Sometimes, posts go from being conceived inherently negative to being written as inherently positive.
Recently, while on a drive on interstate 75 with The Mayor, the conversation turned to thoughts on certain things. Mainly wood pushing.
I know that The Mayor regards Mosaic as high as I do. The video is perfect, Dill, Pluhowski, DIRT RENAUD, (Berra and Heath get the skip), minimal Danny Way footage, and of course, the subject of tonight's blog post, Mr. Anthony Pappalardo.
As I just stated, Pappalardo's Mosaic's part is fucking gnarly. From the Ollie up the weird statue wave thing to quick footed backside flip over the barrier, skating flushings in a baseball-tee (and skating it differently than most would), skating to one of the greatest songs to have yet been skated to (opening my eyes to the world of J. Mascis and Lou Barlow), switch back fifty-ing clipper, at night, with a hood up, the little hand touch on the fake flip down the banks nine. Perfection. Everything about it. Even the slalom slam prior to the aforementioned quick footed backside flip line.
I haven't even watched mosaic in months, I know all of this from memory, which makes it sad to see what many would consider Mr. Burns' decline.
I even stated during the aforementioned conversation between me and The Mayor about Mr. Pappalardo that seeing photos or footage of the cat now is much like paying a pretty penny to go see your favorite washed up band play. You're fucking stoked to be there, however, after the opening act, it is quickly apparent that the lead singer is completely drunk out of his mind, and is only playing one note. Over. And over. And over again. You saw them perform live, but you kind of didn't. It's like waiting for the second album of your favorite artist to come out, and it ends up being It Was Written, not Illmatic.
I mean, seriously! Homeboy went from this:
In the span of just a few years. What the fuck, Papps? Let's see you do that back 180 switch front crook at seaport again! Whatcha doin' with the money? Who the fuck sent he? I mean, shit, man, muhfuckka looked like he was gonna break on that Ollie over the rail. Break. He looks like the kind of motherfucker that would bruise if you have him a high five. Motherfucker has the bruising ability of a peeled banana.
But wait. His Lakai part was one of my favorites in that fucking video. Regardless of if he was skating Workshop boards in 75% of his footage. Regardless of if it didn't contain one (real) line (if ollieing up a curb is necessary to the run up to approach said obstacle, it is not a line. Plain and simple if the Ollie makes things at all more difficult, than it is a line). Regardless of if there were no combo tricks. Regardless of if it didn't have insane hood up tricks, or slalom slam clips. It was fucking sick.
In the years since, he hasn't done much but to continue to polarize others' opinions of him. He doesn't do anything technically difficult anymore, right? He isn't on the back of every magazine. He isn't putting out web-exclusive clips or iTunes parts. He isn't doing trick tip videos. He's probably making a damn bench or fucking being a damn vampire or some shit. Dude looks fucking scary now. All pale and shit. It's a damn shame.
Ive been hearing rumors of the Pappalardo shoe on Converse getting changed to a team shoe for the summer of 2012 back around the time of the Labor Of Love premiere. Looks like it hasn't happened yet. I mean, rumor has it that his recent weird as fuck fifty fifty Converse add wasn't even a make.
"Pops skates a lot by himself and doesn’t care if something he does gets filmed, or if someone is watching him or not, he just skates because he loves it. Pappalardo also creates amazing furniture in an underground studio in Brooklyn, NY." - from the Converse website.
Sheeeeeeit, does this fool even skate anymore? Fuuuuck. Doesn't care if he's being filmed or not? Whodafuckhethinkheis. Thats his fucking job. He's a professional skateboarder, which means, kiddo, is that he gets paid to put out coverage of himself. Someone who gets paid to represent companies N A SKATEBOARD. Amazing furniture, however, gets no fucking spect. Mother fucker couldn't pass a shop class if he needed to. Which, from looking at his benches, he needs to.
However, upon scouring the Interweb for some sort of photographical dirt to throw fuel on the metaphorical fire of the opinion of one Mr. Pappalardo, (and getting sidetracked upon reading archival interviews of the skateboarder at Chrome Ball) I've come to the conclusion that in all four of my eyes, he gets the pass. There's somewhat of a decision I've suddenly came to, involving what Pappalardo is doing, that I can relate to.
I used to HATE skating in The City. Hated it. Loathed, even. I was used to Elizabeth Park ground and ledges. I filmed a pretty terrible part for this video me and my friends made called Aight Chill around this time. It had probably three lines. And not one Detroit clip. I was focused on the tricks, not the spots. A ledge an hour away from home behind a CVS? We're goin. Skating Livonia? Goin there, too. Monroe? The cesspool of one spot and General Custer? Goin. I can easily state we spent more time in the car than actually skating at this point in my life.
However, now, I'm focused on skating cool looking shit, fun shit. Shit one Mr Keybaord deemed 'faggot shit'. I was told I felt the white bread montages were, and I quote, 'top shit'. Thats NOT the message I'm trying to portray. I'm just trying to show that there is cool shit to skate in The City. Shit other people would pass up. Shit that's hidden in the depths of Mayor Bings town. Shit that is not over 45 minutes away. Any thing in Detroit is cooler than any other spot in the metro area. This is fact, in my eyes.
I think that's what Pappalardo is doing, more or less. He's done throwing fake flips down nines. He's done Nollie frontside 180ing over big ass rails. He's done flying out to California to skate the blown out spots. And I can respect that. Shit, at least you saw the band you loved, even if they didn't play the same songs they've been playing forever. You really think Bob Dylan is still hyped on playin 'Like a Rollin' Stone'? Nah, he wants to play this new ill track he just wrote that is more relevant to him now-a-days. he doesn't look at skateboarding as a job.
Which is good. I agree with The Mayor, who believes (controversially) that the 'industry' of skateboarding is killing skateboarding. It's sucking the soul out of it. Its cannibalizing itself. And it truly is. Seriously. It should NOT be a job. It should be something that you day dream about while at work. Something you cut class for. Something you hold to a higher standard than anything else. It should always retain that fun that you had the first time of made it down your driveway without eating shit. It should have that feeling you get when you do something you've never done before, all the time.
"...sometimes the bails of certain people look better than other people's makes." - Chocolate interview, circa Vincent Alvarez getting on.
Boom. Sucka my deeeeeick.