Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I am a lot like you...

John Leland & his lecture on "the history of hip" completely miss the relevance of the So. Cal cultural impact.
So. Cal is vast, angry, multicultural, musical, artistically rich & car/bike-centric.
San Francisco is an east coast city on the west coast & Oakland is a midwest city in Cali.
LA & the surrounding area is a unique beast.

In 1927 Louis Goebal opened Jungleland in Thousand Oaks, California, right on the LA/Ventura Co. line.
The pictures in the previous post are of me & my cousins at Jungleland in January of 1969, when I was 2 1/2 years old. It closed in October of that same year.
I delivered the "News Chronicle" to Mr. Goebels front porch & used his overgrown "Hollywood Zoo" as my own personal playground. It was history to me, the fact that Tarzan & Robinhood were filmed there or Jane Mansfield's kid got his arm chewed by a lion, meant nothing me.
It was ours, our turf, hang out, a free skate park.
The Z-Boyz tagged the bowls we skated, perfectly smooth vast undulating tracks of cement, where alligators, sea lions & ducks once ruled.
While surfing may have had a Zen effect on those living in Hawaii or No. Cal, it was mean & territorial in So Cal.
Car Culture & Vatos, Surfing & Skating, Punk Rock & Hollywood, all left a scar on my personality, that makes me relate immediately with a Jason or a Cole.
Is it real or unique, better or special, more clever or neat than any other growing up experience? I think not, but it is mine & when watered down & commercialized by those reminiscing about a past that is not their own for the sake of selling a clothing line, it is surreal & brings out that angry, territorial tendency ingrained in me, since my youth.


  1. There are doers and then there are observers. The observer will never really get it.

  2. I love So. Cal. I have tried to escape several times but it always lures me home.

  3. S.F. an east coast city.....not sure about that one.

  4. BMX, It's simply an opinion or observation made by many others, way before me.
    Jack Black in his 1921 cult auto biography makes mention, John Stienbeck, the Beat movement & Sonny Barger, all notice many nuances of that city that are far more indicative of the east coast than west.

  5. I think you should write some short stories or scripts - if you have not already. You have a woderful way of painting with the written word.


    John from Oakland

  6. a writer or an outsider can only have his outside views of a city he/she is visiting. you have your absorption of culture through your upbringing and it's location.
    S.F. is an east coast city?? I guess that's kinda of easy one to say. But really it's just S.f. It's is physically a small city. But a city that welcomes freaks, faggots, hippies , druggies, dreamers, and artists. It seems bigger than it really is. To me the SF in uncomparable.
    your quote:
    "While surfing may have had a Zen effect on those living in Hawaii or No. Cal, it was mean & territorial in So Cal. "

    ... i imagine you've surfed here? Santa Cruz surfing scene has a violent history and is very territorial. Pacifica, Ocean beach, Bolinas all have there share of abrasive localism.
    My generation grew up skating places like embarcadero... where frankly. If you were an outsider you were very lucky to get out of there with out being, robbed or beaten.
    I have deep respect for you Jeff. Your art is amazing and i think you are probably the last few practicing a dying art form. I never really see the relation you make between you and people like Jason. That is not a bad thing. I appreciate individuals. The things jason did on a skatebaord were amazing and well documented. The proof is there. Just as in your art. Years from now we will see it and have been lucky enough to be a part of it.
    Not sure of the clothing line you mentioned... but people will always take from cool. Tip Toe into it and say they've been here the whole time just to cash in. But if you were apart of it and really got to experience it than you have the unobtainable. They just have the t-shirt. you know?

  7. Many truths are only true during a specific time in space.
    I was born in 1966, Cole a few years earlier & Jason a few years later.
    Without knowing each in our youth we crossed paths often in So. Ca.
    Things appear similar many times over with each new generation albeit diluted each time.
    Cole told me when he moved from the San Fernando Valley to the Carmel Valley, the north was light years behind.
    Because of a total lack of coordination skating & surfing have never been all consuming to me, then like a light switch motorcycles filled my days rather than the other. Cole's dad was a NHRA hall of famer, Jason's dad dabbled in old cars & mine bracket raced in the Antique nationals. Our commonalities lie more in where we came from & where our fathers came from, than the beach or sidewalk we surfed.

  8. Very well said, Max...slurping noise
    very well said, retarded voice
    Very well said, Max... love Barry
    Jeff, who are these people??

  9. right.
    thanks for the responce.