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This is none of your business
Posted by: House of Neil on February 20th, 2011
January was a fun month overall. Normally we get the post Xmas letdown in January because everybody is all spent up, but not this year. We got plenty of high priced decks in every category with a number of decks going for over $2000. Alva decks of every description were going super high, and we had a couple of classic Chinese rip-off graphics. Plus a great selection of bargain decks too.
The music review this month is going to be a split between a good one and a bad one, something I don’t normally do. The good one is for the album “Damn Fool Music” by The Zatopeks, and the bad one is for the new Social Distortion album “Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes”. I’m a huge Social D fan, and have been since the early 80s. I’ve seen them at least 10 times, got bootlegs, unreleased studio stuff etc. It’s been 5 years between studio albums, which is really annoying (it’s their job right? So shouldn’t they be writing all the time?), but I was really looking forward to the new one. Their last one, “Sex, Love and Rock & Roll” was probably their best album, so there was no reason to believe that the new one wouldn’t be great too. I bought it the extended edition the day it came out and listened to it immediately. 20 minutes later I had skipped through probably 8 tracks and was left horribly let down. This is not Social Distortion. It sounds like a bad Black Crowes tribute band with Mike Ness singing. It sounds like a band going through the motions and cashing in. Backing female vocals? Piano? I don’t think so. The best 2 songs on the album are songs they’ve been playing live for 10 years and one of them is the opening instrumental. There’s even a country cover that they had previously released 15 years ago as a B-side. And then you have the newly written stuff, which is all mid-tempo, corny, bluesy garbage. The single, Machine Gun Blues is OK, but what the hell is it about? Mike Ness is at his best writing about real-life situations, and that’s what we’ve come to expect. So why the hell am I listening to a song about 1930s gangsters? What’s next, a song about pirates? It sounds like Ness wrote it hoping to sell it to a movie/TV studio to me. I’ve never been so let down by an album. Avoid at all costs.
“Damn Fool Music” by English band The Zatopeks is everything that the SD album isn’t. It’s simple, direct and no nonsense. They play Ramones style pop punk with a 50s vibe. The song writing is top notch, and the lyrics are heartfelt but accessible. This album is a little more varied than their earlier stuff, with a couple of songs that wouldn’t be out of place on a Belle & Sebastian album, but still, the quality is still there. I bought the album on the strength of 2 songs I’d heard on a European Ramones-core sampler, and I’m really happy that I did. I bought 2 albums in January, the 2 I’m reviewing here. One I hate and one I love, and I’m as surprised as anybody by which is which.
First up this month is this undrilled Z-Flex Jay Adams in white. I guess white and black are the two rarest colorways, so here you go. The white has yellowed through the years, but it is 35 years old, so that is not surprising. It has the original stickers, the whole 9 yards. It’s a very impressive piece, and it sold for an equally impressive $2,100.
Now somebody has to explain these 70s Banzai decks to me. Aluminum decks were plentiful in the 70s, and most were from no-name brands that aren’t worth shit today. But the Banzai ones always sell high. Now, it is super shiny and looks almost brand new, but still, I don’t understand the attraction. This one comes complete with Banzai trucks and Sims Pure Juice Bowl Rider wheels. This might be stable in a bowl, but I’d imagine that pushing on the street would cause some major problems when foot meets wheel. It sold for $600.
Boy oh boy, the 70s hits just keep on coming. Here we have a Powell Peralta Beamer from 1979. This may be the best condition Beamer I’ve ever seen, with very little wear on the deck at all. The Bones stickers just add to the value in this case, but the Tracker stickers I might kill. This deck reached the height of popularity in 1979 when Gelfand had a sequence in Skateboarder popping an Ollie out of a halfpipe riding one. They were only 5 ply so were very light, meaning most were snapped, but this one has survived. The clear grip up top is peeling off, but overall tis deck is sublime. It sold for, wait for it, $3,750 on 20 bids.
