Jordan Richter Interview pt. 2
After a long break from doing the site, we finally got the lengthy conversation with Jordan Richter transcriped (Part 1 you`ll find here). Damn, that was a real dragging thing, but more than worth it.
Not much to write for the intro, you guys have been waiting for too long. Let`s get right into action.
(BTW we don`t take any blame for typo errors, because we dont give a fuck!!!!)
(BTW we don`t take any blame for typo errors, because we dont give a fuck!!!!)
Jordan Richter: So tell me about your zine.
F.F.L: Well, it used to be a paper zine and then in the late 90`s we`ve been busy doing other shit than a zine, so we stopped doing it. Like six months ago we started to do it again as an online zine.
Jordan Richter: Are you in England?
F.F.L: No, we are in Germany, but we have tight connections to the UK scene
Jordan Richter: Yeah my last name is Richter (german for judge) hahaha
F.F.L: I`ve seen you once in Germany. That was on the Münster Monster Mastership. I think that was 1994 or 1995?!
Jordan Richter: Yeah I`m interested to hear what I did during that time, cause I don`t remember most of it. It was a really unique time of my life. It was a hard time aswell and in a way I`m glad I went through it.
F.F.L: You mean: You have to fall deep to rise again?
Jordan Richter: Exactly! You know prior to that, I was with Josh Swindell and Danny Way. Josh Swindell is now doing life in jail.
F.F.L: Yeah that was the story. He was beating a guy to death. Must have been early 1993 or 1994.
Jordan Richter: I can`t recall the exact year, but a few months before this incident, I was living with Danny at the time. We all went up to the mountains and decided to take LSD. Me being the naive kid I was, took a whole lot more then everyone else and I winded up getting poisoned.
A year later it came out of me in Germany. Plus all the weired behavior, so a lot of people don`t know that I was actually poisoned by LSD and all that resulted in that odd behavior.
F.F.L: It was like a heavy LSD flashback?!
Jordan Richter: It was an extremly heavy flashback. I went really deep into myself and was confronted with things and this particular situation took me to some weired places. I remember I got into a lot of adventures caused by it and it was a very very weired experience. Unfortunatly!
F.F.L: In our online chat we covered so far the Video Days, but why you left Blind and started to ride for New Deal?
Jordan Richter: At the time I was winning some contests and I was doing fairly well and I think I got on Blind, cause of Danny put in his word. Rocco and Mark Gonzales put me on because of that. The whole time on Blind, I was just the vert dude and I didn`t really fit into the whole equation and I wasn`t the best street skater at the time either. I just brought in some value as a street skater, but on the same time lacking behind, when you look at Danny Way and Alphonso Rawls. The other guys on the team were like (sighs)… Well, I had my differences with them.
Actually in the end Rooco weeded me out. They were ready to give me the boot and I was just 16 by the time. I just turned pro a year prior to that and was enjoying the benefits of that. I don`t know if I wasen`t producing enough board sales, but Rocco was ready to boot me off. I didn`t feel motivated and I felt seperated from the rest of the team, so I started looking elswhere. Steve Douglas from New Deal hooked me up, so I started to ride for them. I can`t really recall how it went down, but I think Justin Girard helped me to get on.
F.F.L: Yeah Justin was still riding for New Deal, before he strted Mad Circle
Jordan Richter: I was living with Justin, I really think he was the one who hooked me up.
None of those team managers: Steve Douglas, Steve Rocco had no idea how to deal with kids. Take any team-or company manager from that time. They were very irresponsible. They were never concerned that we were going through anything and instead of helping us out of our problems or trying to figure out what this kids issue is, they wrote them off.
You have people like Jeff Phillips (pro skater from the 80`s who commited suicide) who were devasted by the industries irresponibility. There was no one who understood the struggles of kids or people.
I`m thankful that I came through it, eventhough I missed out a lot, but I`m skating again and I feel way better and I`m 37. I`m still thankful to Danny for hooking me up with Blind, eventhough Danny himself became a completely different person as he used to be back then, but he helped me out a lot and I have total respect for him.
