vrijdag, augustus 01, 2008
Jay Adams: The Lord of Dogtown
Jay Adams is back in business, of althans daar lijkt het op als je het onderstaande bericht mag geloven. Jay is god, god van Dogtown wel te verstaan en naar mijn idee van heel skateboardland. Jay Adams heeft altijd gedaan wat hij vond dat hij moest doen, heel hard en ruig skateboarden en dat is cool, heel erg cool. Ik heb in eerdere blogs wel eens beweerd dat skateboarden en poëzie veel gemeen hebben met elkaar, want:
1.) Als je eenmaal geskateboard hebt, je totaal anders naar je omgeving kijkt en blijft kijken. Je bent altijd opzoek naar een goede spot om te skaten. Lelijke nieuwbouprojecten zijn vaak walhalla's voor skateboarders, terwijl u er waarchijnlijk niet dood gevonden wilt worden. Als je poëzie schrijft, heb je een andere kijk op de wereld dan de gewone stervelingen die zich liever bezighouden met andere triviale bezigheden (bijvoorbeeld het lezen van De Telegraaf, het kijken naar voetbal en het praten over Idols).
2.) In skateboarden draait alles om unieke stijl, attitude en passie. Dat geldt ook voor het schrijven van poëzie. je kan schrijven wat je wilt, maar als het geen eigen stem heeft, of de passie ontbreekt, kan je het wel schudden.
Het leuke van het hele verhaal is dat er een handjevol professionele skateboarders zich hebben gemanifesteerd als dichters. Een grote groep is kunstenaar, grafischvormgever of muzikant. Fijne mensen skateboarders.
The New York Times
July 30, 2008 Wednesday
Late Edition - Final
A Lord of Dogtown Re-emerges
A specter from the grittier past of skateboarding has reappeared, ready to reconnect with his past without letting it drag him down.
The X Games are scheduled to begin in Los Angeles on Thursday, and Jay Adams, whose skateboarding career has been the subject of two major films, wants to attend. Adams, 47, does not compete anymore, but he hopes to watch and visit with friends he has not seen in years. More important, he wants to reunite with his wife and a daughter he has never seen outside of prison.
The decision about the X Games will not be up to him. The relationship with his family will be.
Adams was transferred from a federal prison in Oregon on July 7 to a halfway house in Garden Grove, Calif., where he will serve the final months of a four-year sentence for his role in a major drug shipment scheme. Although he has enjoyed increased freedom, his schedule and movements remain strictly supervised.
''They like to keep tabs on you, and know where you are at all times,'' Adams said Tuesday of those running the halfway house, who will decide whether he can attend the games.
In the late 1970s, Adams was a leading figure in a seminal vertical skateboarding scene rising from a seedy section of Santa Monica and Venice known as Dogtown.
Adams had been a talented teenage member of the Dogtown-based Zephyr Skate Team, known as the Z-Boys. Together they helped shape modern skateboarding with an aggressive attitude and style born in the streets, and maneuvers inspired by their favorite surfers.
''Jay was one of the biggest innovators of skateboarding in his time,'' said Danny Way, 34, who will compete in the skateboarding Big Air event at the X Games on Thursday. ''He brought a carefree personality to skateboarding, and skateboarding has always been a little rebellious.''
Although Adams initially rode the rising popularity of skateboarding to fame, he eventually chafed at the sport's increasing emphasis on commercialism and contests. Soon his rebelliousness overshadowed his skating.
''We were wild and acting crazy and not being very positive role models,'' he said of his fellow professional skaters.
This led to serious legal problems for Adams in 1982. While hanging out in Hollywood after a concert, he taunted a gay couple, which led to a fight. Adams said that he fled, but that a crowd joined in and stomped one of the men to death.
Adams was convicted of felony assault and sentenced to six months in prison.
He spent the next two decades in and out of prison as he battled drug addiction and his own demons. After the deaths of his brother, father, grandmother and mother in less than two years, he hit bottom during the late 1990s. Adams was, in his words, ''a down-and-out junkie.''
In 2001, an award-winning documentary, ''Dogtown and Z-Boys,'' chronicled his early rise and fall and catapulted him back into the limelight. At the time, Adams was serving two and a half years in a Hawaiian jail on drug charges.
He was released in 2002. In 2005, Hollywood followed up with a feature film, ''Lords of Dogtown,'' in which Emile Hirsch played a young Adams.
By then Adams had begun trading on his renewed status. He signed endorsement deals, but failed to pay taxes for three years. He relapsed into heroin addiction. And in June 2004 he was overheard on a federal wiretap introducing a crystal meth dealer in California to a buyer in Hawaii.
He was not arrested until November 2005. In the meantime, he stopped using drugs, got married and was expecting a child. All of which weighed at his sentencing when the judge showed leniency.
Still, if he breaks the law again, Adams expects to be locked up for a long time. ''My good-luck chances with judges are through,'' he said. ''I can't make those mistakes anymore.''
Since emerging from prison, Adams has spent most of his time at an indoor skate park at the headquarters of the surf apparel maker Hurley in Costa Mesa. That was where he was on Tuesday morning, sitting on a skateboard in the middle of the cavernous space, tattoos scrawled across his face and outstretched arms and legs.
He works there as the facilities manager, keeping the park clean and making sure that skaters have signed liability waivers.
A condition of his release, the job requires him to wake at 5 a.m., followed by an hour-and-a-half bus ride to begin work at 8 a.m. He is back at the halfway house and in bed by 9. On some nights he attends drug or alcohol treatment.
The simple schedule is designed to help Adams, a recovering drug addict, readjust to civilian life.
''We've got to make sure he gets on the bus and gets to work on time,'' said his agent, Peter Townend, a former world surfing champion who has known Adams since the late 1970s. ''If he gets too much too soon, he'll go off the tracks again.''
Family and friends are watching him closely. His wife, Alisha, and 2-year-old daughter, Venice, are in Alabama biding time while Adams demonstrates that he can control his addictions. He also has a 14-year-old son, Seven, who lives in Santa Cruz, Calif.
Adams, whose fearsome appearance belies a soft-spoken demeanor, said his faith in God and the routine of work would help him remain drug free.
''My ideal future would be to be with my wife and family and to be somewhere where I'm helping young kids not make the mistakes I've made,'' he said.
Meanwhile, he looks forward to resuming surfing and skateboarding.
With the X Games just 45 minutes north on Interstate 405, those dreams seem tantalizingly close.
Whatever happens this week, there are the matters of a future with his family and another five years of probation. For Jay Adams, there is a long road ahead.