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Rodney Mullen  Watch Rodney in Ep. 5 of :DRYVRS


Ever jump into an Uber or Lyft, only to realize your driver is nuts? Figuring they weren’t the only ones, @jackdishel created a little web series produced by my good friend David Zonshine, called :DRYVRS. Its first episode with Macaulay Culkin went OFF (25M views), then the next ones followed suit. For as creative and funny as Jack and David are, part of what makes these little videos feel so fun is that the cast is made up from Friends and friends of Friends. The second episode features @rosannaarquette with cameos by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and @dhaniharrison—the list goes on. DZ invited me to be in the 5th episode, which was really just an excuse to hang out and feel part of something special. It’s coming out on Halloween; maybe check it (all of ‘em) out if you get the time. www.dryvrs.tv *link is also in bio

If you’ve ever checked out Rolling Stone’s articles on skating, you’ve surely encountered the work of Eric Hendrikx. A close friend connected us; soon afterwards, we did an interview for the release of Liminal. Though an honor to work with him, it was his heart for skating and straight up character that solidified our friendship. A few weeks ago, Eric and his son took off to Switzerland. Soon afterwards, Ben (Harper) reached out to let me know Eric was in a near fatal motorcycle accident there, then promptly got on a plane to go check on him. Eric is beloved by so many of us in the skate community, not to mention musicians and motorcyclists. We are better off because of his contributions. Since then, we’ve been texting, and you’d never know anything happened—always such an awesome sense of humor. Yet the road to recovery will be a long one.

Eric was airlifted by helicopter to a nearby hospital, then placed in an induced coma and breathing ventilator. I think it was the kidney damage and internal bleeding that may have been scariest, along with a badly punctured lung. Surgeons already reconstructed his shoulder with a bunch of plates, while his busted collarbone and shattered clavicle continue to heal. Though his spine was fractured in over a dozen spots, the chord itself seems fine; surgeons left it alone. Aside from a few other fractures and a busted hand, that’s mostly what’s gonna keep him over there until mid-September. Yet all of this comes at an enormous financial cost. If any of this moves you to contribute to his GoFundMe page with anything you may have to spare, know that it’ll be going to some especially good people in need of a helping hand.

@birdhouseskateboards latest film, Saturdays, premieres soon. I been privileged to a little preview of @tonyhawk 's part, a week or two ago: IT IS INSANE. Tony and I have been friends since I was about 14. Our shared history through Stacy created a strong bond; the Bones Brigade doc captured that well— though the years afterward brought us even closer. Soon, I went to World, while Tony founded Birdhouse, and years passed as Tony continued to build momentum in what seemed a new era, one milestone after the next. By the time he did the 900, it seemed to culminate everything he’d built, and soon Tony reached a level of fame unparalleled in skateboarding. Meanwhile, I’d gradually learned to skate a little street, then busted an ankle after Round II. I guess drawing back to that original connection, I reached out to Tony because I just needed grounding. Funny, I suddenly found myself a little nervous around him after all the changes, thinking somehow, he’d be different. Yet through all his success, Tony was exactly the same, except maybe even more humble—if that’s even possible. In his typical way, Tony just put things in perspective, then out of the blue, asked me to be in his video game. All these years later, our friendship has only continued to grow. Not only is Tony one of the most gifted of all skaters I've ever known, his single-minded dedication to the act of skating itself over nearly forty years leaves me in awe, and his part in Saturdays is a testament to that unquenchable fire. http://theberrics.com/saturdays-birdhouse-video-trailer/

The Venice Biennale is an arts exhibition (and org), dating back to 1895. A skater named Shaun Gladwell was invited by the Dean of Yale’s School of Arts in 2007 to show one of his pieces, only to be singled out later by The Daily Telegraph: “If I had to pick the single young artist in this Biennale destined to future greatness, it would be the Australian Shaun Gladwell.” Today, Elton John even collects his work. Some years ago, Shaun reached out to shoot together; although I couldn’t film back then, he patiently encouraged, and we became friends along the way. The first time I’d skated in front of a camera for nearly a decade was for Shaun in the Torrance museum, on some of his favorite art. Thanks to the Drake Hotel for bringing us together in Toronto on Friday evening for a showing and a discussion. http://www.thedrakehotel.ca/happenings/2017/6/23/monkey-shoulder-presents-rodney-mullen-x-shaun-gla/

There is no single skater that has ever made me feel more honored to have any association with— much less the bond we have— than @daewon1song . Even as a kid, his ninja skills were obvious; I put him on World right from the beginning, about 27 years ago. That only fueled his progress and creativity, which are still unfolding to this day, etching an indelible mark in our shared history, written through his skating, and illuminated through his character—because of who he is. Hardly have I ever met someone more creative, driven, humble, devoted—and most of all, a loyal friend-- which has been tested and found truer than I’ve ever known, nearly 30 years later. I can't express the honor I felt to introduce Daewon last Friday night at his Hall of Fame induction.

