Lance Mountain told me that you and Eddie skated in the same trick-orientated way, but you understood that skating was theater and that’s why you have a following.
An invert was new back then. Rock-n-Rolls were new. I would do something and he’d copy it. The next time we’d go out there [Eddie’s local park] he’d be doing it at the same place I did. But it wasn’t enough to get me pissed because I had a couple more tricks in my pocket. But I realized this guy was good. I rode for Hobie at the time and my team was getting into Eddie so I gave him a set of Claws [Hobie wheels]. Next thing you know we’re teammates. Dale Smith, aka Sausage Man [Hobie coach], always tried to coach me in the van: “A frontside rock-n-roll is possible! Put your toe—”
“Dude, stick to your freestyle!” I’d say.
“That doesn’t make any sense. I don’t do coach. I’d be in football if I did coach.”
Next thing you know, I see Eddie at Colton and he did a frontside rock. I was livid! That guy listened to Smith—and it’s working! Next thing you know I break my elbows at the next contest and he wins the f—ker. Dale and I are still like old wrestlers talking to each other. Nothing is taken personally.
Wait—you broke both elbows?
At Del Mar in ’79. Banked slalom. Ran up there hungover … didn’t tighten the trucks. I got there just in time as they called my name. [Steve] Olson gave me a board, the trucks are still rattling. I didn’t test it out. I was going to win the bowl contest—I had my run down but [I skated in slalom because] I wanted to win overall. Third cone, wheel bite, launch and both elbows are gone. I’m going back on a train with two elbow casts and I hear Eddie won. I was livid. But In my eyes Eddie will always be a better skater than me. He does all that gnarly technical stuff. But I’m in a band—I know what kills an audience. I think it goes back to being the class clown, always wanting attention.
DP displays his knack for theatrics decades before mall shops went “punk.”