Rich Monday And Maty Almost Wake Up To A Sleeping Town!

Let The Games Begin. Let’s Start This Rock And Roll Party!

The Southern California Smash Mouth Local Punk Rock Legend Maty Almost crashed my house for a discussion about his new band ‘Almost Criminal’ and to do a sit down interview with me for my new zine book series coming out called ‘STAMINA.’

Yeah when the long time punker and hardcore historian Maty stops by to ruin your home, your wife and your life as you know it, it meant a few things to me. It meant no sleep for a couple days, playing the U.S. Bombs really loud all night, some song writing, a sit down interview about how great he is, me giving him all my awesome skate clothing, and of course sex stories about all his ex’s, too much drug abuse and excessive amounts of alcohol all made for barrage of ranting and ravings with head bangin punk rock living wasting the nights away to memories money can’t buy. The carnage at my house ended with a tradition, this could only mean one thing, yep, a mission to go street skating and destroy the city streets of Modesto and of course it could only happen at the crack of dawn for a rumble in the Mo-Town Jungle with a crew of you know who. I played guide and picked two spots that where hot and security free. The police tend to leave grey haired skaters and skin head punk rockers alone as long as they can stop by and watch the exhibition of gnar we displayed for any onlooker who wanted to witness what really goes on at that hour in this town. We started the mayhem of the road trip at the Modesto Banks under the Kansas street bridge, which is always the best of times of any trip. We followed that up with a session at the Carver Daycare Ledges where my skate session came to a crashing end to get the photo shots on film. It took me 9 tries and 3 hard hitting dances with the concrete ground to pull this trick. I think my problem is that I have to hit my trick spots at mach 5 speed for some God only knows reason, but mission accomplished and it was time for some breakfast and a refresher of the party flavors at the house. Maty skated like a trooper. I believe you ain’t punk unless you can skate a little and he threw down some stylin moves on his newest stunt wood he chose for the city skate and destroy street crashing mission we got ourselves into. What a day and night we had. More memories added to the years of living a great lifestyle of growing up on 4 wheels and bangin hardcore tunes on guitar, or on the player. I’m truly down for life and Maty you can crash my party any day of the week. Later Much!

Rich Monday

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The Modesto Banks. I skated this spot while they were still finishing the front end of the construction site. Gnarly skate spot. Sorry, No BMX & Scooter Riders allowed!

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The Carver Ledges and I’ve got my game plan set, so I thought.

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Nope, ain’t happening yet grasshopper! The force is with you!

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Again, no high fives on what felt like my 40th attempt. Damn I’m fucking  old…

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That’s it Rich, just slow down and and make a good pop!

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Ah, finally, Huston we have made contact. Now just slide the night away.

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Fuck this new wax you say everybody uses is slick Fennigan.
Don’t argue me damn it, just snap the fucking shot on the E.O.S.

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God I’m a big & tall heavy beast. Tall skaters look rad though when they unfold a trick.

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Why do I go so fast? Now I have to land it and not fall into the traffic 10 feet in front of me. Thank God for the spotter. Now just pull it off and walk away for the sake of your body.

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God what a sketchy roll away, but I’ll take it. Now pass the bottle and inject the pain relievers from last night, because this spot has made me sober from the brutal falls, fuck!

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Fuck What You Heard!

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Rich Monday With A Lengthy Backside Board Slide

Local legend Rich Monday throws down a high speed slide at Modesto banks!

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This is a street skating spot that Rich Monday discovered while construction crews were still building it. It has a 5 foot transition wall and a lip at the top worthy of a nice grind, or in this case a long slider. At age 40 Rich Monday shows the youngsters, that some things do get better with age.

“Live To Skate, Or Die Trying!”

Maty’s Corner # 6

Maty’s Corner Issue # 6

Skate Rock San Jose- Steve Caballero and The Faction

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The first incarnation of The Faction were Steve Caballero, Gavin O’Brien, Craig Bosch, and Russ Wright. This lineup only lasted through a couple of practices when Craig Bosch left to join local punk band The Unaware. Bosch was replaced by Adam Segal who also became the band’s de facto manager.

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10434The Faction were a hardcore punk rock band. Pioneers of the skate punk era during the early 1980s many band would follow their after.

Starting on Halloween 1982 out of the streets, pools and ramps of San Jose California was The Faction!  Though they only lasted 3 years to the day Halloween 1985.

