Category Archives: Rodney Smith

268: SHUT NYC 1986-Forever: Shut Mechanics shop opening party. Congrats Rodney!

I’ve made the trip a million times before. NJ to NYC. Park in
Hoboken. In the 80’s,  I’d take the PATH to 9th street then cross
the street to Bruno Musso’s apt where most of the SHUT gang would have
assembled on any given Saturday.

The 90’s brought Zoo York and trips to 13th and Hudson Street, above
Hogs & Heffers, passing Tippy’s jazz bar and the prostitutes and drug
pushers in the meat district. Then, before the end, it was Times
Square baby.

Pushing time forward we arrive at 158 Orchard Street for the opening
of The Shut Mechanics shop. The first retail endeavor for a company
with a rich history in NYC. New York City’s first skateboard company
has been pushing it’s wheels through the city streets for over twenty
years and is set up to be here for another twenty.

The crowd, as you would, imagine was overflowing from the narrow
storefront and the drinks flowed steadily at the after party @ 205.

SHUT NYC 1986 – Forever

Derek Rinaldi

RODNEY SMITH, PUPPET HEAD, RODNEY TORRES

RODNEY SMITH, PUPPET HEAD, RODNEY TORRES

DAVE ORTIZ (DAVE’S QUALITY MEAT & FELIX

DAVE ORTIZ (DAVE’S QUALITY) MEAT & FELIX


OBED RIOS & Derek Rinaldi
OBED RIOS & DEREK RINALDI

JAY HENRY & JAHMAL WILLIAMS

JAY HENRY & JAHMAL WILLIAMS

Jason Oliva The House of Steam

Maaaaaaan I wish I made it to this NYC SKATE HISTORY 2.0 party. Congrats Rodney hopefully I will fly in an drop by the shop soon.

Here is a picture I took of Puppet back in the 80’s Tom Groholski, Papo, and Puppethead came and skated The Girl ramp with us one day in NJ.

Puppethead NJ Girl Ramp

Jaime Puppethead Affoumado NJ 1986? Girl Ramp

Photo Jason Oliva

PS

Dont Forget Puppets Jazz Bar as well as SHUT Happens the new SHUT Blog

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262: Hell’s YEAH!!! Shut Skate Mechanics Shop- 158 Orchard st. Between Rivington and Stanton–NYC!!

SHUT SKATES

SHUT SKATES

Click to en-biggen


Jason Oliva The House of Steam

Some of my favorite people near my favorite place on Earth. Wish I could be there but alas the UK is  far and away. Dont miss out! Check out the shop an send me photos!!I dig the line “New Yorks first skateboard company, and we made the other on too 😉 ”

Best of luck Rodney from all of The House of Steam and Team Steam

No recession in skateboarding apparently!!

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237: Jeremy Henderson The Godfather of NYC skatebarding 1989 Thompkins square park contest, photos by I Ching. Shut Skates NYC Rodney Smith fills us in.

Jeremy NYC Henderson The House of Steam I CHING

Jeremy Henderson Boardslide 1989 Tompkins square park NYC

Jeremy Henderson NYC I CHING The House of Steam wall ride

Jeremy Henderson Wall Ride 1989 Tompkins square park NYC

Photo’s I Ching


Jason Oliva The House of Steam
Ok so these photos from Irene Ching are too cool!!

NYC’s Jeremy Henderson, Barn Ramp Local and Godfather of NY Skate competing in 1989.

For all the skate historians touring NYC, Tompkins Square park is between 7th and 10th, and Avenue’s A and B in what used to be lovingly referred to as Alphabet city. Along with this seminal skating event the park is also infamous for the Tompkins Square park police riot(1988). Not many people remember this bit of NYC history. I do because myself and Chris “Weepy” Blank happened to be in the riots attendance. We where walking home (Chris’s Mother had recently moved into one of the near by re gentrified apartments) after attending a Danzig (hell yeah!) show at The Ritz and found ourselves in a bit of Chaos. A lot about that neighborhood has changed since then it was in 1989 when The Ritz moved uptown and Tompkins Square park till this day is still closed every night to the public (seriously do not cross that park at night, it will earn you a one way ticket to a police holding cell)

I am not gonna say much here about these pictures. Hopefully Irene Ching and her NYC Crew can chime in with more detail. Maybe Rodney Smith of Shut skates will add a thing or two as well. (Oh look, he has!!)
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SHUT NYC

Jason

I’ll do my best to keep you updated on NYC. The SHUT shop will open in three or less weeks. It will be located at 158 Orchard street between Stanton and Rivington.
Our office is in the basement. Come check us out when your in the city.


