The (East) Lost Boys
Words: Mackenzie Eisenhour
Photos: Anthony Acosta
Illustrations: Mike Gigliotti
Little sister! (Thou shalt not fall)
Come, come to your brother! (Thou shalt not die)
Unchain me, sister! (Thou shalt not fear)
Love is with your brother! (Thou shalt not kill)
-- Cry Little Sister, Gerard McMann (1987)
This was the full conversation from AA’s INTV in our May/June 2018 issue.
AA has some new digs in East LA. He also has one hell of a story to go with his backside flip into the LA High steep bank in Hockey II ('16). Your best hopes of learning more about these two things will be to read this interview. Along the way, you might also learn why being a true original and coming up with your own ideas often outweighs adding two more stairs to someone else's idea from last year. But that's just one man's opinion. Here's Andrew.
What are you up to these days?
I was in Silverlake for about three years living with Tino Razo and Nuge. About six or seven months ago I moved out to East LA. I was able to find and buy a little house over here. So I kind of switched up my whole program and moved over here with my girlfriend and my dog. So far it's been really good. I've been able to find a bunch of new spots to skate and just kind of mixed it up. I think all the photos in this interview are things I've just kind of found. They're all pretty much in my neighborhood.
What part of East LA?
It's City Terrace, which is sort of in between Alhambra, Boyle Heights, and Lincoln Heights.
So a little outside the cool kid zone in Silverlake? Are you on your own out there?
Pretty much. I have a couple of friends out here. Then Anthony Acosta who shot all the photos for this lives right down the street. That worked out great. Made it real easy to go skate.
Are you submitting some mural images from East LA as well for this?
Yeah. I don't know. This part of town is obviously a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood—just the way it looks—there's just so much cool art up on the walls. It's different. After living in Hollywood or more on that side it's rad to be around something else.
Just being around authentic culture. Who chose the Lost Boys song (Gerard McMann – Cry Little Sister) for Hockey III?
Oh man. Obviously that song is pretty fucking powerful. That song has been in my playlists for ages. I guess when Benny (Maglinao) was editing it he was just like, "I got an idea for a song." He showed it to me and I was just like "holy shit." I was beyond stoked.
Are you a fan of the movie?
It's one of my favorites for sure. I'm a huge Cory Feldman and Corey Haim fan. Obviously Kiefer Sutherland's sick as fuck in that movie. The whole cast and pretty much the whole plot. It's classic.
Santa Carla/Santa Cruz.
The fuckin' murder capital of the world.
It’s been about two years since you switched over to Hockey. Are you pretty settled? How was it having Kevin Rodriguez join up?
I'm definitely a fan of Kevin. He's really good and has rad style. I haven't actually met him in person yet. I've talked to him the phone a bit and he seems super cool. Maybe this is a good excuse for me to finally go to Paris. I've never been. But as far as Hockey, I'm still stoked on it all and the changes I made. I'm happy.
What else is coming up from AVE and the crew?
Probably another video in a bit. John Fitzgerald had to get knee surgery. He was out for like a year and he's back on his board now ripping. I'd love to see another video part of his. Donovon (Piscopo) is also an extremely talented skater.
The new Vans video will have premiered by the time this comes out? Who's in it?
I think it's called Spinning Away. It was originally meant to be based around Chima (Ferguson) because his new shoe just came out. So he has a full part. Tyson Peterson has a part. I heard it's amazing. Kyle Walker might have some footage too. Then another montage type thing.
Was there a specific moment when you fell in love with the LA High steep bank or was it just meant to be? You kind of made that thing yours.
That's a good question. I don't know. At some point in time I got stoked on skating smaller quarterpipes, banks, and transitions. I used to skate the old Huntington Beach skatepark a lot. It had those like foot tall little tranny banks with little 'nopings.' I'd go there and do little blunts and noseblunts and stuff.
The ones Penny would nollie flip out of?
Yeah. Exactly. But I got into skating those and that was fun. Then when I moved to LA, LA High has always been one of those spots that was always a go. Then my personality type is like—once I get into something and do one thing, I kind of want to take it further and see if I can do the next thing. Maybe do something harder.
So it sort of kept building.
