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Getting away with Dustin Dollin & Steve Olson

Dustin Dollin, a name synonymous with excess – on and off the board. You can find the countless stories, legends, and myths that surround him in skateboarding’s history books under the headline “The last of the Piss Drunx.” From the bar straight onto a rail, puking in Epicly Later’d, seven day weekend, all of these are written on his business card. One of the people that invented this rock and roll lifestyle in skateboarding is Steve Olson, who still in 2018 looks as if he actually played the lead role in Rebel Without a Cause. On July 24, both these men met in the café Fluctuat Nec Mergitur at Place de la République. Usually, you’d imagine these two hardened veterans in a rundown bar, but there’s beer here just as well. After a few rounds of those and lots of cigarettes, the interview is wrapped up with as many prejudices confirmed as destroyed.

What’s the reason for both of you to be in Paris right now?

Dustin: I believe Steve’s here to do an art show.

Steve: Yeah, I was here to do some stuff, but the person who I am staying with said, “Oh, I think your friend is here too. ‘Dustin Dollar.’” I was like, “You mean Dustin Dollin?” I was excited.

Dustin: I always get excited when I get a call from Steve Olson. I’ve looked up to the guy out of all the old-school skaters. He just did whatever the fuck he wanted and I’ve tried to do the same thing, traveled the world and not stayed in a collective group in California that doesn’t want to leave. They say I usually just jump off tours and do whatever I want. Steve is kinda an all-over-the-place guy too.

Steve: I also interviewed Dustin once. That was funny as hell.

Then you can do this by yourselves.

Dustin: So Steve, do you think your art show is gonna sell out?

Steve: Yeah… I think that Europe is really, really cool in comparison to the States lately. It’s really new to me and exciting.

Dustin: I like being in Paris because I don’t really like to hear shitty conversations around me. Because I don’t understand French too well, it feels like I’m in a hypnotic state where I can sit at a bar or a tabac – usually I drink at tabacs because it’s cheaper – and just listen to nothing besides my own brain… which is enough. I’m sorry to say, but in America… it’s like you’re in the movie Clueless every day of your life. Well, in Los Angeles that is. I’m not talking shit on all of America. I’m not talking shit on LA either, but if you go to a café and hear the girls talk, it’s like they actually talk like that. It’s a real thing. Hollywood can’t be realer. I lived there for five years and I’d do everything not to live there anymore. Now you can film everywhere and transfer the clips within minutes. Before, I was stuck in Australia for four years, stacking up enough footage, going to the post office, sending the tapes. I was, like, one of the early skateboarders who made it in America while I wasn’t even living there. I spent the best part of my career in Australia. I was stuck there.

Why were you stuck?

Dustin: My visas for the US were fine, but I forgot to hand in my departure card, which I lost. When I went to the visa office, I lied because I said that I stayed for six month even though I stayed for two years, but I actually had my visa extended and it was all legal. The funny thing was that I finally went back to LAX after four years, they stamped my passport, I’m already at the car, and the security grabbed me and pulled me back in. I got there to do some secondary checks and I told them my passport got stolen back then and the dude was just yelling at the guy who stamped my passport. “You’re really lucky Mr. Dollin. You’re in because we already stamped your passport.” It was funny. Reynolds got me a hotel in Beverly Hills. I remember that he hit a guy on his bike after we got food that day. That was funny. First day back.

You’ve pretty much been traveling for half of your life, never staying at one place for too long.

Dustin: You’ve seen the Instagram where I travel to the moon and back in four years? That was kinda my gipsy phase. I just put everything in storage after I had split with my wife in LA and hit the road. Not the road, the world. It’s a glorious thing if you have nothing. I’ve had that suitcase for three years now. Just trying to find a good chick.

Steve: You’re really looking for a good chick?

Dustin: Yeah, I’m on the search for love. My whole life has been chasing girls around the world.

Steve: You’re a hopeless romantic.

Dustin: It’s always been good though. When I met people, I never fucked over anyone and could just stay at so many places. There’s a lot of countries where I’ve had girls.

