From Sidewalk 200 – May 2013
Sidewalk issue 150 : March 2009
Cover photo: Leo
So Mackey ā the cover weāre talking about here is the frontside rock from Sidewalk 150, March 2009. What was going on in your life when this cover came out?
- No idea to be honest mate. Probably filming for the Blueprint video, I didnāt have a boy back then…other than that, not a clue (laughs).
What do remember about going to shoot that particular trick with Big Leopold Sharp?
- Well I shot it originally with Ollie (Whitehead) when Tony (Da Silva) and a few others were over from Manchester, but nothing ever happened with it, I donāt know why. Leo was up for some reason and I was like, ācome on, weāll go shoot this thingā, so I shot it again with Leo. I filmed it that day with you Rye, then I had to go back and film it again with Magee in HD, but I tried to front 360 off the bench after the front rock and snapped my tail off (laughs).
Over the years, how many covers have you managed to rack up and which would you say is your favourite of them all?
- Two Document covers, a Sidewalk cover, and the cover of the āIndependent on Saturdayā magazine (laughs) doing an ollie over the hip at Fort Miley that Sam Ashley shot on a trip to SF. That was sick, that. My friend Kev called me and said his mum had rang him to tell him, āyour mate Mackeyās on the cover of the magazine in the paperā. I didnāt believe him but he brought it in to work on the Monday and gave it me (laughs). I was like āwhat the f*ck?ā; that was pretty funny.
My favourite…Iām probably going to say my first Document cover, because it was my first ever cover and it was a spot that was there for years and nobody had looked at it, and itās not there any more. I remember saying to Kingy, āIāve got this spot in mindā and we went there and he laughed, he didnāt know what I was talking about. I explained, āyou ollie in here then you ollie back out thereā and I think he thought, āIāll just humour himā. I made it and he rang Percy straight away; it was the cover the next week.
Do you remember the first skate photo of yourself that ever got printed in a skate mag?
- Yeah it was in RAD, the Liverpool issue with Mike Carroll on the cover. It was f*cking tiny, smaller thanĀ a postage stamp (laughs), it was so small. It was a tweaked indy over the hip in the university, and the caption read āMackey may not be demented, but he certainly is a tweakerā (laughs). I donāt actually own it.
What do you think are the most striking differences in the Liverpool scene between when you first started skating and today?
- Kids donāt push, thatās the one thing Iāve noticed. Everyone used to push like f*ck; nobody landed anything but everyone just f*cking ragged about, which was ace (laughs).
We used to get into town at 8, 9 oāclock on a morning and weād skate every single spot in the city; thereād be 30, 40 people out, and that just doesnāt happen any more, itās really low key. There are no big groups of skaters and they really only skate a few spots, they donāt skate around the city finding spots to skate, they mainly congregate at tramline spots. Which is fair enough. And they donāt push (laughs), but then they do tricks that are very technical, they just donāt rag it about.
On the other hand, what would you say are most notable similarities?
- All the skaters that have ever come out of Liverpool have always been really humble, even down to the little kids that are just starting. Everyone knows their place and nobody gets above their station. Theyāre down to just skate, keep their heads down and get on with it.
Also, thereās still very little footage that ever comes out of Liverpool. For the amount of kids that are incredible here thereās still very little footage. Thatās going to change obviously, people film quite a lot but other cities seem to be flooding the Internet with clips every day (laughs), and Liverpool just doesnāt.
āWhat? Thereās no skate scene in Liverpool…?ā
You were very instrumental in the introducing of Korahn Gayle to the masses during the East era ā give us an amusing Korahn story from back in the day that most people reading this have probably never heard.
- My God, (laughs). His lists were always amazing; heād always have a list of things that heād have to take with him, and heād draw a box and inside the box would be a tick or cross depending on whether heād got the thing he needed for the trip. It was always random shit like a bag for his shoes to go in, (laughing). Not like a toothbrush, it was always random thingsĀ thatād make you think, āwhat the f*ck goes through his head?ā Heās something else.