Here’s a Brewer from 1979 complete with Gullwing Pros and yellow Yo-yos. This deck would look beautiful all cleaned up and oiled I bet. Those strips of hardwood would polish up a treat, and the deck is in very good overall condition with no major dings. It ended up selling for $253 on 13 bids. Brewer is one of those 70s companies that you don’t see too often, but they made quality stuff.
Here we have a Caster deck complete with Bennett Vector truks (yes, that’s how Bennett spells it) and despite all of the Kryptonics stickers, Sims Pure Juice II wheels. It is in great condition, and the Bennetts look almost brand new. Supposedly the Vectors are the rarest of all Bennett truks, so they probably added a lot to the final price. It sold for $499.
And here’s another fantastic 70s deck. It’s a Sims Mike Folmer S-Ply 10” stinger deck from 1979. The deck has been set up and ridden, but is in very good used condition. It has some dirt and fading and dings, but nothing major at all. When cleaned up this would be a beautiful deck. The last mint one to go off sold for over $1500, so for this one to only cost $349 seems like a bargain. The factory griptape up top is even clean.
Now you all know how excited I get when I see a 70s polyprop deck still in its original box, so I had to show this one. It’s a California FreeFormer swallowtail, and is a real beauty, even without the box. The fact that the box is included is an extra bonus! The deck is basically mint, so mint that the wheels still have a shine to them. And the box, well, you can see there on the side it gives all kinds of tips for how to do kickbacks, wheelies and 360 spinners. It’s a classic slice of mid 70s skateboard explosion goodness and it ended up selling for $229.
This one is absolutely amazing. It’s G&S Proline SC complete with ACS 800 trucks and vintage G&S Rollerball wheels. Yes, the round ones that looked like a ball. It is super clean: apart from the missing taildome it looks almost unused. But my favorite part is the 4 different colored Rollerball wheels. I would love to take a ride on those once. Just once though, because I have to imagine that they would slide out on a dime. There is a very small surface patch. It sold for $200, which surprises me.
Let’s start off the 80s section this month with this Concrete Jungle Jay Adams “Concrete Surfer” from 1986. The graphic is crappy and the colorway is dark and nasty, but it is a very rare deck. Jay Adams was the forgotten skater throughout the mid and late 80s, and had very few pro model decks during that period, not coming to prominence again until the Z-Boys documentary. This is one of the few pro decks that he had during this period. The auction finished at $1,850.
Now here we have a Vision Aggressor team deck from 1986. This deck was issued in a ton of different colorways, and this one is a very bright yellow dip with pale blue and hot pink. It’s totally 80s, and that adds to the appeal. Decks like this one and the Psycho Stick proved that you didn’t have to put a pro name on there to sell a ton of decks. Even though it’s been set up and used, this deck still sold for $352.
And here we have a Powell Peralta Ray Barbee “Hydrant” from 1989. It’s got everything going for it: it’s full size, seven ply, mint in shrink, and in the ever-popular black dip. It’s a very handsome deck, and sold for $710.
And the hits just keep on coming! Here we have a NOS G&S Neil Blender “Coffee Guy” from 1987. It’s never been set up or gripped, and although it has some storage marks, it is as close to mint as you will probably find. It’s in a very attractive pale red stain with white and pinky purple in the graphic. That’s a beautiful deck, and it sold for a nice price too: $1,027.
Here’s a used but not abused Dogtown “Born Again” deck from 1984. It’s got holes form rails etc., but is in very good shape overall. With some cleaning up and careful sticker removal this could be a stunning, bright deck, the centerpiece of any small collection. It sold for $350
This Blockhead Sam Cunningham “Evil Eye” from 1988 probably looks far better in person than it does in the photo. The metallic silver lizards probably look great on the green stain, but the photo doesn’t show that at all. It just looks like a muddy mess. It’s never been gripped, but does have the standard storage marks. It’s also unusual in that it doesn’t have the Sam face between the snakes. If I’m right about how it looks in person, the $213 it went for is a bargain.
