Westwood Cycles Demo (1986)

In the Autumn of 1986, I was invited by Steve Rocco to ride for Venture Trucks and to join him, Mark Gonzales and Rodney Mullen for a demo at Westwood Cycles in Westwood, NJ. This would be the third time I would be in the presence of these three heroes of mine in a matter of months, and even though Rocco had extended the invitation to me, I was still very much being held at arm’s length and cautiously observed by all of them. They just didn’t really know what to think of this kid from Jersey doing all these hand plants.

I had very little interaction with Mark Gonzales that day. He hadn’t warmed up to me in any real way just yet (that would happen several months later). In fact, he was actually rather dismissive of my skating and the way the locals reacted to me. His performance in this demo is in some ways a direct response to the hype that surrounded me and my skating — He wasn’t buying it. And in turn, he did one of the strangest yet most genius demos ever performed or recorded. At the time, I don’t think anyone in attendance understood or could truly appreciate what they were witness to, but watching it now, I see it as true performance art and total expression.

— Mike V