Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Message from the boss

For the optimists and pessimists amongst us..

"Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man." ~Benjamin Franklin

"An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves." ~Bill Vaughan

"New Year's Day: Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual." ~Mark Twain

"He who breaks a resolution is a weakling;
He who makes one is a fool."
~F.M. Knowles

“New Year's Day is every man's birthday.”-Charles Lamb

Hope you all have a good time out there tonight. I heard from a reliable source that 2009 is going to be smashing.

Tuesday, 30 December 2008


..came in the other day and received his Christmas gifts. Here's the happy chap along with a likeness courtesy of Rob..

Another welcome visitor joined us today..

Stella flew around the shop and enjoyed someone's discarded board. She almost stayed still enough for this photo, almost. Both are out of focus actually, part of their charm. I saw this last night..

and I recommend you do the same. Inspiring stuff.

Sunday, 28 December 2008

“The palest ink is better than the sharpest memory”

The reason for that Chinese proverb is that my Christmas ink is starting to itch a little..

The first time you get scarred you may as well opt for a full sleeve.It went down well at the heavy metal club I went to with Nugget last night. Years ago Lev introduced a red card to the shop. The back of it said red card for jockeys. The premise being that if someone was a complete jockey and nausing you up you could just show them the red card instead of issuing a "get out". Rob got a ref kit with his official Chelsea kids pack this Christmas. Become acquainted with these images, they'll pop up when we think things are questionable or completely fired. The warning..

and the "GET OUT!"

Saturday, 27 December 2008

New Year Opening Times

In case of any confusion when you're planning your shopping trips to the big smoke these are the opening times for the coming days until normal service resumes;

Sunday 28th- 12 till 5
Monday 29th- 11 till 7
Tuesday 30th-11 till 7
Wednesday 31st- 11 till 5

After this the normal Monday to Saturday opening will be in place from 11 to 7 with Sunday opening being 12 till 5.

The Boxing Day skate

All went according to plan and the boxing day assault on Bromley town centre took place. Clan members from further afield joined us. Charlie, Rob, Hops, Cliff and little Joe all made the pilgrimage to the Churchill banks. A healthy crew made it out. Here's a photo courtesy of Andy May..

After the bank session we visited another bank, a bigger one. Good work by Nathan for getting everybody out. To see more pictures and some footage including me falling off a lot visit Hops' blog and look at his boxing day post here..

Claire Alleaume just dropped in the first issue of her zine Peppermint...

I'm sure if you mailed you could get your hands on one too. I liked the pictures but the words were all in French so I could only understand three in twenty. Imagine how good your Christmas would have been if you were to open this..

This blast from the past has been lurking inside the Alley cam for over a week now. I waited till after Christmas to show you because apparently the recipient is a reader of all things Slam and I didn't want to blow up his gift. Check it out..

Many set ups have left the shop this Christmas. A grip have left us today but I think this one is a favourite. Trust your Christmas holidays have been good and that you got in or get in a shred before the New Year