The photos you have are from back in 1989. Shut and Skate NYC ( a now de-funkt shop that was located in L.E.S. ) held an Am. contest in Tompkins Square park. It was in association with the parks dept. Because of the parks departments willingness to support skate boarding at the time, this contest was legendary and laid the groundwork for skate parks in NYC.


Not trying to take anything away from Kessler ( Riverside wasn’t the first NYC skate park). After the contest these ramps were placed ( thanks to the parks dept.) in Malally park ( in the Bronx near Yankee stadium) and designated as the first skate park in NYC.

The contest was pretty big and got written up in THRASHER. Shut also received it’s first cover, which Henderson got at the banks.

Jeremy Henderson NYC SHUT Thrasher cover October 1989

The Parks dept. commissioner Bill Castro put up the money up, gave the “ Go ahead” and the Shut squad built the course. This was the biggest step toward skaters no longer being labeled as a “menace to society”. The parks dept. was keeping a close watch on the activities. None the less we kept shit in order and impressed the City officials.


We invited some of the top Am riders from Cali ( H-Street, Schmitt stix, Circle-A, Z etc…) as well as the mid –west and east coast. Bryce Kanights and Bill Thomas shot the flicks.
Some notable riders included Danny Sargeant , Brian Lotti, Carl Schultz, Steve teague , , Jeff Toma and the entire Shut team.

1989 was also the same year Darren “Team Steam’s Moose” Menditto , Steve Herring and seven Shut boys made the NSA eastern district finals for Vert and street.

Peace

Rodney

Jason Oliva The House of Steam

Nice one Rodney!!

Big thanks and best of luck with SHUT’s NYC Flagship operation. I know we will all be hanging out there soon.

Keep checking in for News and pictures from the Upcoming SHUT shop grand opening and as always go to http://skatedaily.net for all your skating news.

Its vacation time!! See everyone in a week or so…. keep the emails flowing

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215: Mike Vallely first invert at The Barn 1985…Mike Spotte talks about Rodney Smith, Mike V, DJ King Weep and skating in NJ.

Mike Vallely The House of Steam

Mike Vallely circa 85 First Vert Invert The Barn NJ

Photo Mike Spotte

Jason Oliva The House of Steam

How vintage is this!! Thanks MS for this one. Mike V back in the day at The Barn.

Checkout this amazing video of Mike’s Skate career.

  • Notice the Tom Groholski deck he is riding and the amazing footage of Tom’s back yard ramp (only video I have ever seen)
  • Have you forgotten what a crazy good vert rider Mike is.
  • The ollie at the Brooklyn Bridge banks over the divider and onto the off ramp makes me miss NYC and Weep.

You rule Mike!!! Thanks for all you support of The House of Steam!!

..its nice to have a bodyguard.

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Now everyone go see REVOLUTION MOTHER…so says The House of Steam:

Revolution Mother the House of Steam

Photo Derek Rinaldi

Jason,

Mike Spotte here

Ah, I remember that day well. Cold as a witch’s tit in the Barn. I can still recall pulling the trigger on that shot and thinking “holy shit, I think I caught it”! Being the pre-digital days and a grom with no money, it would be a few weeks before I would get the prints back and show them to a psyched Mike V. Not sure if I gave him a copy back then, but I attended one of his demos at Charm City skate park in Baltimore in 2004 and gave him copies of that shot and others. The look on Mike’s face was priceless and similar to the one he had when he pulled off that first vert invert and when he saw the print for the first time.

