Such another great interview. Thanks!!!

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed the ever-loving Christ out of this interview. Great stuff.

Lump Pajamas said...

that was fucking brilliant.
perhaps my favorite interview.

thank you all.


Anonymous said...

Caesar you were always fun to watch skate and great fun to hang out with. Can't believe it's been over 30 years since those days skating around fallbrook and california for that matter. Take care and hope to run into you soon. All the best. Brad.

Blue Dragon Enterprises said...

Thank you for what you brought to skateboarding Caesar! All my friends and I in Humboldt County LOVED your Days Of Our Lives part. Youll always be skateboard royalty, bro!!!

ChrisCasas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ChrisCasas said...

Yo Caeser! Chris Casas here! I have a few more pictures from that session in Berkley with you me and Pete! Will get them out there for you. As far as your NHS hook up, pretty sure I made a call to NHS as well. You were ripping and hanging with Piazza at the time. You two were hanging out at Sunshine Surf & Sport. You must of had your tape with you and we were playing it in the shop. I realized you were far more talented than the rest of us and was ready for a real sponsorship. So right then and there I called up Jeff Kendal or Bod Boyle (pretty sure the conversation was with Kendal) at NHS and said I wasn't going to waste their time, and that I was going to send them your tape and they need to sponsor you. I'm sure they checked with Bill too. I was super pumped and when your lion board came out. I still have the shirt.

Piri said...

Awesome interview. I started just as he was winding up so kinda passed me by, but clearly talented and super smooth! Also super intelligent, but clearly lacking (as many do in their early 20s) the smarts and social skills to play the game and build a sustainable career. Nice with the humour though!

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Anonymous said...

Wampler got jacked for his camera at lockwood

Anonymous said...

Really says a lot about dude that he has friends coming out of the woodwork saying nothing but good things about him.

Anonymous said...

such a great interview. you don't often get the perspective of the pro who decided to quit due to industry and social circumstances. honest, self aware and thoughtful too. growing up as an indian skater in california, i used to trip out on his last name being Singh which is a common indian-punjabi-sikh name. always wondered what his background was, i'm assuming now that one of his parents might be a sikh convert (guru khalsa was also one who grew up with convert parents).

Anonymous said...

If I recall correctly, I saw Caesar skating the Venice pit after his pro run with one of those 13 boards.

He was a great disappearing act. His part in Silver was outstanding. Really smooth style, great trick selection.