I ride now for a company called Green Issue, which is a small company. It`s mostly tranny riders like Owen Nieder, Paul Wisniewski, Jed Fuller etc. We are like a tight family and it`s cool!
F.F.L: Well, so what happened when you vanished from New Deal?
Jordan Richter: Man this is really hard to remember. So after I got from Germany it took me almost five years to recover from this LSD flashback. Long story short I went to Germany, came back and I had this chemical hepatitus. I had this yellow green cake on my tonque and my whole body was greenish yellow, my equilibrium was off. I couldn`t balance or skate. I stayed a long time in a psychatric hopital. I did the whole trip.
Mostly the industry just wrote me off, cause they didn`t knew how to deal with it. I was a hard character and people didn`t know how to talk to me when I was in that state. I was really way out. I really love skateboarding, but I left it cause I was sick.
A few years later I got back into skating and started riding the company called Goodtimes, with Adam Mc Natt, Joe Pino and Peter Hewitt. Those were top notch guys, we had a really good team. I was just back skating and functioning again.
F.F.L: Goodtimes was like in the late 90`s?
Jordan Richter: Yeah it was like 98 when I disappeared from skating again. I went to the Wembley Arena for a contest and I couldn`t even function on a skateboard. I thought I could jumb on a board and take a whole vert run, but I didn`t work out to well. I didn`t feel comfortable at all. I also had a major shift in my spirituality and belife system. My identity was shakky, so I had to figure out who I was to actually feel normal and to be with my friends, rather then to be insecure.
I think sometimes you have to step back to really figure out what you really love and it`s better you do it like that, then being uncomfortable in the process.
I hope this isn`t to deep.
F.F.L: No, no totally fine. This is an Interview about you. Deep answers are good. Keep it going, it`s your history.
Jordan Richter: Cool, I appreaciate.
F.F.L: So how you made a living when you haven`t been paid for skating after Goodtimes?
Jordan Richter: I did a lot of odd jobs for a while. I drove a taxi for about seven years. Later on I landed in a job where I got training and working like an entry level engineer for AT&T and t-mobile network. I did that for seven years too and then I relocated to the bay area and opened my own buisness. I did perfume buisness and then I sold that buisness.
Now- I`m skating and teaching skateboard lessons. My main focus is on skating
F.F.L: When did you start to skate a lot again?
Jordan Richter: About a year and half ago.
F.F.L: What was the reason?
Jordan Richter: Main reason why is: That skateboarding is part of me. I can not deny. You see some people go through a spiritual journey and they think that their shit dosen`t stink. I know those people very well, cause I used to be the same arrogant, but I got this shit out of my system. I got my faults like everyone else and I do mistakes like everyone else, but you have to look for the good in people.
I really missed like skating with my friends and the art of skateboarding itself. I have the feeling that a lot of things haven`t been done yet and I still think I can contribute something to skateboarding. I`m 37 and recently I have been skating with Cab and I think, I still have a couple of strong years.
Man I missed skating, I missed my friends and I love the progression.
Now with 3 kids and a family the time is rare, so I enjoy every minute of skating.
F.F.L: You mentioned something about Simon Woodstock. What can you contribute?
Jordan Richter: I tell you one thing brother: I stepped out of skateboarding for 14 years and in that time I was around a lot of people who gave me a lot of wisedom. I guess what I see is that everyone is good in playing their role. If you are good on a skateboard, then skate. If you want to be a preacher, then become a preacher, but don’t try to mix the two together!
Don`t push an agenda behind skating. I don`t like being preached to and I don`t what he (Simon Woodstock) is mixing into skating. I talked to Simon before and he tried to convert me, but he is from a different group anyway. I never dressed up to skate. Just let the skating do the talk. Just skate you don`t have to dress like a clown and joggle balls. I can`t knock him man. I don`t wanna attack him, but I`m just saying what I think.
F.F.L: What do you think about the skate scene nowadays?
Jordan Richter: The industry, the way it is set up and the magazines, namly Thrasher in general, has carelessly kind of opted for a more (sighs)…. I mean is skateboarding: Drinking, womanizing, doing heroin? If that is skateboarding, then I ask: How do that actual apply to your buyer, when your buyer is like 8 to 14 years old?! Your customer has nothing to do with what the industry is portraying to be skateboarding. It only eludes one fact, that when Jake Phelps dies- then this will change. It`s his perverted pipe dream.
