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Rodney Mullen Photos & Videos on Instagram


3 months ago

Last Thursday, @mid90smovie premiered at the courthouse. It felt natural and open with legit skaters cruising around, plus food trucks and a screen in front of rows of folding chairs. Plenty of staples from the community there: Jacob Rosenberg, whom Mike T raised up filming Plan B, sat in front of me—roots and talent, in spades. He and everyone I spoke to basically said the same: There is a raw purity to Mid90s. Nothing feels forced; it weaves a story with legit skaters, just being themselves. It’s not my story, yet it captures an essence of not only mine, but so many dudes I’ve known over the years. I see movie critics approve, only it’s insane how they miss the point: like someone alien to you describing your hometown—or family—by seeing a picture. Which bats home the rarity and uniqueness of the belonging we find in skateboarding, by being who we are, doing what we do. I’m grateful someone of Jonah’s caliber not only gets it but used such skills to create this and put it out there—for all of us.

3 months ago

My visceral reaction when I hear someone is making a movie about skating is... I wish they wouldn’t. Call it cynical or too close to home— just call it experience: They all pretty much suck, wrecked by people who don’t get it from the start, then pump it out for mass consumption and leave us stuck with the perception. For those who’ve spent their lives skating—living it—it’s hard not to take that personal. I’m no different. So, when I heard @jonahhill was making a movie about skating a few years ago, I didn’t know what to think. For all his talent and success, I never knew him to be a skater and had no sense of his motive, so an ambivalence took hold. Soon enough we crossed paths, and I witnessed for myself. Somehow Jonah’s movie success seemed to yield clarity on what skating gave him from the start. He’s says it straight here:… Jonah never claimed to even be a decent skater; rather, he lit up talking about skating and hanging out at the (West LA) courthouse as a kid. It seemed as if he wanted to pay a tribute to skateboarding. Then, one of today’s highest-paid actors, described pros of that era with a respect boarding on awe. In a fit of genuine reverie, Jonah began rifling off clips from 20-Shot Sequence I’d nearly forgotten, mentioning nuances that legit skaters would note, yet still expressed in slang of that day. When he talked about how much Kareem’s company, Menace, affected him and contextualized it with the music of the era, it only validated his sincerity and perspective. Not long ago, the trailer came out, which shows where he’s coming from—it opens nationwide Friday, Oct 26th.

5 months ago

If there’s one name you may know from BMX, it’s Mat Hoffman—a genuine Legend. Mat was pioneering the concept of mega-ramps back in the early 90’s—blasting 20+ foot airs. Years later, it was through Tony (Hawk) that I got to know Mat, who is one of the most inspiring people I’ve ever met, especially in his humility. Tony can go on for hours telling stories about Mat, mostly from tour—they’re INSANE. Brains and Bandsis bringing Mat & me to Westport, CT on September 7thto talk & hang out; Everclearwill be playing with free beer from Cisco Brewers—all for $30. Check the link if you’re nearby. Tremaine &Spike’s doc on him:

6 months ago

Last October I posted shots of @electricmudofficial . They’re like family to me, so when they asked for another to promote a show for the CK4 Foundation at San Diego’s Music Box, I didn’t even ask what it stood for—I just shot a quick trick. They said the foundation helps SEALs and their families, but it didn’t connect until I watched the video: CK4 stands for Charles Keating IV, the American Hero that my friend called ͞Chucky͟ in his email, reeling at his loss after the firefight which could’ve easily taken both their lives. Over the last 10 years, the handful of SEALs I know have turned out to be the people I admire most, who stand up and ask for the hardest, most dangerous missions when our leadership calls for war—from the left or right, whether right or wrong. At least one of these will be on onstage on Aug 11th; show starts at 6pm, if you get the time. You never know who you’re standing next to, in that crowd.

6 months ago

Charlie Keating was one of about 14 more SEALs sent in to help; together, these 25-30 SEALS vanquished the ISIS fighters in a firefight that lasted for hours. Praising the one American casualty, spokesman for the Command, Col Warren, called Charlie Keating an American Hero… Words like Heroare bandied about so much that they lose meaning; movies riddle us with stories and images which… Generally, are far from it. And yet heroes quietly walk amongst us, sometimes closer than we may realize. A 30min video on paints out the life, character, and family of a real-life hero. Charlie grew up skating, surfing, and goofing around like any of us—seemingly always laughing. Only driven by conviction, he chose a different path because, “It was the hardest thing to do.” The final song from Matt Hensley’s band is just another of the threads that binds him to our community, too.

6 months ago

A Navy SEAL was killed on May 3rd, 2016, which caught my eye on the news. Having such a friend deployed in Iraq, I scoured for his name. The next night I was relieved to get an email… He was OK, only with HARROWING details: They were awoken at 5:30am with orders to aid friendly fighterswhose line had been “breached” by ISIS near a Christian village, north of Mosul. Approaching the scene, waves of those friendlies were fleeing straight into them. Suddenly, a vehicle packed with explosives wheeled around the corner; the HUGE blast halted their small convoy in its tracks, forcing them to fight in place. That’s when they realized it wasn’t just a breach: ISIS had taken theENTIRE village. Suddenly RPG’s and mortars thundered down while a hail of bullets left them with nowhere to hide. Reinforcements were called as these 15 SEALs were left to fend off over 125 ISIS fighters streaming out against them.

