I know it’s played out, but you can’t do an interview with Kerry Getz without talking about his temper. It’s so renowned that at demos some kids have gotten “bummed out” before if he wasn’t piledriving his board into the ground. One of the few originals still holding down the Philly scene, Kerry is super friendly and didn’t mind putting up with some of our stupid questions. He shared some stories about touring with Ed Templeton, beating himself up and skateboarding in a porno at Bam’s.
How was it staying at Ed Templeton’s house in the 90’s when you just started riding for Toy Machine?
He always had crazy photos lying around and weird paintings of naked people and stuff. He would always wake me up in the morning with a guitar singing, “Kerry gets laid, by a fat fuckin whore, by a fat fuckin whore, by a fat fuckin whore.” He kept singing that over every morning to wake us up and go skate.
Were you getting laid by a fat fucking whore?
I wasn’t fucking any fat whores. I wasn’t even thinking about girls, at that time in my life. I was just thinking about what trick I was going to do tomorrow.
Has he ever taken a photo of you naked?
No, but he’s tried. He has this one photo of me kissing this girl in New Hampshire when I was like 19 or 20 yrs old that made it into his art show years back.
He’s a rad guy he was one of the best guys to travel with, other then his whole vegan and healthy food kick. That always frustrated us cause he would go miles out of the way to find some health food store in every different state we would drive thru. He would stop at Mcdonalds for us as well, but he would always just come in and shoot photos of us eating. He would never touch anything from there.
I saw some footage of a cop dropping in at the old Alien/Habitat warehouse and busting his ass. How did that go down?
When we first got that place, [Josh] Kalis and myself were driving like $60,000 cars. So imagine a bunch of young skater kids, wearing baggy pants, pulling into this warehouse driving $60,000 cars in the ghetto. One time we got pulled over when we were leaving the warehouse, and they questioned us about what were we up to. They thought we were doing something sketchy. When we told them we were professional skaters they were blown away, they were like, “damn I should have stuck to skating when I was younger, you guys drive some awesome cars.” We became great friends with them after that and told them to stop in anytime. One day they cruised in and the one cop got brave and tried to drop in, in his full cop outfit. He definitely slammed hard and got a gnarly hipper. Damn! I miss that place!
Why’d you get dropped from DVS?
I got a call from the team manager just saying that things are changing at DVS and that they weren’t going to renew my contract. I kinda felt like it was coming because 2 years ago I talked to Gavin about my 5th shoe that they were working on and he wanted it to be my retirement shoe from DVS. I wasn’t ready to retire then and I’m NOT ready to now. I’ve been doing a lot these past 2 years it just hasn’t been in the spot light or up in the mags. I’ve been working harder than ever and it will show when I launch my projects.
Why would they drop you when you are such an established name?
I don’t know, I know a lot of people got kicked off there. I know Zered got the boot which is pretty shocking, he’s such an amazing skater. I don’t get filled in till the last minute with a lot of things, being that I’m on the east coast and everyone else being around the office and in California. Most of the riders were able to go in and pick colors for their shoes, and see the changes. I was always so distant from it, there were so many times, when my shoe would come out in a color that I would have never picked. There were so many times when I thought if we had done different colors the shoe probably would have sold twice as much. That was disappointing, not being able to communicate with them as much and get to have more input. I do thank DVS though for supporting me the past 11 years and giving me 5 shoes. I had a great time traveling with the team and meeting some great people along the way.
The colors matter a lot…
The colors matter a 100%. Even with your name or not on it, if a company comes out with a weird color shoe, the shoes gonna sit on the shelf and end up on the sale rack. Now that I’ve been running my shop solo for the past year I see so much of this. It doesn’t only affect the skater but affects the shops sales.
I heard your tempers goin soft.
It’s still in there. Sometimes I’ll feel like, oh man I haven’t flipped out in a while, but then I go to try and film something hard and it comes back. I don’t think think it’s something that is gonna just slip out of my body. I’m stuck with it. Believe me, if I could get rid of it I would in a second. When I see myself in video freaking out, I think people probably think I’m nuts! I’m not. I’m a very nice person and will do anything for anyone.
Have you ever faked flipping out on your board at a demo?
They almost expect me to do sometimes, but I’ve never faked it. Kids were like, “why didn’t you freak out at the demo man? Why didn’t you throw your board.” I tell them, I didn’t get pissed, cause I was having fun and enjoyed the park. I’m not going to pretend to throw my board around, I’m not gonna act it out. It just comes sometimes when tricks take me to long to land. Like kids sometimes get disappointed if I don’t break my board in half or throw it around.
Tell me about one of your favorite times at Bam’s
The best thing I’ve ever seen at Bam’s, was when he built this humongous quarter pipe, about 10 or 12ft high 20ft wide to launch these junk cars over his 4 car garage. He took a brick and pinned it on the gas petal and slammed the cars into drive. He only had 4 cars to make it happen. The first 2 cars went off to the left of the ramp and did a half flip landing on their roofs. The next one missed the ramp and went straight through the garage, like completely through the wall. Paint went everywhere, tools went everywhere, he fucked his whole garage up, and the car is flipped upside down inside the garage. Then the last car, fully jumped up, landed on the other side of the roof, rolled down and rolled away clean before crashing into his woods. That was one of the coolest things I’ve ever fucking seen. A human coulda have been in that car and fully pulled that off.
What about that porno you were involved in?
Yeah, one wierd day at Bam’s. See it’s insane you never know what’s gonna happen when you show up there. One day I go over there and Gee was shooting pics and Gina Lynn’s crew was filming a porno in the barn. This girl was getting banged out on top of the pyramid, while Bam and I are fully having a skate session in the background. It was insane being 20 feet away from this dude banging this girl, her ass all red from laying on the wooden ledge, and the dudes naked with his socks on. Bam and I are just ripping in the background, skating the rail and euro gap. One of the photos made it to Slap website, but everyone thought it was photoshopped. It wasn’t! I’ve never even seen the porno personally but if someone has it please send it to Nocturnal skate shop. I need to see that porno cause Bam and I are ripping!
You ever get shit for doing double flips?
Sometimes I think people were like what the hell is this guy doing.. double flips, but for some reason I think it people got hyped on them. I was doing them over gaps and rails, not just doing them in lines or on flat. I was trying to take a old school trick to a new level.
It could have gone either way, it could have been like, “this tricks sucks, stop doing it.” Or it could go to where people like Marc Johnson are doing it, where it’s rad cause that dude can just do everything. I think I brought doubleflips kinda back. I know they were cheesy back in the old days, but double flips back then were like an inch high.. so now its a little different when your doing it over rails or picnic tables.
Why do you always throw your shoes when you’re angry?
I had to figure out a way to vent without hurting myself and I was so sick of fucking my boards up, every time I would throw my board down the grip would get fucked up or I’d chip my board. I was punching myself in the head, and it really hurt, so I would hit my head with my shoe, cause it wouldn’t hurt as bad. I’d be getting huge lumps on my head from punching myself, and my knuckles would hurt.
What are your plans now that your older?
I wanna be based in Philly, keep Nocturnal going and I have 2 projects I’ve been working on for the past 2 years. I’m working on a video app and a game app. The skateworld is gonna be hyped when I launch them. I definitely don’t want to be a team manager or travel around the world a shit ton. I did that for years. You get to a point to where you’re over getting on a plane and going somewhere.