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Tony Alva

After a few calls and a quick drive up into the hills I finally reached my destination...Tony Alva. He greeted me at the door and invited me in to film an interview for The Big Boys film. Tony's house was perched high above the city of Los Angeles and it was quite a view. We spent about a good hour or so trying to figure out where we wanted to shoot. His house was decked out with some pretty rad artwork and skate and surf memorabilia that was really a task trying to figure out where to set up. The interview was pretty amazing to say the least. We talked about punk rock music, skateboarding, surfing, The Big Boys, Junkyard and Texas. Tony described Texas as his home away from home throughout the years which makes sense because his presence was pretty well known for me as a kid seeing that Alva stuff was always around (John Gibson, Craig Johnson) in Houston and at every local skate shop. Even though we talked about all of that stuff we would somehow always end up back on the "here I am now" "sober living" discussions.. I realized despite growing up with this guy being in Thrasher magazines and posters on my wall as a kid we found a common ground with the fact that we were both sober guys trying to make the best of it after all the dumb shit we've done in the past. Of course there were the regrets but there were also the accomplishments and the inspiring others conversations we had during my visit that day. After the interview was done he showed me some of his prototype surf boards he has been working on and then he pulled out a couple of bass guitars and we kinda had this weird jam session together. I'm not going to lie, it was pretty surreal. Here I am trading bass solos with one of the world's most iconic skateboarding figures. He handed me a five string which wasn't my weapon of choice but I wasn't going to be picky. He had asked about Tim Kerr and also about Chris Gates. I gave him a quick update then we parted ways. A few days later I ended up surfing with T.A. and then met up with him at a meeting in which he was the keynote speaker. During his speech I would watch James Remar (The Warriors, Dexter) pick boogers out of his nose and roll them up into balls and flick them on the floor. If you're ever in Santa Monica, Ca go check out Dogtown Coffee and get a massive burrito. Also watch the documentary titled "Lords of Dogtown" it'll give you a really history lesson on Tony Alva and many others. It's narrated by Sean Penn, directed by Stacy Peralta and Vans has a big part in seeing that the movie got made. This is my story of meeting Tony Alva. Thanks, JS

photo taken by my iphone on a truck

Tony Alva

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