This past Thursday I flew to Denver, Colorado to attend an art show I curated for Black Book Gallery. I keep wanting to change the previous sentence to "The Black Book Gallery," but that would be incorrect. It's just Black Book Gallery.
Tom Horne, one of the gallery's co-owners, was kind enough to not only fly me out to Denver and put me up in a hotel, but to pick me up from the airport and take me out for beers upon arrival. I totally forgot to take a picture of Tom so I googled his name and found this photo. I think this is referring to a different Tom though.
We grabbed a few beers at a rad video arcade bar called The 1 up. Lots of childhood memories resurfaced.
I hated this game as a kid and I still do. I don't hate the concept of the game, I just hate that it's nearly impossible to play. Kind of like the physical act of skateboarding.
Do you remember this game?
A Budweiser-sponsored video game that taught kids how to catch beer mugs at a bar. The 80s were a simpler time.
I probably dumped a few hundred dollars into this thing as a kid. Light cycles.
Get it? Stiff?
More metal than all those bands out there trying to sound like old Black Sabbath.
Bart all up on some cutting-edge middle rail scene. Dude's progressive.
This was my favorite game though. It cost about 12 times more than all the other games, but it was at least 15 times more delicious.
After a couple video games/beers, I asked Tom if he could drive me around to a few specific spots in the city. I lived in Denver for about half a year back in 1996 and I really wanted to revisit two of my most frequent haunts. This is the ice cream shop that I managed when I lived in Denver. The smell of waffle cones wafting out of this place immediately brought me back to a time in my life when I wore pants that were about five sizes too big for my waist and t-shirts that were about two sizes too small for my torso. I like to refer to that period of my life as "the idiot days."
The other spot that I had to check out was a ledge that I used to skate that was right down the street from my apartment. I remembered it as being waist-high, but I had a sneaking suspicion that when I saw it again, 16 years later, it would only be knee-high. Turned out to be a little shorter than waist-high, but still a pretty good height to 50/50 grind for a kid from Seguin. (P.S. this dude was like… 7 feet tall.)
When I skated this back in the day there were zero skateboard marks on it so I assumed that I was the only dude in Denver that could ollie high enough to get up onto this thing. The fact that there are still no skateboard marks on this thing 16 years after my departure only reinforces my misguided notion.
The next morning (Friday) I received a call from a dude named Lindsey Kuhn who I'd met briefly back in Texas in the late 90's. Lindsey now resides in Denver (and has for the past 12 years) and offered to take me skateboard riding at a new park in Arvada, a suburb of Denver. Sign me up. We got there pretty early but the kids were already shredding.
I love this. Take this out of the skatepark context and you have a beautiful sculpture. Put it back in the skatepark and you have something that combines street skating with transition skating. Some kid will eventually ollie into this thing and do a 540. The future is radical.
Lindsey told me that there was a cool snake run at the park. Turns out "cool" in Colorado terms means "totally freaking mind-blowing" in Texas terms. Is this what the seventies felt like?
Small child in photo to illustrate the scale of this wall. What is that, like seventy-feet-tall? After we left the skatepark, we went to Lindsey's studio where he showed me some original Pushead illustrations, but that, my friends, is a different story. And by "different story" I mean that I just realized I'm well over my required word count for my column, so I'm saving the second half of this blog for next week. Crafty, huh?
Next week: Lindsdey's studio, an art show, and the Flaming Shit crew. Be there.
Previously - Young, Dumb, and Rad