Ben Raemers RIP – tribute videos

Ben Raemers – Xmas Jam winner 2008

It’s with a heavy heart that we, like you, are having to deal with the news of Ben Raemers‘ death. The news only broke 36 hrs ago but already tributes are pouring over the web from those who met him, skated with him and vibed off his wonderful presence.

We are pretty blown away to wake up to video tributes already.

Rob Mathieson and friends worked tirelessly to complete this incredible tribute at Victoria Park where Ben conquered the cradle gap.

Isle Skateboards’ tribute on IG is also particularly moving…

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We love you Ben. ❤️

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Ben was filmed in so many countries over the years that there will be absolutely loads of footage out there dating back to when he was a tiny Essex lad destined for success at the highest levels.

It’s too early to delve into why he has left us but when the time is right, it’s worth discussing to help others, but for now take in another video tribute that popped up in our feed today and cast your mind back to how much this guy brought to skateboarding.

Rest in Peace, Ben. You are sorely missed already. x

Luke Jarvis Memorial edit

luke_jarvis_ripSadly, Luke Jarvis passed away on the 16th December of 2016.

He was present at pretty much all of our skate events and always bust his arse to get a trick down amongst the finest there.

He was one of those guys who rolled in and gave it all from the first to last minute of a session whatever the harshness of the slam. Yep, one of those crazy fuckers.

We were away over Christmas and not updating the mag when the news broke of his sad passing, but it hurt bad, as it always does. His local Essex crew have lost a soul mate, a damn good friend, a crazy bastard and a son. Thoughts go out to all of Luke’s family and friends. Especially his father, Andrew who took him everywhere from an early age, supporting him in what he loved doing, allowing him to have freedom of expression wherever he desired to go.

Here’s a tribute edit that has surfaced this week put together, kindly by Warren Munson. If you scroll down you will find a new tribute event (Facebook event here) that is planned to see him off in style this June with bands, skating and everything he loved and shared with friends.

May Luke Jarvis rest in peace.

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Shameful Dylan Rieder RIP t-shirts posted online

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Within just a few few days of the skate scene taking in the the tragic news of Dylan Rieder‘s unfortunate battle with leukemia, it seems that opportunists were photo-shopping images, not belonging to them, and selling them online for profit on tribute t-shirts.

It’s a very cold and bizarre choice to make considering those close to Dylan, who own the photographs used in the designs, are still in absolute shock and mourning a dear friend, but this paints a bizarre picture of the distasteful lengths people will go to be wealthier from tragic circumstances in 2016.

Various shirt designs were posted online last week that included photography not cleared for use on the website Red Bubble who have allegedly previously ripped off other designs for profit featuring skate legend Tim Brauch (RIP) and illustrations owned by from Fos from Heroin Skateboards, but it was Bryce Kanights’ lens work that was one of the photographs exploited on a shirt this weekend, who posted this response on Facebook after seeing it online:

“That sickening feeling when you discover an opportunist selling your photograph on a tee shirt with a friend who’s recently passed. My fingers are hitting the keyboard to shut this down right now. Ugh!”

This particular design below (and many others) have now been taken down from the website following direct complaints but that will not change the overall feeling of disgust from most who read this, especially within the same week where absolutely nothing should have been promoted in skateboarding out of respect for one of the greatest skaters, with respectable morals, to ever grace our scene.

May the people behind this deplorable idea be shamed for their actions. May Dylan Rieder rest in peace. Our thoughts go out to all of his family and friends.

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Special Brew and Pink Speedos – Lemmy RIP

Illustration: Word Repeats

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Lemmy touched a staggering amount of people’s lives in his 70 rock n’roll years on Planet Earth and almost all of these experiences were positive and genuine. Sure, he could be a cantankerous bastard and equally told as many people to fuck off – but they probably deserved it. He was a man of rare integrity, conviction and passion and he compromised for no one.
 
When news broke of his death the outpouring of affection was vast and overwhelming. Everyone had a story to tell, a memory to share. From punks to rockers to every aspect of alternative culture, to the mainstream who held him high as a figurehead of rock, his influence is far-reaching. But the stories keep coming back to what a gentleman he was. He always had time for people and didn’t fall into the rock star ego trap. His manager Todd Singerman recently stated: “He was one of the kindest men I’ve ever met. The proof would be to go ask his fans. He never denied someone an autograph, he bought the fans drinks instead of them buying him drinks”.