This is probably the best deck of the month. It’s a Skull Skates “Dead Guys” team model from 1987. The seller says that the stain is orange, so I guess it just looks redder in the photo. Whatever the color, it is magnificent. It’s totally mint, and the silver and black looks sublime on the orange stain. It sold for $2,000, and I’d say that it was worth every penny.
Here’s an Alva Dave Duncan “Claw” mini model from 1987. It’s NOS, never been gripped or setup. The colorway is really nice, and there’s a lot going on. We have a deep red stain, metallic silver swirls, and purple, yellow and green in the main graphic. It’s super layered looking, and a really nice example of this deck. A full size would be better, but the colorway probably makes up for that. It sold for $349 on 19 bids.
Ooh, here’s one that everybody wanted a couple of years ago. It’s a Santa Cruz Claus Grabke “Exploding Clock”. This one is a factory second: it’s not drilled all the way through, but you seldom see this deck in NOS condition, so we can excuse that. The quality of the photo is naff, so it’s tough to tell the true color, but that didn’t stop it selling for $500.
Now Jim Gray has had some really shitty graphics throughout his career as a pro skater, but this one I really like. It’s a Blockhead Jim Gray “TV” from 1989. I love the shape, I love the graphic, and I like the colorway. It is NOS, but has some discoloration from stickers. Actually I almost put this in the Bargains section because it sold for only $100, but I liked the graphic so much I didn’t want it assigned to some “also-ran” status.
And how about this one! It’s a Vision Tom Groholski “robot” from 1986 in a shiny black dip. It’s truly a beautiful deck. Any graphic looks great on a shiny black dip, but add teal, yellow and orange and you’ve got an outstanding package. It’s NOS, never been mounted or gripped, and sold for $406 on 15 bids.
Now this one isn’t NOS or even close to it, but it’s still a great looking deck. It’s a Santa Cruz Jeff Grosso “toybox” from 1987. It has been ridden but there isn’t very much damage at all. Some tail wear and a few scuffs and scratches, nothing much really. Remove the rails and the rip grip on the nose and you have a nice looking toybox in a great colorway for only $393.
And talking of Guerrero, here we have a couple more, but these are decks from the Danish skater Nicky Guerrero, not Tommy. The seller decided to package together his two G&S Nicky Guerrero decks: the “Cyclops” and the “Face”. They are both from 1987ish, and both feature the same flowing shape and pointy nose. The colors are great on both, but the Cyclops is particularly nice, being on a deck that has a vertical fade from yellow to pinky orange. Neither graphic excites me, but they are colorful and interesting. The pair sold for $450.
Here’s a Schmitt Stix Andy Howell “pyramid” from 1989. It is NOS and in a dark blue stain that hasn’t faded at all because the seller has “stored them in darkness” for the last 25 years. Now that seems extreme to me. If you can’t enjoy looking at your decks what’s the damned point in having them? I tell you what. If you have too many to display on your walls and you are storing them in boxes in a basement then it’s time to start getting rid of them! It sold for $1,823.
I tell you what; Alva’s are going nutso over the last few weeks, especially anything with a fade. Here is a case in point. We have two Alva Jim Murphy “wing” decks from 1987. Both are NOS and both have the classic Alva fade, the top one from black to light blue, the bottom one from black to teal. They both look awesome and you would think they would both have fetched the same price, give or take $20, but the top one went off very early in January, and the bottom one went off very late. The pale blue sold for $120 while the teal sold for $322. Timing is everything I guess!
Here’s a Santa Cruz “Oops II (mucus)” team deck from 1990. It comes complete Deadbolt trucks and no name, Bones rip-off wheels. The deck is in great used shape; some dirt and scuff etc. but no major gouging at all, and the graphic is all there. Even the nose and tail are basically fine. These SC team decks are exploding in price, and this used complete sold for $350.
