Clint Walker's "Fireworks and Handcuffs" Interview
Clint Walker is not a villain—no matter what the cops or the Internet rebels say. Spend five minutes with this fun-loving gnarler and you’ll get it real quick. Walker is humble, passionate and just a little bit crazy in an underdog Oklahoma redneck kinda way. Feel the Okie stoke!
What up, Clint?
What up, Clive?
Switch ollie, Dust Bowl looming Photo: Muller
You just woke up, didn’t you?
No, I’ve been up for a while. I’m chillin’.
Yeah, you sound like you’re chillin’. You sound asleep! Are you awake enough to do this?
Man, I was born ready!
Let’s talk about Joe Dirt. How was it bringing Joe Dirt back to life?
That was amazing! Joe Dirt has been a big part of my life since forever! When it came out, me and my good friend watched that shit every day. I think I can recite the whole movie. So we were thinking of funny shit for the intros to the video and I asked Tony if we could get Joe Dirt! I knew it would get all the homies juiced. We pulled the Birdman card and made it happen. Tony made the call. David Spade wanted Tony to do a radio show with him, so I think that was the compromise. Tony would do the radio show if he would hook it up for the video.
I think they are buddies. He was a cool dude, for sure.
He walked up as David Spade but as soon as he said what’s up he became Joe Dirt. It was pretty sick!
What were some of the other intros? Do you know? Everyone has something, right?
Yeah, I’m pretty sure everyone has something they are psyched on. I’m not 100 percent, though. They haven’t told us a lot about what’s going on with the video. Well, I haven’t asked that much either. I kind of want it to be as much of a secret as possible. I want to see it all at the premiere. You’ve got to keep the element of surprise. It’s nice to have that.
Going the distance crooked grind, better than spending the night in jail Photo: Vaughn
Tell me the story about going to jail.
It’s not that cool of a jail story. I had a little party in Oklahoma on New Year’s and ended up in jail. It wasn’t that crazy, but somehow the cops showed up and someone let them in the house. That was a dumb move. Never let them in! There was some weed being smoked and they took me to jail. Oklahoma isn’t as mellow about weed as California. They ended up taking me to jail for the funniest shit. The ticket said it was for “maintaining a disorderly house.” I don’t even know what that means, nobody does. When I went to the jail and gave them the papers, the lady at the desk was laughing! She brought some other people over to look at what they brought me in for. They couldn’t believe it. I was, like, “What the fuck is going on?” The court ended up dropping it all because the cops messed it all up. They said there were people drinking under age but didn’t get anyone’s names. I think there was one person under 21 at the party but he wasn’t even drinking. So they had it all wrong. I had to go to court for it yesterday, but like I said, they dropped it. It was a real shit show. I wish I could say I was doing some really cool shit, but that’s not what happened. It was sick, though. I talked the cop into letting me watch the fireworks from the side of the road in handcuffs. That was pretty cool.
While his natural instinct is to party next to the creek, Clint sticks to biz and frontside big spins over it Sequence: Jones
That’s crazy he pulled over. How’d you get that to happen?
We didn’t really pull over. We’d just pulled up to the courthouse—or wherever they were taking me in—and it was right at midnight. It was the grand finale and I was just kind of giving him shit the whole time. Like, he had a BlackBerry and I was giving him shit about that. So I thought we were friends. I swear I thought he was going to let me go. So the fireworks were going off and I was, like, “Hey, man, what are the chances of you letting me out right now so I can go watch the fireworks?” He grunted and fuckin’ got out and let me out of the car. As soon as I got out they ended and that was it. I was, like, “God damn!” He was just laughing at me. That’s why I thought he might let me go. We were joking around and stuff so I thought it was all cool. But, nope—he walked my ass right into jail.
Did he show up to court?
No, he didn’t show up.
He didn’t want to get laughed at. Are you a hometown celebrity now because you were on TV?
