Tony Hawk & Andy MacDonald Interviews
By Afro-Jim Choquette
Somehow, I was able to sweet-talk my way into some press passes, from Tony Hawk, Inc., to the Tampa stop of Tony Hawk’s Boom Boom HuckJam...me, plus one, my roommate, Ryan. I got our resident Asian, Rob, in as well. We were given all sorts of typical bureaucratic BS instructions from the marketing chick at the St. Pete Times Forum, like no autographs, no personal photographs, no chumming it up with the "big dudes," etc. But of course, our local media people (FOX and ABC) couldn’t help but kiss a little ass while they were there.
We were taken to some sort of bar area to do the interviews. Lincoln Ueda and Sergie Ventura just chilled with us and recorded station ID’s for the radio station I work for at USF. Next came the Andy MacDonald interview. He’s cool ‘cause he’s a geek, like me!
Afro-J: Uh, Andy, do you prefer boxers or briefs?
Andy Mac: Boxers. All the way.
Afro-J: Uh, do you get the friends and family discount at McDonald's?
Andy Mac: I wish I did.
Afro-J: "MacDaddy" or "MacDiddy?"
Andy Mac: Just Andy Mac is fine.
Afro-J: This one’s serious. When did you decide to start making your own (Andy Mac) decks?
Andy Mac: It’s kind of something I was thinking about for years, and about a year ago, George Powell and I sat down and tried to decide if we could make an entry level skateboard that would actually roll. Like the whole idea behind it is that I see kids skating the park everyday that their parents bought them the $20 X-Games board. They can drop in the quarter pipe and they can’t even get to the next ramp ‘cause the bearings are so crappy...and I wanted to give them a choice if they aren’t going to go buy a $110 complete at a ‘mom and pop’ shop... and so I wanted to make a board, put my name on it, and start my own that is like a beginner board for kids, that they can afford, that will actually roll and can turn, and still be affordable. And George has been looking into a few things like what he’s done with the mini-logo boards, so we figured it out and I’m really psyched.
Afro-J: So they’re completes?
Andy Mac: Yeah, and they’ll be available in sporting goods stores you know, next to the $20 X-Games boards, but a $60 complete Andy Mac board.
Afro-J: Better quality?
Andy Mac: Yeah, exactly.
Afro-J: Are you going to follow the HAWK route and start making MAC shoes?
Andy Mac: I have a shoe line coming out along the same lines. Funny you should ask.
Andy Mac: Just Andy Mac though.
Afro-J: For the drug-free ad, did you have to take a piss test?
Andy Mac: I did not. They actually just believed me...I guess. They were like, "Wait, you’re a skateboarder and you don’t do drugs?"
Afro-J: Conan or Kilborn?
Andy Mac: Jay Leno. I did Jay leno about a year and a half ago - I ollied onto his desk. He’s actually from where I lived around Boston. He’s like, "So your mom must love it when you come home for dinner?" I made a big dent in his desk. It was one of those big expensive ones, too.
Afro-J: How many tries did it take?
Andy Mac: I actually just ollied up to axle first try.
Afro-J: All right, name three black and one gay skater in 10 seconds.
Andy Mac: Kareem, Gershon, Oscar Jordan, and uh...Tony Hawk.
Afro-J: Was Tony the black or gay one?
Andy Mac: Ha, ha, ha...I dunno’? No...I don’t know.
Afro-J: Jarret Berry. Are you going to be at the Tampa Am 10-Year Anniversary?
Andy Mac: I hope to be...I hope to be. It all depends on my schedule, but I was just up there last night. I just went up to the Skatepark to ride the Bowl in the back. You’ll just find me in the Bowl trying to grind all three corners. That’s my goal.
Afro-J: What about the Pro, you plan on entering this year?
Andy Mac: Again...if I can make it, I’d love to. It’s always a good time.
Andy’s a geek- like me. On to the man of the night, Tony Hawk:
Afro-J: All right Tony, I asked Andy this question and I don’t know if you’re going to like his answer. The question is: Name three black and one gay skateboarder in 10 seconds and he said your name at the end, so I don’t know if he meant to put you with the gay or black skaters.
Hawk: Ha, ha, ha, ha...hmm. (That’s too long of a pause – was he contemplating Andy’s answer, or his own?)
Afro-J: So, are you gonna’ do it?
Hawk: Sure...Kareem, Stevie Williams, Cookie Head Jenkins...gotta’ keep it real with the vert skaters.
Hawk: ...and I can’t think of the gay skater. He was in Big Brother, too. I can’t think of his name.
Afro-J: Initials are J.B.
Afro-J: Jarret Barry.
Hawk: Oh yeah, that’s the only one I know because of Big Brother.
Afro-J: Come on man, you can’t forget the ass-less chaps!
Hawk: Ha, ha, ha, yeah, I remember. I really liked that! It was great! I thought it was cool. (Again, I don’t know if I like that answer.)
Afro-J: Yeah...Bi-Brother. Are you going to be at the Tampa Am for the 10-Year Anniversary?
Hawk: I can’t.
Afro-J: It’s gotta’ be good.
Hawk: What’s the date?
Afro-J: January 17th.
Hawk: January 17th...I am in Europe.
Afro-J: That’s not a good enough excuse.
Hawk: Not a good enough excuse? Oh.
Afro-J: Are you going to be at the Pro at least?
Hawk: I am going to try and be at the Pro. I like going to the Pro. Those events are insane, Man.
Afro-J: I’m going to be in THPS5. They already came and did my pictures and everything. Am I going to get a check for that or what?
Hawk: Yeah, it’s in the mail.
Afro-J: All right, all right. Good stuff. Okay, last one. Are you still getting residuals from "Gleaming the Cube?"
Hawk: You know, when it runs on cable, I get $40 or something. So, every once in a while, at random, I’ll just get a check.
Afro-J: Well, you should get like $350 million dollars ‘cause they run that thing all the damn time, Man.
Hawk: Well, no, if it just runs a few times, I’ll get it all at once, and sometimes, only a $15 check.
Afro-J: Oh. Do you still have the Pizza Hut uniform from the movie?
Hawk: No, they didn’t let me have that one. I wish they did.
Afro-J: It’s cool, you can go back and get that I’m sure (eBay).
The local media asked "X-TREME" questions and had requests like, "So, throw us a few of the hip phrases you helped to bring to the youth of America," and "Are you going to do some of those ‘big airs’ and ‘grab plants’ we see you do on your signature video game series, Tony Hawk Pro Skater!?" And as soon as the cameras were off..."Could you just sign this program? It’s for sick little Timmy. He’s not going to be with us for much longer, and it was his last wish." (Hint: Check eBay for an autographed Tony Hawk Boom Boom HuckJam Program.)
I guess the Boom Boom HuckJam is going down next year, too. There’s rumor of loops and everything. I was pretty skeptical showing up at the HuckJam, but I was thoroughly impressed after witnessing it. It was fun for all - parents, kids, and of course the derelicts from the Skatepark of Tampa.