Movement

Street Plant

A Movement away from hype towards Substance.
A Movement away from despair towards Action.
A Movement away from industry towards Community.
A Movement away from tradition towards Optimism.
A Movement away from image towards Character.
A Movement away from culture towards Individuality.
A Movement away from distinction towards Connection.
A Movement away from effect towards Cause.

Skating, Creating and Enjoying w/ Kayne Hayes at the Crescenta Valley Skate Park in Glendale, CA. Photo By: Rob Wallace.

June Tour

Our June Tour Dates Continue… We start up again next Friday, the 23rd at Alex’s Bar in Long Beach, CA w/ The Picturebooks. The rest of our shows will just be us, #MikeVallelyAndTheNewArms and all 3 shows will be FREE & ALL AGES!

6.24: Pop Obscure Records / Los Angeles, CA / Free & All Ages!
6.25: 91 West Skatepark / Peoria, AZ / Free & All Ages!
6.26: Programme / Fullerton, CA / Free & All Ages!

Also, Just Announced: We will be playing the Wheels And Fins Festival on the beach in Joss Bay, Broadstairs, UK on September 9th.

The New Arms are: Mike Montgomery and Kristian Svitak.

Wheels And Fins Festival

We, Mike Vallely And The New Arms are playing the Wheels and Fins Festival on Saturday the 9th of September w/ Twin Atlantic, DJ Danny Howard, The Picturebooks and many, many more… On the beach in Joss Bay, Broadstairs, UK. Also, Kristian Svitak Joey Jett and I will be skating the Mini-Ramp on site and hanging with Everyone all weekend!

Get your tickets now from:
wheelsandfins.co.uk/tickets/

The New Arms are: Mike Montgomery and Kristian Svitak.

June Tour w/ The Picturebooks

Our June Tour Dates with The Picturebooks start Tonight in Los Angeles at The Hi Hat. Doors are at 8:00 PM, Music starts at 9:00 PM. See You There!

The New Arms: Mike Montgomery, Kristian Svitak and Mike Vallely. Photo: Rob Wallace.

6.8: Tower Bar / San Diego. CA*
6.9: Goldfield Trading Post / Sacramento, CA*
6.10: The Holland Project / Reno, NV / Free & All Ages!*
(Skate Jam earlier in the day at Classic Skateshop Reno, NV)

6.23: Alex’s Bar / Long Beach, CA*
6.24: Pop Obscure Records / Los Angeles, CA / Free & All Ages!
6.25: 91 West Skatepark / Peoria, AZ / Free & All Ages!
6.26: Programme / Fullerton, CA / Free & All Ages!

*w/ The Picturebooks

Love

I traded their conference rooms for the Kitchen Table.
I traded destiny for Freedom.
I traded branches for Roots.
I traded trust for Knowing.
I traded fear for Dignity.
I traded contracts for Peace of Mind.
I traded obligation for Sincerity.
I traded artificial for Authentic.
I traded despair for Action.
I traded distinction for Connection.
I traded general demand for Poetry.
I traded culture for Living.
I traded security for Independence.
I traded acceptance for Self-Respect.
I traded industry for Family.
I traded sponsorship for Honor.
I traded their boys club for the Garage.
I traded sacrifice for Love.

Love. Photo: Rob Wallace.

The word – Love – being written on all of our Street Plant Boards is simply about Personalizing Every Board, Touching Every Board that passes through Garageland, and Imparting some Good Energy onto / into them. It’s an idea, a Good Thought — to send the Boards out with Love and Kindness. The Recognition that the Person who receives the Board IS a Person, not a faceless consumer, but Someone Connected to us through this small interaction, and Someone that we Value Greatly.

June Tour Dates

I’ll be hitting the road next week to play some songs with my Friends Kristian Svitak and Mike Montgomery AKA The New Arms. We’ll have shows in California, Nevada and Arizona throughout June. On many of these gigs we’ll be supporting The Picturebooks from Germany and there will be a few Skate Jams and All Ages / Free Shows thrown in the mix as well. Check the dates below for more info. Thanks for Your Support!

