Posts Tagged ‘Bobby Puleo’

Cellar Door Seeking, Switch Backside 5-0 Grinding, Contented Old Men

June 22, 2019

O, it is a difficulty, amidst these hostile troll farms, the spammy bots, the federal US antitrust privacy probes, the poisonous and pervasive loudness — recall, citizen, that there once was a time when The Internet was envisaged to become a digital daisy-chain bridging cultural and physical gaps, drawing disparate populaces closer, and placing mammalian humanoids on a path toward a computer-enhanced shangri-la similar to the one depicted in Star Trek Tha Next Generation. In the current moment it instead comes off as something of a wi-fi enabled social cheese grater, slicing our species into smaller and smaller social factions fittable inside cozy bubbles depicted in a five-years-too-late Alien Workshop graphic, and ripe for a post-singularity steamrolling by the Earth’s presumptive machine custodians. In the meantime DGK’s giving Kevin Taylor a guest board though.

Third-grade math posits one of life’s great lessons, that it is possible, at least when multiplying two negative figures, to come away with a positive. So it is that living generations must contemplate Bobby Puleo’s recent, sunnier turn via several Internet-based longform media appendages. Nearly two decades ago, back toward the time when the skate-o-sphere expanded enough to fragment into a mainstream, an underground and various other subdisciplines identifiable via trick trends and readily purchased uniforms, the public perception of Bobby Puleo began to shift — the velvet-footed bank-to-ledge artist seemed to harden his Oyolist views regarding street skating purity, growing a beard, earning a reputation for obsessive spot secrecy, and voicing (if not enforcing) a rigid framework of unwritten law regarding who should be filming or taking photos at what spots. Observers observed a shift from goofy shimmying in ‘Static II’s definitive part to electronically haranguing Josh Stewart over corporate employerships and matters of general cred, later deriding Mark Suciu’s Philadelphia residency as “tourist types coming in and running through the resources.” In Solo a couple years back, he put it like this: “I don’t have a lot of rules, but there are rules.”

In a pursuit ostensibly based in large part on rejection of organized sport conventions, rules very much included, this occasionally got peoples’ backs up and branded Bobby Puleo something of a scold. It’s a role he sometimes seemed to knowingly lean into, such as his zestful grousing over Theories inexplicably replicating one of his old ads for a Hopps/Cons promo last year. Other times he has come off reflexively cynical, like his critique of Steve Brandi’s coming out around the time of the Cons/Hopps product launch.

Earlier this year, when Chris Roberts’s Nine Club podcast unveiled a nearly three-hour sitdown with Bobby Puleo, listeners of a certain age braced for a dogmatic, graduate-level ‘True East’-minded lecture laced with detours into numerology-based population control. While an ages-long alliance between Freemasons and The Great Old Ones potentially forced Nine Club controllas to edit out the latter, Bobby Puleo’s continued ruminations on early 1990s rap music law guiding his philosophies came off more measured and less didactic, perhaps because it arrived alongside rambling stories about losing a wheel en route to a SoCal skatepark (Bobby Puleo skates skateparks — California ones no less), his own intense fan fixations (‘Mouse’-era Guy Mariano, vintage stickers, his dream of attending board-collector swap meet Skater-Con*), and his endearingly hyper-specific footage preferences (Texas backyard vert ramps).

This month Thrasher centered one of its ‘Out There’ segments on Bobby Puleo, graybeareded and gamely reminiscing on his first cellar door, cruising on his bike for back-alley spots, and hunting for aesthetically affecting garbage to make into art projects. Here, his tricks remain quick-feeted and feather soft, but there is little sign of the fearsome and uncompromising Bobby Puleo one might worry would blindfold you and drive you around for several hours before pulling up at the spot to film tricks. Touring his childhood spots, the vid raises the prospect of a galaxy collapsing back in upon itself in a sort of ‘big crunch’ that could perhaps end/begin again with a more contented, peaceable Bobby Puleo.

Is time sanding off Bobby Puleo’s harsher edges, are the rest of us getting harder in a mean age, or has the text-based medium of earlier Internet communications obscured something in his tone all these years? Are purity and happiness mutually exclusive? Do those found-object art pieces contain crytograph puzzle clues that, properly assembled, will lead some future Bobby Puleo devotee to uncover his secret map of spots decades in the future? Why is ‘the industry’ continuing to ignore Godzilla’s ballooning heaviness? Have you ever seen a bad Kevin Taylor photo?

