Hammertime: Jim Greco Pro Spotlight

The following is a glossary of terms written by Jim Greco that may help you better understand the interview that follows it:

after-black hammers: hammers that are so gnarly they don’t fit in your video part. They’re just put in after your part ends, and the screen goes to black usually with no music.

balloon effect: ya know¿tight top, baggy pants, wide shoes.

baraka: a situation gone bad, a terrible thing occurring to one’s self. Plural: barakad.

Beagle: Ryan Ewing, Baker filmer.

blown out: bad night of partying.

boss: leader of a skate crew or a La Cosa Nostra crime family.

broad: female, woman, or girl.

capo: high-ranking made member of a skate crew or La Cosa Nostra crime family.

cards: coined by Tim Upson. It means info only you know about.

coupe: car.

darkman: a team manager, owner, or president.

dreamboat: your ideal car.

feasting out on other people’s hammertime: making your homie hook up the photographer and filmer, then you pull a “hammertime” on their time.

flick: a perfectly controlled kickflip (see Dustin Dollin).

hammer program: a program where you adhere to strict rules of stretching, no booze or drugs, and skating every day so you get “hammers.”

hammers: skateboard tricks that are so gnarly they make you wanna puke.

hammertime: the time when you’re actually putting the hammer down.

hi jinx: it means a lot of things. For example, causing chaos; weird-looking, misshapen people; up to no good. Authoritative figures are usually left up in arms due to withstanding hi jinx.

hold your toast shaky: first coined by rapper Biggie Smalls in the song “Long Kiss Goodnight.” It’s a reference to being scared or shook, or to puss-out on your hammer. It means going to a skate spot and being scared.

holding cards: when you know a lot more than the average person about whatever you’re doing.

it’s casual: one of Chris Penn’s famous lines in the 1984 picture The Wild Life. It’s the perfect response to any situation, good or bad. For example: Your dog dies, response: “It’s casual.” You’ve won a million dollars, response: “It’s casual.”

J.A.: juicy ass.

Jinny: slang term for Italians.

a juice: a broad’s behind.

lock: a broad who’s going home with you that night.

lock ’em up: when I lived a Drehobl’s house, I used to drive at 60 miles per hour up to stop signs, then lock the brakes up, and come to a screeching halt. It was the funniest thing in the world. It also means hooking up with a broad.

made: to be sponsored.

make: a broad you’re after. In other words, “Go for the make.”

mob: refers to the TransWorld SKATEboarding photo issue with Mark Gonzales, with the fish on the griptape, and you need no other explanation.

over the back: backside lipslides.

Paulie knot: derived from the movie Good Fellas, from the scene where Paulie, the boss, hands Henry Hill a knot of cash, making it a knot coming from Paulie. So it means the amount of cash you have on you.

Perry Mason: Per Welinder, Perry.

pork intake: hot dogs, sausages, bacon¿ya know, good food, tha flavor.

rocking a sidepipe: having sex.

Suge Knight: J. Strickland.

sidepipe: my homie Rygar coined this one. It means when your pants are creeping really tight, and your prick creates a noticeable bulge on the right or left side of your trousers.

sit down: meetings that include made guys, bosses, and capos.

Sparkles: Koston.

tanks: overweight broads.

tanks, but no tanks: a play on words, meaning to tell fat broads, “Thanks, but no thanks.”

try your chin out: first coined by the rapper Big L. It means trying someone’s chin out with your fist, or in other words, not being scared to go to the spot and try its chin out.

up it: to get drunk. Ya know, “I’m up it,” as in, “Uping the drunks.”

Interview by Atiba

Atiba: How was filming for the video?

Greco: I had to check myself in to a f¿king hammer program.

So were you just trying to get focused?

Yeah, ’cause I burned a lot of myime out just partying a lot and not skating.

How much of your time would you say you were burned-out?

Well, I only filmed seriously for two months for the video, and it’s been like a year and half or something since that last f¿king Bootleg video.

So too much of just shit-hammer schedule.

Yeah, no weed in the day, no f¿king booze, no nothing.

What are you gonna do now that the video is over?

Party for a little bit, and then put the hammer down again.

You keep the hammer schedule pretty tight.

Try to.

All right. You’re gonna go back to Connecticut, where you’re from, right?

Yeah, on the sixteenth of this month October.