6.7: The Hi Hat / Los Angeles, CA*
6.8: Tower Bar / San Diego. CA*
6.9: Goldfield Trading Post / Sacramento, CA*
6.10: The Holland Project / Reno, NV / Free & All Ages!*
(Skate Jam earlier in the day at Classic Skateshop Reno, NV)

6.23: Alex’s Bar / Long Beach, CA*
6.24: Pop Obscure Records / Los Angeles, CA / Free & All Ages!
6.25: 91 West Skatepark / Peoria, AZ / Free & All Ages!
6.26: Programme / Fullerton, CA / Free & All Ages!

*w/ The Picturebooks

30 Years of Professional Skateboarding

5/30/17

Selfie Documentation, on the street outside my hotel in Toronto, on the night that I turned Pro.

Thirty years ago today, I turned Pro at a Vert Contest in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, I was a month shy of 17 years old. I had been sponsored by Powell Peralta for less than a year, and I had only been Skating for two years and nine months. Stacy Peralta called me in early April of 1987, informing me that I’d be turning Pro at a Street Contest in Eugene, Oregon on June 20th. Between that call and the contest in Oregon, Steve Rocco called and said that he would be passing through New Jersey on the Hell Tour II, and that he wanted me to join him. He said that we’d be heading up to Toronto for a Pro Vert Skate Event called Skatewave, where we’d be doing Street and Freestyle Demos, and then back across the USA to California visiting Skate Shops. I told him that I was in school and that I couldn’t go with him. He told me, “drop out” and so I did.

Rocco picked me up in my hometown of Edison, NJ and after driving for a few hours he insisted that I drive. I told him that I had never driven a car, that I didn’t have a driver’s license and that I hadn’t even ever gotten a driver’s permit — that I had no plan to ever drive a car. He just laughed at me and told me to drive. And that was how I learned to drive, on tour w/ Rocco, Trial by Fire.

When we got to Toronto, I decided to enter the Vert Contest. This went against the wishes of my sponsor. They didn’t want me riding Vert, I was a “Street Skater” and they didn’t want me ruining the image they had been creating for me. I didn’t care. I was a Skateboarder, and I didn’t strategize such things… I just Skated. Well, I ended up getting last place in the contest, my “Pro Debut” and this caused a lot of bad feelings about me and my choices back at the home office, but the Skaters that I shared the Ramp with that weekend were stoked that I Skated with them. It showed that I wasn’t out to change anything, that I wasn’t a part of some agenda to put one style of Skating over another, that to me, it was all Skateboarding. The Smiles, Handshakes and Good Vibes on the deck of that ramp were more meaningful to me than someone else’s idea of what My Skateboarding should be.

Back in the van, zigzagging across the USA with Steve Rocco and Johnee Kop, I skated jump ramps and slider rails in strip mall parking lots from New York to California. I had been doing a lot of demos on weekends for Powell Peralta, flying out to Skate Shops all over the USA, but this was my first Tour, and it would inform the rest of my days as a Pro Skater. The Immediacy of a Demo, the Exchange of Energy, the Connection with an Audience. It all found a Home in me, and I Embraced Each Moment. Touring became my vehicle to present My Skating outside of the skate media. 

On June 20th, 1987, I Skated my first Pro Street Style Contest and placed 3rd behind Tommy Guerrero in 1st, and Natas Kaupas in 2nd. I was told again that weekend by my sponsor that I could only Skate in Street Contests going forward. Of course, I ended up Skating in many more Vert Contests anyway.

One Of Those Records…

I bought this CD.

Hustle Up Starlings CD. Photo: Rob Wallace.

I ALWAYS buy the music that matters to me, even from my Friends.
I mean, if we aren’t going to Support our Friends, if we aren’t going to Support the Soul Poets, Artists and Entrepreneurs amongst us… Who the fuck are we going to support?

Hustle Up Starlings is a Battle Cry!
It’s a Record about Figuring It Out, about Growing.
It’s about Evoking Heroes. It’s about Being Heroes.
It’s about People who have passed through fire, flood and miles of bullshit, but they’re Not quitters. They Refuse to believe that their Lives are doomed to misery. They’re Digging In, they’re Committed!
The Battle Cry isn’t mere Survival, it is: Survival with Honor!

