Its funny just as Mike V is on an Epic Zumiez appearance tour I receive some great picture’s from Jeffrey Turko, back in the day owner of Earth Surfer Skate shop in NJ. Jeff and Earth Surfer were responsible for bringing a tremendous amount of pros to NJ (but The Earth Surfer Story is for a later larger post) Couple things to take away from these pictures besides the obvious…..
Check out the Board prices in the first pic…$45.99! Board prices have not budged in 20 years…were did we get the money back then to buy so many. It could be the equivalent of paying $200 for a board today ( I will let our financial experts do the present value calculation on this one)
The other thing is Mike V as a brand…he has ascended to the ranks of something like Harley Davidson…when people make the commitment to tattoo your logo on their bodies! they are not likely to change their decision in becoming a fan for life. Its all well deserved though Mike is out there on the front lines inspiring several generations across multiple artistic and athletic disciplines. Great guy to have on your side.
Check out Mike V online to see a lot more pics from this 2010 Shop tour on steroids.
Mike V Signing autographs during an appearance at Jeff Turko’s Earth Surfer Skate Shop (NJ)
That’s Jeff with his elbows on the counter.
Remember those plastic bags that Rector pads came in?
I had one of those finger board ramps too.
Checking out Skate vids on someones Itube.
Symmetrical snowboards were still a couple years away I guess.
Here is a selection of shots from the tour you can see a lot more at Mike V Dot Com
Here are two faces to names you should know:
Larry Ransom rocking the Skate Daily Tee shirt. Larry is the man behind the scenes that helps Mike V do the things he does. You can check out a lot of Larry’s killer video work over at LarryRansom.com as well and read his writings on MikeVallely.com. Along side him is our very own Derek Rinaldi you can check out his contributions all over the web: THOS, SkateDaily, Totally Skateboarding and Stereo Sound Agency…follow his writings before skateboarding makes it into the Olympics and ESPN makes an honest man out of him.
That is all
Chuck Treece Thrasher 1984 on Groholski’s backyard
Chuck Treece FDR
Yeah man…How cool is this. We are big fans of all things Chuck and McRad here at THOS. Hell, we even had The House of “Chuck” back in 2007 (an honor which has fallen on two others: The House of Tom and The House of Weep) Dan at Keystone and Chuck put together a killer collaboration McRad deck and the first 50 will be signed by Chuck. They can be pre-ordered for April delivery as well. I thought what better way to introduce The House of Steam Shop to everyone then with a new McRad deck straight out of PA. The House of Steam shop will be a marketplace to support THOS and other Indy/Underground/DIY/COOL skate companies like Keystone. We will be adding more products in the coming weeks so spread the word and if you are interested in listing something feel free to contact me.
Hell McRad even has a song called “Tom Groholski”
Chuck Treece Silverton Ramp PA
Oh yeah and lets not forget the classic mind bendingly cool skate pic of the century:
I’ve made a large number of stickers throughout the years. Back in 2006 I commissioned Steve Mannion to draw a logo for THOS. His only mandate from me was “Whatever you want it to look like Steve”. That is how this Masterwork came into being. I had the original art work printed as 5″ x 4″ vinyl stickers which throughout the years have been stuck as far away as Iraq. Finally I am in the same place as these stickers and can now make them available to everyone and after 4 years they have become almost vintage. So if you are looking for a great way to support THOS and spread the word click HERE for the fine wine.
Mike Vallely circa 85 First Vert Invert The Barn NJ
Photo Mike Spotte
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:
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 (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.
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!!!!!
Speechless…. – Jason O
Backward’s Bernie O’Dowd says watch this video!!
Checkout all the post comments below!!