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Spike Jonze

This is Mark Gonzales doing an indie grab at a skate park in Tijuana. This was a supersketchy spot in a bad neighborhood. There were all these rumors that cops would show up there and you would have to pay them a bribe or get arrested. We'd driven to...
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This is Mark Gonzales doing an indie grab at a skate park in Tijuana. This was a supersketchy spot in a bad neighborhood. There were all these rumors that cops would show up there and you would have to pay them a bribe or get arrested. We’d driven to Mexico in the middle of the night to drive a car off a cliff for the Blind video. We were done and the car was in a ravine by 11 in the morning, so we got tacos and then went to skate here.

This is Jason Lee doing a backside lipslide at Lankershim in North Hollywood. It was the first time I’d ever seen anyone do that on a handrail. That trick was still pretty new then, but Jason was always doing new stuff. It was a time when skating was getting more technical in general, with all these skaters like Jason, Ed Templeton, Eric Koston, Rick Howard, and Mike Carroll. Almost every time you would skate with these guys they would be doing something really surprising and innovative.

I think this was around 1991. We were shooting Jason’s Pro Spotlight for

Transworld

. Gonz and Guy Mariano were probably there too. This spot was near Guy’s house.

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This is a Dan Field photo from 1995 of Mark and me. I remember that day. We had gone to skate a rail in Century City that Mark really liked—it was a huge area with a bunch of colored flowers right under the rail. It looked great in the photo. He was frontside lipsliding it. Afterward, we were driving in Beverly Hills and Mark saw this bump to a wall outside some mansion.

I can’t remember what we were doing here. I guess these kids just walked by and we grabbed them for a photo. I wish I had taken more photos back then and saved more of the skits we videotaped. Jason would just launch into voices and improvised songs all the time.

We all had a lot less to do back then, but just getting everyone into a car to get to one skate spot took hours. First Mark would want to go visit someone or get shoelaces or something, and then it was normal to drive from Huntington all the way to Burbank just to pick up Guy. There was also a lot of driving around looking for good spots. There were less skaters back then, so it wasn’t like every bench or rail was knobbed. There were more spots to discover.