I had a vague recollection of reading somewhere years ago that Mark Gonzales had first gotten the idea for the noseblunt slide from watching a clip of Julien Stranger doing a bluntslide. Based on the timing, I was pretty sure it could only be Julien's glorious bluntslide to fakie in the 1990 SMA/Santa Cruz video A Reason for Living. I decided to find out for sure.
The first noseblunt slides I ever saw were most definitely in Video Days ('91). Because he had the first part, I remember vividly being dumbfounded seeing Guy Mariano’s line inside the Beverly Center parking lot—right as the Jackson 5 kicks in—that seemingly builds to showcase the first noseblunt slide I ever saw on a curb. Immediately you knew, this was the new trick to do. Then, of course, Mark has multiple variations of his own—even the 'Nyjah' version—back 270 noseblunt on a double sided curb, noseblunt slides down benches, etc… sprinkled throughout his part and even in the end credits.
Mark is credited with innovating both the noseblunt slide on street (quickly adapted by Guy, Rudy and everybody else on the planet) as well as the stationary 180 noseblunt on mini ramps over the course of '90, while filming for the video (Note: John Reeves and Sal Barbier also did stationary noseblunts, popped in, in the 1990 H-Street video, Not The New H-Street Video). Even prior to the noseblunt, Mark is also credited with adapting the noseslide to ledges and handrails on the streets, after seeing photos of Neil Blender innovating nose stalls on ramps. Sticking with the origins of the noseblunt for now, I emailed Mark the above sequence of Julien's bluntslide and asked him if this was the official inspiration.
Mark was generous enough to respond with some insight:
Gonz: "Yes, it's true the idea to do noseblunts for myself came about from that clip of Julien (A Reason for Living ). I was hanging with Jovontae Turner at the time and he told me, 'No way.' About a week later I had them down (on street). Then I did them on a launch quarter pipe in front of my house when I lived in Huntington Beach. After that, Jason Lee and I went to England and I did one up the extension on a mini ramp in Nottingham. That's the one I used for the ending credits (of Video Days) when it comes up that I had died."
Meanwhile, here was Guy Mariano on Mark telling him about the noseblunt slide (Pro Spotlight, Feb. 2007):
“One thing about Mark is that even back in the day he would say things all the time like, "You know those frontside noseslides? I want to do one that's like ten feet long." And I'd be to myself like, "Ok, the dude has definitely lost it now." And then someone would do it like five years later. Or with noseblunt slides, I remember him telling me he wanted to try them and I was just kind of like, "Yeah, I don't know if people are gonna pick up on that." And again, I'd tell myself, "Ok, this time he's really lost it." But nowadays, no matter how far-fetched a trick he comes up with and talks to me about and I decide again that he's completely lost it—I don't know anymore. Maybe he's right. (Laughing) Whatever he's talking about is gonna be the next shit.”
Most definitely the next shit for many decades: Mark’s Video Days part (1991) by Spike Jonze.
Thanks Julien, for inspiring Mark, who inspired Guy, who inspired all of us.
Stay tuned for more Origins.
– Gonz and Hawk: The Origins of the Stalefish
– The Photo that Named the Sadplant
– Origins of the Stalefish Follow Up
– Skatenerdstarmaps: Kenter Canyon with Eric Dressen
– Skatenerdstarmaps: School Q
– COCI: Ron Chatman
– COCI: Simon Woodstock
– COCI: Tony Cox
Follow Gonz on Instagram: @krooked
Follow Guy on Instagram: @guymariano
Follow Julien on Instagram: @antihero18
Follow me on Instagram: @deadhippie