Alan Glass 5000 Words

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Alan Glass Portrait by Chris Johnson

Alain de Glasses, where to start. I first met Alan probably about 18 years ago maybe, and first spent a good chunk of time with him on a tour he orchestrated with a really varied bunch of UK skaters travelling round the country in the depths of winter visiting indoor skateparks, and the result (“no war for heavy metal”) was shown on Channel 4 at about 2 in the morning. Alan then went on to film a lot with the Heroin/Landscape crews at the time, and being good friends with Fos and the Slam connection also, we got to hang out all the time. In my life I’ve met loads of friends through skating, and there’s a few that I really share a common bond with but mainly find them really funny. Alan is one of those people – I find him really funny, I make him laugh and he certainly makes me laugh. if I could have Toddy, Fos, John McGuire, Shier and Alan on a banter/lols speed dial 24/7 I would. Alan is a kind soul, a great dad and husband, and should have his own TV show. I love you big Al .. “come now Alan!”. -Seth Curtis

This was shot on one of those 4 frame sequence cameras that were all the rage whenever that was, 2001-ish? I used them in the 2nd Heroin video by animating the 4 frames together to make rudimentary motion clips. I wish I was that creative now. This would be when Joey Pressey was still called Joey Crack, a nickname he later dropped. Pin used to be up in London from Cornwall a lot in those days and I remember one time him walking into Slam unannounced and being asked what he was doing in town this time. He said he needed some socks and Marks and Spencer’s were the best to which Pulman replied “Pin, the nearest M&S to Penzance can’t be Covent Garden!!”

I was travelling around the southern states of the U.S. for a month in 2002 and ended up crashing with some skaters in Lafayette, Louisiana for about 10 days. We skated every day and partied at night, they took me to New Orleans and we did the same there too. It was only after several days of this that I realised one of them was ex-G&S pro Shannon May. Before that became apparent he was just a dude called Shannon who I was hanging out with. Ever see the G&S vid Winona Ryders? He was rad in that. He’s the one laughing in the photo, he’s a rad guy and I’ve just recently found him on instagram. The other dude in the photo was called Jason and we shared the front room in the skate house I was staying at. He was one of the sketchiest dudes I’d ever met at that time – I think he was in a gang and had some gnarly branding on his arm that meant something gang-related and he always wore this bit of rubber inner-tube as a headband, don’t ask me why. Anyway, the only thing he cared to understand about where I came from was that it was sort of near London so he used that as my nickname. He’d come home in the middle of the night and wake me up with stuff like “Yo London! Wake up and drink a 40 with me fool!” One night he brought home some toothless woman from a bar and had sex with her on the couch right next to me. I imagine he’s in jail or worse right now, I hope not – I actually liked him despite his scary lifestyle.

This was taken during the tour I put together with Cattle and Tom from the Viewfinder video days. I’m not sure where Ben Powell was but he was missing from the crew. I was approached by a production company to make “a documentary about skateboarding” and given a budget to put one together. I didn’t know what to do so I invited a bunch of skaters I knew (and some I didn’t) to jump in a van and drive round the UK for a week to see what we could do. It was December so we only got to skate indoor parks but it was unique because we had riders from Blueprint, Death and Unabomber all mixed in together, which wouldn’t have happened much in those days. In the photo you can see Nick Zorlac, John Rattray and Harry with Joel and Seth Curtis in the background. I think they’re watching Flynn Trotman get told off by the police somewhere in Wales.

This was a typical scene out the front of Radlands, the long since closed and beloved skatepark in Northampton. Chris Ince was the best dude on the planet in those days and performed his job of park owner and embarrassing Dad absolutely perfectly. We’d just finished a Vans UK team tour when this was taken and Channer and Toddy were egging Chris on to do something daft no doubt. I love Wig cracking up to the side.

I didn’t actually take these photos but they’re from the first Side Effects of Urethane exhibition in London in the early noughties. I think the show might have had some sort of camera sponsor as I remember these photos being printed out and left around the venue for people to take. In the one on the left Fos performs some sort of Fos-trick whilst I filmed in some of the worst Circas available at the time – I was sample size and Fos used to sort me out with all the weird space boots they made. I was grateful, honestly. The one on the right is of Bobby Puleo going round the corner wall ride. It was after the show one night when Seth, Tamsin, Bobby and myself went to skate the drained fountains out the front of Buckingham Palace and we got shut down by 3 van loads of police. One of the coppers was young and really enthusiastic and paced around the empty fountains stroking his chin before proclaiming “I’m no detective but… THESE look like skateboarding marks!” One of the older cops looked at us and rolled his eyes ha ha! I think he’d had enough of the young guy’s attempts make his mark that day. They let us go with a caution.

Big thanks to Alan Glass for sending us this one and to Seth Curtis for the intro