"As people have this image of me, I often get sucked into a complete fuck-up world"

It’s pretty interesting because what you’ve been doing for half of your life, I’m doing right now. Do you have any tips on how to do that?

Dustin: The best tips are: if you stay at somebody’s house, clean it before you leave. Call every bar where you fucked up and apologize, so you can get back if you ever return. And the third thing is trying to remember the numbers of everyone you met. Because the first ten years of traveling, I didn’t give a fuck. Nowadays, I try to keep in contact with everybody. I’m not too good with technology and all that. With memory… when you’re, like, really fucking super drunk, you forget who took care of you and you also forget who you shouldn’t have hung out with. Which is like, some guy coming up to you, “Hey, you remember, you did speed at my house for two days,” and you’re like, “I’m sorry, I don’t want to be around you at all.” Make sure that when you get to a city, you don’t hang out with the cool people but people you can trust. As people have this image of me, I often get sucked into a complete fuck-up world. You gotta get out of that. Just try to find nice people.

Steve: Do you think that traveling around people who skate keeps it fresh? You know what I mean? You’re not stuck in stagnation…

Dustin: That’s the thing. If you watch all my video parts by different filmers in different countries… it’s funny because, at one point, Baker had to put aside a budget for all the filmers that I used because they pay Beagle too. I film with everybody. It’s a problem sometimes because there’s tricks I want to do, but there’s no one around to film, which kinda sucks. Definitely, new spots and new things keep me on the road. I’m addicted to the highway. [sings the song] Why are you still alive Steve? Because you don’t do drugs?

Steve: ;Because I’m supposed to be. Fuck drugs. I’ve never been a drug addict. People think, “Oh yeah, he’s a fucking drug addict and he rages.” But you cannot rage and keep on living… I’m 57 years old. There’s no way. Most of my friends have died. But I don’t want to die. Life is precious, life is amazing. Look at it. We’re in Paris together. Being a dope addict, stuck on the streets, slinging dope would be boring. Fuck drugs.

Dustin: It’s funny because I’ve put up some footage of me on vacations, drinking with friends and girls and all this shit, and the people at the office were like, “All he does is party and he spends all the money on that.” All these vacations, however, were because I met people that like me as a friend and invite me to these places. I always take free accommodation no matter where it is. I’m not spending all my money to be on fantastic vacations. I just meet amazing people and stay friends with them. “Oh, we have a house on this island for the summer, you want to join?” Why would I not? Should I stay in a van for 24 hours a day my whole life or should I go there, maybe meet some skaters, maybe film a trick or whatever?

Steve: So when you’re out skating – I guess it’s totally different from when I was deeply into it – how important is it to film? Like, we didn’t call photographers or filmers. We’d just be skating and they’d show up sometimes.

Dustin: No, it’s like, I go out skating with the local skaters in any city for a while and when I think of something I want to do, I organize it myself. It does feel bad when there’s so many people and so many different cameras. Like, when I moved here, I thought I could film a bunch of stuff and all the French people are filming VX. What the fuck! Baker just stopped doing VX and now everybody in Europe’s filming VX again. But for me, I mean, I don’t practice skateboarding that much anymore. I skate around. I skate with people, but I don’t try to learn new tricks. I’m done with learning. When I want to try something, it’s gotta matter. Chima is the same. He won’t do anything. He won’t skate for four days and then gets out of the van, gets the trick he wants to, and gets back in the van. He doesn’t practice too often. Everyone else is out at the skatepark, training every day, putting it on Instagram and I think, “Man, you’re doing the same tricks you’ve been doing when you were 14 years old. I don’t want to see it every day of my life.” My sponsors would be like, “You gotta put more skating on your Instagram.” It’s my personal account and not your business account, motherfucker.

Steve: Oh, they do the pressuring?

Dustin: Yeah, yeah. But I’m skating when I’m filming for a video part, not skating to put it on Instagram.

Steve: But it has become really relevant for skating?

