Vans Pleased To Meet You Skateboard Tour 2003.

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Vans Tour 2003

Day One: Friday The 13th

We were all told to meet at Vans by 9:00 a.m., which meant we probably wouldn’t be leaving until maybe 11:00 a.m. So when I arrived at 9:30 I wasn’t to worried about being late. No one else had arrived yet and only one of two rental vans was there. After raiding the warehouse we loaded the van up with over 40 pairs of shoes and by this time everyone had arrived, except Evan Hernandez, which we then learned we would have to pick up. Danilo Cerezini was flying in to LAX at 11:00 a.m. and we would be picking him up on the way as well.

The first van with Team manager Dan Rogers driving left directly for Arizona. Inside were Darrell Stanton, Scott Kane, Terry Kennedy, special guest Ragdoll, and TWS photographer Shad Lambert. The second van with, “Mr. Magic, Steve Luther and myself were on our way to pick up Danilo and Evan.

Geoff Rowley was already in Phoenix filming and Caballero, John Cardiel, Jim Greco, and Van Wastell would be flying in to Arizona later in the day. As for Tony Trujillo, he was MIA, but I’m sure he has his air guitar with him wherever he is. Bummer though.

Danilo was flying in from Brazil and I don’t think he knew he would be driving straight to AZ. The flight to the U.S. took him 16 hours with three different flights. When he got in the van he told us that it was his 16th birthday. Feliz Aniversario Danny! What a great way to start your birthday, going on tour with the Vans team. So, at 1:30 p.m. and the speedometer well over 90 we were finally on our way. Steve handled it all well, the only thing he said was, ” we’re lucky if we get to the signing an hour late. Uh-yeah, we missed it all, but everyone else made it.

The other guys waited for us to arrive and after all the hello’s and such we made our way to the Wedge Skatepark for some actual skating. Scott, Darrel, Terry, and Evan annihilated the park rails and Danny and Ragdoll waited for filmer Ewan Bowmen to light up the ledge located out front. Ragdoll pulled a tail-slide to 270 shove-it riding away fakie and Danny landed a switch crooks. Afterwards, a case of mistaken identity happened once again. Ewan was mistaken for Patrick Melcher. It was good to end the session with some laughter at someone else’s expense.

The night ended with a midnight search for food that led us to Subway. Two hours later we were back at the hotel for some much needed sleep. Wake up call 12 noon please.

Day two, Saturday 14th

The day started with everyone meeting in the hotel lobby at 1:30 p.m. The temperature was already in the 100-degree area and I couldn’t figure out how and why Evan was wearing a hooded sweatshirt? He just laughed when I questioned him about it. The days schedule consisted of two autograph signings, one at 3 p.m. and the other at 5p.m., with a demo planned afterwards. I forgot to mention earlier that Darrell has a broken arm and is still skating on this tour. He said he would take care of it afterwards???

We arrived at Cowtown Skateshop for the first signing and the kids were lined up outside waiting in the parking lot. Everyone seemed to have a lot of fun here just hanging out and talking with everyone. Scott Kane even played a game of pressure flip S-K-A-T-E with one of the locals, which he easily won I might add. After maybe an hour and half we were off for some lunch. “Hey, where is Van Wastell? I hear someone say. As it turned out, he was left behind at the hotel. Dan drove back to get him. I asked him why he was left behind and he answered by saying, “it was my fault anyways, I went to Starbucks for some coffee. It doesn’t matter anyways, I’m used to it. His attitude about the whole situation was great. Others probably would’ve been bummed or pissed off but Van handled it with a smile.

The next signing was at Industrial Skateshop and it seemed that the line s never-ending. Two hours straight and the kids kept coming! If it were a demo, I’d have to give top honors to Jim Greco. He killed it!

The demo was held in the Vans Park located directly upstairs. About half way in to it Greco did a five foot high body jar to broken hand. Off to the hospital he went while the other finished the demo. Cardiel was all over the place. Skating faster than anyone and making use of everything the park had to offer. He gets my award for the demo killer of the day.

