Alan Petersen, Pizzy Skatepark, Gold Coast Australia- 1996. For me, this is one of those photos that became timeless. I'm not trying to float my own boat here, but every photographer has his or her own personal favorites. Technically this photo is nothing special- Kodak c-41, developed normal, no strobes, no Photoshop, shot down the line- Alan was in prime form that day. We took the train from Andrew McKenzie's house, I think Dustin Dollin was there (Dustin was 14-15 and a hyper-psycho little kid), and it was 110 degrees. My first time to Pizzy- old, rough, bumpy, no coping and it looked like it hadn't been skated in years (though Seb Steele and Clint Bond were probably lurking in the bushes). There's stories of the Bones Brigade going 7'+ and pulling McTwists in the mid '80's- gnarly. This photo is one of only a hand full that I've shot, over the last 20 years, that I actually like.
Rune Glifburg, no-comply on a mini ramp in middle America, 1998. This was taken on a Volcom trip to Skatopia- my first time there also. Remy Stratton, Dollin, Bam, Rune, Jaya Bonderov and the band The Line. We had a 2 man slingshot shooting burning lumps of coal into Lake Minnetonka from the roof of some dudes cabin in Minnesota. I almost got arrested in Texas cause the cops thought I was a gang banger (I had a Sharpie in my pocket and they wanted to know what gang signs I wrote), thought I was supplying alcohol and pornography to minors (porn mags and beer in the van while Dustin and Bam were under age) and procession of illegal firearms (everyone was shooting bottle rockets out the window). The one time of the whole trip that I drove the van- Remy was to drunk to drive. I tried to throw a chair out the 21 story window at a hotel in Chicago- it bounced of the shatter proof glass and hit me in the face. The door to our hotel was broken down by fireman in Flint, Michigan cause of hotel was on fire. And Dollin tripped balls on liquid acid at Skatopia. This was all in one trip. After this cover came out Rune told me that if he knew that all he had to do was a no-comply to get the cover, he would have done it a long time ago. In an off hand way he was saying that it wasn't up to par for a cover. My philosophy about covers was it had to be cool, different, something you wouldn't see on the front of any other mag- something unique. Covers don't have to be the biggest, the gnarliest, the hottest spot or guy- they have to make you want to pick up the mag and skate. There's also a shit load of hidden text in this cover- grayed out 3pt. Helvetica. Thanks Max Miedinger!
Ahh, the Hosoi cover. It was a big deal to put Holmes on the cover in '96. Street skating was everything, vert was contained strictly to contests (much like today- except the Rumble), and Christian, I hate to say it, was way past his prime. When it came to transitions these were the days of Tas & Ben Pappas, Neal Hendrix, Danny Way, Max Schaaf and Mike Frazier. But no matter which way you slice it, nothing beats a Hosoi method air. We got tons of flack for putting a vert photo on the cover. The cover was supposed to be silver and black with the orange Slap, but we couldn't get it done in time. Me and Gabe Morford were sitting on the bottom bleacher, near the flat bottom, taking turns using my camera, shooting every other frame. This photo is Gabe's, while the next frame I shot an almost identical method air. Gabe, Huf, Phelps, Phil Shoa, Karma and myself drove from SF to Las Vegas for this vert contest. I got citizen arrested my the ex-Sheriffs brother, in the town of Mojave, for skating the ex-Sheriffs motel pool. The brother owned the gas station, across the street from the motel, where we were getting gas. We saw the empty pool and jumped in. The brother came from the gas station, screaming at me, pushed me and grabbed my board. I panicked, thinking I wouldn't have a board to skate, so I socked him. I grabbed the board, ran to the van and we took off. Huf and Karma, who were also in the pool, ran- but not to the van. As we took off we realized the two weren't with us so we circled through this little town looking for them. The cops caught up with us and now the guy I punched and his brother, the ex-Sheriff, were with them. The guy citizen arrested me in front of the cops (cops were cool, they just wanted us to get out of town) for trespassing, vandalism and assault. A few weeks later Fausto told me that he knew the guy I punched, he had sold him a go-kart for racing (Fausto owned Track Magic- a go-Kart company) and that he had taken care of everything. All I had to do was pay him $1000 for his hospital bill- two broken fingers from when he fell from being punched. This makes me sound really tough!!
Nowadays, skateboard magazines are 99% compliant with what the advertisers, sponsors and companies want. In the 90's, skaters and photographers dictated what went in the magazines, not the company that bought the most pages. We had a lot more freedom to do what we wanted, with who and where we wanted. Trips were formed around groups of friends, not video premiers, filming trips and shop signings. This cover of Fred Gall was shot in Albuquerque N.M.. Me and Huf wanted to go on a skate trip and bring along our friends, whether they rode for Real or not. Gio Estavez, Peter Bici, Robbie Gangemi, Tim McKenny, Captain Lou (or Lou Metal as he's now known), Johnny Fonseca, Freddy, Huf and myself. We skated, drank, chased strippers, laughed and skated some more. I hope that magazines still want to hit the road with their buddies to have fun and explore- regardless of who flips the bill. It seems that Joe Brook and Jake Phelps are the last holders of the flame.