photo: o'meally (click image to view larger)
When I initially saw this photo the resulting combination of confusion and awe gave me an instant icecream headache. Firstly, I knew that Sydney’s Darling Harbour Banks were a bust, so it was difficult to shoot a photo there and secondly, how the hell is Cuzza levitating on crazily high plane on such a short hip? The obstacle to airtime ratio is blown to shreds here: he has ollied twice the height of the actual bank! You almost can hear the clickety clack of the bricks, the crisp snap of the tail, followed by the slow-mo whir of shieldless dry bearings prior to re-entry. This was taken in 1995 during the golden era when Mike O’Meally was editing and shooting for Slam. T’was prior to Mike’s move to the States for stints at Slap, Skateboarder and then of course Transworld Magazine. Mike’s pics were phenomenally on point during his last years in Oz and this is a prime example. Andrew was still living on the Gold Coast and as always he was involved with many different creative branches of the skateboarding tree. Aside from being a prominent sponsored rider: he had already owned companies, edited Slam (from the age of fifteen!), had shot numerous legendary photos and filmed for several iconic videos. During this time it wasn’t unusual for Cuzza to come down to Sydney, shoot some flicks with Mike and maybe even some of his own.
This here snap of this cracking backside ollie was shot when Stereo’s 'A Visual Sound' was just out and on high rotation in Cuzza’s VHS player. His favourites in the vid were quite rightfully Mike Daher, Carl Shipman, Ethan Fowler and of course Jason Lee. Skateboarding had just gone through the baggy-pants, small-wheeled, flippetty-dippetty, toe-dragging stage and the greater masses were yearning for some refinement. Technical skating was stripped back to the bare necessities, which were all performed with a newfound clout and finesse. On an international level this was delivered by the likes of Stereo, Forties, Real and through the Eastern Exposure movement. On a local level Cuzza was definitely one of the all round leaders of the charge. He had just actually quit SMA (Santa Monica Airlines) to start his own board movement called Grace. Grace’s team consisted of Sid Tapia, Adrian Powell and Cuzza. Grace had a high-grade look and feel, but was short lived due to Cuzza moving to Sydney and getting snapped up by Time Skateboards*. To this day I think this is one of the most poetic Andrew Currie photos I have ever seen and it is truly timeless. Keep the classics coming Cuzza. (…and Mike).
*This was just prior to Andrew beginning on his video part for Time’s ‘Money’ which is cued up below to start at Cuzza’s section, but just make sure you watch the rest, Al Boglio’s part is off the charts! Part one of 'Money' is over here.