Dude, no way. Nobody in Oklahoma even has the Vice channel. It’s funny; you are way more of a celebrity type person out in LA or in California. Anytime I come out to California and I’m out places, people will say, “Hey, you’re that guy from King Of The Road.” Nobody ever says shit in Oklahoma. Well, every now and then, but it’s mainly kids that would already know from skating. But out here it’s, like, normal old people at the grocery store who you wouldn’t even think would be watching that stuff. It’s so funny that they even watch that shit.
So the show didn’t help get any chicks back home?
No, not back home. But it definitely has out in LA, that’s for sure. So thank you for that, King Of the Road.
How do your parents feel about all the Vice stuff? Did they watch the show?
Yeah, they did for sure! They were stoked. They love all that shit. My dad’s a funny dude. They don’t think too much about it; they just laugh.
Backside 5-0. Remember the Alamo! Or whatever that thing is Photo: Vaughan
How small is the town you grew up in?
I’m from Altus. It’s about two-and-a-half hours south of Oklahoma City. Our high school had, like, 250 people, so it wasn’t that small. It’s an Air Force town. Lots of people who live there work for the Air Force. But I grew up in a town called Frederick and that’s a small town. I lived there until I was 15 or 16 and that’s when I started skating. In Frederick you knew everyone in town. If you saw someone you didn’t know you’d be, like, “Who the fuck is that dude?!” Altus is only 35 miles away but it’s bigger. Then I moved to California. But all my friends that I skated with were from Altus.
Did you and Raven ever squash the beef?
Dude, I don’t know! I don’t know if he’s still mad. I’m not. I haven’t been. It’s so funny because to me that’s something where I wish I hadn’t done what I did, but I wish he didn’t do what he did either, you know? It was just something that happened and that’s it. I told him, “Sorry,” and he was, like, “Fuck you,” or whatever, but I’m not mad. I don’t even care about any of that shit. I mean, like I said, I wish it didn’t happen but it did. I don’t think about it and I don’t think they—well, yeah, I think they do still think about it. There was someone the other day that texted me and told me Elijah was talking shit on me on some webcast or some shit. I didn’t care or get mad. It’s just weird to me that it’s still even a thing. I guess we didn’t squash it. I guess you’d have to ask him. I don’t have anything towards anyone, really. I’m sure people have beef with me, but I don’t have any thoughts about it.
Do you think you have a bad temper?
Dude, I don’t think so. People who don’t know me think shit like that. People on the Internet and people who just watch the show say shit like that, but anyone who knows me knows I’m mellow. Well—not mellow. I’m hectic as fuck when it comes to good times, but I’m not really trying to bum anyone out. I just like having a good time and partying with the homies. I don’t think I care enough about shit to get mad. It takes a lot for me to get upset. I’d do anything for my friends, though. I have close friends in Oklahoma and everyone knows I’d do anything for my boys. But the Internet and the reality TV world thinks I have a temper.
So that being said, how does it feel to be the bad wrestler of skateboarding now, the villain? How did that happen?
Ha! I don’t know. I guess it was God’s plan.
Yeah, the editing gods of reality TV.
I don’t even know. I don’t think so.
Well, you’re only the villain to the people who only see the side of the skater they like more. Pretty much, right? Is it a popularity contest?
I don’t know if it’s a popularity contest. I don’t think it’s the editor’s fault. I don’t want to place blame on anyone. That’s not my shit. I think sometimes shit just happens and that’s it. It’s just the way it is. I’m not bummed on it. I don’t feel that way. I never meet people who are bummed on me. No one’s ever, like, “Hey, fuck you, dude.” Kids are just hyped to meet me. Maybe people are bummed on the Internet, but fuck them. I don’t even know who those 12 year olds are. The only time anyone brings it up is in interviews or something. It’s never affected my real life or anything. It’s all TV stuff. It’s not in the real world.
Kickflip past the crack? Also part of God’s plan Photo: Muller
Growing up, did you ever think you would get to this point?
