I have way too much to do today, so let’s get this update out of the way.
Between Tim’s last post, and Munz on The Plat, there’s a ton of Jamie Thomas discussion going on. I guess we might as well keep it going…
About Jamie Thomas
When I started seriously skating I was probably about 13-14 years old. I was into skateboarding since I was in grade school, but I had trouble getting my hands on a board. I had to wait years until I was old enough to earn the money on my own. I think my mom might have chipped in and bought the trucks or something (Gullwing G7’s), but the majority of the cash was earned working in my friend’s greenhouses.
At that time skateboard videos were kind of hard to come by. The internet was in its infancy so you didn’t have basically ever skate video ever made easily viewable on youtube or anything like that. We didn’t have any money, so we couldn’t go to the skateshop and buy them. What everyone did was dub videos off of each other. Somehow our crew got our hands on a copy of a tape from some of the older guys that had three videos on it: The first Invisible video, the first Real video, and Goldfish. This was literally a tenth generation dub, so the quality was horrible. It didn’t matter though, I watched my copy of it every single day.
What does this have to do with Jamie Thomas? I was just getting to that. The final part in the Invisible video was by the man in question. He had a two song part (Rolling Stones – Paint it Black and a Slayer cover of In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida) and while not being as ridiculous and epic as his later stuff, it was always everyone in our crew’s favorite part. He skates a few rails, has ten trick flatground lines in parking garages and pretty much just kills it. The part was a big influence and we really looked up to the guy.
One of the first non dubbed skate videos I ever bought was the second Toy Machine video: Heavy Metal. In this video Jamie was feeling the, at the time, current East Coast craze. He has a bunch of lines at Love Park, skates fast as hell, and doesn’t even skate that many rails. Another example of his versatility.
A lot of time has passed since then, but today a lot of people will complain “Wahh, he only skates rails!!”…but if you’ve paid any amount attention you’ll know that Jamie is clearly a skilled skateboarder. He put his time in and can and will skate anything. That Invisible part came out right at the end of one of the darkest eras of skateboarding. Need I mention the New Deal outing Da Deal is Dead? In the Invisible video Jamie skated fast and did his tricks clean. I doubt there’s a single trick in that New Deal video where anyone is going faster than one push. I’m not going to go so far as to say he was super ahead of his time or anything, but the man is obviously an innovator.
Some might say an innovator for the worse, but I don’t agree. The glut of Jamie clones in the later years obviously don’t pull it off. If you watch how Jamie skates the spots he skates and the tricks he does it’s obvious he knows what he’s doing. Compare that to a suburban Chicago rail boner fest and if you don’t end up killing yourself for having to watch it, the difference will be blindingly clear. I’ll offer up this analogy…a lot of the early punk bands are awesome, they innovated, they pulled it off. Look at what all that stuff influenced…Good Charlotte..etc..etc. You can see where this is going…Jamie bringing about the rail craze. Tons of dudes copy and get it all wrong…everyone hates it…fin.
I’m not even sure what the purpose of this rant is, so I’ll just sum it up with: Jamie good, clones bad. I’m not even going to get into the Jesus’d out aspect of it all. Or maybe I should just a little, I think it’s entirely insidious and has no place in skateboarding. He’s a huge role model to a lot of kids (including me when I was younger) and one shouldn’t base their belief system on whether or not the radical skateboard dude is into it or not. Otherwise, concerning him riding a skateboard, I have the utmost respect for the man.
Not About Jamie Thomas
Whew, things got way too serious there. Sorry about all of that.
Cru appears to be off the wagon if the text he sent me last night is any indicator. It’s ok Cru, we still love you! Just think about how much more fun M.P. will be tonight!
This weekend there’s also yet another visitor to the Ten Forward household. How many people will he bite? How many times will he poop in the house? The crystal ball is cloudy at this point, so only time will tell.
Photo of the day #10
It’s just Pizzy and his hooptie. Actually taken at my old place of employment, the one and only time I ever skated there. I still work for the same company, but that building is now torn down. There wasn’t anything worth skating there anyway. The hooptie was pretty cool though.