Burnout: Death Match NYC
The two-day tornado of rock, rap and radical known as the Thrasher Death Match whipped into the Big Apple recently with brain-scrambling maneuvers sharing space with hellacious pits – plus all the ferocity that names like Omar Hassan, The Gza, Kader Sylla, Gorilla Biscuits, Roman Pabich, Roc Marciano and Pedro Delfino conjure up. A Bill Thomas photo show offered a glimpse into NY skateboarding’s golden age and the whole thing was free! Where were you???
Starting off calm. Daytime stroll through the Bill Thomas gallery
If there’s one thing we know it’s that kids love reading
Plenty to trip on
Local luminaries showing up. Steve Brandi for instance
Pick your fave. You know Pete loves Sheff
Frank with that NYC ‘tude
Tony and Cranny dissect the details
A magazine nerd’s treasure chest, really
Sheffey. Everyone’s drawn to Sean Sheffey
Bring your shiniest doo rag, if you got one
Priests were nailing it
I like a band who knows the power of presentation
Mark Waters, our secret weapon behind the scenes
Over to the ramp
The Muscle™, already in heavy rotation
Not that the locals were slacking off
Not hardly. Brayman’s Tex plants rang out all weekend long
Cedric with the wheel pick
Bust? Or bail ….
Nosegrinding into Friday night like ..
Heavy action on the extension
Good ol’ chicken wing from Cooper Q
Indy to fakie
Up to sugarcane. Buster would be proud
But youth before beauty, as they say
Quick trip to the patio section. Impromptu street style in progress
Boy Kong and his Death Match piece Photo: Joseffer
Ben and Omar in the Golden Hour
More carb shenanigans from my fellow reducer. Stay strong, Frank!
Hunks: Landau and Vitello
Back to work. Obstacle #1 gets set
Rainbow … of DEATH!!!
Carve it, if you dare
Or Smith it. Whatever your deal is
Ceddy crosses via flash ’n’ roll
Poached egg from The Muscle
Alley-oop passage from Roman
Duck and cover kf indy
Finally, someone to bring some order to this endeavor …
A sweaty surface had dudes slipping out all weekend
Didn’t stop Hale tho
Surfing excellence over the hole
You better believe Ashley carved the crevasse
Oop 5-0 fakie, wow!
Max Bristol, yanking out of the unthinkable nosepick revert
Irie 5-0 vibes, so sick
Stepping lively into the abyss
Shit was going off. This face says it all
Then Roman provides the show-stopping exclamation point with the nose-grab 540
And Muscle with the bone-up frontal
City Morgue is the kind of band parents hate
True disturb-o shit!
The kids were going bananas for ‘em
Roc Marciano Photo: Joseffer
Meanwhile, back in the gallery Bill Thomas arrives! Bill worked for Thrasher from ’89 to around ’93 and captured the early age of NYC street skating. He was also an early photography mentor to me, gracefully helping me figure out my flashes when I was a struggling shutterbug in the mid ‘90s. Thanks Bill
NYC heavyweights converge
For Pang and many more, shooting with Bill was their first time in the mags. Forever bound
GZA closed out night one with all the hits Photo: Joseffer
Wrapping up Day 1 in the green room. Frecks!!!
And children gambling!
Roman wagers his best-trick cash. Plenty more where that came from for him
Gio wins big, Canadian style! Good way to end it
Day 2 – the Rock n Roll day!
Thanks for coming!
Fuck ICE. For life!
Punky babes, everywhere …
Good looking Schaaf right there
The fun is about to begin
Frank! What did you order?!
Just … one … slice. Oh Frank
Tight crew. Nice to meet y’all
Some guys just got it, right?
My new friends Beatrice and Dustin
Dustin learns the rules of this strange American game
Don’t worry, Bea will teach you
Oh, you’re going up against J Lay and Leon?! Good luck!
Tyson breaks it down
Is that a bracelet?
Don’t worry, they’ll be on soon
Cool parental types
We should probably get back in there, right guys?
Side pit, feeling cautious
Brisk sales in the merch tent
Halfpipe warming up again
Is that Jake up there?
Taking runs even
Texas is part of America
Oh, hey …
‘I know you, right?’
And ultimately … the directive
When’s this thing starting?
The rules of the Death Match are explained. Basically, everyone drops in, last man standing wins
Never quite sure how to shoot these things
Not that they aren’t exciting
Avoid each other, and the Phelper
Look at him. He loves it!
Some pump to the sides while others go whole hog
Defending champ Roman got a little too tricky and lost his footing
But this dude … he tossed tricks out the whole time
And was the last rider on four wheels!
How sweet it is
Back to normal shredding. Delfino dips egg
Kader’s fastplants are rad
If I could do this, I would only do this
Sock hop, down for life
And then …
Our Chrysler Building tombstone!
Taking that egg to the top
Five feet of furious bonelessness
Coop pulls the chute in heavy traffic
Spicy Lu – his wallet, his motorcycle
Skybox view. Packed house
Sweet decker from Roman
Crowd view of the no-grab picker
Stephen Brayman, back with the dreaded pivot to fakie
Spend it wisely, kid
As the clock wound down, it became clear that a showstopper was needed. Omar dug deep
Cedric up and across
Flip, grab and hope
Meanwhile, Roman battled the blunt pick
Skeleton men, skittering
Kader steps to the Chrysler
Tuff stuff for a little guy
Perfect catches ending in terrible slams
Four wheels out!
Everything but the victory ride
It was a battle for the ages
And then ….
The crowd goes ape shit
Fives, all ‘round
Collapsing off the side of the ramp. He was completely spent
Don’t worry. He does this once a week. Omar Hassan will be just fine
And then …. Roman’s revenge!
He was just glad it was over
And then, the sacking of Rome
One more trip to the calm of the photo gallery
Twin towers: Bruno and Big Jim
Wish Coco coulda been there. Or anywhere
NYC street skating forefathers
Stories for days
Breaking it down for the boy
NYHC legends, Gorilla Biscuits Photo: Joseffer
Cranny, feeling the love
Backstage. Ugly Lui and Handsome Hassan
The Jay Jensens. Thanks y’all
Fuck yo’ everslick
Block party atmosphere out back
Gingers, Keith and Frecks
Bald is beautiful
Oh, you thought Pang didn’t get a front?
You can tell what time of the evening it is because nothing in this photo is in focus
Then here’s where I really dropped the ball. A gnarly punch-up barreled past us! Fists swinging, chairs scattering! Here was my first photo
Then this one. But then, right after that, one of the assailants walked right up to me as blood started pouring out of his forehead … and I froze. Coulda had the shot, but chickened out! So much for skate journalism … again
Anyway, better to focus on the positive stuff. Like Vans and this killer crew right here and everyone who skated, hung out, helped and heckled to make this a super-fun event. We were kinda sweating it, but this thing turned out awesome
And thanks to all the skaters of New York and the Northeast. You guys are tough. It was an honor
10/22/2019Slayter rocked the Death Match and is now hitting the road. Check out his dates here.
10/22/2019There’s a million things to do in NYC at any given moment, but there’s only one Death Match. While bands like Obituary and Agnostic Front lit up the stage and riled up the pits, ramp sessions were fueled to the next level. The energy was explosive. See you next year...
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