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In all fairness, the late Big Brother should probably hold all ten of these. Back in simpler times, interviewing sponsored skateboarders meant you would be hearing the true voices of some of the most incredible and downright raw individuals on the face of our planet. People wonder why interviews are so cookie-cutter these days. The answer is simple-money. Nobody wants to rock the boar when they pencil in six-figure digits every tax season. Either way, in an ode to real skateboard journalism done balls to the wall-here are ten of the rawest interviews skateboarders have given us over the past 30 years.
TONY ALVA SKATEBOARDER 1978
Tony had just won the ’77 Skateboarder Of The Year Award from Skateboarder when he was chalked up for an unprecedented second feature interview in the magazine. This time around, Tony pulled out all the stops. His musings about sleeping with groupies, smoking weed, and his party lifestyle were so raw for their first time that they garnered one of the first ever disclaimers by the magazine’s editors.
COREY DUFFEL BIG BROTHER 2001
Poor Corey was only sixteen when Chris Nieratko pulled the infamous atomic bomb of a quote out of him. While the “trashy” Stevie Williams reference cost Corey a lot of his sponsors initially, most chalked it up to Corey being young and ignorant to the fact that Big Brother would indeed print every word recorded. With the water well under the bridge, Corey and Stevie now find themselves partners in crime on Venture and CCS, where Stevie helped get Corey on the team.
ADAM MCNATT TRANSWORLD SKATEBOARDING 1997
This single interview became the poser child collection of pages on how to go “all in” during your Pro Spotlight. McNatt-a huge start and innovator which Powell Peralta, 101, and later Evol and Osiris- essentially talked incredible sh-t on every nook, cranny, and secret that the skate industry had dragged him through during his career Some might argue that this single interview changed hi curse within the industry for good.
FABIAN ALOMAR BIG BROTHER 1997
Sometimes an interview can be raw for what s said within its Q&A. Other times, skateboard journalism is simply raw based on whom you are actually putting on the pages. Fabian Alomar’s opening-spread photo cracking an ollie surrounded by his gang-affiliated East L.A. family members is scary enough to earn him a spot on this list alone. His descriptions of a life surrounded by gang lifestyle and anecdotes involving guns, beatings, mushrooms, and prison time make it an absolute shoo-in.
ALEX OLSON TRANSWORLD SKATEBOARDING 2007
These days, as I attempted to explain in the intro, it is increasingly difficult to get real words out of real skateboarders in a real magazine. Spanky had no such problems with Olson. Protected by his close friendship with this subject matter, I am still amazed that Spanky got Alex to fearlessly cough up straight-from-the-heart gems like, “Who’s got an obnoxious image? Terry Kennedy’s kinda bad. I’m over that whole Ice Cream thing.” Damn.
DUANE PETERS SKATEBOARDER 2003
I’m just gonna run a quote. “I was shooting up, living in a ditch, and got rushed by these three Mexicans. They stabbed me seven times in the knee and three times in the back. I was swinging my board around at these f-kers and the funniest thing was I was rushing so much from the coke that I couldn’t climb out from this four-foot ditch. I finally got these guys off me and I was running down the street covered in blood when the cops came” You get the picture.
ANDY ROY BIG BROTHER 1996 AND 1998
This award goes for both his Big Brother interviews. It’s scary enough to read Andy’s stories about being nicknamed “snuggle-butt” while serving time, however, when Roy professed to Dave Carnie that he wanted to get “the aids” in order to spread it to as many people as possible, you may just be sitting on one of the rawest statements ever printed in any magazine.
GATOR TRANSWORLD SKATEBOARDING 1988
This issue is pretty much my first skate magazine and it was pretty much the first interview I ever read, but when Gator chimed in for his intro with, “First of all I’m gay, I cry out of my arms.” I remember clearly the feelings of outright confusion I felt and wondered immediately if this was the normal type of thing professional skateboarders talked about.
JOSH SWINDLE BIG BROTHER 1993
Before he went away for good after smashing a brick over a gay man’s head and killing him, Josh Swindle got busted at the Mexican border with some guns in his car. Earl Parker caught up with Josh for an interview while he served out his time in a Tijuana penitentiary. Drugs, Broomstick shanks, hookers, bribing guards, and beating a guy down for trying to steal his shoes all get detailed accounts.
JAON JESSEE TRANSWORLD SKATEBOARDING 1997
You don’t always have to espouse racism, kill someone, or go to jail to stack up some interesting musings for an interview. Anyone who enjoyed his straw story in the Gator documentary knows that when Jason says things like, “I’m no stranger to pain, especially in the pain of waking up in the morning and the pain of realization,” it ain’t no scripted text that his agent thought might help his board sales.
write by Kaylin