Dustin: As soon as they’ll extend the time limit to three minutes, people are gonna put whole parts on Instagram. The integrity of skateboard video parts is over. As soon as they’ll extend it to three minutes, skateboarding is dead. Not dead, but you won’t need a team anymore and so on. When Thrasher put out the first solo part without a team being involved, which was David Gonzalez’s who got Skater of the Year for it, it changed skateboarding forever. It seemed like people were going, “Okay, I can go out by myself, I don’t need a fucking team.”

Steve: Have you won Skater of the Year?

Dustin: No, but it was a lot different when I was at my best. Skater of the Year is a planned thing now where they pick like five skaters, make sure they’re on every tour and everybody pays attention to them. When I had my best years, I was filming all over the place for different projects but not for Thrasher. Believe me, at one point, I had 19 minutes worth of footage that would’ve made a good Thrasher part, but it was spread all over the place. Even when Reynolds won Skater of the Year, it wasn’t that big of a deal. We just went to SF, got drunk at a party, and hung out. Now it’s like Big Brother the reality TV show.

I recently met Jamie Foy who told me that he talked to Reynolds who said to him that if he’d been around in the old days, he would’ve been called a skate nerd because he’s skating so much. Back then, it was partying, partying, partying, and then a bit of skating. Do you feel that the mentality has changed?

Dustin: Yeah, but the thing is that skaters get pussy now just for being skaters. Back then, you had to party to meet girls. There were no girls around in skating. Big difference.

Steve: Do you really think there are more girls around skating than ever before?

Dustin: Every fucking skater has a hot babe girlfriend.

Steve: That’s not the question…

Dustin: In between the ‘80s and the 2000s…

Steve: Listen to me, I have a very serious question… When I go to a skate event, there are not that many girls…

Dustin: The girls are not at the events, they are meeting afterwards for the party.

Steve: So when you go film a skate part, there’s no chicks, you’re working. If a dude’s playing a basketball game, which is similar… well not exactly… but similar, after he gets done with the game, there’s bitches.

Dustin: They’re millionaires. I’ve been a millionaire three different times, but I’ve always been in relationships and that’s the thing. I’ve been married three times.

Steve: Three times? You are amazing.

Dustin: I’ve always tried to find a girl that’s able to deal with me and deal with my lifestyle.

"There’s a difference between an alcoholic and a drunk. An alcoholic is someone who can drink every day and be fine, and a drunk is someone who drinks and fucks up every time they drink."

Is it hard to find a woman that deals with your lifestyle?

Dustin: I’m pretty easy nowadays, but at one point… My first wife didn’t see me for like eight months a year. I was just gone and she didn’t know where I was. I don’t even think I had a cellphone.

Steve: Did she understand that you’re working?

Dustin: I don’t even remember, but I don’t travel that much anymore. I go on a lot of European trips with Antiz and different companies. What I never really understood is how a lot of skaters only go on tour with their companies. I’ll jump into any teams’ tour. I’ll jump in the van with the Black Lips and go on their tour. It doesn’t even have to be with skateboarders. That’s where I’m a little bit different than most skateboarders because I hang out a lot with people who don’t know anything about skateboarding. I love going on tour with skaters too. I get so hyped that I probably piss off the other ones since they’re complaining about being on tour, and I’m just psyched to be able to get some tricks. Great.

But you also have the distribution in Australia, right? How do you handle that stuff when you’re traveling?

Dustin: The distribution in Australia runs itself. All the brands that Baker Boys has… it’s just me and one partner, and we run the whole distribution for all of Australia. We run it out of a storage unit. I get to pick the team and choose who gets boards in Australia. Right now, I’m editing a new video for the distribution. Basically, I get to pick the talents in Australia and make sure that they’re taken care of. When I was a kid, the distributions ripped us the fuck off. They gave us like two boards a month. I make sure they get taken care of properly, hook them up with filmers who send me the footage and I edit the video. That’s what makes me happy because some of these kids make it big. Look at where Jake Hayes is. He was on the distribution. I found him, I put him on, and now he’s pro for Deathwish. It’s a big thing for me. It’s like, what Reynolds did for me, I get to do for Australian skateboarders.

Steve: How did Reynolds find you?

