When Side Effect first emerged from the Minnesota scene, I think I saw somewhere where she sells seashells by the seashore. Sorry, couldn't help but lose myself there, because it felt really weird to type "saw somewhere" followed by "where," so I somehow had to shake my grammatical unease. Anyway, back to the point, someone surmised, albeit incorrectly, that I actually had something to do with Side Effect, like it was a part of StrangeLove or something. Maybe because we share many of the same riders? A logical conclusion, no doubt, especially in this incestuous world of skateboarding, but a wrong one nonetheless. It is in fact a company of our brother's from a different mother, Rob Sissi, who also happens to assist in managing the StrangeLove roster of riders, hence the cross-contamination and some of whom you'll see below.
A collision was inevitable at some point, though, what with us all drinking from the same creative keg, and that's what's hitting select skate shops now and our little shoppe of online horrors this Saturday. Those whose skateboard roots go back into the early '90s, will surely recognize the inspiration for not only the board graphics themselves, but a good portion of the advertising campaign as well with a respectful nod of the cap to Steve Rocco and Walter Sims. Rocco is someone I'm sure you've heard of before, as he made quite the to-do in skateboarding at one time, but Walter's name maybe not so much, as he was first formally brought on as the IT guy at World Industries—long before most companies even had ITs, I think? Anyway, while I'm on the topic of Walter, here's a mini excerpt from the brand new interview with Marc McKee posted on The Chromeball Incident:
TCI: How many people were working [at World Industries] at the time?
MM: (laughs) Like… four. We always used to trip out on that, actually. There was me, Rocco, and one other guy working there at the time, Walter Sims. He was in charge of IT but he also did a lot of marketing, too. He did a lot of the black-and-white ads with Rocco early on. I’m pretty sure he got his start there as a consultant… Because the first time I met him there, I remember thinking to myself, “Who’s this dude in the suit?” He was a skater, just a little older than me, but the fucking suit threw me off. He must’ve still been working for whatever agency he was with, but after a while, he worked at World full-time.
But yeah, Walter definitely had a heavy, clever hand in the ad development at World (as well as Blind and Liberty), circa 1989–1992, not to mention several limited run shirts that came off of the T-shirt press in the back warehouse  and the very first issue of Big Brother magazine that debuted 30-years ago in the summer of '92. Walter may not have had anything to do with the magazine after that infamous issue—it was kind of a mutual "I quit/You're fired" deal between him and Rocco—but it's undeniable that his absurd fingerprints left an indelible mark on the mag's tone for many, many years to follow .
Speaking of appropriation, I guess I should thank Uprise Skateboards for the hot shit product photo above, which I screenshotted off their Instagram.
So there you have it: The 398th StrangeLove blahg entry to regurgitate the glory of the early '90s. One day I'll let this shit go , but until then, as always: so it goes. —Cliver
1. For those who know, the Jovontae Turner "Black Radical" tee, and, most famously, the ORIGINAL "Listen to Black Sabbath" tee long before it was co-opted by Big Brother and then every other company under the appropriating sun. There was also a shirt printed with a gigantic black halftone print of Rocco's head, which may have been the best of them all, as it was made while Rocco was in Europe one summer with the team and he was less than enthused by it and all the Xeroxes of his face plastered around the warehouse that greeted him upon return.
2. On that same summer note, Walter commandeered Rocco's boat while he was away and took Jef Hartsel, John Thomas, McKee, and myself over to Catalina Island for a weekend in 1991. I was still working at Powell then, but I suspect shit like this was also one of the reasons I was ultimately let go from the company later that year. Anyway, I guess Rocco lost his shit once he learned that JT and Hartsel had been out on the boat, primarily because he knew they religiously hit the marijuana then and if the Coast Guard had pulled us over for any reason it would have likely ended in saying bye-bye to The Guppy. Damn. That really was a magical time indeed.
3. Who am I kidding? No I won't! So it goes indeed.