Jamie Thomas has been one of the most notable names in skateboarding - from having the best songs in his parts, well timed tricks with rad music and building the long lasting, powerhouse that is Zero. JT has had some insane skate parts and before I mention my favourite, my honourable mentions are - Misled Youth, Welcome To Hell, Ride The Sky to name a few. My number one pick however would 100% be his part in Dying To Live with some of the gnarliest rail skating I had seen at the time.
First off, at the time this video came out, I was barely even hitting the flatbar as a young teenager, so when I popped in that cassette and saw JT front board giant rails, I was just stunned. I watched it every day after school and I knew what trick was coming after the next and new what part of the song he would do a certain trick. Even my younger brother would watch it with me and he was only about 3 at the time. Funnily enough, years later as he grew older, he also watched it religiously. It doesn’t stop there either, The Chief was a famous person in my household and even my mom knew who he was. The bandanas, flannelette shirts and tight jeans moulded my sense of style in my teenage years as well.
The late nineties and early millennia was such a cool time in skateboarding. You would wait months and months for a video to come out, so when it did - you valued it like nothing else. Nowadays, videos and clips come out probably every hour on social media and youtube - so it becomes impossible to fall in love with any one video part. The crazy thing about that is that probably any video part today would be the ender in Dying To Live and any other video at the time - but because the demand of footage is so high, things just aren’t special anymore.
Of course, I would be a liar to say that I don’t watch everything that comes out nowadays, I just love skateboarding and always will. For example though, back then I would literally try and push my skateboard like Jamie Thomas. Straight up, that's how many times I watched the same video - those things start rubbing off on you and that's why that era produced some of the better styles ever. Today, dudes have pretty decent style and although I haven’t seen anything overly special, people are just fucking gnaaaarly. Which to be honest, is a direct evolution of the very skater we are talking about.
To summarise, am I cut that video parts aren’t special anymore? Not really, not gonna loose sleep over it - but I am really grateful I come from a time where a video part was special and the anticipation for it was immense. Thank you JT for being such a beast, pioneering that style of skating and provided me and my family with hours of repeated entertainment. I’ll watch the shit outta Dying To Live any day.
Words - John Bresciani
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Artwork By Judy Is Punk Co
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