For how long?

For two weeks.

Are you psyched?

Pretty psyched.

When was the last time you went to Connecticut?

Umm … last Christmas.

So you haven’t lived there for a while, right?

Not for like four years¿between like the first time I moved to The Barrio and Warner houses and all that shit, and then f¿king out to Hollywood.

Interviewer’s note: See Andrew Reynolds’ interview for the history of The Barrio.

Yeah.

What’s the deal with Connecticut?

It’s where I grew up skating … in West Haven and New Haven mainly. The place is pretty much a bag now; it sucks.

Who would you skate with?

My buddy Shark, Tim Upson, my homie Mike Lovegrove.

Where would you skate? Where were the training grounds?

The f¿king double-sider curb waxed with Vaseline on the side of my house.

How old were you when you started skating? Were you young?

Eleven. I’m a lifer.

You are a lifer. Was there a skatepark in New Haven?

Umm, no skatepark in New Haven¿just the streets and the freezing cold.

Do you miss that at all?

No way, man. F¿k no!

It’ll be cold when you go back, right?

No shit. It’s bullshit. I wish it could be just 60 or 70 degrees, just like around here.

You got a coupe back there?

No, some f¿king sixteen-year-old jackass smashed it. Coming around the corner the kid got out of control, and he had to pay my f¿king pops for the coupe. He blew the coupe out, completely.

What kind of coupe was it?

A 1980 Pontiac Grand Prix with 200,000 miles. It had a magic engine that started up like a Lexus’ every time.

Did you ever drive the coupe?

The coupe was mine! What the f¿k are you talking about?

Oh, I thought it was your dad’s coupe.

No, it’s my coupe. I used to stay at my pops’ house, and some f¿king young buck came around the corner and blew that shit out.

Ah, that’s jacked.

Yeah, mob-ass bitch.

You know who he is?

No, my pops knew. He got a check from him¿they junked the f¿king coupe.

Scrapped it completely?

Yeah, to the junkyard.

How much was the Kelley Blue Book on the coupe?

Eight.

Oh, that’s not so bad.

No, 800.

Eight-hundred?

Yeah, you f¿k.

I thought it was eight Gs. Yeah, you’re in a world of hurt, right there. Eight-hundred for a coupe? I don’t think that’s gonna get you too much more than a set of rims.

F¿k it. My father gave me the coupe, my uncle gave my father the coupe, so the coupe’s been in the family, and some young-buck jackass just comes around the corner and blows it out.

The first time you moved to California, were you just visiting, or did you figure you were going to stay here?

F¿k yeah, the weed was better here.

So once you knew it was good, you figured you’d stay?

F¿k yeah!

Where was the birth of mob?

I would have to say, noticing one-foot techniques in kickflips in Henry’s Pack Of Lies, then comparing them to my technique and discovering the two weren’t the same, and wondering why I was having trouble with kickflip noseslides. I figured out that my technique was mob¿just like Gonz’s.

Do you still have it?

I’ve rid myself of it somewhat.

How much training did it take?

Extensive training. A lot of extensive trial-and-error training.

What would you tell the kids to correct it?

Chances are, they’re not going to be able to change it, unless they think about it constantly for a very long period of time.

So once you have it, you could be terminal.

It could be terminal because most skaters are out of it and won’t put much time into thinking about how to correct it. They’ll just say, “Yeah, I got mob,” and not try to do anything about it.

The term “mob” applies to lots of tricks, right? Not just the kickflip.

It could be a style of ollie, as well. Vertical, weak front leg, ya know¿that’s mob.

On switch frontside flips people sometimes have it, right?

It’s a possibility.

Or a nollie flip?

Oh Christ, yes! Nollie flips, are you kidding me? That’s the most likely trick to have mob.

What’s the worst reported case of nollie-flip mob?

I don’t really want to talk about anybody.

How are you liking L.A. compared to Huntington?

Huntington Beach, that f¿king Nazi-ass town, are you f¿king kidding me? That place blows. Of course, I like it out here in Los Angeles better. There’re way better broads, there’re way better f¿kin’ skate spots, way better photographers, way better places to eat, way better places to go f¿king get your drink on and up it, way better f¿kin’ everything.

Will you ever go back there?

