In a Pearl Jam
After driving along the most northern route you can possibly drive in the lower 48 in Washington state and after spending a couple of nights in Glacier National Park I arrived to Missoula, Montana. I didn't know much about this place other than it being a college kinda town and that Black Bears and Grizzlies meet up in the mountains and hook up and make hybrid cubs. I got approval to go and meet up with Jeff Ament while in Portland and made the trek. Once I got to the address given to me I was told to wait at the bottom of the "mountain" and so I did. After about 15 minutes or so of waiting I got a text from Jeff to go ahead and come up and if the road turns to mud then I went too far. I drove up this one lane dirt road up this mini mountain jamming some Beastie Boys and thinking to myself "wow, I'm going to actually meet this guy and he's gonna tell me some stories". I thought to myself while driving that I'm gonna show up and he's gonna run up to my jeep and we're gonna hi-five and start filming some rad shit. Well as soon as that thought ceased I found myself stuck in the fucking mud. I went too far and I had about ten minutes to get to his place which apparently I had already passed awhile ago. Shame on my ass. I got out of my rental jeep and accessed the situation and it didn't look good. No way did this look good so I looked around this area which in mind was in some damned wet mist/fog. Imagine the end of the movie Excalibur (the original) where it's foggy and misty and there's a lot of chaos and confusion. I looked for rocks and pieces of wood, trash or whatever to put under this bogged in the mud fucking jeep. Four wheel drive wasn't working. Every time I turned the jeep on and attempted to get unstuck I just got stuck even more. The sweat on my lip started getting heavy, beady, panic mode was about to kick in, I had to take a shit, I was doomed. Then I got a text from Ament asking me where was I. Embarrassing as this was going to be to have to tell this famous guy who happened to be in one of the most well known bands in the world that I was stuck in a 4x4 jeep for our shoot.........I told him. Ten minutes went by with no response and then I hear a motor then I look up and then I see an old Toyota pickup truck blast through the mist and it pulls up to me. I thought it was some random hillbilly at first but when that hillbilly got out of the truck it happened to be Jeff Ament. I almost cried. I was being saved finally. I step out of the jeep and walk up to him and he shakes my hand and laughs. He's got two tow straps in hand and gets under the jeep and attaches them to the frame and then gets out and muddy and attaches the other ends to his Toyota. I was saved. "I'm still Alive" I said when we pulled up to his castle. Jeff gives me a tour of the palace and we go into his indoor bowl which is surrounded by complete skateboards which are were not produced later than 1984. He had them all. I couldn't believe what I was looking at. Mecca for collectors. Not only that but he had a huge sculpture by Haroshi hanging from the ceiling. As I was setting up the camera and lights and sound he was taking some runs in his bowl. I could hear the grinds. I filmed him doing some grinds and figure eights. I was just thinking to myself that my luck if I drop in it my be the one that puts me in the hospital especially after the getting stuck in the mud. My luck was fucked for the day. He did ask me if I was going to skate. I didn't just because I knew that I needed to end this on a good note without any broken bones or concussions. I said "I'll skate next time when I'm here for the screening" Jeff laughed and we filmed. Here's the thing about Jeff Ament that not a whole lot of people know about. Jeff is a skater for life, he climbs mountains to raise awareness, he gets skateparks built, he knows where the best Cuban food is in Missoula and he's been in some bands. He's a good dude and I'm happy I got to hang and film with him.