My introduction to the central jersey skate scene began when I got a job at Freestyle Surf Shop in Woodbridge Center. My manager, Rodney Smith (SHUT Skates!!)set me up with my first rig, Sims Screamer, that I ticked tacked all over the store, house and parking lots every where. From day one, Rodney took me (and others) under his wing. He didn’t care if you couldn’t keep up with him or what tricks you could or couldn’t do, it was “just skate man”, “have fun”. That’s what we did…

One day, Rodney tells us of some ripper groms in Edison that we should go skate with. We roll up to some parking lot across from Tops Appliance and jam with these bros for hours and hours. They all ripped! There was George (G-force) and Mike Dehr, Al, Kevin, Don and of course this skinny blonde kid with shins that were bloody knee to ankle named Mike V. That blonde kid stood out as far as talent goes, but those other guys were no joke. Don (sorry, forget the last name) was sick. He and Mike would go trick for trick while the ‘no ways’ came from the rest of us.

Mike Vallely Noside skate jam

Mike Vallely Noside (Edison NJ) Skate Jam 1986

Photo Derek Rinaldi

Some of the best times (for me) were when we piled into mine and/or Rodney’s cars and would drive to the river banks at Rutgers. After spending hours there, we’d hit some downhill in the close by parking garage before tormenting the crew at Stuff Your Face or the White Rose late night. Every once in a while Murph would come down from his dorm and be joined my Tommy G. and Chuck to session with us at the River Banks. I can’t speak for the rest of the guys, but when those three joined us groms the excitement level and pure fun of skating elevated to levels unknown.

Many more memories/stories from those days at the Barn, Tommy G’s ramp, Spotte Banks, the Ditch as well as our trip to visit Mike V. in Va. Beach and getting chased by the feared Va. Beach Ninja Gang, that will have to wait for a later day.

Jason, your site rocks! At 40, I am as passionate about skating as I have ever been. I was never the most talented skater, and am not able to get out much with the exception of hitting Lansdowne for an occasional carve, but I love skating to my core and your site has brought back so many memories! Keep it going!

One side note: I never knew Weep while growing up in Jersey during my skating days. It was not until I moved to Jackson Hole, Wyoming to snowboard for a couple of years. I able to hook up with him after Rodney gave me his contact info. DJ King Weep rocked the Valley and was (and still is) loved by so many there. I would stroll into Mountunes where he worked and he’d pass me on to the newest shit to ride to. My best Weep story was when we rode together one day and decided to hit Corbets Couloir early after a nice dumping of 6” the night before. We roll up to the ledge, I hit the goat path with one turn and I’m in. Two turns later in flat light, and I’m on my back head first doing a 40mph dealth slide for 300 yards down the Couloir finally coming to rest in Tensleep Bowl. I sit up, glasses frosted over inside and out, shaking and almost in a panic. Along comes the calm Weep stopping just uphill of me saying “that was sick” and his calm demeanor. Good old King Weep sat there with me for about a half hour (on a sick powder day) until I stopped shaking and was confident enough to stand a make a turn again.

Weep rocks! We rode the rest of the day and for the next two years we laughed about that every time.

spotte

Jason Oliva The House of Steam

 

Killer stuff Spotte!!

Thanks for sharing…Mike Vallely, Rodney Smith, Weeps…all top on our list at The House of Steam.

Be sure to checkout SHUT’s website(cool interview of Rodney by Mike V) and see how Rodney and gang are going to revolutionize skating….again!

 

This just in!!!!!

  1. Mike V Says:
    August 24th, 2007 at 5:25 pm eHouse Of Steam…
    I’m truly honored to be featured here on this site… You guys (Murf, Tom G, Tag, Bernie, Jay, The Kane’s, Rod etc… etc… ) were my heroes. This shit means more to me than most anything else in my skate career… Being acknowledged by the real motherfuckers…No stopping until I’m dead.– Mike V

Speechless…. – Jason O

Backward’s Bernie O’Dowd says watch this video!!

Checkout all the post comments below!!

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East Coast Pride by Tom Groholski


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177: The House of Steam Year One Video

172: THE House of Tom!!: EAST COAST PRIDE by Tom Groholski.

EAST COAST PRIDE

 

Skateboarding was way underground back in the early 80’s

after the parks closed and lots of people bailed. The fire was not

out though, not in our neck of the woods. Ramps were built in

backyards, the woods, and, yes, even barns. If you wanted to

skateboard in the Northeast, you had to work for it — build it yourself —

get out there and help others build theirs, and get it going.