To Huntington? Are you f¿king retarded? Of course I won’t. Are you serious? That’s the worst place on Earth. I’ve never been in such a lull in my lifetime as when I lived in Huntington Beach. It’s a f¿king lull.

Then what’s going on with all the companies?

Oh, the Baker 2G video is coming out soon, like in a couple weeks, and the boards are going to follow it by a couple months, probably around February. And anyone that doesn’t buy the video and the board should be killed. That’s all I know.

Are you psyched on the way the company is going?

F¿k yeah, we got the three best amateurs right now. Terry Kennedy, this f¿king thugged-out kid from L.B.C. He’s f¿king tight, he skates gnarly ass shit. We got Knox Godoy¿just the sight of him is f¿king hi jinx. He’s f¿king gnarly as f¿k, and he’s eleven. So Ryan Sheckler: protect ya neck, Knox’s going to try your chin out if you don’t watch out, homie.

Who’s the third one?

Evan Hernandez¿he’s sort of jacked looking, but he rips.

I don’t know if you want to talk about it, but what’s going on with 1984 Greco’s new clothing company?

It’s going well. I expect a product line to come out within six months.

Are you psyched to make money off a clothing company?

F¿k yeah!

What do you do with those checks every month?

I pay my rent and eat.

Do you buy gear?

Yeah.

What’s your favorite gear to buy?

Leather jackets.

You have more than one?

I have seven or eight¿Members Only, Picot. Who gives a f¿k about that? It’s boring. This is a f¿king skateboard interview.

You wanna talk more about skating?

I don’t wanna talk about my ensemble. Let’s go, come on!

Let’s talk about the Philly premiere, how was that?

F¿king great! We lived in the hotel and the bar. We had so much drunken hi jinx at Tattooed Mom¿that’s the greatest place on Earth.

What hotel did you stay at?

The Holiday Inn. I trashed the phone, and we trashed the bathroom and some other unmentionable shit. Reynolds, the boss, got stuck with a gnarly ass bill.

He had to pay it personally?

Yeah, the boss got stuck with like a grand in hotel fees between staying there and wrecking the joint.

How many days did it take to spend a grand in a hotel?

Oh, we spent a grand on partying, food, and hotels in like four days. They gave us the money to blow. They said, “Who cares, blow it.”

For per diem?

Yeah, Perry didn’t give a f¿k. Perry Mason was like all for it.

What’s your favorite skate spot ever?

Me and my homies Shark and Upson used to sneak up to the upstairs of the Ninetthe kids to correct it?

Chances are, they’re not going to be able to change it, unless they think about it constantly for a very long period of time.

So once you have it, you could be terminal.

It could be terminal because most skaters are out of it and won’t put much time into thinking about how to correct it. They’ll just say, “Yeah, I got mob,” and not try to do anything about it.

The term “mob” applies to lots of tricks, right? Not just the kickflip.

It could be a style of ollie, as well. Vertical, weak front leg, ya know¿that’s mob.

On switch frontside flips people sometimes have it, right?

It’s a possibility.

Or a nollie flip?

Oh Christ, yes! Nollie flips, are you kidding me? That’s the most likely trick to have mob.

What’s the worst reported case of nollie-flip mob?

I don’t really want to talk about anybody.

How are you liking L.A. compared to Huntington?

Huntington Beach, that f¿king Nazi-ass town, are you f¿king kidding me? That place blows. Of course, I like it out here in Los Angeles better. There’re way better broads, there’re way better f¿kin’ skate spots, way better photographers, way better places to eat, way better places to go f¿king get your drink on and up it, way better f¿kin’ everything.

Will you ever go back there?

To Huntington? Are you f¿king retarded? Of course I won’t. Are you serious? That’s the worst place on Earth. I’ve never been in such a lull in my lifetime as when I lived in Huntington Beach. It’s a f¿king lull.

Then what’s going on with all the companies?

Oh, the Baker 2G video is coming out soon, like in a couple weeks, and the boards are going to follow it by a couple months, probably around February. And anyone that doesn’t buy the video and the board should be killed. That’s all I know.

Are you psyched on the way the company is going?

F¿k yeah, we got the three best amateurs right now. Terry Kennedy, this f¿king thugged-out kid from L.B.C. He’s f¿king tight, he skates gnarly ass shit. We got Knox Godoy¿just the sight of him is f¿king hi jinx. He’s f¿king gnarly as f¿k, and he’s eleven. So Ryan Sheckler: protect ya neck, Knox’s going to try your chin out if you don’t watch out, homie.

