FROM POWEREDGE MAGAZINE, BIG BROTHER & THE JACK ASS MOVIES; RICK KOSICK
Curt: How did you get involved with POWEREDGE magazine back in the day?
Rick: Back when I was still skating I was getting interested in photography, and was learning how to become a photographer because I wanted to make skate zines. About that time I met Alec Schroeder through the grapevine and he was also into making
his own skate zines and working with POWEREDGE. He would invite me up to his place and would show me how to make half tones in his dark room. At some point Alec told me that there was a dark room position open down at POWEREDGE. And sure enough Alec got me the job, I went down to the original POWER- EDGE offices on 9th Street in San Pedro next to this crazy Croatian restaurant. It was funny, I went down there to meet with Larry Stevenson and sure enough I became the guy who got to build a dark room and process photos. Was there a Darkroom at the first office: The first offices darkroom was actually a closet for clothes and then we?d take it to a different room and run it through chemicals. There were some fun times there, we?d go over to 7th Street School and skate the banks every once in awhile before it became the big spot for street skating.
Were you just a darkroom guy or were you taking
photos too??At that time I was just doing darkroom work, I really wasn?t as skilled as the other photographers at the time. The main photo guys were Dan Sturt, Sin, Christian Kline, they were really the driving force behind the photos. I had to work my way into taking photos which is ok, actually my first picture as a skate photographer was of Rodney Cassel doing an ugly ass Andrecht at the sign in bowl. You know it?s really cool, after all these years, guys like Kareem Campbell, and all these other skate stars say things to me like you were the first person to put me in a magazine. And he went on to become a famous skater.
Shooting For Poweredge Skateboarding Magazine
What issue did you start taking photos for POWEREDGE? I don?t remember the exact issue I came in on, I can?t really put a date on it. So I would get little photos in here and there but I was actually doing a lot more than darkroom and photo stuff, it seems to me, really, my role was office management, I took on a lot of different roles at POWEREDGE. I packed magazines, did shipping, darkroom, arguing with SIN about different shots, he was so passionate about the photography you know?
Were you skateboarding much at the time??Oh certainly, I was very into skating at the time, I was so into it that I wanted to be documenting, and capturing cool moments by taking photos. Back to the other question, I guess I started taking photos though for the magazine pretty much after the first few issues, but I had to earn the respect of the art directors Roger Sgarbossa and Spencer Bartsch first, which wasn?t? easy. I really wanted my shots to get into the edge section. It was the best sec- tion of the magazine.?Why did you like the edge??It was the only glossy color part of the magazine, at that time, you know it was a photo gallery type thing. It was also good because it had the best photos from SIN, Dan Sturt and a bunch of other really phenomenal photographers. People would always be blown away by Dan?s photos he was the best photographer in skate- boarding at that time, hands down. Everyone looked at his images to see what he would come up with next. SIN was great too, so the competition made the shots very good.?Did you get a cover for POWEREDGE??I took a photo of Jeremy Klein, and the caption said, ?Jeremy Klein on the wrong truck going the wrong way?. It was a 180 nose grind and we captioned it wrong, pretty funny. But that was one of my cover shots for POWEREDGE. It was at 7th Street School, in San Pedro, I was stoked about it.?What was working at POWEREDGE like??Well you had Curt Stevenson at the helm and his sidekick J.J. Simons, and Christian Kline who was a straight edge kid who was absolutely disgusted by everyone else. There was Roger Bridges who was really great at art and worked when he wanted, mostly late at night. He?d stay up all night working and go out and sleep in his van, but he was a cool dude. Roger was friends with Todd Swank and the Foundation guys.?Any other memories from twenty years ago??Yeah, I remember when PE closed it?s doors the sheriffs showed up and we had to grab our computers and stuff, which leads me into how I started working at Big Brother. I remember taking the photo processor to another magazine so we could sell it. I?m not sure what magazine it was but the guy who came and helped us unload the processor was none other than Jeff Tremaine. So when I started working at Big Brother, Jeff came up to me and asked if I remembered him helping us unload that POWEREDGE photo processor. But that didn?t happen right away, I was biding my time after POWEREDGE, you know working at skate shops things like that. I was going to trade shows and things, you know the ASR shows in San Diego and stuff. Then there was a short moment of being involved with SLAP magazine. And at around that time I was approached by some of the guys at Big Brother to shoot for their magazine, oh my god Steve Rocco, he?s a bad guy, I thought. Why was he considered a bad guy??Because he did what he wanted! (laughs)?Like what??
