Saturday night was the opening of the California Locos art show, and it really was a party that will be remembered for years to come, as promised. You could feel the excitement in the air as people lined up on the Boardwalk in front of Juice Magazine headquarters to get their wristbands. There was a red carpet backdrop hung up, and people took shots in front of it as they waited and made friends in line.
The Rose Room was the location for the art opening, and let me tell you something, it looked great. I was so excited to see all the art and meet all the guys, as I'd talked to most of the Locos previously to interview them about the show. My brother, Paul, installed the art for the show, and I must say, really did a spectacular job.
The centerpiece of the room was the display of Duster Skateboards designed for each of the Cali Locos, and they created a kind of Rage Against The Machine Battle Of Los Angeles spray paint backdrop for them. It looked RAD, as did each of the wonderfully unique boards (complete with bottle openers on each).
It was a true pleasure to meet and befriend the artists and movers and shakers behind this show, and we were all fast friends upon hello. Everyone was in a high-flying mood, as this is the kind of jam everyone in Venice lives for ... skate, surf, art, music, fun, friends ... it's really what it's all about.
The place was jam packed by 8 pm, with fans and friends queuing up to take pictures and have a quick chat with the guys. I spoke to Loco, Dave Tourjé, about it all, and you could just tell how happy they all were with everything. Tourjé gave me a little insight on his supercool art, showing me how each of them are actually self-portraits, with little glimpses into his life mixed in the multi-media pieces. I loved each and every one.
The party was so fun because you knew practically everyone there, and if you didn't, you wanted to. I caught up with a slew of friends, and indeed, added a few new ones to the roster. As the place filled up even more (and got hotter and hotter in there), it was the perfect time to show a couple of short films, one about the Locos, and one on the life of John Van Hamersveld, produced by Tourjé. It was like when you watch surf and skate films in a theater and the whole place hoots and hollers at the cool parts (Jeff Ho, in attendance, got the loudest shouts). It was super high energy, and the whole place was having a blast.
From there, it just got cooler (and hotter). Tourjé's band, Los Savages, started up in the Rose Room and led a kind of second line down the Boardwalk to take the stage on the Juice balcony. It was so fun to process down the Boardwalk, with tourists and passersby being taken by surprise and delight to have such an excellent Venice moment going by. Inside Juice was the VIP area, that also featured a solo show of all the awesome skate photography by Juice's Dan Levy. Oh, AND they had Porto's pastries! Yeah.
As Los Savages ruled it from the balcony, Loco Norton Wisdom did his live painting along to the music down below on the Boardwalk to an ever-growing crowd. It's so cool to watch him do his thing live, and also so inspirational. As one song and painting finishes, Wisdom wipes it all away and goes on to another one. It's a good lesson for living in the moment, and all of us certainly were.
It was one of those nights when you're fully aware of how great it is, as it's happening. Like, people kept saying over and over, "Isn't this awesome?" "Isn't this great?!" "What a totally Venice night!" There really was nothing but stoke going on.
L.A. art and music legend, Llyn Foulkes, was there to jam with the band, and I even got to help him carry his amp. He played along with Los Savages on a little old-timey sounding horn thing, and everyone just loved it, and once again were all aware of the greatness before us as it was happening.
Time flew by, and before you knew it, the clock struck midnight and the party was over ... but the magic was not. Numbers and hugs were exchanged, and heartfelt congratulations were given all around for truly one of the best Venice nights in a long time. It was so good in fact, that we had to keep it going, and danced on tables on the Boardwalk until hunger set in and folks drifted off to do something about it. The walk home had an extra spring in the step on this night, because just WOW.
Thank you to all the Cali Locos, to Dusters Skateboards, and to Juice Magazine for one of the best times ever! Cheers!
*California Locos is on display at The Rose Room until this July 1st, then it's on to Virginia Beach! And it's a must see.