I don’t think it was something that I ever thought would happen; I just hoped for it. I wasn’t counting on anything. I thought maybe I had a chance or else I wouldn’t have tried. But no, I didn’t think it was a real thing.
How were you getting hurt so much filming for this video?
Dude, I’m always hurt. I don’t know; I think I need new heels.
I need new heels too! Yours have been repeat offenders for a long time.
It’s super hard to get these things straightened out. I hurt it really bad in New Mexico trying to back lip this rail. That was a really bad one. I don’t know if I chipped a little bit of bone or something, but it’s been hurt for a long time now. After that I can’t get it back to 100 percent.
We were filming for the video then, right?
Yeah, I don’t even think I’m going to be able to get it for this part. That’s a real bummer. I wanted it, but I don’t think its going to happen. We will see if time permits, but the way it’s looking, I doubt it.
Have you gone to the doctor about it?
Yeah, I did. Well, it was a physical therapist guy. He rubbed on it for awhile. He did these laser treatments. I’m not even into that kind of stuff. I’m kind of skeptical when it comes to medicine. I think a bunch of it is in your head. But I was down to do anything to try and fix it, so I did this treatment with him for awhile but it didn’t work. It did get better for awhile but it’s just one of those things were it’s never 100 percent, so if I go to try something big or jump down something and land wrong it’s right back to square one. I just always have it in the back of my mind now, like, “Fuck, I’ve got to keep the weight off my back heel.” It’s pretty much annoying as hell.
How long do you think someone can be a pro street skater?
It’s hard to say. It kind of depends on the person and how good they are. Look at Reynolds. He’s still jumping down big shit. He’s doing stuff people my age can’t do. He jumps down shit people 15 years younger than him won’t. He’s still hucking. You just got to land on your board. I think how good you are has a lot to do with it. If you’re good you can go for a long time. I’m probably not going to be skating very long! I want to skate forever so I gotta start landing on my board more!
You thought Hollywood 16 was tough to skate? Photographer Trevor Vaughan had to shoot Clint do this 5-0 kickflip while driving by on the freakin’ freeway. Country boyz will survive Photo: Vaughan
What are you going to do after the cameras stop rolling?
Shit, I don’t know, man. I’m not too worried about it. It’s been a good time and I’m not slowing down anytime soon.
I thought you’d have a chain of Fluff & Folds figured out or something.
I’ve got a few little business plans for Oklahoma but they are all top secret.
Do you think you brought back the body varial?
No, I didn’t. I’ve done them for a long time, though. The one I did down Carlsbad was fucking forever ago now. But I got them from Tony Cervantes. He tried one in the credits of New Blood. He tried one down, like, a nine stair and I thought it was the coolest. It looks like that’s what he was trying at least. He pops and then his board flies up and hits him in the chin. I saw that clip and was, like, “Whoo!” I thought, “Damn, that was kind of crazy,” so I started trying them and learned them. Then I just kept doing them. It was one of those things that I knew people weren’t into. People were either really hyped or just over them and would make fun of it. You never really used to see that many people do them. Van Wastell did a few of them and they looked sick. To me, I think any trick can be cool if you do it good. Lots of people talk shit on lots of tricks but then someone cool does it or someone just does it really fucking sick and then no one can say shit. I always liked the way they felt. It feels like a kickflip to me: it’ll come up and catch my feet and it feels good. That’s why I like them. So I kept doing them. But they are very hot right now, boy. I don’t know what happened, but it’s kind of weird because now I feel weird doing them. I’ve never been on some trendy shit, you know, and every little kid at a skatepark is doing body varials. It’s crazy! It’s seriously the hottest trick ever right now. They do them a little different now, though, which is kind of weird. I don’t know how I feel about it. I almost feel like it’s a different trick. They float it and wait ‘til the last second to turn. I like to pop it and catch it.
So you’re not going to change the way you do yours?