Were you present in the vehicle when Matthew āDykieā Ryan blew his car up with a plastic spoon?
- (Laughing), he didnāt blow the car up, but I was there. We were traveling back from Scotland ā me, Tony and Dykie, weād been up to see Ferg. The spoon was there because Dykie was trying to get a tape out of the tapeĀ deck with it, and the spoon snapped and went inside the player. So weāre driving along with no music and just the radio, itās the middle of the night, and thereās this bang!, this huge explosion, and I was like, āwhat the f*ck Dykie?ā and Dykie was gripping the wheel, scared cat style ā I wish, I wish I had a video of this ā the car is bouncing around all over the place. To any logical person youād think, āshit, Iāve had a blowout, I need to slow downā, but Dykie turns to me and goes, ādāya think thatās got anything to do with the spoon?ā (Laughing). I was like, āNo! Youāve had a f*cking blowout! Pull over!ā So he pulls over, and honestly, all of the rubber had come off the wheel and it was down to the f*cking metal he had drove that far (laughs). You couldnāt write half of the shit that Dykieās said.
So Lost Art has served the Liverpool scene for well over a decade now ā do you ever wonder what you might be doing or where youād be if youād never decided to open the shop?
- I donātĀ often think about it. Probably living in Southport, still working in Morrisonās or something (laughs). I used to be an āIn Store Vehicle Managerā (laughs), thatās the title I gave myself but I actually just collected the trollies. Iād probably still be doing that.
Recently you added Geoff Rowley to the ever-expanding Lost Art rabble, which is obviously a massively positive move for everyone involved ā how and when did that come about?
- Itās a weird one because Geoffās always been into the shop, when heās in Liverpool heās come in and asked for a t-shirt or Iāve sent him a t-shirt. He was driving back from Arizona and he called me and said, āI really want to ask, can I ride for the shop?ā Obviously, my immediate reaction was, āf*cking hell, can you ride for the shop?ā (Laughs). Obviously I was super stoked to have Geoff ask to ride for Lost Art. There was no real talk of it prior to that, but heās from Liverpool and heās definitely down for what weāre doing and I guess he wants to be part of that, and itās amazing; I canāt believe it, still.
Weāre going to do an interview with him so he might choose to say why heās decided to ride for the shop, but Iām f*cking over the moon. Itās a great honour to have one of the best skaters in the world ride for your shop, and heās a good lad. Iām obviously very stoked.
How do you manage to juggle being a shop owner, a sponsored skateboarder, a father and a family man? Do you ever have any free time?
- Not very much! Itās hard; my family and my shop come first now but obviously riding for The National has relit a flame for skating, whereas before I was kind of over it. Now Iām into it again so Iām making time, but it is difficult, as you know.
Youāve being actively involved in skateboarding for most of your life with a lot changing over that time, trends coming and going and the whole thing evolving almost constantly. With that in mind, how does skateboarding look to you right now? WhatĀ do you like/not like and why?
- I think itās amazing right now; so many kids are starting to skate, itās a great time to start skating because you wonāt get any shit off people in school or randomsĀ in the street; everyone knows about skateboarding. Parks are everywhere, thereās so much to skate; itās a hell of a lot easier.
Itās a hard one because I try and watch skateboarding now but thereās just so much of it that you get bored very quickly – āJohnny So and So switch tre this, that, the thirdā…I donāt care (laughs). Honestly, I donāt.
I tend to look at previous skateboarding. Itās quite funny actually because Iāve started to watch older videos again ā āStreets on Fireā, all the Bones Brigade videos, the SMA video āDebunkerā, the G&S video…Iāve started to watch all of those again and appreciate them in a completely different light. You watch them and youāre like, āI didnāt even get on to thisā because you were obviously looking at them like a kid ā āSkateboarding! F*cking yeah!ā – but these guys were older or a part of something that was different at the time, but you didnāt get onto it, you were just looking at what tricks they were doing or what tricks you could learn. WhereasĀ now you look back at them and see their personalities coming through and itās much nicer for me to watch that; I definitely have more of a connection with it.