Now this is awesome. It’s a Zorlac Todd Prince “Frog King” from 1988. As with most Zorlacs of the period, the shape is interesting, bordering on penis like. It’s on a natural wood stain that allows the blue throne and green frog to really pop. Of course, the yellow flames do get rather lost, at least in this picture, but I think it’s a really strong graphic. The deck hasn’t been gripped or mounted and is basically NOS. It sold for $450
Here’s a true 80s classic complete. It’s a Vision Psycho Stick of course, this one being the mini model. It has different colored Trackers front and back and red Vision wheels. It was setup but clearly never ridden and is in excellent condition. The griptape job on top is pure 80s too: lime green and pink griptape in thin strips. This would be a great complete to have, not so much for the quality of the graphic, but just as a classic slice of 80s pop art. I sold for $250, and that seems low to me.
And here we have an Alva Eddie Reategui “Warriors” deck. It is in NOS condition, and looks great in the bright red stain with purple logo. Something is missing though, did you spot it? The Eddie Reategui name is missing from the banner, which I guess makes this a super rare collector’s item. That mistake didn’t hurt the value any because it sold for $440 on 25 bids.
Here’s a Sana Cruz Rob Roskopp “eye” from 1988. It’s in an orange/red stain that looks amazing in the pictures and probably even better in person. I like the way the colors all work together in this one. It has a few storage marks but don’t we all? It went for $511.
Now this one was a super late arrival, finishing on Jan 31st, after I’d already picked my decks for the month, but I liked it so much I put it in. It’s a G&S Billy Ruff “Chalice” from 1984. It has been set up and ridden, but the plastics have done their job because wear is completely minimal. There is fading from where stickers and the skidplate were removed, but you expect that on a 27 year old deck. I like the sea foam green dip and the pink bubbles. I think it’s darker than the way it displays here. It sold for $303.
And talking about classic from 1984! Here is a Sims Screamer team model, complete with black Indys and swirl Vision Shredders. I always loved this graphic back in the day, and I love it even more now. The plastics have truly done their job here because the graphic is as bright and vibrant as it was back then. I also like how the original owner color coordinated all of his plastics to match the colors in the graphic: pale blue rails, purple nose bone and tail dome, purple risers. The whole package is totally rad and bosker, and the seller deserves the $484 that he got.
And here we have a Town & Country “Street Team” deck from 1984. It’s been gripped and ridden, but is still in very good shape. I really like the colorway on this one. You don’t see that flat grey dip too often, and the lime green and powder blue in the graphic is a really great combination. The seller should have removed the stickers because they totally spoil the effect, but still, once those are removed this will be a killer deck. It sold for $224.
I told you that Alva fades were going for mad money at the end of January! This Alva John Thomas “ankh” from 1986 is in a highly unusual colorway. Let’s call it the “Rasta look”. It actually doesn’t work at all for me. It’s too pale overall and the graphic looks like it’s floating on a bed of nothing, but it is unusual and it is a fade. So it sold for $361 on 22 bids. Dude, if you have an Alva fade that you don’t want, get it out there quick!
OK, you want solid and classic? Well it doesn’t come much better than this. It’s a Powell Peralta “Vato Rat” from 1984 in a jaw dropping silver dip. It’s never been gripped or mounted, and apart from a couple of storage scuffs is probably the closest to dead mint you will find. The red and black graphic looks awesome on the silver. If you were looking for this deck and could afford the price tag, then this one might be the closest thing to perfection you might ever find. It sold for $2,335.
And talking about awesome silver dip, how about this deck? Yes I know, the graphic is cheesy and can’t even be talked about in the same sentence as the deck above, but this one shocked the hell out of me. It’s a Vision Shredder 3 team deck from 1988. The silver dip is awesome and the 1940s, Flash Gordon style rocket ship is kitschy, but I didn’t expect it to fetch more than a couple of hundred tops. Imagine my surprise when it went for $599. So you know what will happen now right? Everybody and their brother who has one will have it on eBay within days! We shall see if that value holds.
Here we have a Santa Cruz Jaya Bonderov “beach babes” slick from 1992. Much like the original Skate and Annoy topless girl t-shirt that had Nash logos over the boobs, this deck has stickers over the boobs. One says ‘Safe Sex Advisory” and the other says, “Parental Ignorance is Expected”. The much more interesting thing to me is the chicken scratch blue and green background. Very interesting, but it’s a slick so I guess I shouldn’t get too excited. It sold for $485.
