TROCADÉRO DAYS, A FILM BY PONTUS ALV AND CONVERSE.
THE CONVERSE CONS CTAS PRO SKATE WITH
Introduction I have so many ideas running through my head when i’m planning North that it’s hard to stick to just one. I knew I wanted to have Benson and Charlie in this issue but I wanted to do something different for the photo section. It’s a lot of space to fill but thankfully due to the number of contributing photographers in this issue it made it a little easier. I’m so stoked that I managed to get photos from all these amazing photographers. Thanks for supporting the mag and letting me use your work, i’m hyped on everyone’s submissions. I’ve been a fan of polaroids forever, having something to look at straight away and having a physical copy of it is very pleasing. Trying to shoot skating with a polaroid camera on the otherhand, is hard, and more often that not, unpleasing! It’s not just having to rely on the skater landing the trick for the photo, it’s trying to get it sharp and knowing that if you messed up that’s another £2 down the drain. It had been a while since I shot any, and with Polaroid discontinuing their line in 2008, I had almost forgotten about it. But a chance encounter at a charity shop found me with and old Polaroid Land Camera. I picked up some Fuji film for it and it worked perfectly. The weather in Edinburgh was great this summer so the camera came everywhere with me. The sunnier it is, the better results you get. The polaroids mounted up and I thought that it would be a waste not to do something with them. As well as using the Land Camera I used a Daylab 120, which works like an enlarger for 120 film slides and exposes them onto the polaroid film. It was pretty time consuming and costly, but it was fun doing something a bit different and peeling the film apart to reveal the image always gets me hyped!
Graham Tait Editor/Photographer
Cover: Charlie Myatt - 50-50 Where’s Charlie? Shooting this was a pain in the arse. I knew it would look cool but getting the timing right would be hard. We had to get there between 1-3pm so it wouldn’t be in the shade, wait for the red light to have people walking over the road, and pray that no busses stopped in the way. All the communication was done from a distance over the phone too. That ledge is big, it’s over ball height and getting up there is a challenge. I had instructed him to just keep going, we were there for a good half an hour before the timing worked out perfect and he landed it. He had stopped answering his phone, so after about a dozen attempts to reach him I just packed up and left. Not sure now long he stayed there for but I got the shot.
Contents Charlie Myatt Polaroids Guest Photographers Benson
Charlie Myatt Photos by Graham Tait Interview by Fergus Wood
We were in Glasgow with Rab, Kerr and some other champs at Young and Wasens flat a huge night out, and we asked Rab for some questions. Here’s the first one. “What’s the weirdest piffstick you’ve ever smoked?” The weirdest piffstick I’ve ever smoked. Was probably, well, there was some weed in it, and there were feathers from a dream catcher in it. There’s been quite a few weird ones. I think the one that sticks in my mind is on your 16th Birthday when we put a full ecstasy tablet in a joint.
Didn’t your brothers friend not buy you a skateboard as well when you were quite young? Just before I moved up he gave me his old blank mini logo deck, it had spitfire wheels and venture trucks. That was awesome. Do you think he stole it? I don’t know where he would have got it maybe it was his. He’s a bit of a loose cannon you know. He’s on crack now.
Yeah that’s right you spiked me with pills. He is on crack. Get Kluke off the crack. A full ecstasy tablet in a joint. So when did you move up to Helensburgh? Yeah, not cool. That was pretty raw. Anyway, lets get to the skateboarding. Where, when and why did you start skateboarding? I started skateboarding in Cheltenham where I was born and where grew up until I was about nine years old. I started skateboarding because my brother had Tony Hawks Pro Skater 1. I used to sit and watch him play video games and I was really into that game. So that Christmas my Dad bought me a scooter and a skateboard. That was a pretty good Christmas. But because I was into the game I ditched the scooter. And rode the JJb sports boards. They’d break all the time they were shit.
When I was about 9 years old. It’s funny, on the drive there I bumped into a guy in McDonalds in Dumbarton. That was Sweeney, I ended up skating with him later and you ended up living with him. It was him and your brother that introduced me to you. He was the first person I met when I came to Scotland and he’s still a friend now. A few days later, My mum and I were driving through town and we drove past an old spot called the BT, an abandoned telecommunications centre. There was a group of about ten guys skating. I was so excited, having been pretty upset to move away from my Dad and friends and stuff, I was so excited seeing these guys and skateboards that my mum let me get out the car. I got to spend like ten minutes there with them skating and shit. So that’s immediately how I met people when I came to Scotland.