I first met Lemmy when I was ten years old at a charity football event that my father took me to. I’m pretty certain that Motörhead’s legendary frontman wasn’t kicking a ball around but he was there, I got his autograph and he patted my head. I thought he was cool as fuck. Then in my early twenties I interviewed him for Metal Hammer magazine around the time of the release of their ‘1916’ album. He turned up at the offices at 10.30am with a four pack of Special Brew, sat by my desk, drank the lot and churned out pearls of wisdom after wisdom. I was in total awe of him. I had to do the ‘single’s reviews’ and played some of the latest rock releases on a turntable by my desk for him to comment on, one of which was ‘Sliver’ by Nirvana which I was raving about. “ Yeah, I like that one”, he said. “It’s really interesting and they’re having a go at something by themselves and not just copying someone else. Good one.” It’s fair to say that drinking Special Brew and spinning vinyl with Lemmy on a week day morning is a memory I’ll cherish.

Ph: “Despite my appearance, believe me, I am a gentleman”

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My wife has a fantastic Lemmy story that I want to share. Her and a friend were nearing the end of a US road trip in the early 90s, ending up in LA. They were staying at a rough motel at the wrong end of Sunset Boulevard and a gang had tried to break into their room the previous night, so they were scared to return. They were at The Rainbow and started drinking with Lemmy who was famously a regular, and told him their story. He showed concern at two young vulnerable girls with little money and invited them back to his apartment rather than return to the motel late at night. They agreed with some trepidation given Lemmy’s reputation with the ladies, but his behaviour was entirely chivalrous. They spent a fun-filled 2 days hanging out in his apartment, drinking endless bourbon and cokes being regaled with debauched stories from a life of hell-raising. He played them new tracks which were to feature on ‘Bastards’, the album he was working on at the time, allowed them to nose through his collection of Nazi memorabilia whilst he sunbathed in bright pink speedos, and (at their direction) posed for some hilariously inappropriate souvenir polaroids. 
 
The stories go on and on. It’s been heartbreaking over the last year to see Lemmy looking so frail and ill. We all wanted him to live forever. If Lemmy is around still, then all is well with the world. When they played Hyde Park in 2014 with Black Sabbath, Lemmy really struggled and they weren’t on good form. It was so sad to witness. But then a few months later Motorhead played at Wembley Arena with The Damned and they were back to full power and awesome again. That night they were incredible. The greatest rock n’roll band of all time, one more time.

Ph: Rummaging through Lemmy’s dressing-up box



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Slash declared “People who live, sleep and breathe rock n’roll, the lifestyle and the attitude. There’s only a handful of guys who are still alive who represent that. And Lemmy represents that to me.”
 And now he’s gone, taking the loudest band in the world with him. My absolute hero. A benchmark in integrity and passion, principled, opinionated and unapologetic, “I don’t regret much. Fuck ’em.” We will never see his like again. A true rock n’roll warrior. Rest in noise Lemmy.

Words: James Sherry

NOTE: It’s well known that Lemmy collected Nazi regalia but essentially he was more an anarchist than a fascist. Worth noting that both women in these polaroid photos do not support Nazi fantasies.

Ali Boulala – Epicly Later’d

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The history books will tell you how much of a legend Ali Boulala is in skateboarding. Despite his fight with all sorts of vice’s he will go down in history as one of the best skateboarders to ever grace the scene. Today, Vice have Epicly Later’d his incredible life story across 4 episodes. It’s heavy stuff, as you’d expect. Heartfelt, bonkers and every other adjective in between. Get those teas on.

We have interviewed Ali twice over the years. The first in 2005, the second in 2006. Discover them, re-read them – there’s only one Ali Boulala.

Part 1.

Part 2.

Part 3.

Part 4.

Van Wastell Krooked Kronichles Unreleased Rough Edit

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RIP Van Wastell. Enjoy this footage from his Brother’s account today, a previously unreleased Krooked Kronichles edit:

“Here is the original idea of what my brother Van Wastell’s Krooked Kronichles part was going to be. Me and Van got done recording our song for the DVD and then went to Dan Vellucci’s pad right away with the master copy. Dan Vellucci mocked up a part right away with all this footage of what it was going to look like, but then the final decision from DLX was Cheech and Chong instead.” – Eddie Villa

Steve Schneer RIP

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80s skate legend Steve Schneer unfortunately passed away yesterday. Schneer was a unique entertainer who loved a crowd and had an urge to seek fun. He often stole the show skating barefoot on vert and was famed for the invention of the Ho Ho Plant where his ridiculous gymnastic skills would bring a perfect handstand to the coping that he would stall for as long as he could. He also claimed in a TV interview to invent the frontside handplant in 1978 as seen below, and invented the ‘Beave Air’, but his one-foot rock and rolls, again, one of his own tricks, were class.