Here’s an H-Street Eddie Elguera “Stamp” complete from 1991. AOS claims that it’s a Life deck, but the top graphic clearly shows the H-Street logo. This is a weird one because there’s never been a bigger example of a classic 1980s pool skater than Elguera, and this street looking deck just seems completely wrong. The graphic has been mailed in literally, and the whole thing smacks of desperation. Sure enough he was gone from H-Street shortly after this deck. The trucks and wheels are unknown. It sold for $75.
And talking of H-Street, here’s a classic Matt Hensley “rays of light” from 1991. The deck is in bad shape: faded, dirty and well worn, but the graphic is all there, which is something. I don’t know that much could be done to restore this, and the topside is probably worse than the bottom. But even in this poor state it still fetched $219, so just imagine what a mint one would bring.
And to illustrate that point we have this Stereo Jason Lee “Liquor Bottles” from 1993. The seller tells an interesting story about this one. It is super rare and he had it hanging in his skateshop for 20 years. Jason Lee collects all of his old boards, but this is the only one he doesn’t have. He was in negotiations to buy this one, but was apparently so difficult to deal with that they couldn’t come to terms on a price. Well, I wonder if he bought this one? If so he paid the price that the seller wanted all along: $1,500.
This is a Powell Peralta Adam McNatt “Schiffer” deck from 1992. It’s NOS but very hard to find in any condition. The top graphic is funny: it’s a hand written note that says “Adam, thanks for the good time-Claudia” with a big lipstick print. It sold for $1,127.
This is a Think Mike Santarosa “woman” slick from 1993. I actually like this graphic a lot, and as you all know that is unusual for me with 90s decks! It’s dead mint apparently, and the graphic looks like one of those montages we used to do in art class with newspapers and magazines. I like how it is b/w on top and colorful down below. It makes me happy for some reason. It sold for $300.
And here’s another 90s deck that I love! It’s an Alien Workshop Duane Pitre “green olives” from 1992. It still has a little width and shape, so came out right before the full on popsicle boom of 1993. The graphic is simple yet effective, and the muted colors work well on the natural stain. If you are wondering why you like the graphic and why it seems so familiar, it’s because Neil Blender did it. This sold for $760 on 18 bids.
Here’s a Liberty Skates Mike Smith “Kong” from 1991. It’s NOS, never gripped or mounted. I dig the orange stain. Mike Smith had his own thing going on at Liberty, but they made some nice looking decks. There’s lots of detail and funky ideas, normally centering around a monkey of some sort or another. It sold for $360.
So what’s this Vallely barnyard doing in Assorted Crap? Well this appears to be a case of the buyer not reading the auction listing carefully enough. Of course, the seller screws things up by calling it a World Industries Rodney Mullen barnyard, when it is clearly a Vallely. But then it gets stranger. The auction very clearly states that it is a handboard, not a full size skateboard. Yes a handboard, but the buyer paid $305 for it. Now was that a mistake, or is there a market for handboards that I’m not aware of? I don’t recall seeing any other handboards go for crazy loot, but then again I’ve never looked. So if the buyer could write in and let me know if this was a mistake or if the price was genuine I’d be much obliged.
And let’s get to one of my favorite things: the crazy Chinese knockoff. We have 2 of them this month, and first up is a very poor copy of the PP Tony Hawk “birdclaw”. It looks like a kid had a friend with s ticker of the real graphic. He doodled up a copy, complete with “forest” background, and his father said, “That’s great! I know tis guy who makes skateboards! Let’s do it!” Or something like that. So here you have it. One very badly rendered copy of a Hawk birdclaw. I especially like how the forest background just stops for no reason at the tail. Now that is quality! The top graphic features the birdclaw again, between 2 pieces of griptape that look like they are about as grippy as glass. It sold for $46.
