20 Questions – Louie Barletta

Is Louie Barletta really this weird, crazy guy, or is he simply what we’d all be if we didn’t concern ourselves with the things that cause the stresses in our everyday lives? The latter assumption is a good one, pretty much dead on, but I only came to that conclusion after sitting down with Louie for some tea and crumpets, albeit linked by two computers 300 miles apart. As you’re soon to see, the spontaneity was hardly hindered, which couldn’t be a better example of someone who truly lives by their own words-or often in Louie’s case, the words of those he respects and surrounds himself with. But be forewarned, just as you have to hit the rewind to grasp exactly what Louie just did on his skateboard, you’ll have to reread these 20 Questions a few times to really take it all in. This is Louie Barletta, a skateboarder doing everything it takes to go beyond simply “existing.”

1. Louie, your repertoire of tricks certainly consists of those of days past, so I’ll echo days past on my end by asking the notoriously terrible but quite necessary introductory question: “Who do you skate for?”

Great! Um, enjoi, Krux, Osiris, Pig, and Swiss for sure. Um, Tail Devil (flow), but hopefully this interview will help get me on. And Ricky Espinoza.

2. Your skateboarding is characterized by a lot creativity, most of which seems to convey your personality as well. Who or what influences you to do the different things you do on a skateboard?

Ron. I like to refer to him as my personal confidant, but I guess his official title would probably be “personal advisor.” The dude is super ridiculously intense-some nights I can’t even retain all of the info he seems to be able to spit out at me. And other times our conversations are so intense that it leaves me with a headache the whole next day! But I don’t know, influences? Underwear? Under the influence?

3. Also kind of going along with the previous question, you’re a pro who has let skateboarding meet you on your terms as opposed to you meeting skateboarding’s terms as far as professional skateboarding goes. That’s obviously not the norm-why do you think that is?

Oh man. I didn’t study for questions like these! Honestly, I’m just not good at tests. Can we change this all to multiple choice questions? Or maybe true/false? I knew we should’ve made a conference call and included Ron. Great, now I’m going to fail. And where do the tricks fit in? Are they part of the test or are they real life situations? Oh great, I should’ve gone fishing with the Captain today.

4. If you were caught off guard by an unannounced MTV Cribs showing up at your door, what would the audience be surprised to see inside your living quarters?

Um … Tupac. Except now he goes by the name Tyrone. I basically hate him. He always calls me “That ’70s Show” and it’s like, what does that mean? It’s funny, though-he totally changed his image. Now he’s all punk rock, tight pants, and all. Oh man, he’s super into No Doubt, but only their older stuff. It just goes to show that you can justify anything to yourself, dude. I could go on and on about that guy.

5. Are you fully and truly attached to your unruly mane or are the rumors of it being of simple marketing genius true?

Okay, I have this hat. The Captain gave it to me. It says “Drunk Man Walking” on it. Well, one night Ron had the bright idea to stick it on my head and cut around it. To this day Ron claims it was, and I quote, “a power move that I saw needed to go down.” But I think that’s his go-to line because I remember him saying that exact thing to convince me that I should give this one chick a first-hand demonstration on what the shocker is. That night sucked. This guy Chet ended up kicking my ass, punching Caswell (Berry) in the nose, and even called us booze hounds.

6. Is it true that a good night on the town is not a “good night” if no serious shocking is involved?

I live by two basic rules only. Don’t ever get shocked, and neveharpoon a sperm whale. Oh, and never take anything I say seriously.

7. Are professional skateboarders and skateboarding too serious?

Seriously! The Captain owns this sailing barge. He’s always serious. I go out whaling with him sometimes-strictly business. No whale-watching here. You see one? You better harpoon it before it gets away. Here’s a bit of sailing lingo I picked up from him: “Thar

8. When was the last time you had to be serious?

Uh, I think it was Kurt Vonnegut who said you always end up being what you pretend to be. So I guess be careful of what you pretend to be. Me and Ron used to go rounds on this one. I mean, really, does anyone really want to hear my real answers to these questions? What was the first question, something about why I stand out in skateboarding? Well, if I was to honestly answer that one, I would probably start out saying something to the effect that it’s due to the saturation of conformity within the ranks of skateboarders. And the reader would probably read that, get dizzy, reminisce on the last Tensor ad and all the fancy words describing Kasper’s ollie, and then puke … no, seriously, you don’t really care to know who I am or what I’m about. Let’s keep the candy-coated dream alive. After all, we all are what others perceive us as, right?

9. What words of encouragement could you offer to the youth who want to take up playing the accordion but are reluctant due to the potential mocking by their peers?

I don’t know. I got it through the Captain. Man, I really love that movie Weird Science. Me and the Captain tried that once, you know, actually making a girl, but it didn’t work out. She sucked. She absolutely hated Ron. And to top it all off, she always made me choose between her and skateboarding. She sucks. I see her every now and then. She tries to ignore me now, and she even got Chet to beat me up. I can’t remember why, though.

10. How do you guys go about the process of putting together an enjoi ad?

Well, it’s all about hammers here at enjoi. You know, when we started out we were going to call enjoi “turd.” No, not enjoi turd, just turd. I think in the end we opted not to because Marc (Johnson) expressed the notion that the letter “D” wasn’t marketable.