Did growing up in Helensburgh influence your skating? Definitely, there was always one meeting spot, we’d go there most days after school. Kick out at half three and be down on the sea front be four. There was a waxed up ledge and some long concrete benches you could pop on and off. It was a real haggard street spot, i’ve lost a few boards to the sea there. In Scotland you have to appreciate the dry days. What was it like skating at the skatepark in Helensburgh? Very entertaining, pretty sketchy.
There were three obstacles then, an out of proportion fun box, a mini ramp and a bench, all made out of skate-lite, and the ground was shitty. It was a rough. The council moved it to the sea front after someone crashed a car into the mini ramp and burnt it out. Since then I’ve also seen it six feet underwater after a storm. It’s so rusty now. When it was in the park I got into fight there with a guy called Dom, he eye-gouged then head butted me and I started crying. It was a right of passage at Helensburgh skatepark to get head butted by Dom. I also got head butted by him. He head butted me then he apologised, we were pretty good friends after that. What were some of the best tricks you saw go down?
What things happened to you whilst you were there? I got slashed by a 12 year old girl with a craft knife once, she slashed my finger and we had to run away. I ran away well before this man, I saw kids with knives and thought fuck this. For some reason you tried to talk to them and they weren’t up for talking they were more up for slashing. An even younger kid tried to hit you in the face with a metal pole once, you ripped it off of him. Then he was trying to get his dad on you.
Best tricks, loads of stuff. probably David Leach’s accidental crook nollie heel out on the rainbow ledges. It was just one of those magical moments, just like where the fuck did that come from? His frontside flips onto the slipway down to the beach too. When did you first skate in Edinburgh and when was the first time you went to Bristo Square?
Yeah literally about an inch from my eye, this jagged metal pole, I grab it off of him put it under the ramp and then hold him because he’s going absolutely nuts. And he’s saying “My dad’s going to come down and stab you.” All that kind of stuff.
I really don’t remember the first time I was there but I did come through when I was quite young, not for a jam or anything, just visiting. I don’t remember who I was with or anything like that, I came back up a few years later when a couple older friends came to look at universities and skated for a while. But it wasn’t until I moved to Edinburgh in 2010 that I started to know it properly.
The skatepark used to be up in a park called Hermitage park.
How was moving up to Edinburgh and how did skateboarding help you meet the main homies up here?
Boardslide Pop Over
It helped me meet lots of people, I got to know Sam Caldwell and Miles Kondracki first of all.
How did you get to know Miles? Skating and getting high together. Where? Bristo, a bunch of places. Do you remember when you first met Miles? Nah, I’d seen him before, I’d seen him skate before, from an earlier visit. We were just about the same spots at the same time and you know, got talking. He introduced me to Zander too. Ah Zander, livin it up in San Fran or San Diego, wherever the hell he is now. Out there in LA. Who did you grow up watching in skateboarding, in magazines and videos? Helensburgh was pretty shit for skating, so most weekends the guys and myself would go up to MBC in Glasgow. This is a time before Kelvingrove Skate Park was even there. It was just a flat piece of concrete with a bank on one side. We sometimes used to get in the van and help set up the ramps. Back in those days, hanging around the shop, I’d seen ‘H’min Bam’ and the Local Videos. I met Div who i’d heard of, we went about street skating one time and since then I’ve always thought he was amazing. First broadcast was my first video, my brother and sister bought it for me when it came out. So I was always hyped on those British brands, Colin Kennedy and John Rattray. ‘Flip Sorry’ got watched a lot, I think it’s one of the best videos ever.
Even my mum recognised Tom Penny when she drove us to Edinburgh for the Supra Tour, I had the poster of him doing a shifty flip over the rail in Barcelona on my wall. Geoff Rowley, Cardiel, Heath Kirkchart, Sight Unseen, Chomp On This, The Reason, Girl and Chocolate. The videos of that era before I had a computer and skateboarding was so accessible. I’ve missed a lot out here and so many people. My friends as well, the real shit you see, David Leach was a real ripper, Daryl his brother, David Stewart. Last time we went skating with David Leach we went to Renfrew and he broke his leg. I’ve never seen someone so happy to get that gas, after that he was chillin’. Took it like a champ, I saw him, he tried to do like a frontside noseslide or something, and just came out at the craziest angle, he knew straight away that he’d broken his leg, it was a brutal break he had to get plates in his leg. He had gave us a lift up so obviously we couldn’t get a lift back, you managed to get 20 quid off of some girl to get a train but it ended up that David Leach’s dads friend gave us a lift back and you spent the 20 quid on Buckfast and Tennents. Haha. Oh shit. I remember who that was. Thanks Stephanie Parker! What’s the longest you’ve gone in the same boccies? That’s a rab question isn’t it! Yeah maybe a week long in the same pants.