And staying with the rip-off theme we have this bad copy of the SC Jason Jessee Neptune graphic. The only thing original about it is the rails because they are Ugly Stix. The trucks are Horse Feathers (?) and the wheels are Alcatraz Big Boots (???). It was purchased in Japan in 1988, so maybe those brands mean something over there. I’m not sure. All I do know is that this horrible piece of junk sold for $101 on 16 bids, so I guess some Jessee collectors even want the rip-offs.
Now here’s a set I hadn’t seen before. It’s a Birdhouse set featuring the Vivid girls, and each one is signed by the actress. We have Janine Lindenmuller, Tia Bella, Heather Hunter and Kobe Tai. The artist Sean liver signed the top, but sorry Clive, who cares about that? I actually have Janine’s autograph on an old Pool School deck that I have. She was Ricki Rachtmann’s girlfriend at the time, so I had them both sign it. I normally don’t care about autographs, but on these decks, yeah, I dig it! The set sold for $500.
So let’s start off with a bang! Here we have a Schmitt Stix Bryce Kanights “Gargoyle” from 1989. It is NOS and in a very nice colorway. The natural wood is great with the bright blues, greens and reds, and this is one of the better colorways I’ve seen for this graphic. So I would say that this is a steal for $113. That is a great building block for any collection at an awesome price.
This NOS Planet Earth Buster Halterman is from around 1990 and isn’t even on AOS. I really like the Van Gogh style graphic featuring waves and the sky, and the orange stain is hot. It’s unusual I guess, but $33? Come on, that’s ridiculous.
And here’s another NOS deck that went for far less than it should have. It’s a Vision Tom Groholski “graveyard” Vision-Lite deck from 1989. It’s in “stealth” black dip with glow in the dark colors, and is ungripped and never mounted. It sold for $81, which is what some reissues are priced at new. So yes, that’s crazy.
And this one just kills me. It’s a Tracker GSD “eyeball” from 1986. It’s in a very unusual orange stain with yellow graphics. It’s gripped but has never really been ridden at all, and it is in really excellent condition. This is one of those that I had on my watch list but never went back to because I thought it would get out of my price range really fast. So imagine my disgust when I came back to it and saw that it sold for $92.
Here’s a Smith Howard Hood “Lions and Spears” from 1987. Smith were more known for their pads and gloves than for their decks, but they did make decks and had a pro rider in Howard Hood, a veteran from the 70s. This is actually a nice looking deck: nice shape, cool graphic, and although this one has been gripped, it has clearly never really been ridden. It sold for $27.
So here’s an Uncle Wiggley Tony Magnusson “DNA Chain” complete from 1985. It is the later hammerhead model, rather than the earlier pig. It looks to be in good condition underneath all of those stickers. Remove those and I think you would have a mighty nice complete from the mid 80s at a great price: it sold for $150. I lost the auction link so I’m not sure what the trucks and wheels are. They appear to have Indy copers and maybe blue Kryptonics?
Well I guess this Alva Bill Danforth “Nomad” mini is the exception to the high-priced Alva rule. This natural wood complete with Variflex trucks and wheels is in good used condition, but it only sold for $64. I’m not sure why. I think this is a very underrated graphic but it always goes low. I know it’s a mini, but still.
And keeping with the Alva theme we have this Eddie Reategui ‘Warriors” complete with pink and white Trackers. Again it’s a mini, but it looks to be in great used condition with very little wear at all. The colorway is excellent and unusual: black stain with pink and yellow graphics, and overall it’s just a great looking package. You can’t tell it has the dolphin tail because it’s stuck in the shag carpet, but it does. It sold for $100.
And finally this moth we have this Sims “Buzz” complete from 1987. This is the full sized model; there was also a “slight buzz” mini model. It comes complete with Action trucks and Vision Shredder wheels. Sims had a number of fun team decks, including the Screamer, the Pharaoh and this one, the bee themed Buzz. It features a bee riding a skateboard with his bottom pair of legs. It’s corny and kitschy but still fun. It sold for $90.
More next time.
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Posted by: House of Neil on February 20th, 2011
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