@krisztinaholly is a pearl of MIT (engineering), an entrepreneur, who is one of the most brilliant and insightful people I’ve ever known, advising a range of influential organizations, from LA Mayor Garcetti’s office to The White House. Her podcast "@artofmfg" is a behind-the-scenes look at how entrepreneurs turn ideas into realities. We just did an episode together, which she also wrote-up and published in Forbes; it weaves together elements of how what we take from skating can be translated into business, with some stories from the early days of World to the present. Best of all, Z’s like a sister to me. This shot is when she hosted TEDxUSC--my first ever talk--which would never have come about, were it not for her believing in me and making it happen.
Tune in on the website (http://artofmfg.com) or iTunes (http://bit.ly/aomit)

For all the accomplished, even famous, artists who draw from skateboarding, there are even more who commit themselves to a service of a different sort. They don’t talk or debate; rather, when the call comes, they answer it for the rest of us, a sacrifice that often stays with them even when they do make it back. Skaters populate our most elite Special Forces (Thank You, Chris!), NORAD (Yeah Ben!), while others quietly walk amongst us, restarting their lives. Bret’s friend (Jeff) was an Infantry Marine; he used to visualize lines on vert to help center himself on deployments; once home, he started Buzz Bomb Skateboards because, “Skateboarding brought me back to me.” After Bret joined up, I asked if I could be part of a collaboration, with the good word from Almost. Our boards will be released next week— check ‘em @buzzbombskates. (Photo: Upon hearing, Jeff sent this Bible he found on a dusty shelf in Ramadi.)

There are so many accomplished—if not famous—people out there who draw from their skating backgrounds or maintain a genuine love it. Spike, Jonah Hill, and Scott Cooper are just a few in film: plenty in tech, and probably even more of musicians. Ben Harper is singular, even in this group: He’s got 3 Grammy’s and fills venues like Carnegie Hall and the Sydney Opera House; meanwhile, he skates nearly every day, with some of the meanest laser flips and nollie (outward) varial-heels around. Bret Johnston is another: a Harvard professor who’s seemingly always up for int’l awards, he walks with kings. Presently in Iceland, he’s giving private readings to their President. Here’s a frontside rock. Just another testimony to the talent and level of influence of our community. (Follow Bret @notoriusbaj22)

@wired did an article on me a couple years ago, which never seems to stop giving. Afterward, I was invited to speak at Wired BizCon, where their Editor-in-Chief, Scott Dadich, blew me away— so sincere and cool. A day later, Scott was to introduce my talk at 1WTC in front of the other editors-in-chief at Conde Nast, chaired by the head of Vogue. As they filed in, nerves started to kick in… Then Scott stepped up for his intro, speaking with such warmth about his own skating days—next thing I knew, everything just flowed. By the time it was done, I’d never had so much fun doing a talk. By the following day, Scott had me hooked up with the president’s office at Conde Nast; ever since, he continues to lift me up wherever he can—such an awesome friend. Scott’s so crazy talented; he walks amongst kings, and now has broadened his role to a whole new realm of projects—this is just one: https://www.wired.com/2017/01/editors-letter-february-2017/

@wsjmag do these Still Life pieces for the back of their mag, featuring what mostly seems to be artists: playwrights, Pulitzer Prize winners, etc. I have no idea why they reached out to me, but was thinking it’s because they did a cool one on Laird Hamilton, then thought to do a skater. Stacy Peralta did an amazing film that featured him, called Riding Giants—then the Bones Brigade doc… Whatever the reason, it’s an honor. The theme is to show 10 of our Favorite Things. Funny, I’d never thought about it, so as I walked around choosing the stuff I’d grab first if my house caught fire, I realized none of it had anything to do with any kind of award, or really even any real monetary value; rather, nearly all of it is from relationships that have had the most meaning. http://www.wsj.com/articles/rodney-mullens-favorite-things-1484668369

This is one of my closest friends, Bret Anthony Johnston. Bret was on his way to turning pro, only broke his foot on tour, so ended up pursuing his writing. Within a matter of years, he became the Director of Creative Writing at Harvard, sharing offices (here) with some of the most influential writers and poets in the world. One of them once alluded to his skating—in light of his success—as “misspent years.” Bret quietly took what was meant as a compliment, yet confided later that it was his skating that created the foundation for his success. To this day, Bret skates religiously at least a few times a week, when he’s not on tour or on one of his hushed, Illuminati-sounding getaways. If you get the chance, check out his book, which is an int’l best seller: Remember Me Like This. We printed special boards to help advertise it, as it has glimpses of his own childhood, skating in Corpus Christi.

A big influence in my life over the last 8 years has been Dr. Randy Hill, who runs a place called the Institute for Creative Technology; much of what they do is to help our troops, both downrange and at home. A particularly well known program of theirs is using VR to help veterans with PTSD. Of the various medals and awards in his office, this shot of his always is most prominent to me. A veteran himself, Randy remains closest to the sacrifices and needs of our soldiers and how that extends through their families, and often follows them home, long after they serve. No greater love than to lay down your life for another; for this and so much more, Thank You to our trips and Veterans.

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