The weather was also a huge obstacle. Rain was always a bummer,

but snow and ice was where it got interesting. Shovel the ramp before

the driveway. When the driveway and sidewalk were done, the ramp would

be dry. Chipping ice and melting it with space heaters was common.

Getting to ride was the payoff.

The one place shovels weren’t needed though, was the Barn. The

Kane brothers, along with Jay “Damn it!” Henry and the future Team Steam,

beat the elements with a 12′ wide, 8′ tranny, and 1′ vert ramp with angle iron

for coping. 12′ Wide was cool, but 16′ was better, and soon the ramp was

widened, layered with masonite and topped with pipe coping on the dark

side and some chunky rock top pool coping on the other.

From my vantage point, I couldn’t see the coping on the next wall

from the deck due to the beams that held the lights and the barn together.

Your hands would sometimes hit the beam if you flailed. Bats would fly,

rats, possums and raccoons dug the place and kept it interesting.

Skating at night was a bonus, but when someone would trip over the

extension cord outside, you’d better hope you weren’t riding.

You never knew who would turn up. The door would open

and “No way!” You were greeted by friends you haven’t seen in a

long time. The locals would session all of the time, but Wednesdays

and Saturdays were when the out-of-towner’s would know there would

be a session. Heavy sessions went down. Total aggression. Punk and

metal blasted, and so did the skaters. It was all happening fast, so you’d

better be paying attention.

Unreal times, great memories, and lifelong friendships, all thanks

to skateboarding. Talk about East Coast pride — mine stems from the

places we built and rode, but most importantly the people I’ve been

fortunate to get to know along the way.

Tom Groholski

For The House of Steam 2007

Tom Groholski Barn 85 Jason oliva The House of steam

Tom Groholski 85 The Barn NJ

Photo by I CHING

Not gonna say much here, Tom said it all…

I will add though the chunky pool coping was taken off of my folks back yard pool!!

thanks Mom and Dad.

Along with this crazy good essay Tom has sent us 12 seriously vintage photos so lets call it The House of Tom while I get em all posted.

Thanks to Wendy and Tony for getting it all together…(Check out Squindo.net)

Squindo Skull The House of Steam

and Tom for the big Ole stamp of approval!!! You Rule!!

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144: Noside (Edison NJ) Skate Jam 1986 Derek Rinaldi and Mike Valelly

Rinaldi Valelly jason oliva the house of steam

Derek Rinaldi and Mike Valelly Launch Ramp Edison Skate Jam 1986

ME & MIKE V

I think the year was 1985 or 86. Mike had organized this skate jam at a school in Edison. Jim Murphy, Rodney Smith were also on hand. More pics to follow.The ramp was a section I think from Groholski’s ramp. Not sure how it who brought it.

OK soooo this is about as New Jersey as it gets!!! If you were there let me know I want to dig up more pics from this seminal event.

Thanks Derek!

Those were the days…


Yes, I remember this event… I was sponsored by Powell Peralta at this point but if you notice that is not a Powell Peralta board I’m riding. I think I was skating Rodney’s Action East deck… For some reason I didn’t have a board of my own that day. Perhaps I was in-between packages.


I loosely set the event up. Just put the word out that we were jamming. We had a good turn out. Groholski’s dad brought the quarter pipe. Me and Rinaldi were the only guys able to go over the top. I actually used it as a jump ramp… Pretty radical back then and even today.


The cops came and shut us down later in the day. Steve Kasper did a street plant off the back of the cop car. I think Rinaldi has a picture of that.


Love your guys site.

— Mike V

Oh yea… I actually think that was 1986… I was on Powell Peralta so it had to be… Also, my haircut and pink wristband on right wrist are tell tale signs that it was 1986.And that’s a gray Powell Peralta Bones Brigade Team Shirt I’m wearing… I wouldn’t have bought that… That shit was free.

— Mike V

Thanks Derek…Thanks Mike

Checkout Mike on tour and check out his band Revolution Mother!!

Always a pleasure being in touch…(send more stuff..he he)

he he I just got it noside=Edison backwards…clever!

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East Coast Pride by Tom Groholski