Rose-Coloured Glasses, Made In Philadelphia

August 1, 2011

Recently while aboard a luxury locomotive I gazed out the window to take in the urban decay and peacefully zoned out on the loading docks and warehouses, snapping to after realizing that it had been several minutes and probably it looked retarded to whatever secular co-passengers might’ve been paying attention. One of those increasingly seldom times when a person can still feel as though these pursuits might set them apart in some fundamental way from the rest of the whoevers, and coming on the heels of the pretty emotionally heavy Oyola “Later’ds,” casts Ricky/Bobby/Traffic and the rest in a whole different light.

I ask you, who but a truly cockeyed optimist looks for and sees potential for good times in a sea of crumbling concrete foundations and pissy public parks and disused traffic barriers? What sort of a person launches a hardgoods affair, in 2011, out of the east coast without Marc Ecko rhino pants money and with a full-time truck driving job? What sort of a person would professionally endorse this company? What sort of person devotes the last decade-plus to filming this stuff for unprofitable video enterprises? Does spot-seeking and those who live the attached lifestyle require a person to be naturally outfitted with rose-colored goggles, or are they earned like a samurai’s blade or a unicorn’s wish-granting powers?

Elsewhere on the east coast, Du Flocka Rant gives the children a reason to believe. (via quartersnacks)

American Apparel

December 10, 2008

In skateboarding’s post-2000 pants sweepstakes, Kalis in brown cords has to be some kind of milestone. Pitch-perfect switch smith grind from the new Transworld, which has a lot of good photos, including one that sooner or later will likely end up poached for the header of this page. Try and guess which one. Alien video less than two months away…

Midsummer Video Roundup: Moving in Traffic

August 14, 2008


To a deluxe apartment in the sky

A lot of people will talk about the whole rap-rock era and condemn the Limp Bizkit/Korn/Linkin Park movement as a load of horseshit, and you know I’d have to agree. But some of those people will be quick to add “except for the Pharcyde” or “except for Rage Against the Machine,” a couple groups who I guess could be considered the originators of the genre, if you want to call it that. The point is that the creators shouldn’t be blamed for whatever watering-down and bastardization followed, which I guess is fair, but rap-rock can stay dead and buried as far as I’m concerned.

Except maybe for those scary clown guys who named their album “Iowa,” cuz they seemed like they were onto something.

Anyway, the same general concept can apply to this new phase of urban/weird spot/”creative”/cellar door skating we’re in right now, and bearded munchkin Bobby Puleo, who set the stage in La Luz way back in 2002. Even those who’ve had it up to here with the pivot fakie craze will tip their hats to Puleo, being as he’s the one who came up with a lot of these moves.

It makes a certain kind of sense that Puleo ended up with the Traffic/Static set, and his BDP-powered opening part in the new “Moving in Traffic” promo is to me his best skating since La Luz or maybe even the Infamous promo, possibly because it came as a surprise to me that he put aside his internet conspiracy theories and aggressive indifference to skating in general to, you know, make a serious effort. He’s fleet-footed as ever and his style, to invoke probably the most overused word on this blog, is looking smoother than it has in years as he noseblunts and nosegrinds and manuals all over the place. The spots of course are like the Rust Belt’s greatest hits, and Rich Adler’s rapid-fire editing is right on time. If he wants Puleo can go back into hiding for a couple years off this part, it’s seriously that great.

Later on Oyola grinds some steps, Pat Steiner breezes some lines and Damien Smith wipes down an SUV with his black tee. Oh, and Dan Plunkett (I think it’s him) sails a big ollie out to nosestall to pop back in fakie on a bank-ledge, which is wild. Rich Adler rips and chooses good tricks to do but I have a hard time dealing with his midget style, sorry. He does hook up some pretty inspired music choices for the parts though.

The other anchor of the video is Jack Sabback who cranks his backside nollies and low-rides long nosegrinds and always seems to rotate into or out of tricks in the most eye-pleasing direction available. You know? He’s looking like a young Egon Spengler and skids the sickest nollie frontside noseslide pop-over to fakie. This is the part that myself and, I can only assume, billions of others have been awaiting since the Ipath promo a few years ago, and it satisfies through the final fucked-up switch frontside pop-shove it.

On a side note I don’t know why more companies aren’t going the Tim & Henry route in this age of the 24-hour filming cycle. Jamie Thomas was talking about putting out a Zero video every fall that would basically be edited around whoever had the most/best footage at the time, which is an interesting idea. Either way, the Traffic promo comes out to the perfect length for a pre-skate viewing and hopefully more companies try this approach. It seems to be translating into board and softgood sales, since Oyola can now apparently afford to put titles for different skaters’ parts and pay street cops to wear Traffic merchandise.

They had this video up at the Traffic website for a while, but now I can’t find it. The site is however home to quite possibly the gulliest news update in some time, check it out.