Who’s the third one?

Evan Hernandez¿he’s sort of jacked looking, but he rips.

I don’t know if you want to talk about it, but what’s going on with 1984 Greco’s new clothing company?

It’s going well. I expect a product line to come out within six months.

Are you psyched to make money off a clothing company?

F¿k yeah!

What do you do with those checks every month?

I pay my rent and eat.

Do you buy gear?

Yeah.

What’s your favorite gear to buy?

Leather jackets.

You have more than one?

I have seven or eight¿Members Only, Picot. Who gives a f¿k about that? It’s boring. This is a f¿king skateboard interview.

You wanna talk more about skating?

I don’t wanna talk about my ensemble. Let’s go, come on!

Let’s talk about the Philly premiere, how was that?

F¿king great! We lived in the hotel and the bar. We had so much drunken hi jinx at Tattooed Mom¿that’s the greatest place on Earth.

What hotel did you stay at?

The Holiday Inn. I trashed the phone, and we trashed the bathroom and some other unmentionable shit. Reynolds, the boss, got stuck with a gnarly ass bill.

He had to pay it personally?

Yeah, the boss got stuck with like a grand in hotel fees between staying there and wrecking the joint.

How many days did it take to spend a grand in a hotel?

Oh, we spent a grand on partying, food, and hotels in like four days. They gave us the money to blow. They said, “Who cares, blow it.”

For per diem?

Yeah, Perry didn’t give a f¿k. Perry Mason was like all for it.

What’s your favorite skate spot ever?

Me and my homies Shark and Upson used to sneak up to the upstairs of the Ninethirty Garage in New Haven at like one in the morning. It would be like f¿king twenty-below-zero wind-chill factor, and we’d just skate on for hours. It was the bomb. I loved it.

Who’s influenced you?

John Gotti’s control over the La Cosa Nostra Gambino crime family in the era of 1980 to 1992, until he was incarcerated for life for racketeering and murder charges. And all the O.G. Jinnies from the ‘hood.

What are your three favorite tricks, and why?

Do I have to answer this?

Yeah, of course.

This is f¿king baraka! Holy shit. Probably backside noseblunt slides on ledges … uh … I don’t know. Three? You want me to name three? I don’t even think I can do three tricks.

All right, why the backside noseblunt slide?

Because they’re fun.

Do you pop out in the middle or come off the end?

Come off the end. I’m not f¿king good. I can’t f¿king pop out in the middle.

Sparkles, though?

Do you think I’m Sparkles?

I don’t really know.

Switch crooked grinds are good fun.

What about a flip trick? There’s gotta be a favorite flip trick?

Switch frontside flip.

Why switch frontside flip?

Because they’re easy.

Do you ever have mob with them?

No, that’s one trick I don’t have mob with.

Which trick would you say you have the most mob with?

Frontside flips or backside flips.

You don’t mob on the backside flip, do you?

Sometimes.

The rocket mob, right?

I don’t know what kind of mob I have. It’s just horrible mob frontside flip.

What’s one of your favorite movies?

The Wild Life. An ’84 movie that’s like a follow-up to Fast Times At Ridgemont High.

Goodfellas isn’t your favorite?

Goodfellas is one of my favorites, but it’s a boring one to talk about. Everyone and their mother has talked about that in their interview.

What’s your favorite skate video? There’s got to be one that you can watch over and over.

The Baker video.

The first one, or the second one?

The new one.

Who do you like to skate with?

My crew: Upson, Shark, my crew of Piss Drunx, the Baker Crew. Back home I skate with Upson and Shark.

Are they gonna be back home in two weeks?

Upson will be in S.F., and Shark will be in Connecticut.

Putting the hammer down?

Putting the hammer down and destroying the courthouse in New Haven.

What does the average hammer-day schedule consist of?

It all depends if I’m on a hammer program or not. I’ll wake up at eight or nine o’clock. No booze. Skate. Put the hammer down, and then puff mad cron-cron at like two o’clock in the morning, after hammers.

Let’s talk about your band.

The band is called Baby Killer.

Who’s in it?

Andrew Reynolds on bass and Beagle on drums. And it’s all about killing babies.

What are you gonna do in the band?

