Guy Mariano might have unveiled Steve Rocco’s ultimate secret. “We were all just kids, man,” he reminisces as he relives his journey through Powell, Blind and Girl, “and I feel that Steve himself was just a kid, too.” Only a kid who happens to have made a bit of pocket money.
So why bother with candy when you can actually buy the whole store, then set it on fire just for the laughs? Hence the guns, the death, the sex, all these unknown, therefore fascinating, things for anybody immature enough to get the joke. Dumbo Board aside, (too direct of a jab at his ears size), Guy loved it all. That’s why his graphics have a special place in the Droorstalgic hearts.
When you can actually find them, that is -The only board that Guy currently owns is a Jason Lee “Bowie” deck offered to him by Marc Johnson. But thanks to a cross-continental chain of help, the five images ended up being found. And Guy could talk about them…
“That one was my first board, so of course you’re gonna be super hyped on it. But the graphic itself was really good. Also, it was at a time when I started to recognize supermodels, from the ad campaigns, whether it’d be Kate Moss on Calvin Klein, or this one who was a Guess model. It was super-special that that board came out in that era.
Also, what added to it was that just me and Jason Lee had that graphic, with just our names that changed. I had been looking up to him for so long, so sharing anything with someone like that, it was super special. I think it did very well, a check might have been $ 5,000 at $2 a board, you know what I mean?”
“Nowadays graphics are more or less a reflection of pros’ personalities, but back then it was more, ‘Our art guys will do stuff’. Still, that Accidental Gun Death board is special to me cause it was very graphic in a time where skateboard graphics had become really kid-friendly and all types of cartoons, they were doing a lot of Dr Seuss, or taking Burger King logos.
I think at that time on the news they might have been talking a lot on the news about kids’ accidental gun deaths or something and how dangerous guns are. It was a bit political. When I saw the board I thought it was pretty harsh but it was cool, man. I’d bring home my new boards and my mom would be like, “Oh that’s cute”, or “Oh that’s cool.” And when she saw that one, she was just, like, “I don’t like that one.” But she wasn’t that mad.”
“When I was young I really did like the Garbage Pail Kids. I thought they were really funny. And they turned me and my friends into this little series, putting a little twist on it, making them a little bit heavier, a little bit more raunchy. At that time I wasn’t really messing around with drugs or anything, but I had before with my good friends, so I thought they would have a kick out of it, maybe cause I had smoked weed before. Also, there was a cartoon character of myself on the board, which I was psyched on.
How they assigned each character to each one of us I’m not sure, it was probably rhyme-based a lot. Each one though probably vaguely applied to one of us, like Henry was always jacking off, and Rudy was probably doing the rear-end thing by then, you know what I mean?”
“Paulo Diaz’ brother, Quique, was always doing art at their house, his brother and sister were a very artistic family. So he was always painting and we’d watch him paint, saying stuff like, ‘If I ever go pro, I’ll put this one on my board, or that one”. And one day it just happened…
Girl had the in-house artists so they didn’t buy too much art outside, but Quique still go to do at least two of my boards, I’m not sure if he did any other ones for other people, including Paulo. I really loved how this one came out, and how Quique did purposedly sort of a symetrical graphic, cause switchstance skating was the trend then, he didn’t skate but he knew we liked to ride our skateboards backwards. I saw him again last year, he does jewelry now. Beautiful gold necklaces tha look like fish hooks, it’s really cool.”
“We were coming back from a Japan Tour and we ended up at Girl super early in the morning. Spike had told us that he wanted to do a series of boards with us disguised as old people, he was using make up like that with some Beastie Boys stuff. That’s something Spike always does when he has ideas –applying them to Girl. He’s way more involved in the company than you’d think from seeing him do all these big films.
But anyway, we came in and Spike was already there with two make up artists, he had all the clothes ready. It took the whole day. I remember, my mask was put on early and it had time to dry, but Rick’s was done at the end and it hurt his face when they took it out, that was funny.
So they shot the photos for the boards, and they turned this idea into a skit for a video way later, for a Chocolate video skit. But I wasn’t in it cause I I had removed myself from skateboarding already.
It took me years to realize the value of this kind of board. Who would do that nowadays? Have this idea, and then spend a whole day making it happen? It’s not really the way skate graphics are done anymore, that’s too bad.”
Special thanks : Thorsten Bödeker, Andy Jenkins & Marc McKee