Category Archives: JT Murphy

547: Jeff Jones Varial-Layback Air at Tom Groholski’s+Kona : JT Murphy and Chuck Treece looking on

Jeff Jones Varial Layback Air, JT Murphy and Chuck Treece on Deck

Photo Deitz Brothers

Another gem from Ken and Steve Deitz, who’s skate life and photography have become a cornerstone of The House of Steam, we cant thank them enough for the hind sight of documenting things and their willingness to share.

Jeff Jones! Contest day at Tom’s, Varial layback air. This is a bit of a chained post …linked on to Chuck’s new deck post and PVO’s mention of JT Murphy. Looks like Chuck blew out a right knee cap…I also know that Tom, Jim Murphy  and Steve Herring amongst others are watching from the other deck.


As a bonus if you wanna see what a varial layback air looks fully performed then click on the pic below and watch NJ Am Variflex skater Jeff Jones take an old school run on the Kona ramp (I dig it when a post falls together)



More Jeff Jones and :

Kevin Lambert
Mike Sporanza
Eddie Guittierrez
Brian Beauchine
Dan Brown
Henry Gutierrez
John Fudala
Buck Smith
Jeff Jones
Sergie Ventura
Mike Cresini

at YouTubeSkate (your boss wont mind)  The ams in 1986 were really good, not the largest of gaps between them and the pros.

We are having a visitor this week…hoe this tides everyone over for a couple days

Jason Oliva Artist


545: The House of Steam endorses (PVO) Paul Van Orden for Portland Oregon’s Multnomah County Commissioner Seat #2 : Paul sites JT Murphy as a major influence in his life.

We all know the benefits of having had skateboarding in our lives from  a young age. I count amongst my skate friends: fathers, mothers, business owners, film makers, artists, sculptors, doctors, dj’s, musicians, authors, architects,influential television commercial advertising artistic directors, soldiers and even professional athletes(i.e. skateboarders)  Paul van Orden wants to add holder of political office to that list. One of the most important things I take away from my continued association with skaters is that in life there are no problems… just hurdles. If you can find  the time to read about what Paul is attempting and up against in his campaign for a County Commissioner seat it is safe to say he holds a similar view and that is good enough for me in a future politician. I have become friends with Paul over the last four years via The House of Steam. I dont live in Portland, heck…I dont live in the US but Sophie and I have sent $10 dollars towards Paul’s campaign. It does not sound like much but small donations can mean a lot to a campaign like this. If you feel equally compelled to help Paul, HERE is a link. Paul sites NJ’s finest and well remembered JT Murphy as a huge influence in his life so I figure any support we can give Paul either financially or through spreading the word via our social networks is a tip of the hat to JT’s life and all of his accomplishments…let’s just call that a bonus.

Good Luck Paul
Having purchased a Skull Skates Board from Soho Skates and riding it at the Brooklyn Bridge banks I believe this is the second time in 25 years I have financially supported PVO…too funny
Jason Oliva Artist
PVO Savannah Slamma (88)
PVO Savannah Slamma II 1988
Paul was and probably still is an original! Had his own style and direction and was always friendly and open to everyone. He was from North Jersey, can’t remember what town. I met him when he was going to college in South Jersey and then asked him to be part of the Earth Surfer team. He was one of the OG Brooklyn Banks guys and new all the OG Shut guys etc… from the early days. He also rode for skull skates. If you have the Deathbowl to Downtown dvd you will see him in there being interviewed in some retro footage from PM magazine, a topical news show i think on channel 5 out of NYC.
Jeffrey Turko


I have been working for the skate community for my whole life.  JT Murphy was a big influence on my life and serving my community.

In the last decade I have been fighting for skateparks here in Portland Oregon.

I did an acoustical study for the City of Portland demonstrating that concrete skate parks are a non issue.  And then followed that up with my appointment to the City’s skate park advisory committee where we were able to lobby the Portland City Council to create a 19 park, skatepark system.

Link to PDX Acoustical study midway down the page below:

I am excited to hopefully become the first pro skater to be elected to office in a major City in the United States.  Any support anyone can offer would be most appreciated.  Even small donations to the effort running an expensive campaign make a difference.  President Obama demonstrated that people can organize using the web all over the US and fight for their beliefs.

Our campaign web page is up at :

Other articles at :

TWEETING at:  @PaulforCounty

Thanks for helping me reach out to the skate community.


