Since I started snowboarding, it was always very deeply tied to surfing and skating. Even though I've always been merely average at all three, I've has this fascination with the crossover - surfing a big north swell at Holyoke in the morning and running up to the Poconos for the twilight session, hiking a hit in Northern California and then checking the jetty at Humboldt before dark, riding at Whistler one day and then making the trek out to Vancouver Island to surf the next. I love it.
So I was fairly excited when Red Bull asked me to work with them on Switchboard, an event that involved surfing in Asbury and riding Mountain Creek... in the same day. And while we're at it, why not skate the bowl at Fourth Union? (Thanks Uncle Derek.) Unlike so many events that are designed to spotlight the elite, this was all about a bucket list experience that anyone could enjoy.
Yep, the surf was ridiculously flat last Saturday when we all met on the beach (23 degrees - nice touch, New Jersey) so we had a few hearty souls jump in the drink for effect. My bud, Dave Werner is a very good sport.
We skated the bowl and then headed up to Mountain Creek, where I learned to ride over two decades ago. I helped direct the content with photographer Kyle Arcomano and Foreword Films.
While this was based at the college demographic in California for a few years, in New Jersey it was everyone from awesome Dads with kids to pro surfers. Every got in some laps, a few surf turns and messed around in the park before all the high fives and hot waffles at the base. Great time, great people.
And they used this old man's blunt stall as the feature image at RedBulll.com with my story, which is hysterical.
After weeks of work preparing for the Hop Sauce Festival here on LBI last weekend, I am pumped to just go enjoy Punk Rock Bowling this weekend in Asbury Park. Who's playing? Ah.... just The Descendants, Dag Nasty, Agnostic Front, Flag, H2O, The Slackers, 88 Fingers Louie, and my boys The Scandals. Damn, this is going to be a good weekend. For a complete guide, check the advance I wrote up for The Aquarian. I'm told there's bowling too.
We've been listening to Against Me! since they broke out of the Gainesville scene with Reinventing Axle Rose, 13 years ago. I remember seeing them at the First Unitarian Church in Philly in 2003. Then in 2012, former frontman Tom Gable came out in a Rolling Stone interview that he would be transitioning to a woman. The punk community basically took it in stride. Laura Jane Grace became a voice for transgendered people years before the nation started having the dialogue we are having now - and the band continues to make great music. Additionally, Against Me! is one of Ann's all-time favorite bands and she had the opportunity to shoot them last year in DC.
On Friday of Labor Day weekend, I interviewed Laura Jane and covered Against Me!'s Red Bull Sound Select show at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, where her story is extremely relevant. It was the same day their new live album 23 Live Sex Acts dropped. The story recently ran on Asbury's music scene site Arcade-Radio.com with photos by Drew Gurian.
Toms River/NYC photog Danny Clinch just released his latest photo book edited by our friend Tim Donnelly entitled "Still Moving." I got to do some moving with Clinch last year when he drove me to his studio in Hell's Kitchen. On the ride, he told me the stories behind five epic music photos from his book: Eddie Vedder, Radiohead, Tupac, Springsteen, and the Foo Fighters.
Danny started with the story of meeting Pearl Jam in 1992 at Waterloo Village in Stanhope, NJ because he knew I was there that day. I was 17. It was the first and only time I saw them live. I transcribed the stories for my Clinch piece entitled, "I Shot Tupac and Chilled with Thom Yorke" for Huck Magazine. The story ran in issue 43 of the print mag. Check it out for some great anecdotes. Congrats to Clinch and Timmy. You can find the book at DannyClinch.com.
The first artist reception at the Ann Coen Gallery is in the books. It was an insane week of painting, planting, power washing, preparing, and hanging our first ever show Caught in the Act. But it was also a pleasure to spend time with such a legendary and humble photographer in Ken Salerno.
“The Pope,” as he is known here, still won’t let us refer to him as an artist, but his documentation of the punk and hardcore scene in New Jersey going back over 30 years was truly amazing. Shown in conjunction with Steve Tozzi’s “Riot on the Dance Floor: The story of City Gardens and Randy Now,” at the Lighthouse International Film Festival, we are very grateful of how many who came to see the film also checked out Salerno’s work. We're thankful for Randy who helped promote the exhibit and want to congratulate Tozzi on a fantastic New Jersey premiere. Caught in the Act will hang through Thursday, June 12 and we will have digital files available upon request for the rest of the summer. Please contact the gallery if you are interested in purchasing one of the limited prints or skate decks.
Starting the new year right.
In 1987 I got a subscription to Surfer Magazine From junior high through college and beyond, I would read every article – most of them twice. The articles in “The Bible of the Sport” at that time helped shape my life. This month, I’m stoked to have my first ever feature in Surfer.
It was, however, an unfortunate event that got me the assignment. On September 12 of 2013, the Seaside Park and Heights Boardwalks became a raging inferno just as they were in the midst of rebuilding after Superstorm Sandy. This feature is about the history and mystique of Seaside, its importance to the economy, all of New Jersey’s common connection to this town, Sandy, the rebuild effort, and the fire. I just hope I did them justice in telling the story.
There are some fantastic photos by Ben Currie, Ryan Miller, Ray Hallgreen, and Ryan Struck.
The article is on page 74 of the February 2014 issue of Surfer Mag, on shelves now. Or you can subscribe to Surfer Mag’s digital edition.