Dustin: It’s quite a long story, but I met Brad Hayes in Hawaii. It was a Volcom trip and Hayes sold weed to the guys at the barrio and he brought me there. I was 17. He was like, “Jim Greco is gonna love you,” and he did because I was a nightmare. I made the girls cry downstairs the first day I was there. I was more mature than them though because I’ve been drinking in bars since I was like twelve years old. So I could drink, I could be crazy, and these young Americans haven’t seen anything like that. They were 19, 20, 21 and haven’t really started with their partying phase, which has been going on my whole life basically.

Steve: And that is the beginning of the Piss Drunx?

Dustin: Piss Drunx? No that was like after about a year. We had the Warner Ave crew where I was drinking every day. It was kinda a race to see who could get the first case of beer between the five apartments on Warner Avenue. We’d drink all day, go to the Huntington Park, sell shit, skate a little. Then Reynolds was filming for The End and his part was groundbreaking. He was like, “You know what? I gotta take all these drunk losers and make Baker.” It worked.

Soloskatemag Dustin Paris

Ollie | Photo by Loic Benoit

All the Piss Drunx are sober now.

Dustin: Except me.

I read in an interview that you were taking a two-week break from alcohol and it sounded like you want to slow it down a bit.

Dustin: I had something going on with my face. It would swell up like a balloon, my eyes, my lips. The doctor thought I had some disease or bacteria that was feeding off of sugar. So it wasn’t even alcohol, but maybe she just wanted me to detox for two weeks. I don’t drink hardcore. I just drink beer all the time, I’m Australian for fuck’s sake. That’s what Americans don’t understand, everybody drinks beer all day in Australia.

They do?

Dustin: Everybody I know, and it’s not a problem. If people have a fight, they call each other the next day and say sorry. Right now, it’s lunchtime, we’re all having beers, but you can’t do that in America. “Oh my god, a beer at lunchtime?” In most cafés here, people have a glass of rosé for lunch. In the States, people tell you to go to AA if you’re having a beer at lunchtime. What the fuck?

Steve: I thought that AA stands for Anything Anytime.

Dustin: The problem is that it’s not about the drinking but rather about living life the best way you fucking can because you’re gonna die anyway, and I lived a fucking great life so far. Maybe it’s because of beer, maybe it’s because of skating, maybe it’s because of having a positive attitude and not fucking everybody over. I’ve been on the road for 20 years, pretty much non-stop. It gets tiring, but once you’ve figured out the world and figured out who the good people are, you’ve got friends everywhere.

Steve: Through skateboarding you meet lots of people. I have friends from skateboarding from the ‘70s that I haven’t seen for months or years, but when we see each other, it’s like we hung out yesterday. Skateboarding is universal and amazing. I was standing on the bridge and some guy was staring at me and I was like, “Can I help you?” He was like, “Um, are you Steve Olson?” I was like, “Yeah, but who cares? I’m just looking at the water.” He was like, “I like to skateboard too,” and I said, “Cool, what do you do?” – “I’m an architect.” He showed me some buildings that he made and told me that he still skates and so on. I don’t know where I’m going with this story, but…

Dustin: My wife’s an architect.

"All these skaters that seem squeaky clean... it’sbullshit. Motherfuckers are fucked up. They’ve had their problems with their wives, they’ve been to jail..."

Do a lot of people recognize you on the streets as well and invite you for a beer or something?

Dustin: Here not so much, which is good, but in Mexico City or LA, it happens all the time. Bunch of fucking weird fans, people that don’t even look like they skate. I had people coming up to me, telling me that they don’t like skating, but they love how I live my life. It’s a bit weird, but maybe I like that even more. Skating is not such a big culture here yet. It’s not like LA where skateboarding’s everywhere and everybody loves the pro skateboarders even though they’ve all fucked up in their life. Even all the best ones that have the squeaky-clean looking personalities, they’ve all fucked up. They all have problems. I’m thinking, “Fuck, I fucked up. I had three wives,” and so on, but I have never been to jail or anything. Half of the old ones that everyone respects that are sober, like all these skaters that seem squeaky clean… it’s bullshit. Motherfuckers are fucked up. They’ve had their problems with their wives, they’ve been to jail… I’m not trying to sound egotistical, but I think a lot of people are jealous because I have lived my life drinking and supposedly being crazy, which is not true. I’ve been to jail but not for serious shit. I don’t have any misdemeanors. I think that pisses a lot of people off at the end of the day. They wonder how I get away with it, you know? There’s a difference between an alcoholic and a drunk. An alcoholic is someone who can drink every day and be fine, and a drunk is someone who drinks and fucks up every time they drink.