After the demo we walked outside, and as we were waiting for the van to pick us up, a security guard walked over and started harassing us and telling us to leave. We tried to explain to him that the guys just signed autographs for two hours and skated for two hours. All he could say was, ” I don’t care — just leave. This guy was a total meathead; he didn’t know what to do when Ragdoll told him to get lost, so he had to call for reinforcements. It was great, I mean six mall security goons showing us no respect at all, so in return, they were given no respect. When the police finally showed the, the mall security guy couldn’t wait, and he literally ran up to the officer like a little kid tattling on someone. By then, the van had pulled up and we all left giving the security some final comments to part with.

Day Three, Sunday 15th

Today’s schedule was to leave the hotel at 10:00 a.m. With a demo in San Diego at Utility Board shop at 4 p.m., we might get there by 5 p.m. or so.

As we all met downstairs for breakfast, we see Greco walk in with a cast on his hand. The doctor told him he broke his hand completely in half. Six weeks in cast and the second day of the tour him, it didn’t seem to bother him much as he was walking through the hotel lobby shirtless in a leather jacket with headphones singing, Bodies, by the Sex Pistols.

It seemed all the pros jumped in one van and all the ams in another. I was in the hip-hop van while the other van played a little more punk rock. So can you figure out which vehicle I was in? I swear we listened to the same cd the whole trip so far. We actually got on the road to San Diego by 10:30 a.m. and our first stop was 45 minutes later for some snacks. That’s when I found out how much of a sugar fiend Danilo Cerezini really is. He bought so much candy; it would’ve taken me like 8 hours to eat it all. He was done within 20 minutes and then he used a Red Bull to wash it all down. So, as a hint, if you ever see him on tour, be sure to bring him lots of candy and I’m sure he’ll give you something for free.

We arrived for the demo around 4:30 p.m. and no one skated until 5p.m. The set-up was pretty good for being in a parking lot. Scott Kane went right to work and pulled a backside nose blunt slide within 4 tries and he landed about ten other maneuvers right afterwards. Terry Kennedy skated the whole time pulling some proper back Smith grinds and John Cardiel pulled through on a backside tailslide down the steep makeshift ledge. The demo did start a little late today, but the level of skating these guys pulled out definitely made up for it.

The day ended with a hot tub session back at the hotel. Tweak (Steve Luther) and I threw Danilo in the pool. The funny part was listening to Danilo’s broken English accent as he pleaded, “no no, please Luther, please, no no! For the next hour Steve and I were trapped in our room as Danilo was waiting outside for his revenge. We opened the door once and almost got hit with a glass of milk. Danilo was grabbing all the leftover room service goodies he could find: Ice cream, milk, food, and whatever else people had left behind.

Day Four, Monday 16th

As were waiting outside to leave, Greco had the stereo turned up and was listening to Poison. His music selection is so outrageously good! Even the two bellhops were enjoying it.

The team had an autograph signing at Asylum Skateshop in Oceanside at high noon. There is a little skatepark located right across the street but the team was not allowed to skate without helmets. Seriously now, I’m sick of these park regulators giving the pros on tour a hard time about wearing helmets. These guys should have earned the respect of being able to wear whatever the hell they want. That’s why they are professionals. Right? Terry Kennedy took matters in to his own and did a 50-50 on this huge ledge located right outside the park. I was impressed, it only took him three tries and the ledge is seriously no joke way high! With that on film and photographed we left.

We had a few hours to kill so we went to the Pala pool for a session. Everyone was hyped, as it was the first time for some of them to skate a backyard pool. You couldn’t have asked for a better first time either. I mean, they had Caballero and Cardiel there and it got a little better. Neil Blender and Kristian Svitak showed up out of nowhere and joined in.

Scott Kane picked up on the technique right away and had some nice lines going. Van Wastell showed his all around versatility with some frontside and backside grinds. I never thought I’d see Terry Kennedy in pool. He loved it and skated it well, but his only complaint was all the flies that were out there. I don’t think he likes bugs too much. Cardiel, Caballero, and Blender were definitely the ones to watch though. Should I say those names again? Cardiel, Caballero and Neil Blender for those of you not paying attention here! I don’t think I have to tell you that between the three of them some unforgettable skating went down.

The team had a demo scheduled at Active Board shop in Temecula at5 p.m. and Dustin Dollin would be meeting us there. Yes, Dustin is legitimately somehow back in the states. Tweak worked for six months on this one and now Dustin is free to wreck havoc here in the USA again.

