You know exactly when you’ve become an old skater. It’s easy: you can be out for a week from a back ache, not a sprained ankle. I mean, paralyzed-style out, seriously. Brutal. That was my wonderful, horrible life for a second. Anyway, dry up your tears, here’s the little Extra blurb to accompany the Rudy Johnson post below -I’ll try to figure one out for every actual boards page. Basically, when I went meet Rudy to ask him about his favorite boards, who happens to be the coolest person ever, we ended up talking about a lot more than this, and next thing you know I had a sort of career/little-known-fact nerdish hour of (Ipod) tape. Here are a bunch of interesting things from it. Maybe they were known, maybe they weren’t. Enjoy !
1. Me llamo mister Johnson
“My mother is from Mexico and my father is from Costa Rica. I’m first generation here, in America. I got my name Johnson from some weird affair, my great-great-grandmother had an affair with a priest. And the priest was from Costa Rica and she was English. So she stayed in Costa Rica, and her baby was born but he couldn’t carry the last name of the priest, cause he was a priest. So it was ‘Johnson.’ It’s funny cause people have asked me how I ended up with this surname my whole life.”
“I started skating in 1986, and I remember it was 1986 cause my first board was a ‘comet Haley’ board! And you wouldn’t see it again for 76 years, so it was a big thing. People were putting it on everything. I was 13 years old.”
3. The half pipe conspiracy
“I knew Gabriel Rodriguez before we even skated, we played Little League baseball when we were 10 years old. We both had a quarter pipe and we decided to put them together, to have a half pipe. That was by mid-Wilshire, mid-City, LA. Then I met Paulo, through Gabriel, and then Guy.”
4. Do not surpass
“We filmed the whole Ban This part in two weekends. Then Skate TV, that show that Stacy was doing on Nicolodeon, came about and Stacy told us to not surpass in skating what we already filmed for the video. So we just kinda goofed around.”
5. Gonzo phonism
“Rocco always wanted Guy Mariano, cause he was into getting the little kids. And for me… I mean, we became good friends with Lance Mountain, we would go and he would let us stay at his house, we were really psyched. He would invite us to his ramp to watch sessions. We’d see Cab, it was so cool. So Lance was really good friends with Mark Gonzales. I guess Mark asked Lance for my phone number. So I was just at home one day and my mom’s like, ‘Hey, you got a phone call. I was like, ‘Hello, who’s this?’ ‘- Hey Rudy what’s up, this is Mark Gonzales.’ I was like whatever, someone is crank calling me. And I hung up. I was like, ‘Dude, fuck off.’
6. The Old English saveur
“The 40s board thing was fun. Mark thought of that: ‘It’d be cool to have a board with a ‘40s on there. It’s random.’ I remember it coming out, and I don’t even drink, you know? I drank this one though, cause it’s on my board. It got me so drunk man, I was sick. Horrible.”
7. Actually, a nice Rocco story…
“You always hear negative stories about Rocco. For once, here’s a nice one: when I was with my girlfriend, he let me borrow his $80,000 Porsche from Thursday to Monday, so I can go to the prom.”
8. … And back to normal
“One day Rocco invited me for lunch, and he had this recorder hidden under the table. His plan was to have this be my big Brother interview but I couldn’t let him run it. At this point I was in a really bad relationship with my girlfriend, she’s now my wife but when we were dating it was really really hard, so all I did was talk shit on the tape, and her brother was a sponsored vert skater who was on Powell, we were friends. It was really bad.
Then Rocco showed me the interview like it was rad. I was like, ‘Are you fucking kidding me? Dude, no.’ I was really stressed about it, I begged Rodney to change it up, maybe I threatened to quit or something. He told me it was too late to re-do an interview. I was like, ‘You don’t have time? Make it up, dude.’ Everything. It’s all made up. It’s not even real. Kinda like my Check Out, Mark did it, they just took a piece of litterature from a book and put it as is.”
9. Win-win situation
“Around 1999 with Guy we thought that we needed to do something to stay in the skateboarding world, so we started Royal. It’s not that difficult, you just gotta come up with a mold. The first person we did with, they never did skateboard trucks. The thing is, with boards you gotta change them constantly. With trucks, you just change them once every two, three years. In almost 10 years, we’re on our fourth model now! We just have to come up with ads. Still though, we were I think the first ones to come up with a logo and graphics on the hanger.”
10. Feel the music
Seb’s note: My fingers being somewhat numb after typing all this, those with enough courage to have read this far can go check what Rudy has to say about music right here.