Steve: I mean, if it becomes a problem, it is a problem, but if you handle your situation after you had fun, it’s not a problem.

Dustin: It’s a functional fuck up.

Steve: But you don’t fuck up, you just enjoy having a good time. You handle your business when you got to handle it.

Dustin: There’s a lot of people who are secret alcoholics in the skate industry too. I had Ryan Sheckler break down to me one time like, “I’m a fucking alcoholic. I love to drink, but I’m not allowed to drink in public. If there was a photo of me drinking or smoking, they’d kick me off my sponsors because I’m this squeaky-clean guy.” Imagine living in that shadow. I’d rather make it obvious, and I think I get in trouble for making it that obvious. I’m not a good liar.

You are pretty open about it in interviews and everything.

Dustin: Yeah, what do I have to prove? I had a 20-year-long skate career, which most people can’t have. I’m still here. They can’t get rid of me. I’m like a cockroach.

Is it harder nowadays to live that life and film a video part?

Dustin: The misconceived part is that I am actually a healthy person. I eat healthy food, have a good diet, go to bed at regular hours, don’t party till six in the morning anymore. I drink till people go to sleep, and that’s usually before me, but when they go to sleep, I mostly do some productive work on the computer or think of a plan to make my life more interesting. Most people cause dramas to create their life because they’re so bored.

Steve: What’s the reason though?

Dustin: The drama is that they have too many friends that are having dramas and they get themselves involved. If you just disappear when people start to hate you, it’s pretty easy. People can say I’m a coward and I don’t wanna face my problems, but I just don’t want to face the problems of others. Their problem is their problem, but they put it on me. “Well, if I hadn’t been out drinking with you, I wouldn’t be having a fight with my wife.” Get the fuck out of here. I don’t buy shots anymore for the past seven years. I’m not that guy anymore. Atiba can do shots all night and he can fly to shoot a basketball game the next day. I’m surprised about that guy really. He’s fucking crazy. He’s a real Piss Drunk. It’s like shots all night till 6 in the morning, jump on a flight at 7, shooting a Lakers game. Atiba is probably the most functional Piss Drunk, but he doesn’t have a Piss Drunx tattoo. I told him once, but he said that he can’t get a tattoo. All the cool guys in skateboarding with the squeaky-clean image… these motherfuckers are drunks. It’s the truth. Why is everyone judging me? Only because I’ve been a bit rude to somebody? Maybe they don’t remember the times when Jason Dill was drunk and an amateur was trying to sit shotgun and he was like, “Get in the fucking back you fucking amateur.” The time when skateboarding was tough, you know? Where being a pro meant something and you didn’t have to treat everyone like a fucking queen. I lived with Mickey Reyes, fucking Hells Angels and shit. I lived on a fucking bunk bed with Mickey Reyes, fucking chicks downstairs while the Hells Angels are getting their bikes fixed and shit. I’ve seen the fucking mechanic bash up his wife in front of me, Mickey being caught with a knife in his leg on his birthday. If skaters see anything a bit extraordinary nowadays, they think it’s soooo scary. Man, I’ve been on tour with Phelps for years. I’ve fed acid to all these animals on fucking Skate Rock in Australia. I had 30 tabs of acid, fed ’em all. Lee Ralph, everybody was there, high as fuck on acid in the suburbs of fucking Australia. I had to manage these animals. So all I’m saying is that skateboarding should get the sand out of its fucking vagina and step it up already.

Steve: What about the Olympics though and that whole world?

