Tag Archives: RODNEY

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

338: The House of Steam/Shut Skates presents The First Annual 2008: History of East Coast Skateboarding Summit.

Jason Oliva (The House of Steam) and Rodney Smith (Shut) Shut Store 158 Orchard St. NYC December 2008


Jason Oliva The House of Steam

I flew into NYC for the first annual History of East Coast Skateboarding Summit. It was a two day event and well attended (Me Adam and Rod),  alliances were formed, refreshments were served and some choice new SHUT gear and THOS Stickers were offered as take aways.


Rodney’s Office SHUT 2008

It was held in Rodney’s office were we sat down for hours trying to put the world to right. In the end we walked away with the knowledge that the story is being told and told well and The House of Steam is the place for it all to be and my continued stewardship is being watched and approved. Keep an eye out in your mailbox for an invite to the next History of East Coast Skateboarding Summit in 2009 were we will get together and continue the discussion about patch working this story together to better present our unity and roots.

Jason Oliva December 2008


Ps If you havent already get down to 159 Orchard and check out the Shut Shop…the coolest place to be.

Rodney Smith Shut Store 2008

Rodney Smith Shut Store 2008


And keep the media flowing in, I recently got a load of crazy cool new gems to add to the archive…

send stuff to: Jasonoliva@gmail.com



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



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!!


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.


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

Revolution Mother the House of Steam

Photo Derek Rinaldi


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.


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!!


East Coast Pride by Tom Groholski

Add to: Facebook | Digg | Del.icio.us | Stumbleupon | Reddit | Blinklist | Twitter | Technorati | Yahoo Buzz | Newsvine

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


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!


YouTubeSkate (Videos)




East Coast Pride by Tom Groholski