Paul van Orden

JT Murphy inspiring people in 1991 during a contest he organised in NJ

Photo Ken Salerno

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475: Sean Kazelesky 1991 JP Stevens NoSide NJ Year Book

Sean Kazelesky “Performing” a backwards Smith Grind in his 1991 Year Book


This was in my year book in ’91. It was taken at the mini ramp built across the street fom my high School, JP Stevens in Edison. JT Murphy built the ramp with help from the locals. Pat Guidotti, Matt Wood and all North Edison Kids shredded this thing. Pic was taken by Vasil D.

Sean Kazelesky


This is classic, I dig the write up too its very yearbook/student lifey…especially the use of the word “Performing” The coolest thing I got in a yearbook was a tongue in cheek comment about a love for Model railroading….Although I still give this yearbook pic a second place to Rocky Vertones 8th grade yearbook picture which if I had access too I would insert right here:

Sean is doing us all a great service and digging out a lot of gems from the Edison N-Jay folks…Maaaan W.H.R.H.S. and JP Stevens turned out some great skaters…must be something in the water.

303: The House of Steam: July 20th, 2 Years!! Benjamin Cornish’s Super 8 Youth (The Directors cut)


Jason Oliva The House of Steam

Its 2 years on and here is how things stand:

100,000+ hits!! (right on the anniversary too)

274 entries into the archive scattered across 500 categories.


Lets also not forget YouTubeSkate with 8,000 hits, 46 videos and counting and a year old too!

No money generated.

No Money lost!

Lots of old friends catching up and getting together. Allan Gibson has put out an all call to skaters wishing to ride his Uber-Ramp. Wreckroom skates is putting out boards for three Steam riders, Dan Tag, Darren Menditto, and Bernie O’Dowd. I have a couple pictures going into an HR documentary and I had a cool email conversation with Guy from Fugazi. If you google/image search the word “signature” my name is number 2 on the entire internet(try it, its crazy!!). The 78 ditch is being ridden again by a whole new generation of skaters. Ben Cornish has dusted off his old films (Cant wait to see “Demo” again) I have gotten no better or worse at writing. SteamBoat released an amazing (cant wait to see it) skate film. Chuck is skating and performing.Jay Henry is still…Well, Jay Henry. The Padulos’s have a quarterpipe in their driveway again, for their kids. Mike Pruskowski is a Dad this year. Rinaldi is blogging away. Rodney opened a shop in the lower east side.Bernie is skating and directing creativity. John is sculpting.Tom Groholski chimed in with a killer essay on East Coast pride. Vallely always has great things to say here. Mertz is gonna be back in action as well as making music.  Rocky is spinning, Dennis is fishing. Taylor is blackberrying. 300+ people are trolling through our nostalgic past on a daily basis. Everyone will always miss Weep, JT,Sean, Hula and the rest. Anyway…

So two years ago on July 20th I posted a picture of the Barn on this free blog site. I have not done a thing to change the look and feel of the place since then. I am not sure why I did it at the time, I guess I wanted to throw up a flag and see who would salute. It was dawning on me at the time I had not seen some really important people in my life for over 10 years and I needed to change that. I always took pride in my skate photo album and I felt others took pride in theirs as well. I had hoped everyone would want to dust theirs off and compile it all in one place, The House of Steam  like a wing of the Metropolitan museum of art. So I guess its mission accomplished. The main thing I constantly take away from working on THOS is that we had some great early years, surrounded by cool supportive people and families. We had places to go, places to stay and we made our own decisions. Most importantly everyone seemed to  know at the time how good we had it then and how good we have it now. Life enjoyed/Enjoying life, so far so good.

Thanks to everyone who reads,contributes,comments,emails, sends pictures etc. etc. Also thank you for all the great comments concerning my art over at Http:// they are always appreciated (keep em coming!)

I will keep this post up for a bit while I get ready for year 3 and everyone can get a chance to drop a comment or even a suggestion.

Well without further adieu here is Ben Cornish’s SUPER 8 YOUTH in its entirety…Enjoy!



ben cornish


dave padulo

dan tag

rocky vertone



chris blank

simon curtis

dan tag

rocky vertone

jt murphy

jimmy kane

dennis kane

steve mannion

john ballon

bernie o’dowd

jason oliva

tim cornish

matt padulo

cornish chickens


dj king weep

apple x



bad brains

modest mouse

rambling jack elliot

236: New Jersey Skate Legend JT Murphy. Films by Jeff Roenning 1990

Jason Oliva The House of Steam

Ummmm? These are priceless!