After the demo a team meeting was held atop one of the ramps to discuss an issue, which needed immediate attention. It seems the demo scheduled for the Vans Park the next day would require the whole team to wear helmets, and if they didn’t then Tweak would possibly loose his job. It wasn’t even a question, everyone agreed to it and they all thought it was bulls**t that Steve was put in that position, especially while on tour. Dustin had this great idea of buying the dumbest looking helmets possible and putting wigs on top of them. I wish that would have happened, but two hours later at dinner it was somehow worked out that helmets would not be required. Save the drama for your mama!

The hotel of choice tonight was located on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. I was supposed to be leaving the tour tonight, but in route to the hotel Tweak told me he wasn’t dropping me off and I had to stay one more day. Was I being kidnapped? I hope so, because I right now I’m kind of homeless and I’ve enjoyed having a bed to sleep in. We’ve been staying at some of the plushest hotels. I’d just like to say thanks to Vans for holding me hostage. You helped the homeless and you didn’t even know it!

Day Five, Tuesday 17th

[IMAGE 22]

Breakfast at the classic Mel’s Diner is how the first hour of the day was spent. Dustin shows up and I think he was still drunk from the night before. Greco kept yelling out that he wants a six percent raise and Dustin was quick to jump in on heckling session. Tweak fired them both right then and there, so Greco held a butter knife to Tweaks throat until he rehired both of them. It was one of the best breakfast sessions I’ve had in a while.

There were two autograph signing held today and they were literally right across the street from each other. It didn’t make sense to me but I guess sometimes you have to deal with the politics and make the right moves.

[IMAGE 23]

After the signings wteam had an autograph signing at Asylum Skateshop in Oceanside at high noon. There is a little skatepark located right across the street but the team was not allowed to skate without helmets. Seriously now, I’m sick of these park regulators giving the pros on tour a hard time about wearing helmets. These guys should have earned the respect of being able to wear whatever the hell they want. That’s why they are professionals. Right? Terry Kennedy took matters in to his own and did a 50-50 on this huge ledge located right outside the park. I was impressed, it only took him three tries and the ledge is seriously no joke way high! With that on film and photographed we left.

We had a few hours to kill so we went to the Pala pool for a session. Everyone was hyped, as it was the first time for some of them to skate a backyard pool. You couldn’t have asked for a better first time either. I mean, they had Caballero and Cardiel there and it got a little better. Neil Blender and Kristian Svitak showed up out of nowhere and joined in.

Scott Kane picked up on the technique right away and had some nice lines going. Van Wastell showed his all around versatility with some frontside and backside grinds. I never thought I’d see Terry Kennedy in pool. He loved it and skated it well, but his only complaint was all the flies that were out there. I don’t think he likes bugs too much. Cardiel, Caballero, and Blender were definitely the ones to watch though. Should I say those names again? Cardiel, Caballero and Neil Blender for those of you not paying attention here! I don’t think I have to tell you that between the three of them some unforgettable skating went down.

The team had a demo scheduled at Active Board shop in Temecula at5 p.m. and Dustin Dollin would be meeting us there. Yes, Dustin is legitimately somehow back in the states. Tweak worked for six months on this one and now Dustin is free to wreck havoc here in the USA again.

After the demo a team meeting was held atop one of the ramps to discuss an issue, which needed immediate attention. It seems the demo scheduled for the Vans Park the next day would require the whole team to wear helmets, and if they didn’t then Tweak would possibly loose his job. It wasn’t even a question, everyone agreed to it and they all thought it was bulls**t that Steve was put in that position, especially while on tour. Dustin had this great idea of buying the dumbest looking helmets possible and putting wigs on top of them. I wish that would have happened, but two hours later at dinner it was somehow worked out that helmets would not be required. Save the drama for your mama!

The hotel of choice tonight was located on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. I was supposed to be leaving the tour tonight, but in route to the hotel Tweak told me he wasn’t dropping me off and I had to stay one more day. Was I being kidnapped? I hope so, because I right now I’m kind of homeless and I’ve enjoyed having a bed to sleep in. We’ve been staying at some of the plushest hotels. I’d just like to say thanks to Vans for holding me hostage. You helped the homeless and you didn’t even know it!