11. With roots deep in the San Jose scene, it was obviously of natural progression for Jason Adams to join up with enjoi, but it seemed like a strange move to kids as he had been tagged Label for life when it happened. How did it come about, and what was it like to have Jason join the team?

I like Jason. Years ago he sailed with the Captain and me. But back then he used to call me the drooling giggler. I never got it.

12. Where would you be without professional skateboarding as your profession? And did you seriously think about it before making it in skateboarding?

I always wanted to be a pink-elephant trainer. You know, teach them tricks and stuff-switch hardflips, dude! I know this sounds crazy, but I actually do a bit of pink-elephant chasing on the side-not much money in it, though. It’s a good time. You gotta look real sharp, though. One time I was chasing a herd of them home and I got real sick … or at least I think I did because next day my shoes had some of my dinner on them.

13. Who currently has the best mustache in skateboarding, and who’s had the best ever?

I think Ray Meyer, but nobody would get it. Um, Little Lance used to have a sweet crustache. I could see Spanky having an awesome handlebar mustache, just like Tino’s. Hey, let’s make it an alcoholiday! I keep trying to grow a Hitler mustache just to fuck with Tyrone but it won’t grow right. You know that photo of me with the mustache? It isn’t real. I painted it on there!

14. You seem to be always getting into mischief at some kind of level. When was the last time where you were in deep and thought to yourself, “Damn! What happened here? How did I get myself into this?”

The last time? Hmm … oh man, this one time I harpooned a serious rockabilly whale. I fought it for hours! Then, like a week later, I noticed my harpoon was getting rusty! I totally freaked out, dude, total stress. My harpoon had never been rusty before, so I sucked it up and went to the doctor. In the end it was cool, though, it had nothing to do with the whale-It was just a bad chafe due to skating without wearing underwear.

15. If a movie was being made celebrating the life of you, who would be the optimum actor to play you?

Tupac. Sorry, I mean Tyrone. Hopefully they won’t make him do 360 flips, though!

16. The skateboarding media never profiles you without a smile on your face. Do you get mad? What makes you mad?

Mad? I get mad sometimes. Like when you’re out whaling and some other sea dog harpoons the whale you’ve had your sights on all night. Call me Ishmael, those guys always get theirs in the end.

17. Is there really such a thing as a dork trick?

Is there really such a thing as a professional skateboarder? As Ron once put it, “Dork tricks? Isn’t that an oxymoron?” Anyway, there’s only one other occupation I enjoy that involves tricks, but like the Captain always says, “What goes on in port, stays in port.” I love that guy. MJ holla!

18. When you think good thoughts about skateboarding, what images come into your mind?

Rainbows and unicorns. Oh man, and those Aztec warrior murals that Mexican dudes used to have painted on their mini-truck hoods. Damn, they should have truck-bed dancing as an event in the X-Games. That’s pretty extreme, right?

19. What has been your single worst move in skateboarding?

Up. Somehow I always end up coming back down. Ron tells me it’s due to gravity, but I don’t think, “Hey, the Captain wants me to tell you all that next next time you drink, send it ‘over vert.'”

20. What’s your single most important resolution going into 2005 and why?

Carpe diem! As Oscar Wilde said it: “To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, and that is all.”

In addition to these 20 Questions, Louie would like for Ron to come home because the Captain and all of SJ miss him, and he’d also like you to know that he’s Tiltmode Army for life, lest you thought otherwise for some strange reason.

d a serious rockabilly whale. I fought it for hours! Then, like a week later, I noticed my harpoon was getting rusty! I totally freaked out, dude, total stress. My harpoon had never been rusty before, so I sucked it up and went to the doctor. In the end it was cool, though, it had nothing to do with the whale-It was just a bad chafe due to skating without wearing underwear.

15. If a movie was being made celebrating the life of you, who would be the optimum actor to play you?

Tupac. Sorry, I mean Tyrone. Hopefully they won’t make him do 360 flips, though!

16. The skateboarding media never profiles you without a smile on your face. Do you get mad? What makes you mad?

Mad? I get mad sometimes. Like when you’re out whaling and some other sea dog harpoons the whale you’ve had your sights on all night. Call me Ishmael, those guys always get theirs in the end.

17. Is there really such a thing as a dork trick?

Is there really such a thing as a professional skateboarder? As Ron once put it, “Dork tricks? Isn’t that an oxymoron?” Anyway, there’s only one other occupation I enjoy that involves tricks, but like the Captain always says, “What goes on in port, stays in port.” I love that guy. MJ holla!

18. When you think good thoughts about skateboarding, what images come into your mind?

Rainbows and unicorns. Oh man, and those Aztec warrior murals that Mexican dudes used to have painted on their mini-truck hoods. Damn, they should have truck-bed dancing as an event in the X-Games. That’s pretty extreme, right?

19. What has been your single worst move in skateboarding?

Up. Somehow I always end up coming back down. Ron tells me it’s due to gravity, but I don’t think, “Hey, the Captain wants me to tell you all that next next time you drink, send it ‘over vert.'”

20. What’s your single most important resolution going into 2005 and why?

Carpe diem! As Oscar Wilde said it: “To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, and that is all.”

In addition to these 20 Questions, Louie would like for Ron to come home because the Captain and all of SJ miss him, and he’d also like you to know that he’s Tiltmode Army for life, lest you thought otherwise for some strange reason.