Thursday, 25 December 2008

The Gracious Address

That's formally what the Queen's speech is called. I think I've gone and missed Lizzy's message to the nation this year. I made my mind up a week ago to have a Jake's Alley substitute for the Queen's speech. I don't think i'm in any position to offer life lessons or advice. I figured what I could do is share a story with you. Those who know me well would have heard this one for sure. For those who haven't, it's quite special. The reason I felt to tell this tale was that it occurred a year ago last week. I imagined it had been aired on the Alley already as stories of this calibre are few and far between. This assumption hadn't taken into account the fact that the Alley didn't exist at that time. The first birthday will be in February. Join me on a cold December night just over a year ago...
I can't remember where we'd been but wherever it was it required a night bus home. I was with Benji. Getting home on the night bus for me means getting off the bus on a hill about fifteen minutes walk away. Having done that you need to walk down a never ending road. I have felt like lying down in a front garden and giving up the ghost numerous times. First stop for us having left the bus was to visit an open all hours garage on the hill. In retrospect this may have been our first mistake. The garage stopped letting people in after twelve quite a while back. We ordered through the hatch. What is the obvious choice at four in the morning when it's frosty outside? Slush Puppies! That machine rotating away in the middle of the garage used to get me every time. Blue and red. A raspberry and strawberry mix is what we both opted for. Slush in hand we went about tackling my least favourite local road.
Shivering whilst trying not to drain too much flavour at one time we made slow progress. Crossing one street I spied a car light and clocked that it was the federalis straight away. They were faced the other way. To get to us they would have to drive a block backwards and double back onto the road we were on. I knew somehow that this was just what they were going to do. "We're getting pulled over Benji" I remember saying. Sure enough that car swerved up next to us and the riot that is being stopped and searched ensued. It has happened more than a few times in the last ten years. Usually I am minutes away from my house. Every time I'm informed of there being reports of burglaries in the area and me fitting the bill. I suppose maybe I did. Alive, walking on two legs, in the area, two blocks away from my house. I swear it was the Slush Puppie. Weirdo with a Slush Puppie on the coldest night of the year=cat burglar. Benji and myself enjoyed a serious investigation that cold night.
You already know the drill. First question is your name and the next where you live. Having said round the corner I think that should really be the last question but this wasn't to be the case. The officer quizzing me was amicable enough, I think Benji was having a harder time of it. Having dispensed with the getting to know each other stuff the inevitable hands up pocket search was to come.
How old the jacket I'm wearing dictates how much refuse lines the pockets. On this particular night it was an old one. He had a good time filtering through old receipts, tissues, empty chewing gum wrappers, filter tips and stop and searchers find of choice-rizlas. Smoking is not big or clever kids but I do happen to smoke at this point in my life and choose to roll my own. Slush Puppie, Rizlas. They had pinned us already as Cheech and Chong on the hunt for swag. As always my bus pass wallet got a going over, I don't throw much away. Rob once filled a whole canvas with my wallets contents. I stood and watched travelcards at least two years old being sifted through. I should really have a clear out. We stood there for a long time just minutes from our houses. A combination of the iced drink and the Baltic conditions made me begin shivering. I asked when we could go home. We were told that very soon we'd be on our way. The whole thing began coming to a close. We would have been there for more than ten minutes.
The officer searching me said that he was done and I made a step to my left in the direction of home. "One minute" he said and stopped me in my tracks. He'd spied something by my feet. Reaching into his utility belt he pulled out a torch and flashed it quickly on the ground. I hadn't looked down, on a scale of one to over it I was already in bed and had nothing to hide. He gave me a knowing look in the eye and bent down to pick up whatever lay between my feet. The look into my eyes said I've got you now. I glanced at what was in his hand, it was brown and not very big. He thought this was some Cheech and Chong contraband obviously. The Rizlas, the drink choice. The puzzle pieces were aligning in my officers mind. I watched him take the Walnut sized brown lump in his hand and look at it suspiciously. He then held it between thumb and forefinger and gave it a rub.
This he didn't need to do. My mistake was the Slush Puppie, his was the rub. He had broken the seal on and I judge by the colour here a fresh, day old nugget of dog dobbies. I watched him bend towards it to take a sniff. I couldn't believe what was happening, it was funnier than Superbad and real. As soon as I had figured out what was happening I made sure I couldn't see Benji at all, I would be unable to hold it down. The look of repulsion in his face as the contraband hit the floor along with a little mini gag was film worthy too. I was concentrating really hard on the floor, every part of me was singing. He turned to the other officer and said "have you got a wet wipe?" This killed me even more. I asked if we could leave again and was told that we could, the clean up was now top priority. We got to a couple of cars away and pretty much howled with laughter the whole way home. I just heard from Benji that the night in question was our first ever Slam City/+1 night at the Macbeth so it makes the tale so much better. Our one year anniversary.
I thought I'd share that little Chrimbo story with you, it's a funny one. Enjoy your holidays.

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

"Let off some steam Bennett!"

We all let off some serious steam last night at the Macbeth Slam/+1 Christmas party last night. Fun and raucous bromance filled the air. Today it's been full steam ahead on the sales front with not a moment to think hence this minimal post. Don't let that shopping get you down

Monday, 22 December 2008

"Thanks for the Christmas card you sent me, Violet"

"I didn't send you a Christmas card, Charlie Brown"-Violet
"Don't you know sarcasm when you hear it?"-Charlie Brown

I've never sold so many set-ups and nick nacks in my life. Wax, mugs, money melons, beanies are all zooming out of that door. If you have computer time free which I imagine you do as you're reading this be sure to keep up with what Massey has been doing with himself of late and in filming days of yester year..

Richer sounds have won out with a good slogan bag we spotted in here..

I feel a Slam City Skates slogan bag is waiting in the wings. If you're no mug I'll be seeing you here later on..

Ho ho ho

Sunday, 21 December 2008

"Christmas is doing a little something extra for someone"

That's what my main man Charles Schulz said. A few people have done a little something extra for us this year. Here are our Christmas cards so far..

There's one from Toby Patterson and a nice one from Anne and Pete. This one we had hand delivered yesterday..

Along with gifts..

From who? Your friend and ours..

Thank you Graham. Christmas wouldn't be the same without an automated voice asking about the January Thrasher. Whilst looking for something else I unearthed a card from a Christmas past. It was way back when. NDUK had been nick named the deathstar. Just like Dante and Randal's conversation about independent contractors in Clerks good people were onboard that space station. Embracing the nick name this card was received..

