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Interviews-Blog

Kryptonics Interviews: Stories and Q&A's with past Kryptonics pro's, and current brand ambassadors and brand activists. 

KRYPTONICS INTERVIEWS: GLEN E. FRIEDMAN

Dusters

Glen E Friedman, one of the most iconic photographers in Skateboarding. He shot and captured some of the best pictures in the history of skateboarding.

When did you start skating?
around 1971 at around 9 years old after moving to California.

When did you start taking skate pictures?
I started taking pictures around 10 years old on a family vacation, got a Poloroid for x-mas, skating pictures probably 3 years later with a Kodak pocket instamatic camera. Never with a 35mm camera until I was 14 in '76.

What was Your favorite skate session that you shot and who was there?
I can't say there was ever a favorite session, but the days at the DogBowl were usually cool (you know the cast of characters). At the pool that became dubbed the "Krypto Bowl" in Rancho Park, was also some heavy skating going down with all the usual DT/Z suspects (look in the background for those not in the foreground of some of those classic shots). Sessions at Arthur Lake's pool were pretty incredible too, down on the beach in the early days, flat tails or wedge tails, OG. The day when Hal Jepsen had the "Malibu Tubes" set up at Kenter Canyon, for the filming of "Super Session" was an early standout as well. Hanging at Paul Revere [Junior High] and Kenter [Canyon Elementary] (where I also attended school) was always cool. Hanging at Marina Del Rey skatepark in the late 70's was always some crazy shit going down, as well as some of the crazy days down at Cherry Hill Skatepark when I had to move back east for two school years. 

How did you originally connect with the Dogtown crew?
just by being a local at Kenter, I skated there all the time, we all knew each other one way or another, by the time I started taking photos a lot of the older dudes started to remember my name. I sold boards for T.A. at school...

Your favorite photo you shot of someone riding Kryptonics?
Funny, coincidentally some of my very best known shots were taken with green Kryptos, the all time classic's of Jay knocking up the coping at the "krypto bowl" and of course the all time classic frontside air of T.A. at the Dog Bowl on the 70mm's - krypto's were the shit for an important moment in pool riding and skate history, they were on top for a good year or so, late 77 to 78 when they came with the harder wheels for pools, it was undeniable…

Who are/were your favorite skaters to photograph and why?
I always liked people with style the most, early on it was Constantineau, Shogo, T.A., Jay, Marty Grimes, later on friends like Jay Smith, Duane Peters, Alan Gelfand, Lance were fun for me to shoot.

original question I misread 6. Who are your favorite skate photographers and why?
Me, myself and I! Ha haa! I like what I see and most often others miss it, that's why I started shooting in the first place. 

But of course Craig Stecyk inspired me too. Bolster taught me some things, and "King James" was the technical master.

Skateboard photographers in general are architectural photographers these days, which in a way is really cool, they can create nice compositions, but so rarely do I see the character that I am searching for in a photograph that so many others admire. I got high standards, what can I say? It's certainly not about the equipment or the lighting. I like what I like and love seeing a good photo more than anyone, it just so happens it's pretty rare though my eyes. I hate over-lighting, hate it when people don't know how to use a fisheye properly, and can't stand long sequences in the video age. Is it asking too much to see some personality these days? 

Any Jim Ford stories?
Jim Ford it seemed was the mad scientist back in Boulder making this whole kryptonics deal happen, he had the formulas for the wheels, the head for hiring D. David as a dedicated promo man, and who ever he hired for those advertising campaigns, he was no joke. Just a quiet nerdy dude from colorado, totally unlike most of the ego'd out arrogant california company heads at the time, and that would come later.

What did you think D.David?
As the "Krypto Man" there were few as generous, kind and enthusiastic as D.David, driving around in his silver Porsche 914, he was a great promoter of the brand. It makes sense now when you look back, but who knew that he had such acting ambitions? And fell into the seat of publisher, then editor at SkateBoarder, It was a really tough time for the sport when he came in, I obviously would have done it differently, i was a teenager still, but he did what he thought would keep it all alive. I don't blame him for killing the sport, but I could blame him for killing the magazine. But he's always a good dude.

What was your favorite Kryptonics ad from back in the day?
I enjoyed all the slick ones, maybe the one with beakers and flasks of "wheel juice" stands in my memory the most.

What is your favorite memory in skateboarding from the late 70’s 
never just one, there were too many, for a teenager i lived a fucking crazy fun life with some incredible experiences due to skateboarding.

What is your favorite memory in skateboarding?
again too many - on any given day i can remember one or another and forget any one or another, I can go on for days, ask me if you ever bump into me, and give me a jumping off point and i'll share something classic with you.

Your favorite skater of all time?
Jay Adams is the automatic answer, but mother fucking Tony Alva, can never be slept on. There were people who impressed me over the years at one spot or another with aggression and style, I admire all of them. At this moment in time I'm thinking that Greyson Fletcher would be fun to shoot for me, last time I saw him skate he had that magic that so few do these days… 

Your favorite 3 bands of all time?
today, i'd say Black Flag up until 1982, the Buzzcocks, Minor Threat… Could be different tomorrow but those three are always in the top bunch.

What are your thoughts about the Original star trac wheels coming back?
first of all where the fuck did that "Star Trac" part of the name come from (other than the obvious) that almost killed the brand right there!

But indeed, if people want to ride them, that's cool. I used the original red formula roller skate wheels when the skateboard wheels couldn't be found anymore, for my street cruising. Those wheels set a standard, for people who ride, no doubt. I don't think wheels were ever that important to tricksters (they aren't really "riding" after all), and tricksters have never really been that important to me. Those were some special wheels, although it's hard for me to imagine formula's have not improved since then, to the point you need to bring them back, but if that's the case then it all makes perfect sense, shit, more people listen to vinyl now than they have in the last 20 years! 

Any new books to look forward to?
Well the DogTown book is still in print, but my FUCK YOU HEROES and FUCK YOU TOO have been out of print for a couple of years now, so I am in the process of putting together the best of both those books with about 20-30% never seen stuff, all into a new book that will be a huge monster, and all the images will look better than ever, it's gonna be fucking incredible, out late summer/early fall 2014 titled MY RULES, like my original 'zine i made in '82.

 

Check out Dogtown, The legend of the Z boys at

http://www.amazon.com/DogTown-C-R-Stecyk-III/dp/0964191644 

www.BurningFlags.com

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