10435They would forever set a blueprint for the entire skate punk scene which birthed the Warped tour and X Games.  This wasn’t some bunch of posers, this was music by skaters for skaters.  First off you had Steve “Cab” Caballero on bass then guitar.  That’s right, the Bones Brigade legend and man behind the Vans half cab (a pair of which I’m rocking at the moment) as a founding member of this band.

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10433Steve Caballero was known for so many insane air variations and tricks and even has many trick variations named by him.  He’s also set a long standing record for highest air out of a pipe along with being Thrasher’s Skater of The Century.  Though being born with scoliosis he never really suffered from other than a kink in his neck and head position, it has never been evidenced by his career in the legendary Bones Brigade.

7761Along with Steve Caballero you had vocalist Gavin O’Brien who could skate anything and was a heavy hitter in the local punk rock.and growing skate rock scene. Lead singer Gavin O’Brien was also a notable skateboarder, popular at local Winchester Skate Park.

Drummer Craig Bosch has a skateboard trick named after him, called “the Bosch” aka invert to blunt. Pro skater Jeff Kendall would play with The Faction during 1989.
Adam Bomb who was known for crazy high top Vans and being one of the first to do switch tricks.  Rounding out the talent was Bosch who has a trick named after him which is an invert to blunt.

10452The Faction rocked as hard as they skated.  Their music sounded like a fucking bomb going off. I’d imagine their shows felt like one.  The Faction was the real deal for skate punks. An often judgmental scene that will call out a fake from a mile away! They’ve been the soundtrack to many a skate session with their biggest hit “Skate And Destroy” will go down in punk rock history. Faction will continue to be heard in garages and at back yard ramps as long as there are skateboarders.

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9066Steve Caballero At Age 16. 30 years earlier than the photo below, amazing!

8754Steve Caballero Front Side Invert At Age 46

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10435Their first album, the 7″ Yesterday Is Gone, was released on the band’s label IM Records in 1983. According to the band’s official bio, this generated a bit of resentment in the local punk scene. Some people thought The Faction’s popularity was only due to Steve Caballero’s status outside of the band. This would prove to be untrue, however, after embarking on a small summer tour of California. They quickly discovered that their album had reached a wider audience when they were greeted with much enthusiasm all through out the California large city arenas..

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10458The band’s next album, No Hidden Messages, was also released in 1983. The song “Skate And Destroy” became wildly popular as background music at skate parks, pools, ramp sessions, and early skateboard videos. “Skate And Destroy” was also featured on the official soundtrack to Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4 video game. Proving the band’s staying ability through time, The song has long been considered the official “anthem” for skateboarding and skateboarders everywhere. As the band’s manager, producer, and head of IM Records, Adam went to work booking a national tour in support of No Hidden Messages during 1984. The tour was a success and saw them play the infamous punk club CBGB for the first time.

10460The next album, Dark Room, was released in 1985. The punk sound wasn’t gone but the heavier side of the band was very apparent. As its title suggests, Dark Room indeed had a dark feel to it. Thanks to a generous helping of metal infused punk resounding. Dark Room would be the last album before the band’s breakup. The band played their final show on October 22, 1985 at the Keystone in Palo Alto, California on Halloween.

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The band’s final EP, Epitaph, recorded during the summer of 1985, was eventually released in 1986 on Thrash Records. A somewhat thrown together mix of songs, Epitaph does have a couple of standouts. Epitaph would be the last album for 10 years. A three word slogan on the back sleeve would prove quite prophetic, however. The slogan reads, “We’ll Be Back”.”

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In 1989, for reasons even unknown to the band, they reunited and played two sold out shows at the Cactus Club in San Jose. Demand for the shows was so high that club owners had to turn away a crowd of approximately 300 waiting outside on the first night. This was after they filled the venue. The shows featured the band’s final lineup minus Adam Segal. Pro skater Jeff Kendall took over Adam’s spot. This reunion spawned a four song demo tape. Two songs, “Looking For You” and “Pet Squirrel”, appeared in the Santa Cruz Skateboards video, “A Reason For Living”. This reunion didn’t last much longer and the band again called things off.

10419The band recorded new material during the early part of the new millennium and four tracks surfaced. “The Whistler” on a split 7″ with J.F.A. released in 2003, “Cut It Out” on another compilation, “Aisle Seat” and “Who The Hell Do You Think You Are?” The last two were never officially released with “Aisle Seat” ending up on the band’s MySpace page. The Faction continued to play in and around California as a foursome.
The final four were Gavin, Cab, Ray, and Keith.

-Maty Almost.