Here are the innards..

The man who penned the signature on the top right was spotted on X Factor in a Suburban Bliss Miles Davis shirt. Have a look..

Finally to encourage more post at Alley headquarters here's an overview of Postcards we've kept over the years which weren't culled at any point..

Mail makes our day. Enjoy your weekend

Saturday, 20 December 2008

"From a commercial point of view..

.. if Christmas did not exist it would be necessary to invent it" ~Katharine Whitehorn
First day back and it's all go in here. Gareth has been in here today holding the fort and keeping an eye out..

The first thing to greet me in my inbox was a Jayo and Rob joint effort..

Good work. Jackson pictured there slaving away to bring you all that new stock live on the store. Some items can't be brought to you there though. Huf items have always been in store only so I'm bringing new stuff to your attention here. The button up hoods we've had in before flew straight out. We have re-licked the grey and the black..

The shawl collar fleece was a nice piece too. Finished in the same heavy knit we received more but only in black..

The moleskin hats proved popular too. The green and burgundy re-lick..

Finally there is a new varsity jacket..

This was a firm favourite with Mr Skewis. We couldn't get it off him..

Easiest photo shoot I've ever had a hand in, the camera loves him..

The right honourable Tom Richardson passed by on his way to involve himself with the madness of yuletide consumerism. The photo shoot ended here..

Beautiful lighting but fearing I was no longer in control of my model I retired the alley cam. One last scoop I have for you before I sign off is this dvd..

We're the only store to have this in the U.K right now. It's £29.95. The two discs include the episdes with Dustin Dollin, Jason Dill, Kevin Long, Heath Kirchart, Mark Gonzales, Christian Hosoi, Andrew Reynolds, Jerry Hsu, Jim Greco and more. It also contains the entire Wild Ride series and exclusive bonus episodes which feature Lizard King, Bryan Herman and Beagle. Pick one of these up as there aren't many left. Finally flared and the Stereo box set should be on your Christmas list too. Last shopping Saturday before Christmas, make the most of it

Friday, 19 December 2008

"Rest is not idleness..

.. and to lie sometimes on the grass under the trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time”-John Lubbock
Little lying beneath the trees took place on my recent trip but from one vantage point a good deal of cloud watching took place. I have returned completely rested. Activities we enjoyed included swimming, snooker, ten pin bowling, mini golf, the third series of Partridge. You get the idea. A majority of time was spent in the spa which has a pool and nine different steam rooms. The last swim was enjoyed late this afternoon. We were evacuating this outdoor salt pool when I noticed a young boy with goggles on making a beeline for me from across the other side of the pool. I instantly did the kung fu leg cross, this is when you cross one of your thighs high above the other. One thing i've learnt is that if a child is swimming anywhere within a 5m radius of yourself-you're getting kicked in the nuts. The kid came straight for me, grabbed me by the shoulder and pulled himself out of the water. The look of shock on his face when he saw that I wasn't his dad could have been in Jaws. He swam off shrieking to his mother and I exited the pool quite amused. Thought I'd share that with you and as a tip of the hat to my Charlie and Toddy inspired dvd accompaniment on the trip-"what a funny story"

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

“Writing is a sweet, wonderful reward”

Franz Kafka said that and it's true. What got me thinking about sweet wonderful rewards was the confectionery outlet where i'm staying. It houses a new take on jelly beans..

Everyone knows that the jelly belly ones are the best but second best are the ones from the jelly bean factory. These they have here, this is nothing new to me but you get to choose flavours at this shop which is amazing. Usually I'd opt for an assorted pack and root through for the odd few I like only to have the good flavours neutered a second later by a rogue pina colada piece. There are tubes here and you twist the desired amount into your tub. This meant I got all the green apple and cinnamon I desired without fear of what may follow. Top notch. Thought I'd keep you in the loop. Have to wake up for a massage. See you soon

Monday, 15 December 2008

Fingers to the bone

I'm missing three days of a very similar work ethic this week but will make up for it upon my return. Yes I have wi-fi and I have seen a deer and a rabbit already. Looks like the alley can survive on tour

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Hacksaw Jim Duggan

Many moons ago we received a shipment of Tiffany dunks. There was a huge furor surrounding these, a queue out the door, one in one out business. Only one pair was to be sold to each customer and I remember it being a Saturday. We were shipped a rogue shoe, it arrived solo without a partner. Unsure as to what to do with it and at the height of phone calls beginning without a hello (Often "tiffany dunk" was just blurted into the mouthpiece) Jackson made an executive decision. The shoe that had pained him thus far received a make over from a junior hacksaw hence todays title. This often commented upon item hangs above me while I type..

