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    Space Needle

    The Experience Music Project "Hey Punk" Shows and Skateboard Demo
    August 23-25, 2002

    by Steve Pingleton

    Once again, the Experience Music Project museum in Seattle busts out the epic 3 day long bash, including 13 bands and so many "old school" skateboarders it felt like the eighties all over again, but better...

    Day ONE:

    Local We started our weekend on Friday with the marathon skatepark tour, I wanted to show Michael around some of the best new parks recently built here in Washington. We hit 7 skateparks in 3 days, mostly Dreamland parks, starting with a ferry ride to the Bainbridge Island park, where we met some way cool California skaters who were also in town for the EMP event. From there we hit up Gig Harbor's skatepark, then on to the big bowl at Sumner for some vert action. Skate Waypoints By that time it was getting late, so we hit up my pad for a quick shower, beerz and grub, then headed downtown to EMP for a screening of "Twenty to Life" and "Dogtown and the Z-Boys" on the big screen at the museum. Afterwards, Wentzle Ruml answered questions from a very enthusiastic audience. Read the whole interview here.

    Day TWO:

    Dwarves Saturday we were a bit thrashed (getting old is hell!) from traveling, but Michael wanted to skate a park in Federal Way he had helped design with his friend Perry, but had never seen finished. We warmed up there, and then went over to the Burien skatepark, my best friend Doug's favorite spot, a killer intermediate skatepark with a snakerun into a clover bowl, and very cool locals. Michael seemed to love this park, and it was hard to get him to leave, but I wanted to go downtown to my new hangout, the Ballard bowl. [Michael DID love this park! ed.] Dreamland has recently donated this sick bowl (with real pool coping!) to the city, with help from some ambitious locals. I grew up in Phoenix, I have skated hundreds of pools, and this bowl is one of the best pools I have ever skated. I knew this was where the shit was going to happen this weekend, and it did... Soon after we arrived at the Ballard Bowl, we got word that the JFA crew was in route with the Deathbox team, so we got some runs in and grabbed lunch before the chaos hit. Soon Brian Brannon showed up with the whole band, and the new Deathbox team including Dave Hackett, Tom Inouye, Dave Reul, Adrian Demain, Arab and his son Nathan Groff (super grom!), Doug "Pineapple" Saladino (out with a broken ankle), and an insane OR skater named Eric. Hackett had a ghetto blaster/ backpack and placed it strategically on the island between bowls and cranked the jamz, what I would call "old school" heavy metal, AC/DC, ZZ Top, Zeppelin, etc. to get everyone pumped. The Ballard locals were ripping too, and insane lines were shared and lots of beer and blood was spilled, totally ragin' session 4 sure. We just got out of the pool and watched, and a great time was had by everyone, but it had just begun...

    Check out these animated gifs of skate action: (Click for a pop-up box)

    Dwarves We then went back to the hotel where everyone was staying and hung out in Brian and Don's room (JFA) to cleanup for the Dickies show. I bet that fancy hotel had never been invaded by skaters in force like that before, it was kinda funny to see tattoos and skateboards everywhere, the suits didn't know what they were in for! Then off to EMP for a killer supper, and many pre-concert drinks in the way phat Liquid Lounge. Highlights included Brian B. with double fisted martinis, and hearing crazy stories from some Olympia locals upstairs. I also met a very cool photographer named Ray who was travelling with the Deathbox team, and we hungout together backstage. The staff at EMP was so cool to everyone, as usual, there were 3-4 big tables of skaters totally raging, and they took care of us all. Much respect and thanks go out to Andrew, Danny and those behind the scenes for flowing all the food and drinks, and passes for us all...

    Well, due to all the drinks and stories, we missed local band Portriat of Poverty, but made it upstairs to see the Dwarves tearing it up in the Sky Church. They have a big following, and I can see why, they were radd! The concert security guards were a bunch of Nazi's, hassling me even though I had a photo pass, but I managed to get some great photos of the Dwarves and the Angry Samoans, who also ripped it up. Dave Reul (funny guy!) had me take a photo of an old guy who was backstage in a wheelchair watching the Samoans, classic.... Also due too too many drinks, and moshing in the Sky Church with those guys, I loaded my film wrong and all my photos of the Dickies got wasted, but at least I got to see them play. They are a punk legend, I can see why now, good songs and their music has a sense of humour. They really seemed to be having alot of fun up there with their stuffed animals. Great show, but we were too tired to go out and party anymore, though I'm sure many of the crew kept on raging afterwards, what a night...

    Day THREE:Downhill

    Sunday was the big skateboard demo, another busy day for sure. We started out in downtown Seattle at the "Red Bull Skid Road" downhill skateboard race, a way burly steep street race with a hairpin turn at the bottom. Watching those guys hit 45 mph and faster trying to make that turn was very impressive, several hit the hay bales.

