Tuesday, August 11, 2009
ANDY KESSLER HAS PASSED AWAY
Skateboarding legend Andy Kessler passed away on Monday at the age of 49 from of all things a fucking Wasp sting. Kessler had an allergic reaction to the sting and died of a heart attack because of it. Kessler was a real deal skateboarding hero who ran with the Souls Of Zoo York team in the late 70s. This guy was just as important to the development of what skateboarding is today as Tony Alva, Stacey Peralta or any of the Dogtown Crew.
You have to understand that for me skateboarders were like real life superheroes. I always wanted to skateboard, since I first saw The Search For Animal Chin I wanted to be Tony Hawk or Lance Mountain. The problem was I had zero talent for it, and I mean ZEEERRROOOOO. It could've been that I was overweight or just scared or maybe I was just not coordinated enough to be a skater but I tried.
I had the clothes, the haircut, the skateboard and I could go from A to B on it I just had no juice for tricks. In my eyes at that age the idea of what they were doing rocketed the Bones Brigade into the status of a living Justice League. I watched the videos, bought their shirts and stickers and anything else I could
This was an era before any idiot with a board could start a company and release a video. It was before youtube or the internet period allowed you to watch your favorite skaters shred. It was also way before skateboarding became a sporting event or a mass co-opted thing fed to the mall crawling zombies by corporations. You just couldn't see skateboarding anywhere so you read the magazines, went to the shows and skated with your friends. When a new video came out you would've hit your grandmother in the head with a shovel to get it. Kessler was part of all of that.
It skaters like Kessler and Zoo York and their counterparts Dogtown that actually physically gave birth to the world of skateboarding. They didn't take it and run with it like Hawk and Caballero and Mountain did, they started it out of nothing. That amazed me even more than the boys that had been my heroes for so long.
I'm still obsessed with skateboarding and I'm still awful at it. As I get older those memories and those videos mean even more to me. I watch them constantly (on DVD now thank you technology) and follow what my old heroes are up to. I'm not trying to be "that guy" and jump on any bandwagon. Kessler wasn't a hero of mine though I thought he was pretty awesome.
Mainly his passing, which was so senseless, just fucking sucked. It sucked because he was an originator and an innovator who deserved a hell of a lot better than that.