Day Five, Tuesday 17th

[IMAGE 22]

Breakfast at the classic Mel’s Diner is how the first hour of the day was spent. Dustin shows up and I think he was still drunk from the night before. Greco kept yelling out that he wants a six percent raise and Dustin was quick to jump in on heckling session. Tweak fired them both right then and there, so Greco held a butter knife to Tweaks throat until he rehired both of them. It was one of the best breakfast sessions I’ve had in a while.

There were two autograph signing held today and they were literally right across the street from each other. It didn’t make sense to me but I guess sometimes you have to deal with the politics and make the right moves.

[IMAGE 23]

After the signings we had a few hours to kill so we went to the Volcom warehouse/skate facility for a private session. I skated but my attention was focused on John Cardiel. I planned my runs so I wouldn’t miss his. He has on of the best backside shifty ollies and I took a photo of one for y’all to see. Everyone had fun; there were no spectators or people wanting autographs. You could just skate and have fun, and a session like this is just what everyone needed.

[IMAGE 24]

Dear mom, I am still being held hostage. They made me skate the Volcom Warehouse today with John Cardiel, Dustin Dollin, and Van Wastell. I was forced to go for some lunch afterwards too. Maybe with a little luck they’ll release me and I’ll be home soon. Your son, Dave

Back to the story now.

[IMAGE 25]

” I’m going to eat Proshuto everyday so I can die young, I don’t want to deal with arthritis. — a quote from Van Wastell on our way to the demo at the Block in Orange County. I’m not sure if that’s how you spell it, but I was told that Proshuto is some sort of cured ham. Maybe a good artery clogger I suppose.

[IMAGE 26]

I’m not going to talk about the demo, as I’d rather tell you about the fight afterwards. I wasn’t there to witness it but this is what I was told. A few of the guys (Caballero, Van Wastell, Dan Rogers) were relaxing in the van after the demo and a van with 7 or 8 guys jumped out and started throwing punches and were trying to get in the van to steal whatever they could. Boards were swinging and fists were flying and before anyone else had a chance to get there the thugs jumped back in their van and proceeded to speed out of the lot willing to hit anyone in their way. Caballero was in a full sprint chasing after them throwing his board at them as well. I think the only thing they got away with was Van Wastells board, but I’m sure they’ll be getting some karma before it’s all over as well.

So there it is folks, a little behind the scenes documentary from the Vans Pleased To Meet You Tour 2003. Later that night Tweak finally released me so I could go back to the couch that I’ve been surfing on.

[IMAGE 27]

gs we had a few hours to kill so we went to the Volcom warehouse/skate facility for a private session. I skated but my attention was focused on John Cardiel. I planned my runs so I wouldn’t miss his. He has on of the best backside shifty ollies and I took a photo of one for y’all to see. Everyone had fun; there were no spectators or people wanting autographs. You could just skate and have fun, and a session like this is just what everyone needed.

[IMAGE 24]

Dear mom, I am still being held hostage. They made me skate the Volcom Warehouse today with John Cardiel, Dustin Dollin, and Van Wastell. I was forced to go for some lunch afterwards too. Maybe with a little luck they’ll release me and I’ll be home soon. Your son, Dave

Back to the story now.

[IMAGE 25]

” I’m going to eat Proshuto everyday so I can die young, I don’t want to deal with arthritis. — a quote from Van Wastell on our way to the demo at the Block in Orange County. I’m not sure if that’s how you spell it, but I was told that Proshuto is some sort of cured ham. Maybe a good artery clogger I suppose.

[IMAGE 26]

I’m not going to talk about the demo, as I’d rather tell you about the fight afterwards. I wasn’t there to witness it but this is what I was told. A few of the guys (Caballero, Van Wastell, Dan Rogers) were relaxing in the van after the demo and a van with 7 or 8 guys jumped out and started throwing punches and were trying to get in the van to steal whatever they could. Boards were swinging and fists were flying and before anyone else had a chance to get there the thugs jumped back in their van and proceeded to speed out of the lot willing to hit anyone in their way. Caballero was in a full sprint chasing after them throwing his board at them as well. I think the only thing they got away with was Van Wastells board, but I’m sure they’ll be getting some karma before it’s all over as well.

So there it is folks, a little behind the scenes documentary from the Vans Pleased To Meet You Tour 2003. Later that night Tweak finally released me so I could go back to the couch that I’ve been surfing on.

[IMAGE 27]

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