Yeah. I do have a crazy story that I haven't told anybody on record yet. But, I'm down to throw it out there for this one. One of the craziest experiences skating--the day I did the backside flip into the bank--I went there. I had been thinking about that. Like I said, I had done a backside flip into that tight little tranny at the HB park ten years prior. So I was like, "I think it might be possible." I threw one out there. Started messing with it. Kind of got close to one. So just started trying it. Two hours later, I had probably landed 50 times on my board only to smash into the ground and fall. I was like, "Dude I don't think it's possible." It was on one of those one more try type things--I landed on it, rolled away—I couldn't believe it. Like you know, "Oh my God I just landed that."
So I skated back over to where the filmer was. I watched the clip. And was still just sort of in awe. Extremely happy but also sort of in disbelief. At that exact moment, I looked across the street. It was probably 3:30 in the afternoon or so. Anyone who has ever skated there knows that that street right there is Olympic Boulevard and people come fucking flying down that street. I looked out, and half way across the street was like a little elderly Chinese man crossing the street illegally. There are three lanes going in both directions. He's in the middle of the road and kind of puts his hand out. The two lanes of cars going East on Olympic, they both stop. He starts to walk across there. I'm like, "Holy shit. What the fuck is this guy doing?" He steps out in front of the third lane (going West) and this car comes flying at him at probably 50 miles an hour. Completely smashes this guy. Bounces him off the windshield, shoots him 25 feet up into the air, 50 feet down the street. I was just like, "Oh my god."
The audio version of the story. All footage courtesy FAWorldEntertainment.
Right then, John Sciano immediately bolted and ran to check on the guy. A bunch of other people got out of their cars. I was just like, "What the fuck just happened?" I couldn't believe it. I ended up going down there, somebody was on the phone with 911. They were telling us to flip the guy over, then other people there were saying not to flip him over, that he might choke. Crazy. Finally the ambulance came and they took him off. I don't know what happened to the guy. But the long and the short of it, that was by far the two most extreme things that could happen right after one another. Landing something that I was blown away by only to immediately witness such a tragic thing. It was crazy.
Jesus. You were still watching the footage when it happened?
Yeah. I swear to god. I looked up from watching and saw it happen right then.
You don't know if he lived or died?
I don't know.
That's heavy. I don't know. Life is crazy. What do you take away from that?
I don't know.
Life is nuts?
Shit, that kind of puts a damper on my skate nerd questions. I was gonna ask who you remember seeing hit that wall first. Guy had a front tailslide in the Tim Dowling Listen video (97) then Reynolds had a back tail too at one point around then, maybe around The End (99).
Goddamn that's a heavy story though. I don't think I'll ever watch that clip the same now.
Was that too much? Maybe I shouldn't have brought it up.
No. It happened. I'll keep rolling with my questions--hardest thing for you that you've done on it? Would that be that backside flip in? Blunt kickflip?
The blunt kickflip took the longest. I probably went there ten different times and tried it from anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours. That one was another surreal moment.
I like this new style of progression. Like how dudes are skating curbs and Ollieing out of and landing back in the curbs or you with that bank--it's basically "making the impossible possible style." Like a new genre almost.
Yeah. I'm down for that too. Instead of like continuing to push shit on the bigger or longer rail side that has been pushed to death.
Yeah. Maybe find a new front to push instead.
I back that.
Last question, we are profiling Gonz and Hawk who are both turning 50 this May and June. Thoughts on those two being a combined 100 years old?
Both Gonz and Tony Hawk are both turning 50? Wow. Those are two of the dudes who probably pushed skating more than anyone to what it is today. Gonz with street skating and Tony Hawk on the vert side--I think the coolest thing about that is that both those dudes are still fucking ripping. It gives me hope to think that I might still be able to ride my board when I'm that age. I'm obviously not trying to compare myself to those two dudes but to have the idea that you can still fucking get out there and skate at 50--that makes me happy to think about it now.
Lottie's Qs (We asked AA these to make the article's illustrations):
Favorite book: Less Than Zero, Bret Easton Ellis, 1985
Favorite 80s movie: Lost Boys ('87)
Favorite '00s skate shoe: Koston 3 ('01)
Favorite '90s skate video: Fulfill The Dream ('98)
Favorite Mag cover: Cardiel, flame steep Ollie TWS (Feb. 1997)
First skate video: Virtual Reality ('93)
First board you bought for the graphic: Jason Dill, 23 Stormtrooper deck ('97)
Favorite 90s movie: Point Break ('91)
Favorite painter/painting: Picasso
Follow Andrew on Instagram: @andrewb.allen