Gap To Front Board
How was the chaffage? Didn’t chaff that time. How did they smell after that?
She took me to the hairdressers and I never liked going there, he shaved all my hair off and I told him I was going to kick him in the ass. My mum bought me a yoyo to cheer me up and as soon as I got out the car I dropped it down a fucking drain. Worst day of school, just back from summer, shaved dome and no yoyo.
Repulsive. Where were you? Camping for a week in Amsterdam. What did you bring to go camping in Amsterdam? I didn’t bring a tent or a sleeping bag, or hardly any clothes. One pair of boxers? I brought a few pairs but I never got round to using the other two. I remember every morning you’d wake up at five in the morning shivering and be like “can I get in your sleeping bag?” and I’d be like “na!”. Then I’d have to smoke like three joints just so I could get to sleep. Torrential rain the whole trip. Another Rab Milnes question here. What’s the worst haircut you’ve had and what happened with it? My mum did it the night before my first day back to primary school. She said she was a little bit stoned at the time. I really liked having long hair and she totally ruined it, I was so pissed off.
Another one from Rab “What’s your view on the way skateboarding is going?” Yeah people getting buck and doing mad shit. There’s a lot of talk of it become generic or robot but these guys have some serious skills. It’s unfathomable for me to understand what these guys are doing on a skateboard and how consistent they are with it and it’s amazing to see. The beauty of skateboarding lies in its diversity and the many different approaches people can have to it, like all art. There are parts out there with real character and real style, new and creative approaches to skateboarding appear all the time. I like street skateboarding because you never know what you’re going to find, more variation, it’s unpredictable, there’s a sense of time and place; you’re part and product of the city you skate. Some public see the good in it, some can just see it as destruction. Skateboarding makes creative use out of some pretty dull or useless things that pass most people by. As a skateboarder the world’s your playground, a place to hang out, have fun, get physical and get creative. Who in Scotland are you hyped on? There are too many names to mention, I’m hyped on loads of people. All the people that keep having fun with it and keep it rolling. Obviously the boys on Harvest, Miles Kondracki, Adam Logan, Daniel Nicholas. And the boys down the park, Kieran Menzies, T-Bagg, Kerr, Aaron Wilmot.
What about some of the Bristo boys? Neil Scott.
You were swinging from the rafters.
For sure, you just see him do a kickflip and your like what the fuck?! That was amazing. Jack ‘Mukky C’ McCallum and George Horler, Matt Nelmes, Jamie Scott, Old man Silvester, Bobby Baillie.
Yeah I got kicked out the club for swinging from the lighting fixtures. Everyone in the club sang me happy birthday as I got choke held out of there. That was the second happy birthday of the night, missed it twice!
What’s the wildest night out you’ve had? And where was it? I’m thinking probably Saturday and Sunday were insane. We should probably give shouts out to Kens mum and sister.
Then you got barred for six months.
Shout out to Kens mum and sister big time! Sorry about that tab you had to pick up for us. We did not mean for that shit to happen. We’re not conmen with elaborate plans to make your parents buy us dinner Ken. We were on a lot of alcohols and like ten weeds. Lost the plot. Went to an expensive west end restaurant, ordered the finest food, rounds of drinks for Ken, his mum and sister. We walked out and they ended up paying for it. I Felt bad when I woke up and got that message off of you dude. Especially as we had just met him the day before and it was by chance that he was there. We’ll hit your mum up for the bills Ken, sorry about that man.
And then we went and bumped near enough hundred bottles of beer from the carnies for the after party. Ahh what kind of note do we leaves this on? I was expecting to give shout outs at the end but we’ve kind of done it all the way through! I don’t want to finish on stealing from carnies. You don’t want to mess with the carnies. Haha. Shouts out to Kieron and Jamie for giving this boy boards because he snaps them every single time he does a fucking heelflip. I’d like to thank Focus and Harvest, Kieron and Jamie, Tait and Sibs. Without whom I couldn’t skate barely as much as I do or wouldn’t be involved in some really fun shit so, thank you. BSB, PRE. Dawgs then and now. End it on that ? That’s a wrap. Is that a wrap? Anything else? I think that’s pretty bloody good. Wrap? Imagine it didn’t record! 20 minutes exactly I’m a genius.
Any other mad nights out? Your 21st was off the chain. I don’t remember much of it… I heard everyone was having a good time.