Why am I telling you this? Hoppy found a penny in the changing room and threw it at me. Luigi picked it up and began tossing it in the air. He did this a few times in a row, the fourth time the coin didn't come back down. Confused he looked up and deducted that it was lodged in the Tiffany dunk. It's all go in here as you can tell. What else can I tell you? A young boy was in with his mother and left disgruntled when no skateboard was purchased. "Do you want a sticker?" I asked thinking that might cheer him up. All I got back was a "No!" I guess some people know what they want. Tomorrow I am taking a break with my brother and family. I'm going here..

Yep you guessed it, Center Parcs. I intend to spend most of my time in here..

Steam rooms, swimming and a couple of good books. The alley is on tour so any updates next week will be sporadic or non existent. Normal service will resume next weekend so I'll greet the blog fresh faced for the Christmas rush then. Have a good week.

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Fair notice

You have a week to polish those dancing shoes/mosh pit stompers. Another Slam City Skates/+1 mag party is organised for you and ready to kick off at the Macbeth..

Somehow this is the 10th one! it's the first (and only) year
anniversary, it's Christmas related AND it's Leon's Birthday. Howard
Cooke's band are playing again, Dan Cates' band are playing and someone
else that Hoppy knows is playing... wow.

Monday 22nd December. Check the bands out here..


Cold Ones-

Day Release-



Jackson and Hops

Free Entry

8 - Late

That's more than a weeks notice, no excuses. See you in the pit

Friday, 12 December 2008

Initial reaction

We have some good news for you this weekend. New Stereo boards are in including three Olly Todd boards..

Also amongst this order was our box of Stereo boxsets..

I'll give you a little guided tour of the box..

It's a good thing and for that reason it won't be around for very long, they're flying out the door so make sure to snap one up while they're here. Toddy's box came with some added treats from the Thrasher office. Have a look at these Slap's..

Switch crook fest. The Keenan cover is sick. The back covers feature relevant ads..

This picture of Rueben has been here as long as me. It's getting more and more ravaged so I thought I'd immortalise it before anything happens to it...

Just before I fell asleep last night Jonny L dropped me around this jacket from the kind folk at Kingpin and also from the kind folk at Carhartt. I'm stoked on it..

Before I leave you to do as you will with your weekend I thought I'd share this with you. Rob brought my attention to this clip, we looked for a similar Christmas clip but to no avail. Enjoy this slightly late Halloween one instead..

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

"You two disgust me"

That's what a man said as he passed myself and Dan at Stockwell this morning-nice! The shop has begun to get busy. It looks like there will be a lot of skateboards sitting beneath trees. This credit card was found on the floor..

Celebrity plastic. I showed you the Jaynesy tech deck action on the iphone last week. This week we have footage of Massey's virtual pint..

See you in the future

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Been there, done that, read the blog

You may have followed our advice and picked up a copy of Ravenous. You may have rinsed it and still be wanting more. If the latter is the case you can follow Ravenous mastermind Martin Kennelly's movements as well as Slugger crew including granny on a new blog. Pay him a visit here...

Once you've done that you should watch this..

Sunday, 7 December 2008

The Breakfast Club

Rob and I enrolled for the first sitting this morning. There was no Mr Vernon to report to however. We reported to this guy..

That's right Mr Pizzer. Stockwell was iced out, not in a flashy way it was covered in frozen water. The only skateable area was the run up to and from the block. We snuck in a pre work Southbank skate at Stockwell basically with the two new dads Pizzer and Seth and Fos. Yes the Breakfast Club! I had a good night out on Friday. Jensen gave his most recent painting an airing on Friday..

You'll have to take my word for there being a good turn out to see his work. Alley cam was hibernating. Jagger was there, nuff said. The painting is massive! This just happened.."can I borrow a skate tool please mate?"-customer. "Yeah sure"- Luigi. Luigi took one step to the cupboard where the skate tools live, opened it, stared inside and then asked the customer.."what was it you asked for again mite?" I think he left his brain in a Halo forum today and mite isn't a mis-spelling that is how it would sound phonetically. He is currently busying himself to make up for his absent mindedness..

Martin's dvd has been selling very well. Do you own a copy? Come and get one they're a fiver..

I have watched sections but it seems like every time I go downstairs Louis' part is on. I don't mind that because it's sick, first part I watched. I've seen the Waywards part which is really good and saw Shaun Currie's bit just now for the fiirst time, also good and edited to the best track. It'll have to get a good viewing in my homestead. Come and pick up the most recent and best selling independent video in the store while it's still here. This album has been on heavy rotation on my pod of late..

Just had a Rob lunch of Lasagne and chips. This was alright but it's usually best not to have Franks on a Sunday anyway. Last night a tip off was followed and I had the best dinner ever. See you in the week