Ozzie Ausband

Bones Brigade

Van Nuys. Lunchtime. Red brick buildings. Production assistants. Craft services.  A film set. It was all here. Stacy greeted me with a smile- his long hair hanging in his face. He was holding a bowl of chicken, rice & vegetables. He wore faded jeans & scruffiness. He looked like he hadn’t slept in awhile and quickly admitted that he was on a heavy deadline. In between mouthfuls of lunch, he gave me a hug & we caught up on things. Stacy pointed to a thick black curtain. ” Go on in. Skip Engblom is just finishing.” I nodded at Stacy & slipped inside. The aluminum girders & rigging on the set, framed the skateboard collection of Dale Smith & Todd Huber. I saw a Hobie Weaver Woody & smiled. Animal Chin stared out from a ‘Have You Seen Him’ poster. A TV hissed snow & static into the room. I peered about. Skateboards, trucks & wheels bled from the walls. Every era, everything, everyone. A day-glow yellow Powell-Peralta Double Beamer hung above my head. Perfection. I ran a hand over its edges & thought of Alan Gelfand. Jim Goodrich image- 1979. Timeless style.

A half-dismantled car sat askew in a corner with a skateboard sticking out of its windshield. It reminded me of the first street contests in the early 1980s. Lance & Steve Steadham ate lunch with the others. I walked through the set while everyone was out. There were old trophies on the walls. One dust covered trophy had an inscription. ‘Rusty Harris Pro-Am,  Skatepark Paramount. Most 360s- 3rd place’. Another- 1979 Skateboarder Poll- ‘Coach of the Year.’  It was awesome! After the interviews started again, I noticed a timelessness slip over me. My lifetime beliefs & everything I am,  comes directly from what I was seeing & hearing. I felt like I was 12 years old again. Alan Gelfand came in & smiled. He sat next to me. I was happy. I skated with him at Cherry Hill in 1979. Ray Barbee & Lance took photographs as Mike McGill took the hot seat.

Mike talked about his start & reason for choosing skateboarding. He spoke of his feeling of isolation in Florida. Peering at the floor, Mike explained,  “I felt like an outsider from day one.  Once parks closed though, I never thought of quitting. Skating was just what I did. We had a relationship within the Bones Brigade & that always gave me something to look forward to.” He built ramps & persevered.  Mike talked about the feeling of being on the Bones Brigade. “It was the best!  I had to do well in competitions even though I didn’t like them. I stressed. I even threw up behind the ramps sometimes.” Stacy reminded Mike that Tony Hawk –in his interview–had spoke about the need for doing well in contests back then. Tony said that this was the only way to really succeed because videos were not yet available. Mike stated that he tried very hard & learned the ‘McTwist’ so he wouldn’t drift away & lose his dream. “I had to invent a trick. I had to become known for bringing something new.” Mike then spoke of learning the ‘McTwist’ & its subsequent impact. He ended by stating that, “Stacy was the glue that held us together. Without him, we wouldn’t have been what we are.”

Mike McGill’s interview was stellar & insightful. The room took a break. Group photographs were taken. I sat & scribbled away. Lance was next. I looked around. Craig Stecyk was there along with a host of notables. The room grew quiet as Stacy & Lance reviewed a few things together. “Quiet. Rolling.” Lance began by talking about his early start & reason for choosing skateboarding. For Lance, the ‘movement’ of skating is what did it for him. He said that, “I was miserable at everything I tried…  until I skated.” He spoke of being very magazine image-driven. ” I loved the style & photographs. I liked the romantic idea of skateboarding.” Stacy asked very good questions & Lance spoke on his history within the Bones Brigade. Lance stated that he felt like he didn’t belong. “Once I was on the Bones Brigade, I felt like I had to prove something. I was on a team made up of the best. Prodigies. I needed to win a contest & prove that I had a right to be there.” Lance went on to become one of the most popular riders. Stacy reminded him of this & his place in the Bones Brigade.

Lance spoke of his desire to do well & be an influence. He wanted to help others love skateboarding like he did.  The interview grew serious & personal. Jealousies, grudges & travel stories were told. Everyone was moved & affected by the truth & heartfelt emotions brought into the interview. Lances words & honesty reminded us exactly why he is so admired by skaters worldwide. It was a great day & I feel blessed to have been included. I am looking forward to the finished product. We can be assured that it will be an awesome film. It will be a testament to the most influential team of skateboarders in the world. Thank you to Stacy Peralta, Lance Mountain & the others there today. Thanks to Jim Goodrich for the images. Skate- Ozzie


The Bones Brigade film is completed. I was at the private screening on December 23rd and it is an amazing look into the life and times of some of skateboarding’s finest talent and unique personalities. Stacy is taking the film to the Sundance Film Festival and it will probably be premiering in March. It is undoubtedly a ‘must see’. Skate- Ozzie