I remember seeing him skate at Southsea here in the United Kingdom back in 1990 at a comp where he took the honours all day long. (Footage below) The guy was a machine, a unique ripper whose gnarly skateboarding made that day memorable for so many reasons. He was unstoppable as he ripped that classic blue vert ramp and went out of his way to steal the show. I met him on the day and to be honest he scared the crap out of me, but in a very excitable way. I was a skate rat, eager to get in the middle of a jam to get the most out of the energy they created and his presence was absolutely massive.

Here’s a few words from various friends looking back at Steve’s amazing life:

NEIL DANNS: “The one thing that stood out was his high energy. He was always pushing himself to do better and he did some of the best inverts I have ever seen. He will be missed by many.”

STEVE DOUGLAS: “I’m not sure when I met Steve for the first time- probably 1986, but it’s safe to say I probably heard him before I saw him. Steve was loud and was one of those guys that you would want to skate with he would make the session better, louder, more intense and more fun. What I remember about him was that he was always smiling always stoked and always ready for good times, all the time. He loved his partying and was also a tough bastard, a lad you want on your side and of course he was, he was a skateboarder. I feel proud that I met him and I could call him a friend.

Steve will be missed, but for the people that did not know him he lived his life at 100mph and he made his days count. He will not be forgotten. The last time I saw Steve was May 2012, he came over to see me at the IASC conference. He had been over at Vans and he heard I was there and came over to see me before he left for home, as we had not seen each other for years. He really made my day and I appreciated that he made the effort. It was so good to see him, he looked great and his passion and smiles were as I remembered.

You will be missed Steve. Skateboarding has had many truly colorful characters and he was one of the best. Gutted, but he will never be forgotten, and I’ll never forget that last meeting and all the fun times, and for those – THANKS.”

RODGA HARVEY remembers: “Steve drinking very heavy on Stella (beer) the night before the Southsea comp. He skated butt-naked next day. Classic.”

SHANE O’BRIEN: “I remember many occasions with Steve Schneer state-side. One time at the Arizona “88” NSA comp weekend, Steve was in competition with his other team mates to live on as little amount of money $ as possible per day. He won and got it down to 31 cents per 24 hrs and won a bonus payment from his team captain! For pure shock value he would run and jump off the hotel roof into the swimming pool making sure normal hotel guests were present pool-side. “SPLASH” – you know ha ha! Just to top it off for the weekend, Steve would do bare-foot frontside ollie handrails into the pool whilst it was full of hotel guests. Did he care? Answers on a post card please!!! Steve was always a character who did his own thing and that’s what he will be remembered for. It’s a SAD loss but he made his mark in World Skateboarding History.”

DON BROWN: “I didn’t know Steve super well but got to hang with him around the contests in the 80’s. It was guaranteed that when Steve was around good times were right there with him!! I always remember stumbling drunk into the hotel lobby at a Munster contest. As I walked through the door it was pure mayhem. Steve and Gator were both naked and wrestling the hotel manager! (who was 6’5″ and built like a train!) To most, this would seem weird to me but it seemed like a normal occurrence when those two got together! RIP Steve. I know for a fact that wherever you are now you are pushing the limits of yourself and everyone around you!”

Our thoughts go out to all his family, his friends and everyone who shared the good times skating sessions with him or watching him skate all over the world. RIP Steve Schneer

Almost Impact Tour at BaySixty6

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Only the brave tour Europe in January but the Almost Skateboards team didn’t flinch when asked to hit the road across various countries that started in Berlin and ended here in London at the BaySixty6 skate park. It was not the easiest tour to be on. An hour before the team were scheduled to drop a demo at the Skatehalle in Berlin, news of Lewis Marnell’s rumoured passing had reached Chris Haslam, Youness Amrani, Daryl Dominguez and Willow who threw themselves into this tour the best way they could knowing they had just lost a brother.

The UK was absolutely freezing and by far the coldest day of the year but on arrival, London’s faithful were there ready and waiting for them despite news that the scheduled demo had been cancelled. Almost UK rider Daryl Dominguez and Bay shredder Kyron McGrath-Davis joined in with the fun to skate the Double Impact comp and like lemmings, those who couldn’t land tricks felt the cold, hard concrete across the small stair set and rail and the big 5 stair set and rail until a winner was announced. Best trick overall went to Nai Sukanant with a switch hardflip down the big five and he took it well.

Click play for short interviews with Daryl Dominguez and Chris Haslam on the night and grab yourself an Almost package in this month’s competition.

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Watch the highlights of the skating from the night from Tom Drake & Harry Garcia:

Watch the Almost Berlin demo at Skatehalle here:

Almost Demo – Skatehalle Berlin from skatehalle berlin on Vimeo.