Can I Live? – Tum Yeto Tour

Can I Live?

The Skaters

Tommy Gurrolla

Bryan “Slash” Hansen

Matt Allen

Leo Romero

Sammy “Dirty Business” Baca

Josh Zeus Beagle

Heath Kirchart

Tony Silva

Angel “Of Death” Ramirez

Michael “Lizard King” Plumb

Steve Fauser

Mike Rusczyk

Abdias Ababa

Greg the Filmer

Believe it or not, skateboarding wasn’t always the fantastically popular activity it is today. There were dark days in a time known as “the early 90s” when most pros made about as much as most skate-shop employees. These were the lean years-magazines were lean; boards were lean; Josh Beagle, he was really lean. Before MTV, before Jackass, before Steve-O self-administered paper cuts to the webbing of his toes for our collective enjoyment, there was a small independent video released jointly by Foundation and World Industries called Barbarians At The Gate-a brutally honest, behind-the-scenes look at tour life. The video stars a young Josh Beagle and an even younger Heath Kirchart getting into more shenanigans than you’d expect from two mischievous skate rats left without parental supervision and furnished with a Land Rover, a video camera, a cell phone (still a novelty at the time), and a platinum card. This priceless document is absolutely chockablock with slingshots, underage bosoms and heinies, crop-demolishing detours, reckless driving, gambling, a real live drug deal, and even a few hot skate moves.

Now, the documentary format always brings up the question of authenticity. The question is whether or not the subjects are behaving as they ordinarily would or are they performing for the camera? Fireworks make for some terrific eye candy-they go a long way in spicing up even the blandest tour video. But their omnipresence has nothing to do with their visual as per the production and everything to do with the diabolical glee that young boarders take in firing roman candles at one another. Case in point: I don’t think Greg Esquirre (the filmer) pulled his camera out once during the many skirmishes on our trip. No, Barbarians At The Gate is the real deal, and it sums up the experience of going on tour in chilling accuracy.

Some skateboard trips are very planned-out affairs with detailed itineraries dotted with in-store appearances, demos, lodgings contacts, and tour guides for each stop. Some are a little more, shall we say, spur of the moment. About a week after I called Tum Yeto’s Matt Barker to explain that I had some unstructured time on my hands and did he want to organize a tour, I found myself on the way to San Diego. A few hours after that, I was in a cozy little minivan snuggled up with various members of the Foundation and Pig teams. Another car load of Tum Yetans were in a rented SUV captained by Josh Beagle and Tum Yeto alum Heath Kirchart.

Have you ever heard the expression “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas”? I think it might even be printed on Nevada license plates. Anyway, it’s a sacred code, and it prevents me from accurately relaying all the happenings from our stay there. What prevents me from accurately conveying what happened on the rest of our trip is the fact that the first draft of this story was stolen. It was on my laptop. I came home from playing Ping-Pong (or rather, table tennis-I gather Ping-Pong is a copyrighted term that belongs to Hasbro or Parker Brothers or someone), and just as I reached my door I heard sounds from inside. I got the door open after some fumbling with my keys, and I saw a guy jumping out my window, holding what I soon discovered was my laptop. I yelled the only thing that came to mind, “Hey … what the f-k?” Sadly, this failed to convince him to return my property. And since the hooded thief hasn’t even bothered to submit the articles I’d written, I’m forced to regenerate them as best I can. So for once, “what happens on the road stays on the road.” More or less anyway-I do have some notes that I scratched down in an Albuquerque Motel, so I guess “at happens on the road stays in point form.” Oh, and I found the two poems that I had Slash and Leo write on a notepad-finally, a little culture. Enjoy.

Some Notes From The Road

Crazy flight itinerary.

Miss flight.

Lose wallet.

Lose passport.

Find wallet.

Find passport.

Steve, Greg pick me up.

Go to Beagle’s.

Drive to Vegas.

Pick up Tommy, Slash, Leo.

Tight squeeze.

Arrive late in Vegas.

Gambling already in progress in rooms.

Heath and Beags way up.

“The house always wins.”

Sammy throws beer at my head.

Slash loses everything, but still gambles downstairs.

Heath and Beags go downstairs to gamble.

“The house always wins.”

Morning boobs.

Insanely hot outside.

Parking lot demo, skatepark demo.

Drive to Salt Lake.

Loser van: Slash steals, arrested.

We arrive hours before.

Go skating, kicked out.

Lizard King, court date.

Next day back to the same spots, fat security guards.