Iām not one of those jaded old dudes thatās going āf*ck that new shitā though; skateboarding is incredible right now. Some of the best companies ever have appeared in the last couple of years ā Polar, The National, Palace…small, homegrown companies that people from America are looking at. Itās a great time to have a skateboard brand; art direction is amazing on skateboards again, itās not just a bloody logo on a board…itās f*cking rad.
Prior to the much publicised collapse of Blueprint late last year, youād already jumped ship to be involved with setting up The National Skateboard Co ā how did that switch come about?Ā Did you foresee what was going to happen at Blueprint or did you just feel it was time for a fresh start?
- I actually havenāt officially left Blueprint yet because I havenāt put out a letter on the Internet or an Instagram post saying Iām off, so I might do that soon (laughs). Iām pretty much still on, I just havenāt had any shit from them for a while (laughs).
It wasnāt for me; once people started leaving – Baines had gone, Magee had gone, Colin was retired, Paul was obviously busy in The States doing his thing and keeping it all going – all the team was based in London and I just didnāt feel a part of it at all. I was over it a long time before The National was talked about and when I was asked to be part of it I was instantly stoked because of all of the people involved, and I felt it was time for a fresh start. And Iām f*cking stoked that I did…ācos itās rad.
In your opinion, whatās the gnarliest trick ever done in Liverpool?
- H catching his board with his teeth ā the tooth sweeter at the Police Banks.
Or Hās ollie at Everton Valley when he first did it; that was ridiculous.
Geoffās switch tre down Lime Street 9 at a time when people werenāt doing switch treās on flat really ā that was insane. Jimmy Boyes got gnarly here too (laughs) but itās got to be H.
Actually, the f*cking bench-to-bench ollie H did at Pier Head. Thatās the gnarliest thing Iāve ever seen on a skateboard, and not just in Liverpool (laughs). Iām going to go with that…or the tooth sweeper. Why would you ever attempt that trick? (Laughing). It makes no sense.
Out of all the slams and falls youāve taken over the years, which ones stand out to you as being the worst/most amusing?
- F*ck- ing hell…that one today was pretty sick, (laughs). The one in Holland at the start of my East part was a killer, that was horrific, but Iād have to go with the SF slam that we were looking at tonight.
It was the first day of a two-week trip to San Francisco and we were skating around by Embarcadero and Hubba. I canāt remember who our guide was but he took us to this 18-stair handrail with a gap out to it, and he actually told me the only person to ever try it was Lennie Kirk and he broke his ankle trying it (laughs) so I thought, āIāll have some of thatā.
Iād never skated an 18-stair handrail before or since (laughs). I spent about half an hour rolling up to it, psyching myself up, and then the first go I tried it I managed to land on my balls, I then fell onto my face and slid down the handrail on my face withĀ my knees hitting every rung, and then I forward flipped off the bottom (laughing). And I didnāt have any health insurance either. That definitely stands out (laughs). Thatās the worst and the most amusing at the same time, and if you need the photo then Sam (Ashley) has it.
Actually, at the Law Courts when they used to have the bench and the gap ā youād do tricks over the gap, down the drop. I remember flying at it ā I donāt know where I was going to ollie to, Iād have f*cking cleared half of Liverpool if Iād have made it, but about ten foot before the wall my board stopped in some bricks and I Supermanād over the wall and down the drop (laughing). I cleared about 30 feet (laughing)! That was pretty funny.
Are you able to imagine a life without skateboarding?
- No, not at all: Iāve done it for well over two-thirds of my life, I canāt even remember not skateboarding, Itās granted me the life that I live now and I definitely couldnāt imagine a life without it.
The guy in Warrington today kind of summed it up ā āarenāt you too old for that shit?ā (Laughs). No. Youāre never too old. Itās f*cking incredible.