Posts Tagged ‘North Magazine’

Death, Taxes And 10,000 Pounds Of Rolling Steel: Wade Speyer’s Dump Truck And The Quest For Immortality

January 31, 2021

In the smash Broadway politicopera ‘Hamilton,’ the closing number ponders man’s quest for immortality through government. After the gunshot death of major figure Alex Hamilton, lover of women and bayonettor of British, the refrainers mourn: “U lived, u died, bro we’ll tell ur story.” It is true, but only to a point: Andrew Jackson remains a day to day sight, but only until US currencies move fully digital. The system of government designed by aged brewmaster Benjamin Franklin has proven vulnerable to shirtless men in buffalo hats. Even Washington and Jefferson and Lincoln and Roosevelt, their visages carved 60 feet high in solid stone, exist only at the pleasure of phaser-equipped alien spaceships that one day may decide they have grown bored with the entire affair.

Approximately 70 years into its history, the skateboard realm mutters to itself the same lyrics as it flits about its day-to-day. Some things, like kickflips, the ‘Sick Boys’ video and the popsicle shape, persist through time. Others — the shoelace belt, Shorty’s boards, the lapper, Pat Corcoran, Justin Roy, Bridgebolts — rise and fade. And some prove truly immortal, such as Half Cabs, Brandon Turner’s switch hardflip, Fred Gall obviously, and as we shall come to understand, Wade Speyer’s dump truck.

Featured in 2001’s black denim document ‘Label Kills,’ and again in ‘Weekend at Wade’s’ alongside certain other heavy machineries, Wade Speyer’s dump truck has outlasted companies such as Bootleg, Seek and 3D; it has posed for the cover of Big Brother, which is also outlasted, and rolled like a timeless wave as decks and pants have widened and slimmed like the shifting of the tides. Footwear labels such as C1RCA, Ipath and Es have amassed great power only to fade again, but the dump truck persists. Photo/videographer John Bradford in North magazine rightly named it among the seminal moments captured in his photography career:

…I was lucky enough to be asked to help with what I think was one of the best things going on in skateboarding at that moment. It was so sick to be a fly on the wall as those guys put together some of those stories. Like listening to Natas [Kaupas] recount in his own words about his career. We went and filmed Wade Speyer drive his dump truck. We filmed an interview with Clyde Singleton where he refused to take off his Mexican wrestling mask.

Now, in this year of our lord 2021, it rises again, as Darren Navarrette in the February 2021 Thrasher pens another chapter of the legend:

I was always a bit starstruck by Wade. Before one contest, I decided to get a little liquid courage and dipped into a bar. The only other customer in the place was Wade. I was scared. What do I do? Do I pretend like I don’t see him? I decided to pull a stool up next to him. He looked over at me and said, “Darren, you wanna see a picture of my pride and joy?” He pulled out a photo of his brand new dump truck. I was like, What? A dump truck? The funny thing is, I had a picture of my pride and joy in my wallet, too, so I took it out and showed it to him. It was literally a photo of Pride dishwasher soap and Joy hand soap. Turned out neither of us were exactly rock stars.

Has Wade Speyer ever been documented doing the trick called the ‘dump truck’? Should Fred Gall, easily the most widely revered doer of the dump truck trick, buy a real one as he contemplates life paths beyond pro skating? When FA inevitably awards a ‘class photo’ board to the dump truck should it feature a pic of the truck fresh out the assembly line, some Tonka model, or heaps of unrefined iron ore bound for the blast furnace?