This is my own experience from being an outsider who got back in. I reduce it to one major personality guilty for skateboardings downfall and that is Jake Phelps. He is reasponsible for a lot of this bullshit, because of his carelessness he has done in Thrasher. He has taken what Rocco has done and perverted it into the maximum in print form. I really do think Thrasher has good elements, but this whole satanic vibe and other things are bad. I know people hate me for saying this, but I don`t care. I know it is true and the know it too, it`s clear.
It was different when Kevin Thatcher was around.
I had a discussion with Jake about it. This is a few months back and the discussion wasn`t the best. He was very rude. I tried to be straight forward with him, why I`m back in skating, but he didn`t care. This is not bothering me at all. It`s the contend and message Thrasher is backing. It rallys a certain aspect from the pro level, a way of certain behavior and Thrasher celebrates that certain group. Actually supporting and backing them up and basically making them the little Thrasher puppets. They set the toll for the rest of the industry. Thrasher polluts the industry, it`s like a virus. If you would take out the negative elements and would brought Thrasher to what it was: Coverage of raw skateboarding, wild honest skateboarding, than Thrasher would be great!!!!
It`s when you open any issue. Look at the ads and contend. It`s just heroin and shit. Look at all this Shake Junt, Baker, Deathwish etc, this is what you get.
Essentialy you can say that it`s not Thrasher`s view what skateboarding is. Thrasher is portraying Jake Phelps thought of what skateboarding should be. He is telling people through Thrasher, his own world of skateboarding. He is the main editorial guy, he is the guy who decides with his temperment. When you look at all those company logos nowadays, everyone is copying the tone of Thrasher. I`m not big on symbolism, but my next graphic will be sword breaking the satanic star in half. I ask why is everyone using the satanic star?! Cause Jake has pushed it.
I`m happy that I stepped away for a while, cause I think I would have got eaten up by all this crap. I think I would not have survived.
F.F.L: You mentioned that your body is not fucked up, cause you had this long break.
Jordan Richter: Ahh the only thing is that my legs are stiff from driving a car for long hours, so I have to bend. Everyday I have to take a foamroller and massage the right side of my leg. I usually have to do stretching and do yoga to get my knees and muscles flexible. Sounds gay!? (laughs) My biggest issue is to get a bit more raw and to get more commitmend in my skating. It`s the head thing. You want to push yourself to get in things and you want to try something new, you dreamed about and you already visiulized the trick that is in your ability. My mission is to get in touch with the things that are reasonable and in my abilities. I`m not proud of what I achieved on Blind, I think I start my career as skateboarder now with 37. I never liked my part in “Video Days”.
Look at Danny Way, he has evaluated things that were never been done before and then he decides that he can do it and does it. The main thing about Danny is not jumping out of helicopters and jumping over crap. Look at Danny at his early age, he was a punk, a really bad guy and he became a really descend individual. I admire him for that.
F.F.L: A question of the topic. How was the “Blind Video Days reunion” shot?
Jordan Richter: It was cool. It was a long time since I have seen all the guys. It was more than a 15 years since I have seen all of them.
I used to live with Jason Lee and seeing him was nice. Transworld set it up in a good way it was all realistic. The car they got and we went for a drive with it, that was fun. My most favorite person of the day was Mark Gonzales. He was real. Guy and Jason were somewhere near cloud nine. Jason hasn`t seen me for a long time and he is now Hollywood sponsored, but deep down I love them all. It was very nice to meet them.
|Alive and kicking- Massive Japan Air|
F.F.L: You want to send out greetings, shouts and cheers?
Jordan Richter: 1st my wife, god- my creator, Shouts out to the Green Issue team- The Revolutionary Army, Brian Reid from Osiris, all my sponsors who has been helping me, Rob Washburn from Powell and all those people who hateing on others for doing something- cause they are the motivators for you to do something.
Thanks to Jordan Richter for this deep conversation
Cheers to The Chrome Ball Incident for the scans