No, I’m not changing. Maybe we will call theirs a sex change and mine a body varial. Sex changes are hot right now.
Are you happy with what you have for the video?
I definitely wish I had more. There are a few tricks that I really wanted to get that got away, but that’s how it goes, I guess. Just didn’t work out. I saw a rough of my part and I’m stoked on it, so fuck it!
Is it harder to skate with a camera in your face?
It depends. It’s harder to have fun with a camera in your face sometimes. Depending on who’s behind the lens and the situation, but sometimes I think it’s great. It can definitely motivate you to do some shit that you’d normally not be doing just for fun. I wouldn’t say it’s harder; it just changes a little bit. In any situation, if someone breaks out a camera it changes from just being a natural thing to, like, “Oh shit, everything that’s going on right now we will see again.” With skating, I don’t mind. I don’t mind cameras in general, but sometimes it’s nice to have the natural flow of things and then sometimes it’s good to have the camera out to motivate you. You know if you smash your face into the ground at least it’s going to look cool.
Is it easier to film when you have someone like Jason behind the lens?
Dude, yeah, Jason nails everything. He’s a good-ass filmer, but he’s also a lot different than what I’m used to. I’m just used to the homie filming. Jason is very motivated and business oriented. He’s always trying to do the best job. Me and him get at odds sometimes, only because he’s so business, but that’s a good thing because he just wants to do the best job he can do. Sometimes we don’t understand each other. But he kills it at what he does and I respect him for it, for sure. Me and him have a love/hate thing.
How do you feel about all the B-roll people shoot now? Seems like for every trick landed, filmers need at least one roll-up shot.
I’m kind of crazy. Anyone who films with me a lot knows I have visions of how I think tricks should look or how I want it to look. You see it before you do it, you know? So if I think a spot needs a roll up or something, I’m down. Like, if it’s shitty ground or a curve or you have to bomb a hill or something that makes it more complicated, I like roll ups. I like that shit. But if it’s just you rolling up and it’s just your eyes looking at the rail, that shit’s kind of dumb to me. So if filmers want that it kind of annoys me. But if it helps make the spot or clip look better, I’m into it for sure. I think it’s tight. But if I think it’s bullshit or unnecessary then I can’t do it.
It’s sick that you can use that song Tony lined up.
Don’t talk about that! It’s a surprise.
How important is the song in a part to you?
Really important and also really difficult to make happen and to make it work. Right now, with rights and stuff, it’s pretty hard. You get hyped on something but then you find out it’s not going to be possible for you to get the rights to it so you’re, like, “Fuck!” and then you go back and find more. You always need to find multiple songs that you’re stoked on and hope that one of them works out. You can’t put all your eggs in one basket with songs nowadays.
So did your song work out?
Yes, it did. Thank you, Tony! I’m super hyped. It’s a song I’ve always wanted to skate to and I’m really hyped they made it happen for me. Hopefully I don’t jinx myself right now by saying that. Actually, fuck that. I don’t believe in that shit. Yeah, it worked out and I’m really happy about it so thank you, Tony!
Does Tony have a part.
He has a lot of shit. I don’t know if he has a part but he sends me clips and shows me shit all the time. I hope he has a part. Him doing a good job at everything he does is very important to him, so if he does has a part it’s going to be a good one, that’s for damn sure.
So you never have to tell him to step it up?
No, I’d never say that. I’m the one telling him to chill out! He gets all juiced at demos sometimes and rolls up to rails and I’m like, dude, “When was the last time you were on a handrail?” He still does them all ’80s style, you know? It’s sick. You don’t have to try to get that dude hyped on anything; Tony gets shit done! He skates more than all of us. Every time I go down to the office he’s skating!
So you are saying he might have street clips?!
I don’t think he needs to prove anything to anyone in the streets, but if you tell him he can’t do it he will probably go get some rail clips!
We won’t even talk about the Wilshire ollie controversy because this backside 50-50 is insane Photo: Burnett
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