Play guitar.

Who’s gonna sing?

That’s not known yet. Maybe me, maybe Dustin … if I talk to Dustin about it.

Do you want to ask him right now?

Sure. Dustin, do you want be a part of the f¿king band?

What kind of sound are you thinking about going for?

Nobody knows how to play the instruments that good, but we’re gonna try.

Are you going to try and take this pretty big?

Oh yeah.

What do you think some of the influences of the band would be?

New York Dolls, Johnie Thunders, G.G. Allin, Locust, chaotic sounds.

What was your first setup?

A destroyed Steve Caballero board with Bonite and white G&S trucks from my friend G.G. It was f¿king horrendous, and I bought it for ten bucks. It had white griptape, you get the f¿king idea.

Were the G&S trucks the ones with the white plastic?

Yeah, the ones Jeff Hartsel used to puff trees out of.

inethirty Garage in New Haven at like one in the morning. It would be like f¿king twenty-below-zero wind-chill factor, and we’d just skate on for hours. It was the bomb. I loved it.

Who’s influenced you?

John Gotti’s control over the La Cosa Nostra Gambino crime family in the era of 1980 to 1992, until he was incarcerated for life for racketeering and murder charges. And all the O.G. Jinnies from the ‘hood.

What are your three favorite tricks, and why?

Do I have to answer this?

Yeah, of course.

This is f¿king baraka! Holy shit. Probably backside noseblunt slides on ledges … uh … I don’t know. Three? You want me to name three? I don’t even think I can do three tricks.

All right, why the backside noseblunt slide?

Because they’rre fun.

Do you pop out in the middle or come off the end?

Come off the end. I’m not f¿king good. I can’t f¿king pop out in the middle.

Sparkles, though?

Do you think I’m Sparkles?

I don’t really know.

Switch crooked grinds are good fun.

What about a flip trick? There’s gotta be a favorite flip trick?

Switch frontside flip.

Why switch frontside flip?

Because they’re easy.

Do you ever have mob with them?

No, that’s one trick I don’t have mob with.

Which trick would you say you have the most mob with?

Frontside flips or backside flips.

You don’t mob on the backside flip, do you?

Sometimes.

The rocket mob, right?

I don’t know what kind of mob I have. It’s just horrible mob frontside flip.

What’s one of your favorite movies?

The Wild Life. An ’84 movie that’s like a follow-up to Fast Times At Ridgemont High.

Goodfellas isn’t your favorite?

Goodfellas is one of my favorites, but it’s a boring one to talk about. Everyone and their mother has talked about that in their interview.

What’s your favorite skate video? There’s got to be one that you can watch over and over.

The Baker video.

The first one, or the second one?

The new one.

Who do you like to skate with?

My crew: Upson, Shark, my crew of Piss Drunx, the Baker Crew. Back home I skate with Upson and Shark.

Are they gonna be back home in two weeks?

Upson will be in S.F., and Shark will be in Connecticut.

Putting the hammer down?

Putting the hammer down and destroying the courthouse in New Haven.

What does the average hammer-day schedule consist of?

It all depends if I’m on a hammer program or not. I’ll wake up at eight or nine o’clock. No booze. Skate. Put the hammer down, and then puff mad cron-cron at like two o’clock in the morning, after hammers.

Let’s talk about your band.

The band is called Baby Killer.

Who’s in it?

Andrew Reynolds on bass and Beagle on drums. And it’s all about killing babies.

What are you gonna do in the band?

Play guitar.

Who’s gonna sing?

That’s not known yet. Maybe me, maybe Dustin … if I talk to Dustin about it.

Do you want to ask him right now?

Sure. Dustin, do you want be a part of the f¿king band?

What kind of sound are you thinking about going for?

Nobody knows how to play the instruments that good, but we’re gonna try.

Are you going to try and take this pretty big?

Oh yeah.

What do you think some of the influences of the band would be?

New York Dolls, Johnie Thunders, G.G. Allin, Locust, chaotic sounds.

What was your first setup?

A destroyed Steve Caballero board with Bonite and white G&S trucks from my friend G.G. It was f¿king horrendous, and I bought it for ten bucks. It had white griptape, you get the f¿king idea.

Were the G&S trucks the ones with the white plastic?

Yeah, the ones Jeff Hartsel used to puff trees out of.