Is that Lake Riviera and the 78 ditch I spy in the first one.

I am going on a holiday next week so I figure I will leave these up till I return, see how many comments we generate.

Ps Corn we need to see the JT 80’s skate demo!

Nice one Jeff, keep em rolling in!!


JT MURPHY 1990 16MM Film Jeff Roenning

JT MURPHY 16mm Film Jeff Roenning

160: Chuck Treece and Tom Groholski at Tom’s Ramp NJ 83

Chuck Treece Tom Groholski NJ 83 jason oliva the house of steam

Tom Groholski & Chuck Treece Tom’s Ramp 1983

Photo Mr Groholski


the foto was taken by mr.grohlski..tom’s father..

that’s tom’s ramp in north brundwick,nj.

that’s when we were both sponsored by MADRID SKATBOARDS,OJ WHEELS,GULLWING



this foto ended up in thrasher mad way back..


Well I thought I would wrap it all up with a classic… This picture is Iconic…and if you ever wondered who shot it well now you know!

Nice one Tom’s Dad!!!

I got to skate (more like survive) Tom’s ramp one afternoon 4 or 5 years after this was taken. It was me Dan Tag and Tom….. I should have stopped to take a few pics that day.

Thanks Chuck..have fun touring!


Hey Jason

That shot of Chuck and Tom on Tom’s ramp is classic. The airs always got bigger when Mr G. brought out the cameras. That’s JT Murphy sitting on the rail on the left. The guy in the middle is familiar, but I can’t place the name. I’m the skinny kid on the right. I was such a dork back then. Hard to believe it was 24 years ago

John Engels

Uprising has reissued “absence of sanity”

so click the pic and go check it out (buyit)

Mcrad absense of sanity chuck treece jason oliva the house of steam

McRad Chuck Treece Jason Oliva The House of Steam

wreckroom Chuck Treece Jason Oliva The House of Steam

jason oliva

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Take the time to sign the map or add a skate spot to it.

146: JT Murphy Le Kid de China Town

Jt Murphy Eatontown Skatepark Ken Salerno photo

JT Murphy Eatontown Skate Park

Photo Ken Salerno (you know the guy that takes pics that end up in THRASHER!)

Wanted to put together a cool post about JT for along time. I remember him freestyle skating in the flat bottom of the ramp while people were putting on or taking off their pads before or after some session. Corn was the only one I knew who had a freestyle board other then JT and other then Corn and Weep I dont know anyone who could get a grip on one of those things…(but we all secretly tried). Corn has an entire skate Demo on film that he (JT) did at Watchung Hills Regional (skate academy) High School in 85 or so. During which Jt even managed to drag Tom Groholski (who was there to watch) out onto the gym floor and do some kinda boneless over him..a true showman. Someday we will stream the whole thing here for people to see.    jason

Hey Jason

We grew up in a small beach town in NJ.  We street skated daily like a religion.  We spend countless hours on the boardwalk in Seaside Heights in search of anything to ride.  At that time, most of the surf shops in our area were just that, surf shops and the skating in the small town was getting a little tired.

A new shop had opened up over the bridge in Toms River and there was an abandoned lot next to it.  The shop sold skateboards, hosted skate demos, and had a place to skate.  That was our new hang.  One weekend day it was business as usual at the launch ramp and parking blocks when two guys approached us.  They were from the newly formed Eastern Skateboard Association.  It was Art Gracey and JT Murphy, inviting us to the first contest in Kearny, NJ.

The ESA went on to support and organize many contest through NJ and the east. At the same time, skating in the northeast was getting huge.  There was a lot attention coming from NYC with the news of a new skate crew called SHUT skates.  The ESA provided another platform for exposure for these and other emerging skaters.  JT worked as a bio-chemist or something tricky like that in the daytime and spend his weekends and free time volunteering his efforts promoting East Coast Skateboarding.

Over the years I had come to appreciate him as one of my dearest friends.  Both he and his wife, Donna, were about the coolest adopted siblings  any wayward skater could ask for.  They had these great halloween parties where we got to mix with a while different crowd. It was my first association with older people who respected skateboarding and never viewed it as a form of public destruction.  We were always welcomed.  They turned me on to more great music, food and life than they could have known.

I will always consider JT as one of the most influential people of my youth.  There are few things I do, to this day, that didn’t begin because of JT Murphy.

Derek Rinaldi



This is what reporter Jean François VIBERT had to say about JT Murphy

Check it out.

If anyone would like to add to this post please feel free to email me.

jason oliva

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