8 months ago

Dianna Cowern grew up in Hawaii, surfing and nurturing a supersized curiosity about pretty much everything—a rare gift, in itself. From music to snowboarding to the inner workings of atoms and stars, she threw herself into it. Armed with a brilliant mind, she earned a physics degree from MIT in 2011. Faced with the decisions of narrowing focus to work in a lab, she wrestled with having to confine the very curiosity that got her there. As an outlet, she started making science videos while working as an app developer at GE, earning top prize at SUNY Stony Brook. Soon, Scientific American took note, and PBS came knocking. A friend connected us (YEAH Chris!), and we shot an episode recently for her channel, @thephysicsgirl. Dianna’s grinning, self-effacing humility makes these videos a treat.

8 months ago

A few years ago, one of New York City’s high-end galleries opened an exhibit called Phase One, by a gifted young artist named Sam Wilkinson. By age five, Sam came to realize he had an unusual gift enabling him to create detailed drawings of complicated machines— entirely from memory– even hours after he’d seen them. He then recreated patterns and ideas from them into robots built of Legos. Wanting his creations to evoke a feeling, Sam began cutting and melting pieces that took them beyond the constraints of Lego’s intended design to convey a kind of sentience, even an eerie presence. I’m a friend of his father, Alec, who describes the sifting of thousands of Legos as, “The soundtrack in our apartment,” where Sam’s sculptures are perched throughout with the watchful alertness of anything from pet to predator. Presently, they’re on display again until May 25th at Francis M. Naumann Fine Art (24 W 57th St), if you happen to live nearby.

8 months ago

In 2005, a biography (The Mutt) came out, which captures a kind of arc that runs parallel to some friends that I’d like to introduce over a series of half-dozen posts—there is a pattern worth sharing. Starting where the book begins: As early as I could remember, I had to sleep with boots tied at the heels, which forced my pigeon-toed feet into a “V.” Doctors prescribed this to try to pry them from their natural state, aimed at each other. I walked like a drunken chimp, tripping myself constantly. My father... not exactly proud. For years I rarely left my room, so fixated on Erector Sets (pre-Legos) that my mom just left meals at the door. Then I got a skateboard. All those endless hours of fitting “Legos” together translated into piecing-together movements, learning tricks. I found my balance and taught myself how to learn. Everything I have, came from skateboarding. I can’t imagine what I’d be without it.

11 months ago

Part 2: @benharper continues to play and produce, touring over half the year. Yet from Carnegie Hall to the Sydney Opera House, Ben will disappear between tour busses or wander into the night to work on some new trick. Around 2009, he sent a clip of his first kickflip, eventually progressing to laser’s a few years ago. Then, suddenly it stopped. Knowing one another well, I left it alone as the question hung in the air. Finally, he showed me how his vertebra had fused, wrestling with the idea of surgery—yearning to skate. That was about 1 year ago, when he went under the knife. After inserting this contraption in the base of his spine, he told me he’d pick up where he left off. And man did he. Check out this stationary laser, which to me is that much harder without being able to get behind it… In the words of Lance Mountain: “Skateboarding doesn’t make you a skateboarder: not being able to stop skateboarding makes you a skateboarder.”

11 months ago

Part 1: @benharper grew up working on every kind of instrument at his grandparent’s music shop, in Claremont. Also designated as a museum, the Folk Music Center surrounded him with artists and musicians of every culture—even some legends. Ben also lived near another Mecca—Pipeline Skatepark—which wielded a kindred influence that never left him; immersed in skating and playing his slide guitar, Ben quickly started cutting out his own path. By the early 90’s, skating took a backseat as he packed venues across the globe, ultimately earning 3 Grammy’s—and still counting. Then for whatever reason, Ben turned back to his skating with a vengeance at the ripe age of 40. That’s about the time we became friends, which has given me a privileged vantage into not only how fast he learns, but to witness the genuine humility and poise with which he comports himself and treats others. A rare dignity, indeed.

1 year ago

Of the most humbling honors skating has bestowed is being chosen to be someone’s Make-A-Wish. Of the dozen or so I’ve experienced—through various foundations—it’s always the same: During the days prior, I toss & turn at night, having no idea what to say to a dying child reaching out in his (almost assuredly) final days of life. I’ve just lived my life as a skater—nothing more. Which I’m terrified they will quickly find out, and then maybe end up worse-off than before. This is the first time it was for an adult; his name was David. By the time he’d gotten word that he only had a few months to live, it was too late to even bother with formal channels. Yet through his brother’s determination combined with more than one coincidence, we arranged to meet in a coffee shop on September 7th near(ish) his home in DC. As his wife, Dee, wheeled David to our table, we caught sight of one another; a long minute later, we sat in silence with eyes glassed-over. Suddenly, he spoke with a grinning frustration: “Do you know how many hours I spent, working on kickflips?” This ignited a lightness, laughing at all the shinners and struggles of learning the same basic tricks. Which led to sharing the nuanced gifts of some of my peers (Hensley!) that makes them seemingly superhuman, while connecting to the funny quirks that makes them real and so truly Human. Then came streams of the perfectly mundane that eddied and flowed, as if sweeping us into a river of all the shared little peculiarities that connect us not just as skaters, but as people.