Matthew Ryan understands that suffering is not a value, only the Fight against it. And on Hustle Up Starlings, he Reflects, and he Fights… And his characters Reflect, and They Fight, and from their troubles, from their pain and their distress they Grow Brave, they Gain Strength and Courage. They are Us!

Hustle Up Starlings has been with me, a part of me, since its release. It has Spoken to me, it has Spoken for me: Intellectually, Emotionally and Spiritually, and it Always will. It’s one of those Records, the ones that live with you, Always. These are the Records, the Music, the Artists, The Poets, the Soul Entrepreneurs that we Have to Share with others, that we Have to Support, that we Have to Cherish. Artists who help to make us Believe in Ourselves.

Hustle Up Starlings is Available Here!

Grand Ramble

5/21/17

I’ve spent the weekend in Phoenix with Ann and Lucy for a dance convention. Looking at Lucy’s schedule for Saturday, I realized that since she would be in class all day and didn’t start competing until 6:00 PM, that I had an opportunity to get out and Ramble. With the South Rim of the Grand Canyon being only 3.5 hours away from our hotel, I thought it’d be wrong to be within striking distance and not go. So, I set out at 11:00 PM on Friday night to catch the Ceremony of the Sunrise at the Grand Canyon on Saturday morning.

I parked my car on the South Rim of The Canyon at 2:30 AM on Desert View Drive. It was 33°. I climbed into the backseat, pulled my sleeping bag around me and gazed up and out the back window of my car into The Cosmos. If not for my plan to see the Sunrise, I may have just bundled up and spent the rest of the night outside Star Gazing. In fact, I’ll have to plan a Star Gazing trip of some sort soon, for what I saw and felt from the backseat of my car as I dozed off into sleep was the greatest sense of Awe, and something that I decided should be regularly experienced: Church.

I woke up at 4:45 AM in the predawn light. I was slightly panicked by how bright the sky was, thinking I somehow missed the Sunrise. I grabbed my bag and stepped out of the car, into the cold, onto the South Rim, and immediately started walking east towards Yaki Point. The Sun seemed to be rising fast, and without any previous experience here (and little research done) I stopped short of Yaki Point and instead took in the Sunlight landing upon The Canyon just past the South Kaibab Trail Head. It was incredible. After the Sun was up though, I eventually made my way to Yaki Point and realized why that location, with its views of the East Rim, would have been the best location to see the Sunrise. Definitely noted for next time. 

Sunrise on The Canyon.
Sitting on the South Rim.

At 6:15 AM, the day was already heating up, I stripped out of the layers I’d been in, and I started heading down the South Kaibab Trail. My destination, despite repeated warnings (posted online and on the Trail, itself) of not attempting such a strenuous out and back hike in one day, was the Colorado River, 6.3 miles down a very steep Trail. Many large groups had taken off long before me, but within an hour, I found myself breezing past most of them as they lounged around Cedar Ridge. Once I was free of the crowds, I found the Trail to be a Moving Meditation, a Sermon of Rock, Sky, Sun, Plant and River.

First view of the Colorado River

At 8:45 AM, my feet were in the Colorado River, and at 8:55 AM, I was hiking back up the Trail. The return trip was fairly demanding. I found myself stuck behind a mule team for a good portion of it, slowing me down as they stopped to rest regularly, but that was probably a good thing as I’d drink some water and tuck myself into any bit of shade I could find, resting my legs and waiting for the team to start moving again. I was finally able to pass them at 11:15 at Cedar Ridge and I was back out standing on the South Rim at 12:00 PM.

Standing in the Colorado River.
The Inner Canyon.
Sustenance for the hike back.

As I walked along the Rim Trail back to my car, I came upon a small group of Elk foraging. I stopped and took some video and photos, I got very close to them as they seemed very peaceful and at ease. I learned later that they are one of the most dangerous animals in the park and that they should be given a wide berth, something I really should have considered on my own. Another note for my next visit.

Elk on the South Rim.

At 12:15 PM, I was in my car and heading back to Phoenix to watch Lucy dance.