Green room.

Sammy versus double kink.

Heath hedges.

“The house always wins.”

Rain sesh.

Leo’s a champ.

Drive to Colorado.

Stay up all night-again.

Promise of nicer hotel, more rooms.

Sesh flat iron stairs ’til sun comes up.

Flash breaks.

Skatepark.

Fireworks fight, busted.

Finally check-in, six-plus to a room.

Many Doors shirts purchased.

Rain, dudes go to indoor.

Everyone buys beer, gets rowdy.

Heath destroys my burrito.

I get a separate room.

Everyone gets kicked out after trashing room.

Everyone takes off on me.

I take cab to park, back to hotel.

Get room again.

Crackhead in my room.

Everyone went to New Mexico? Look into flights home.

Beags calls, everyone still in town.

Get picked up.

Skate all next day.

Mike loses wallet.

We find it.

Hang around ’til four in the morning before driving, packed like sardines.

I will never again be impressed by the clowns-in-the-car trick.

Arrive in N.M.

Get a hotel.

Go to park, Heath blasts.

I book ticket home.

Poetry Sidebar

Poetry has become an outmoded means of artistic expression. It’s lost relevance. Sure, there’s that hip-hop spoken word business that HBO is pushing, but let’s be honest, the show is getting pounded in the ratings by Simpson’s reruns. Poetry has suffered from a lack of identity, there are no charismatic poets capturing the imagination of this jaded generation. While painting, photography have undergone movement after movement poetry has remained static since the 50’s beat movement. Or has it? Out of the unlikely confines of a cramped, smokey, minivan rumbling along the highways of the American southwest a simple impromptu freeform word game just may become the biggest thing since the Haiku.

Slash

Helmet bomb splash banana bloody swingset

Recceptical shoelace cardiac arrest

Ski lift upside-left plus dirty shoulder infectious poop dumpster

Spaghetti basketball dish dollar light square butt-hole ninety-zero

Back rack hacky sack cooko frex Chinese rocks the cameleon

Pee beerbong put a booger on my teeth and eat a sandwich

Tone-loc sandy coke rake my veins

Hair knuckle light bulb midget beer box suck my toe pez

Onion dirty bunion, Oreo bandaid Jamaican doobie, woody flay ands kite.

Sleepy bat 9 foot cat

Razor blade mickey mouse lick my house

Frisbee Heath sourslip fundip

On a serious note: midgets who fly smoke ladders on Monday before yesterday’s tomorrow.

Family is nothing, wrapper just live, curly fry die.

Yesterday shower slide third nipple matt stain igloo pyramid.

Riptide orange acid. Ice cube bumble bee donut ring

Face mountain flash mustache frame brain stain random line day LA

Looker bed just live instead Angel is dead

Screw books but good looks, stay pretty die young

Coward tree trash can peter octagon

Adaddin monkey pyramid funnel cake amazing

Light camping shotgun

Zity bitty is really pretty

Leo

Johnson Peterson Macks to season tron the poop in shoes

TV lives but armor to flow it as I 7Up it good to time head of a weiner

A reservation’s are cool losers that love you good food to the jay-bird

Stand up and right so are not you

F-k it, live it, UC + 3 Y-2 = Lord no.

One is the two call this number and make it lose

Sammy is the blue goose in the juice boiled in cool but nice to you’ll.

I love g.f. in the mind for camera is lock to the VCR. Ping Pony rudder

Ditch ditch ditch ditch look at that ditch lick a ditch but don’t touch it.

Have a cup of light Sony’s bring so just get night as night live the tight tiger for a splice seco or min eat ton foot and the bunion

Leg is cool you are a jerk you crock hog skate for dark and live for boys as white

Is blue fool make true?

Blank + blank = threver

TV lives but armor to flow it as I 7Up it good to time head of a weiner

A reservation’s are cool losers that love you good food to the jay-bird

Stand up and right so are not you

F-k it, live it, UC + 3 Y-2 = Lord no.

One is the two call this number and make it lose

Sammy is the blue goose in the juice boiled in cool but nice to you’ll.

I love g.f. in the mind for camera is lock to the VCR. Ping Pony rudder

Ditch ditch ditch ditch look at that ditch lick a ditch but don’t touch it.

Have a cup of light Sony’s bring so just get night as night live the tight tiger for a splice seco or min eat ton foot and the bunion

Leg is cool you are a jerk you crock hog skate for dark and live for boys as white

Is blue fool make true?

Blank + blank = threver