Dustin: People ask me about that and I’m like, “Do you think Nyjah is going to be in the Olympics in three years?” It’s gonna be 13-year-old kids who were trained like monkeys for that fucking thing.

None of the people who are in the mainstream competitions right now are gonna be relevant. They’re gonna have the commentators be like, “Oh, he’s 23 years old, a veteran from the old contest era.” Nyjah can probably retire by the time of the Olympics. He’s rich now. When you watch the Olympics, mark my words, there won’t be a name that you know making gold, silver, or bronze.

Steve: You think the Olympics is gonna make skateboarding more popular?

Dustin: I think that anything that is related to contests in skateboarding is gay – not in a homophobic way. I just don’t think that that’s what skateboarding is in general. It’s spontaneous and not routined. It’s not ballet. My brother in law is a professional ballet dancer and I went to see him. How can you remember that one-hour routine of perfect dancing? Don’t you think that skateboarders are being robotized into that routine? Alright, one more beer and then lunch.

"Man, I’ve been on tour with Phelps for years. I’ve fed acid to all these animals on fucking Skate Rock in Australia. I had 30 tabs of acid, fed ’em all. Lee Ralph, everybody was there, high as fuck on acid in the suburbs of fucking Australia."

Will you stay in Paris for longer now?

Dustin: Yeah, this is my home. I live here now. I got a “carte de séjour” because I’m married.

Why did you choose Paris? Randomly?

Dustin: I have always loved Paris. My last wife was French as well. I have my house in Sydney for the summer, I can go to LA every time. So I fly to Australia in the summer, go to LA, and come back to Europe.

Steve: So you go to Australia when it’s summer there.

Dustin: Yeah around, like, January. I see my mom, the whole family. I have a pretty nice life set up. The world is organized now in the right way for my life.

It’s summer all the time.

Dustin: And the ground is smooth here, you can skate perfectly everywhere. You don’t have to drive. Sydney, Melbourne, Paris – no driving. You get on the metro and then you skate. No being stuck in traffic. In America, you get in the van and you’re in there for ten hours a day. It takes like six hours to get to a spot in LA, then you got three hours of skating, and then it’s nighttime. I love van life, it’s basically my hotel room, but you’re losing your life. Here, when you go skating, you can still sit at a bar and watch people skate. You don’t break into schools, you’re not being deported for jumping the fence, shitty schools that look like the same spot anybody skated their whole fucking life. Here it’s all different spots, you got the suburbs, the architecture is better and you have smooth ground. I don’t want to live in London, because the fucking ground sucks. It’s about texture. The texture of what you’re looking down your whole life is the ground. If the ground’s smooth, it makes your life real fucking easy.

Same as you, I’m trying to find a woman and stay – maybe in Paris. You married two French women. What’s the secret?

Dustin: I don’t know… charisma? Being interesting? Having stories? If you have 20 years of adventures under your belt, you don’t really get too boring. Everything reminds you of a story of a part of your life, and I got thousands of stories that remind me of some past events.

In some interview, you talked about writing a book.

Dustin: Yeah, but not many people are gonna like it. It’s a non-chronological order of short stories of all the crazy shit that has happened to me. It’s not like, “I was born and then I went to school and I came to America and became a pro skater.” It skips years and goes back.

Steve: How did you become a pro skater?

Dustin: I got really lucky. When I got to America, I wasn’t that good at skating, but I met the right people. Once you’re among your peers, you get better. It’s like a magnet. Once you get into a circle where the ball in the middle is so high standard, you become a high standard. It’s a social thing. I landed with Andrew Reynolds and everybody, and Reynolds is obviously the best street skater in the world, but I became a pro skater because of Mickey Reyes. He made me pro for Stereo when it turned into, like, monkey graphics, hoping that I could save the company, but it was a fail. Ethan Fowler quit when I got on, not a good sign. We put on a new team and it was sucky and then I was in Australia, still riding for Stereo, but I had already finished my Baker 2G part. Mickey called me and was like, “Fuck you, you’re gonna ride for Baker?” – “Baker? What’s Baker?” – “You know Baker Bootleg, Baker 2G” – “I don’t know what’s going on in America, but is Baker a company now?” I didn’t even know. Nobody told me because I didn’t have a phone for a while. Ended up getting the last part in Baker 2G. That was my Baker premiere without knowing anything about it.

