Tag Archives: Mike Vallely

480: Saturday Night Live at The Barn – Circa 1986..Thanks to Mike Vallely

I’m not gonna say much about this video except thanks to Mike Vallely for getting this filmed back in the day and giving it to us for the archive and another thanks to Larry Ransom for his editing and THOS support throughout the years. Another big thanks goes to Dennis who after searching the web for this footage decided to go to the source and clinched it all. The still images are of Mikes early Vert days at The Barn and the song is Revolution Mother “Night Ride” (pretty fitting) If you comment with a time and a name I will create a gallery of screen grabs…I will get the ball rolling with an important one: 1:24 Weep on Deck.

Enjoy the show…The time is now!!

Jason Oliva Artist


This is great. Mike talks about the first video he was in. “Action East” If I remember correctly, they showed up at The Barn with all this high-end video, lights and sound gear. It was right in the middle of a hot session. I was like, “What the hell is this???”

The guy who owned the company was like, “Can we film a video here?” and I said, “What’s in it for me?” (as if I was going to say No). This was way beyond squeezing 10 bucks out of some squid for “the new layer.” So he flowed me a “No Fun Joe” deck, a t-shirt and some other free shit and I said, “Go for it!” Of course, our power situation was a 300 yard extension cord to the house that kept blowing out. The next contest I entered as….sponsored by Action East.

Let’s see if we can get this classic film posted.

Skater by order of appearance:

1st couple stills Mike Vallely

Papo Capillo No Shirt Red Shorts

Dennis Kane Silver helmet after Papo…Big Indy Air later on

Jimmy Kane Yellow helmet white Tee no sleeves

Mike Vallely Yellow helmet layback air

Papo on roller skates?

Matt padulo Red shorts Layback Air/Backside Air

Tom Groholski Black Shirt Inverts/Layback Air

Bernie O’Dowd No Helmet Frontside air/Invert/Layback Air

Who does the big air with the pink helmet?

Loads of peeps on the deck and on the couch too

469: Mike Vallely – Brooklyn Bridge Banks closing till 2014 due to construction

We have all spent a lot of time at this place pre and post off ramp spiked fence….I lived 5 minutes from the Brooklyn Bridge Banks for 12 years and spent almost a year walking through there twice a day on my way over the bridge to a DUMBO art studio I established…..I for one was never able to ollie the highway divider (or any divider for that matter) its hard to believe Mike Vallely was undettered by that devil’s pitchfork of a barrier and conquered it. I will leave anymore to be said about the place to Mike…he says it best.

Thanks to Larry Ransom for this bang up mini documentary and Mike for Mik’ing

Checkout Mike V’s new updated online presence as well.


466: Mike Vallely ollies over Google and Youtube


I am a bit of a geek  so this was cool to see a bit into the Google NYC office. Notice those razor scooters lined up at the door for people to use…they need to leave some skates as well. I would have preferred to see Mike ollie one of the computers, possibly a Colecovision ADAM.


435: Andy Kessler: GRANDMASTER of 108, Leave your thoughts and comments below.

Avatar Jason Oliva

Feel free to express yourself , drop some memories or condolences in the comment section. If there is anything you would like to add do not hesitate to email me.



Here is a great video sent over by Juice Magazine there is a great segment were Andy talks about his work with Jim Murphy and Wounded Knee.

andy kessler montauk aug 14 2009

Celebrating the Life of Andy Kessler
Ditch Plains Beach, Montauk
August 14, 2009

Photo Michael Rovnyack, MJRPhoto.net

Special thanks to Irene Ching for this.

Andy Kessler

Andy Kessler Riverside Park, NYC 1979

Tom Groholski  Tony Squindo Andy  Kessler NYC

Tom Groholski, Glenn E. Freidman, and Any Kessler NYC 2008

Photo by Tony Squindo

Tom G interview juice Magazine

Andy Kessler Deathbowl to Downtown

Andy Kessler Deathbowl to Downtown

Andy Kessler Harry Jumongi Rodney Smith

The Kings of NY: Harry Jumonji, Rodney Smith and Andy Kessler

Photo Derek Rinaldi

341: Time to sweep 2008 under the carpet, lets give Mike Vallely the honors: Sayerville Skatepark NJ 1987 Todd Laffler adds to the archive!