    Salba Next stop was EMP to hookup with everyone and see what the schedule looked like. The music had already started, EMP had setup the stage right next to the Seaskate skatepark, and Olympia band the Dirty Birds were kicking things off. We ran into Salba warming up the bowl, and when we found out that the demo was not until 3 pm, decided to go back over to the Ballard Bowl for awhile to watch him shred with Dave Reul and crew. This is what I was really looking forward to, Salba let loose in Ballard bowl, and I was not disappointed...

    Once again Ballard Bowl was assaulted by the Deathbox crew, with Salba this time, and some radd locals as well. I skated a bit, but by that time I was too tired to skate hard, so I ended up shooting film and watching. Reul had the bowl wired by now, with huge 50-50 grinds around the corners, and big frontside airs, I see why his nickname is "the Ruler". Salba stretched out for about 10 minutes, then totally ripped everything, you could tell he really liked this bowl, he was going BIG. We left early because we just had to see JFA play with their new drummer, but the session there was still going strong when we left. I'm sure those guys didn't want to leave Ballard to go back to Seaskate either, but that is where all the action was!

    JFA Back at Seattle Center, JFA was finishing up their set, and we caught the last 4 songs of their set, including an punk rock cover of "Lowrider". Those guys are amazing, still going strong after all these years, and the new drummer, Matt Ethridge, rips and he's way cool too. The demo in the skatepark was next up, so the nazi security guards cleared everyone out except pro skaters and photographers. This was cool in a way because I'm sure everyone in the stands could see better with the deck of the bowl cleared off, and it was more organized than past years. BUT, I did miss all the way radd Northwest locals who usually rule that bowl, only a few of them were allowed to snake runs during the demo this year...

    Olson The skate demo this year was definitely the Deathbox show, their team dominated the knarly bowl. Ricky Stiles was also blasting some big invert airs, along with Mike Folmer showing some major surf style moves. Salba and Reul were all pumped up, and Salba really ripped the big bowl this year, with backside airs on the hips, evil frontsides and even a pogo rock n' roll! Hackett and Olson were both slashing frontside grind/slides, showing all the kids what style was really all about. Wally was busting frontside airs, and Adrian Demain shredded some sic airs too. Brad Bowman was in there too, still ripping on his new BB model board. Arab and son got some good runs in, and a hot girl named Jessica was also ripping for the Deathbox team. Eric (aka "Rocky") from OR busted some large frontside airs, even though he took a bad fall on his head at Ballard the day before, talk about hardcore! At the very end of the demo Duane Peters showed up with Corey Parks, The Hunns Bassist, and took several burly runs in the bowl. Then several skaters decided to see who could do the knarliest trick off the tombstone (with 3 ft tranny with approx. 3 ft. of vert), Stiles did a rock n' roll and Reul did a frontside grind as things started to wind down. It is so amazing to watch these pioneers of the sport still skating hard, and see some veteran skaters that I had heard of, but never seen ride in person. These are the guys that invented it all, sure beats the hell out of watching all the "robots" at the X-Games...

    Agent Orange

    After the demo the skatepark opened back up for everyone to skate to the live jamz of the Briefs, then D.I. We made a beer run, and ran into Bobcat from and had a few with him. I was really looking forward to Agent Orange, those guys always do such a stellar set, so I went backstage and shot some film. Agent Orange played all the songs the crowd wanted to hear, including "Miserlou", and "Secret Agent Man". Duane and ?? Then the Huns came on, raging totally, and I was not prepared for them. The Huns bass player Corey Parks, formerly with Nashville Pussy, blew some 20 ft. fireballs that almost sent the banners on the stage up in flames! Very wild shit, great set too! Then I went and skated the bowl awhile, once the crowd had cleared, Reul was still ripping as the sun was going down...

    Thar' she Blows Time for the Adolescents!!! I must have worn that first Adolescents album out, I played it so much, I was looking forward to this set. They still got it together, even after all these years! Much of the crowd had stayed for this band, even though it was a long day, it was worth the wait. They did all the classic songs, "LA Girl", "Amoeba", "Who is Who", and a few I had not heard. What an cool way to end this retro event, with one of the best punk bands out of LA from back in the day. It was great to see all my old friends again, and make some new ones, isn't that what skateboarding is all about?

    Much respect to all the bands and skateboarders, and everyone at the Experience Music Project, especially Andrew McKeag and Danny Bland for putting on this monsterous 3 day event. Give thanks...

    Danny Bland

    Brian and Wally

    The Rueler



    2002 Skateboardwedo Productions