All photos by Jai Tanju
From Skateboarder # 107
After 22 years spent skating, The Kid has had time to dip long enough in punk-rock imagery, carefully selecting non-baggy-friendly companies as sponsorship time came. Not to mention that San Jose’s then-godfathers –skateboard dons of Corey O’Brienesque proportions- probably wouldn’t have allowed it anyway. This in mind, from Santa Cruz to Black Label, Jason Adams did all the mandatory pit stops in the Norcal skate-punk galaxy : Think, SMA, Creature, Scarecrow, Sonic and… err… enjoi. Hence his taste in graphics. “I remember being really into certain ones,” the Beautiful Men Club member reminiscices fondly, “but I rarely had new boards. Usually I would trade or buy used ones or whatevs. In early years though, one of my favorite boards ever was the ‘Spidey’ Rick Demontron by Santa Cruz, an awesome Sex Pistols rip-off. I even replicated it in some papier-mâché art project in high school.” Thankfully soon after, Jason turned pro and was able to switch mediums for his punk sleeves rip-off obsessions: wood. What happened after that first SMA deck, an hommage to Bad Religion’s Suffer cover art? The Kid slaloms through his own history…
“When I left Think I had a burning American flag graphic in the works. I was hoping to just bring that idea with me, but Think went and issued it without my name on it. Damn! I thought ‘Shit, I really wanted that one.’
Russ Pope [SMA’s brand manager at the time] had always had this idea for a haggard statue of liberty graphic, it was in the same vein attitude-wise as the burning flag. I was down for it. I mean, George Bush Sr had just left office, it was easy to want an anti-American graphic. I was young and pissed, mainly, and down for anything punk or anti or fuck you.
It was my first full-graphic pro model on SMA, my first one was a logo slick bottom with an Adolesents rip-off top graffic, so this one’s special cause I felt legit when that board came out.”
“Straight rip-off basically, completed by Johnny [Mojo] with a cool SST [records, The Descendents’s label] rip-off top graphic!
I was digging The Descendents at the time, plus at that point I really didn’t want to grow up, terrified to be honest. Seemed fitting.
Milo Goes to College was my favorite album they did, straight through. Now I want to grow up, whatever that means. But I just can’t… I’m damaged goods!”
“I was so into the Sex Pistols at the time. I was all about Johnny Rotten, so I wanted a Johnny Rotten board. I love the early ‘90s, there was no money is skateboarding at the time. As far as I know there never was.
[During the big pants/small wheel years] I got off on going against the grain of what was going on, plus I never gave a shit about being hip or in the cool skate crowd or on the trendy company.
I loved and still love punk. The colors on this board were cool, it reminded me of that Rick Demontron board I loved so much, plus now it reminds me of that time in my life. SMA days were golden man, fucking golden. It was cool because all our graphics came from us. It was rad to be able to be creative and self-expressive.
I enjoyed going into the art department and hanging out and talking shit just as much as skating. That was before the series explosion and the emphasis on branding. It was cool to have that freedom.”
“This wasn’y especially inspired by any existing superhero, it just came from me and Tim Brauch drinking together. We came up with the idea together, we were just always together. Lived together, skated every day, same sponsor, traveled, all that shit! It was the best time, salad days I tell ya…
Waking up every morning to take the longboards to 7-11 for coffee and doughnuts, planning skateboard action for the day and, well, getting drunk every night and trying to beat Tim in a wrestling match was always a hoot. He always beat my ass with ease, but every night I kept coming back for more. [If we had actual super powers], mine would be to turn water into beer. And Tim’s would have been to turn beer into weed!”
“Drifting from the strict punk thing came I think from just getting older. Plus punk got a bit trendy and it took the edge of it. But at the same time I was gettin into classic country, honky tonk shit. I was now drinking in bars instead of alleyways at the punk show, and there was no Sex Pistols on the juke-box in the SJ dives. But they had Merle Haggard, god bless ‘em!
Basically, it’s all about maturing and opening up to different things, accepting the American roots that I was brought up from rather than rebelling against them. Or, to make a long story short: I found Johnny Cash! That started it all. I love old Caddys, I’ve had two, a ‘73 Sedan Deville and a ‘64 Coupe Deville. This was the first punk point we did. I’m very proud of it. It was totally different from anything at the time, and somehow it worked. We still make ‘em!”