Steve: J Strickland was part of Baker at that point, yeah?

Dustin: Strickland was the one who negotiated Reynolds’s bullshit deal. He ripped Reynolds off, that’s why he got fired. Then he started Bootleg with a different distribution, which is kinda the weakest thing you can do after running Baker, earning yourself 7,000 dollars a month, more than any of the riders, then start a sister company called Bootleg through NHS in San Francisco, and try to run both companies and pay yourself double. Strickland called me and was like, “You and Trainwreck gotta be the main dudes for Bootleg,” and I call Reynolds, “Is this guy serious?” J Strickland was like, “You don’t know what goes on in Hollywood. Reynolds is on crack, Ellington is on crack. Everyone’s fucked up. Jim is on heroin. You gotta start a new company. Bootleg is yours. You and Trainwreck and Elissa.” I was doing really well skating at that time and had a bunch of footage saved up, and Reynolds was like, “Whose bedroom did you sleep in? Whose floor did you sleep on? Who bought you food?” and I was like, “You did boss, I’m with Baker. Fuck J.”

Steve: J Strickland’s a snake.

Dustin: I still like how he did the videos. He basically just wanted to fuck over Per Welinder and Tony Hawk. That was his goal. He had to realize that Andrew’s loyalty to Tony Hawk outdoes his loyalty to J Strickland.

When will we be able to read the book?

Dustin: I don’t know. Maybe never. I had a typewriter and I got on to like 50 pages, but all my stuff is in storage in LA. I wrote the first twelve years when I went back to Australia. Once I get that book, I’ll be inspired to start typing again. The period I’m gonna be writing on now is backwards from when I met Blanche [Dustin’s wife, editor’s note] in Paris.

You also wrote the tour article from the Antiz trip for Solo a while ago. It was more like a poem. Do you also write poetry?

Dustin: I constantly write poetry.

Steve: Can we hear a poem?

Dustin: I can read you one about America, it’s perfect for the interview. “The characters I see every day having a beer at a regular shitty tabac bistro in Paris compared to the people I see in the Earthbar in Santa Monica Boulevard. Come on, Tom! I mean, I would go to the Earthbar, grab a B12 shot and a smoothie, but seriously, if I had to hear that mindless talk every day from health cunts rather than a slightly bad English description from a vivid phase of their history at a French tabac compared to a face you know ain’t real. I know which one I prefer. That’s just me.” Oh, there’s another one. I was on a vacation and there was a swing in the backyard… “There’s a swing swinging in the bush, you know the type made with rope and wood. It swings, it swings in the wind. In the mud footprints of Robin Hood, stole from the rich to do poor people good. It swings, it swings in the wind. There’s a wind that blows from the north, burns oxygen in my flickering torch and it burns, it burns in the wind. There’s an organ playing a song and pushing my blood from my heart to my lungs, they breathe. The last one that’s left. The swing and the wood, tied to a rope, heavy it swings, heavy it swings. A child giggles as a mother pushes anew, little life swinging from the bushes, it swings like a baby, like a baby. The child grows old like the wood on the ropes, the swing, it falls and is buried with me. The rope where the swing hung leaves its marks on the tree. The only time I got to swing with my baby.”

Steve: I like that one. Listen, I wrote a haiku, “It starts. It ends. It starts again.”

Dustin: I wrote something similar. “The best thing in life is making people believe that life is unbelievable.”

And you only do them for yourself? Never thought about publishing them?

Dustin: I just do ’em to remind me… Sometimes you need a little inspiration. When you’re as drunk as possible and by yourself, writing about what’s going on around you just really helps. The reason I’m writing so much lately is because my girlfriend bought me a typewriter and was like, “Why haven’t you written lately?” and I was like, “It’s really hard to write when you’re happy.”