Time machine takes us back to 1986 and an interview with one of the greatest vert riders ever. There was no email & no internet. This interview was conducted by Bart Saric via snail mail! Enjoy…
Neil Blender interview February 16th, 1986
‘Neil, right off the bat I’d like to say that I think your skating KICKS ASS. A unique un-expectable approach I think. You are one of my fav’s. I was wondering if you could do me a favor. My friend and I are making a zine and it would be kill if we could get an interview with you. If cool please answer the questions below (if not please respond anyway, eh … Thanks.)’
‘Bart, I filled this out the best I could. I didn’t read it and re-read, and re-read. I went straight through. I believe RAWNESS is a power a lot of people are afraid of. I’m sorta at a standstill in my skating right now. I’ve been sorta battered. I’m also trying to buy a house. By late June I should be skating with regularity and have something to show. Thanks for wanting to do an interview. Send me a copy to G & S with my name on the envelope. That’s a fairly scary drawing (an arrow points to a drawing I did on the interview page.) Keep in touch
B : Where do you think skating is headed?
N : I don’t care, maybe it’s a sham, just a fake hype. Fuck it.
B : How do you feel about the scene now?
N : Their all a bunch of dick skinners apart from a few. (CLAAR, JESSEE, JOE JOHNSON)
B : Who do you skate with a lot these days?
N : I don’t skate a lot these days. I sit and try to heal from the previous years.
B : Do you think the contest scene will ever change?
N : Yes, it will be more consistent judging. As far as chicks and kids who want autographs,
it will lessen. Skating will progress positively in maneuvers.
B : Do you think it’s cheesy that a lot of the kids only want to see rockets, 540’s, and street plants?
N : It’s not cheesy, it’s crazy. It is living proof of the magazines influence on the populace. Think what
would happen if they never showed a guy on a street ramp jumping.
B : Name a good thing that happened to you?
N : I bought a Yamaha TY-350.
B : What tricks do you find ultimate pleasure in doing?
N : Backside pivot , slide & roll to fakie , ollie board slaps , frontside handplants, TAILtaps, New Deals. (original name for a frontside nose grind in a bowl)
B : Any new ones that you are working on?
N : A “ MAYDAY”. It’s an axle stall to the fakie position. Like if you watched a film of a guy go up and do an axel stall then stopped the film for a second and put it in reverse, that’s a “Mayday”. It’s an old Trick that never made it to vert ……. Yet.
B : What do you like doing other than skating ?
N : Looking around places, seeing green hill’s, riding motorcycles, music.
B : What do you think of Mark Gonzales’ skating?
N : He’s the best on earth.
B : Who do you think of as an up and comer?
N : Bryan Pennington, Matt Campora, Jueden, Castro.
B : Do you think it’s getting too easy to become a PRO ? Like too many guys who turn PRO all at once, not earning it?
N : TOTALLY, you can answer that one. Fuck those guys like Brian Martin, Rob Maggie, Ken McGuire.
B : Where would you like to visit in the future?
N : ENGLAND AGAIN, last time I went I blew it. I didn’t know too much.
B : Do you think there are too many people sometimes?
N : PETE TOWNSEND SAID : “The worlds gonna sink with the weight of the human race”.
B : What’s your favorite ramp/pool?
N : JOEL CHAVEZ’S RAMP, Whittier’s Keyhole.
B : What are your thoughts on the HUMAN RACE as an overall?
N : Not enough self-actualizing people, too many tradition followers.
B : Closing comments? Any?
N : I suggest we try our best at what we like. Take it to nine grand and see if anything scatters. I’m gonna.
B : Thanks a lot Neil!