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I heard there was some trouble down the park last week, what happened? Some guy followed these two chicks that I know down to the park, he was being all creepy and hanging about when a bunch of us were just sitting around smoking. I was wearing my Chelsea football top and he started being all wide saying I bet you haven’t been even to the Chelsea Stadium before. Basically just being a goon. Eventually I said to him that we don’t want any shit, you’re just coming over here and being wide to us so he should just bail, we didn’t want any trouble or whatever, but he just kept hanging about and trying to be a dick. Kyle was telling me a story about this guy at his work, how he was being a dick and that he was going to hit him. As Kyle said that to me the guy jumped in and said oh aye, you’re going to hit me in the face are you? He was basically just trying to pick a fight. I told him to bail and he came at me. But before I had the chance to stand up my brother Andrew had already head butted him. I head butted him a couple of times and dug him a couple of times and he’s standing there shouting I’ll take your hits, I’ll take your punches. Then Kyle punched him once and the guy shat it and backed down. We told the guy to leave because we didn’t want to beat him up any more but he just wouldn’t leave and he ended up calling the police. I thought he was taking the piss at first but he was trying to take photos of us on his phone. Andrew picked up his bike and threw it at him, turns out it was Kyles bike! Haha. I didn’t think he had called the police, so as soon as they appeared we all just bailed straight away. I had some weed in my pocket too, so we got lucky.
Were you not on tour one time and you got a phone call saying Andrew had been stabbed? I was away on a Death trip and some weird emo guy that hangs about the town square came down the park picking on wee guys. He beat up this little rollerblader whose brother was in my year at school, he’s a nice little kid. Supposedly he battered him and was jumping on the wee guys head. He then starts asking who the hardest guy was and that he wanted to fight them. He basically just came down to the park to pick fights. This is just what I’ve heard as I wasn’t there, but he started on Andrew who put him on his arse and told him to bail. They had a bit of a tussle on the ground and Andrew realised that the guy had slashed him and had a knife. As soon as everyone saw that they all pretty much smashed him. People hitting him with their boards, kicking him in the face, putting their boards on his legs and jumping on them trying to break them. It sounded gnarly. He got up after a while and left but he was proper fucked. I saw him when I was with Kyle and we beat him up again. It went to court and he only got 2 year probation. That shit was premeditated, he’s going about with a knife asking to fight folk. He knew what he was going to do, he should’ve went to jail. He got two healthy beatings instead. When I saw him I boomeranged my board at him and it trucked him in the eyebrow, his face exploded and I set about his face. By the time I let him go there was blood all over my jeans, when I got home it had soaked through and was all down my legs. That was gnarly, I do feel bad for that. I’d rather had not have seen him. But the guy stabbed my brother, what am I supposed to do? If I never see him again I’ll be stoked.
Livi has a bad reputation for being rough, but it’s not like you’re going about looking for fights. Exactly. We’re at the skatepark to skate, this is the zone where we hang out. If other people come down here they’re not coming down to skate. Most days you do get jakies coming down here and they know they’re not wanted here, but we’re not trying start shit. The kind of mentality folk have around here is if you get in a fight and you beat someone up, they want to come back with more people and get you, and we’re not hard to find. I’d rather not get into that trouble and have to deal with that, I’m down the park everyday, I’m not a hard person to find.
Seems pretty shit to have to go through that just to skate? That’s just the mentality here.
Despite the trouble that the park attracts, do you think having it there helped you escape some of the other stuff that was going on elsewhere? I guess it’s like anywhere that has a skatepark, they’re notorious for attracting trouble makers. It’s mostly because the police don’t really come down here. It’s a skatepark, we’re here to skate. But these guys know that there’s not going to be any cops bothering them, they can hang out, drink, do whatever and not have to worry about it. The good thing about down here is that we all stick together, we’ve got a tight crew. If anyone came down trying to start anything, even with the kids, someone would have something to say about it, then everyone would have something to say. We try to look after the younger kids, stop them from fighting with each other and tell them the same shit, they need to stick together because of all the shit we’ve had to go through. Back when we were younger, we had to kind of fight for the right to come down here. Folk would come down here all the time trying to fight with us, we could’ve just not come down here and not had to deal with it but this is our park, we had to let them know that if they want to come down here to fight we’re not going to put up with it.
When I was younger most of the older skaters were cool and would look out for me. I would see all the dumbasses getting drunk and doing drugs. I saw all that shit at a young age and got wise to it. They all looked after me, to a certain extent.