Mike Vallely Sayerville Skatepark

Mike Vallely Sayerville SKatepark 1987

Photo by Todd Laffler

Jason Oliva The House of Steam

Here is a glimpse of some of the cool pics that will be heading into our archive in 2009 from Todd Laffler. 

Hi Jason,

I lived about 3 miles from Rod, and always looking up to him. In fact I bought my first “real” skateboard from him when he was working at a mall in Woodbridge. I also remember hearing all the lingo Rod had made up for stuff, like juicy= a drink, cakey=food, buggy=car etc. Whenever I get around to talking my buddy Woody we always revert back to talking with Rodisms.



Thanks Todd cant wait to see more images and videos!!

PS here is Woody(matt wood)


woody 1988 CheapSkates

Matt (Woody) Wood Cheapskates PA 1987

Photo Todd Laffler

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://jasonoliva.com 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

282: La Chambre de la vapeur de France. MIKE VALLELY – ” ; Vingt et un Years” ; (2008)

Jason Oliva The House of Steam

Bonjour from France.

Looks like I got married on the same day as Mike V turned pro (5 years ago versus 21 years ago) hence me chilling in Sospel. Dont look for any detail on my marriage over on Mike’s site but our friend Larry sent this over.

Bonne chance avec les 21 années à venir.

Jason Oliva La Chambre de la vapeur.


I turned pro on May 31, 1987 at a vert contest in Toronto, Ontario,
Canada. This really pissed off my sponsor at the time, Powell Peralta
as I entered and skated in that contest against their wishes. I was
in their eyes a “street skater” and they didn’t want me doing
anything to tarnish my image. Getting last place in my first
professional competition on a vert ramp wasn’t exactly how they
wanted me to start my pro career.

When I left Powell Peralta in early 1989 to help form World
Industries most people in the skateboard world thought this was
career suicide and betting men everywhere including those I skated
with and considered my friends weren’t giving me much of a chance to
make it out of the eighties as a pro skater let alone alive.

In the early nineties I got married, had a kid, nearly died from a
bleeding ulcer and was considered by most in the skateboard world as
being”washed up.” I returned to Powell Skateboards and rebuilt my
name and my career. I took to the road and instead of letting the
industry decide if I was relevant or not I brought my skating direct
to the skaters and found new life in doing so.

By the time I was skating for Black Label in 1999 I had successfully
carved out my own path in skateboarding; one built on individuality,
creativity and expression. This left me nearly friendless in the
industry but welcome in cities, towns and skateparks around the
world. Sponsors came and sponsors went; all fickle, following Johnny
Come Lately’s elitist road map. I’m not on that radar, haven’t been
since 1988.

These days I don’t go to the trade shows, I don’t shake hands with
the movers and shakers and I no longer follow the culture. The
evaluation of others is no longer a guide for me; I am entirely on my
own and quite content in my own skin. So when people say I’m over the
hill and all that other nonsense all that I can do is laugh. Of
course I’m over the hill, I turned pro in 1987 so by industry
standards I was over the hill in 1989, that’s just the way it goes.

I never had a natural talent for skateboarding but I did and do have
intense desire and commitment which has been the true driving force
of my professional career. My skating today is no longer about what
I have to do but is quite simply about what I want to do. Comparing
me or measuring me against any of my contemporaries is pointless; I
don’t know their names and I don’t speak their language, I just skate.

People ask me when I’ll retire, the answer is:


I will be out here on the front lines doing what I do, being who I
am, skating and rocking until they outline me in chalk; that is what
professional skateboarding is all about.

Twenty one years down and a lifetime to go…

Young At Heart and doing it My Way… always…

— Mike V

This video is a random compilation from my twenty four years of
skateboarding focusing on my now twenty one year pro career. It was
compiled and edited by non other than Mr. Larry Ransom. This is not
the end of anything, only the beginning.