How did you start coming down to the park? When I was 5 or 6 my step brothers skated so I knew it was there. I started coming down on rollerblades when I was kid, but once I turned 11 or 12 I started skating.
When was that? I started when i was 11 or 12 so 13 years ago. But even when I was rollerblading I was religious about that, I was coming down here everyday. There’s nothing else to do here, I’ve been coming down here all my life. I play a bunch of football now and did when I was younger too, but when I started skating I stopped going to training and games, probably for 6 or 7 years, all I did was skate.
Transfer 5.0 Fakie
How did you get hooked up? My first sponsor was Death. I used to get product from Stu Graham, he’d hook me up with boards every now and again. Before he moved to America he knew he wasn’t going to be able to give me boards so he phoned Nick at Death and put in a word for me and hooked it up. Aw man, that sounds kind of lame.
What, that someone else did it for you? Yeah.
You’re not the kind of guy to be calling and emailing people to say you’re looking to be sponsored. Stu had your back and vouched for you, that’s pretty good. Ha, ok.
You’re still with death now, how long has that been? 7 or 8 years now.
When did they turn you pro? On my 20th birthday they called me and said they wanted to do it. By my 21st birthday my board was out, it was sick. I think it’s rad to have something to show for it. I really appreciate it but it’s kind of funny. Kids around here, they hear that shit and think I’m rich. It’s not the X Games. I don’t see myself as pro, semi pro maybe. I have my name on a board but I don’t make loads of money. I don’t make a living out of skateboarding, I need to do other shit too. For me it’s impossible.
What’s a day in the life for you just now, are you working?
Do you think if you moved out of Livi you could? Did you ever feel pressured to move? I reckon if I moved to England I’d make a bit more money and get seen more, but I’m not really that guy. I just like to skate. I’m not trying to push myself to make it big or be the best. I just don’t have that kind of mentality to do that. It’s sick that people do that and talk to companies to hook them up, but I’m not one to ask for things. If people want to hook me up then I’m well down for that.
How did Adidas come about? I got a text saying “Hey this is Lev, I’m the Adidas team manager, do you want some shoes?” At the time I had stopped getting shoes from Vox, I had just ran out and was starting to worry. To be honest I was well hyped. I saw Boots was riding for them and they would’ve been my first choice. So it was good timing.
Depends on what day it is. I’m not working at the moment but I’m just about to start something with the council. I’ve done a few youth worker jobs with them and they want to start some skate lessons. It just takes forever for that shit to go through. I’m just kicking about at the park and football training during the week, then football games at the weekend.
Are you staying with your mum? Aye.
Has she ever put pressure on you to get a job? My mums not bothered that I skate, she thinks thats sick. She thinks it’s rad that I have something that I’m into. But at the same time she does tell me that I need to get a job. I could do both.
Were you working with Ben Leyden for a bit? Yeah, at a skip hire company.
I was surprised to see you and Neil Smith team up for that Big Push edit. Explain that? After the Big Push with Adidas we were all at the after party, I was steaming and talking to Ryan Grey from Sidewalk. He was saying that Smithy had been on every big push except that one and that they were doing an edit with him and that I should go with him. I was like fuck yeah! Too much booze and right place at the right time! That was a sick trip, Smithy’s fucking rad, he’s a funny dude.
What was that like? It was pretty good. It was a good laugh, we done some pretty mad shit up there. Ben was my boss so you can imagine how mellow it was. He’s give me a bit of a hard time but when it’s one of your best mates you just laugh at him. I got sacked in the end though.
How did you get sacked? Taking days off and being slack. We used to do some crazy shit. We had a big JCB with a big grab on it, pure cowboy shit. It’s just some guy that owns the land and it was just us up there so we could fuck about with the machine. We would sit on old couches and get picked it up and put on top of the landfill pile. We’d all just be chilling up there smoking. We attached chains to it too. You’d hook you feet in and get spun round like a roller coaster. Me and my mate Dougie did it and we got swung right into the side of a skip. I didn’t even see it, my back was to it. Dougie spun me round and took the hit. He burst his bawbag open and smashed his knee up. We had to tell the boss that he fell of a big 20 yard skip. It was pretty funny.
Do you see Ben much? I normally skate with him every weekend. He’s been working loads just now, he’s getting married next March so he needs to save up for that.
He’s settled down a bit now right? Yeah, he has two kids now.
I heard you’re BFF’s with his missus. Haha, aye, his missus is cool. She’s always trying to get me to ride her pals. I’ll get 3am booty calls from her saying my pal wants you to come round and ride her. I’m only too happy to oblige.
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