Everyone knows, he just did what he wanted, he was a rebel it was kind of rad. I wasn?t sure about it and I took some time to think about it and sure enough I ended up working for them. I knew that it would be a big deal and a big commitment and sure enough it was. It was a long eleven years of my life shooting pictures for a magazine. So I went on to work for Big Brother. It was a lot of fun and I really think that after time, after a few issues, not right away, I started to like it and my photography started to flourish.
Big Brother Skateboarding Magazine Years; Larry Flynt
Was Steve an easy guy to work for? ?Steve was awesome, it was a fun place to work, it didn?t pay all that much but it didn?t matter because you got to do what you wanted to do, you got to come in when you wanted to come in. He had all these other amenities and trampolines. At one point we had a gourmet chef, that guy Orbe from the Powell videos, for like eight months making lunch for us.?Did you guys promote World and Steve?s other ventures through Big Brother?To some degree, It was owned by World Industries, but we took over and did what we wanted to do, I guess it?s hard to see from the outside because I was on the inside. Yeah we were the rock ?n? roll rebels of skateboarding and I think everybody loved us for that. We did what we wanted It wasn?t about making everything pretty. I mean Thrasher had their edge and at that time Transworld was just a stupid sugar coated magazine to please mom and dad, which is cool. Big Brother was just out in left field with sex and drugs, shit that all the other magazines wouldn?t do. Tell me about all the T&A and craziness in Big Brother? Well we did a lot of funny things in the magazine and yeah there was some nudity and gross shit going on. One time we did, what was it called the 100 club or something? Anyway you’ll figure it out when you edit this. But it was a contest who could drink a hundred beers in an hour. People were wearing diapers, and then we had a little contest where you?d have to run races and stuff. One contest in the event was the ?Christ Run? where you had to run with a cross strapped to your back while Johnny Knoxville ran behind you whipping you with a whip.
Knoxville and Steve O Got Involved Never Thought Things Would Happen?Like They Did
When did you meet Knoxville? I first met Knoxville when he came into the office wanting to do this article in Big Brother about shooting himself with a 38 revolver. He wanted to wear a bullet proof vest and shoot himself to see what would happen. He did it, but I wanted nothing to do with it. But I knew from that moment forward that he was going to be a star.?When did you meet Steve O??He came in down the road, Dimitry found Steve O on some skate trip, and then he became a part of the ensemble. Then Chris Pountius was doing some articles for us as well and Wee Man was working at skate shops he started helping us with our subscriptions at the office. We put him in a lot of different articles as well.?Did he mind you dressing him up??Wee Man was always a good sport and we had a lot of fun doing photo shoots with him. How many issues did you do? ?I think we did a hundred and eleven issues total.?Tell us about the infamous monkey cover??
Well I think I had a lot of good achievements at Big Brother and have done a lot of cool stuff with covers and things. I was able to take photos of chicks and things like Steve Olson dressed up as the devil for covers, but when I shot the monkey cover I was, like, that?s it I can?t do any better than that. That?s it. Some production company was making a movie and had trained a chimpanzee how to ride a mini ramp. Doing grinds and stuff, I was like are you kidding me? And then he went off the launch ramp, and I got the shot.?How was the transition from World Industries to?Flynt Publications??For me it was a weird transition, working in a comfortable office?in El Segundo down by the beach, then the next thing you know you?re working in a big ass building on Wilshire Blvd. all corporate stuff. There was a dress code which we got lifted eventually. They wanted me to dress a certain way and show up at a certain time, which was weird, but I figured it out.?Why?d it go to Larry Flynt??Steve sold the magazine to Larry Flynt Publications.?For Big Brother to survive it had to go somewhere like a Flynt Publications company.?What happened to all the T&A??Well it went away, everybody knows that. Larry Flynt couldn?t have that kind of stuff in a magazine for kids, which it mainly was. One of the best covers of Big Brother was Wee Man dressed up as?an Oompa Loompa, we really did it right and he looked good. So it came out, and when the subscription came out the subscribers were supposed to get that magazine but instead they got the worst magazine called Taboo, a very hardcore porno mag. It was bad, and even made it on to the Jay Leno Show, but they showed my cover so I was stoked!!?So you think Big Brother morphed into Jackass??The spirit of Big Brother lives on in Jackass. All those who were involved with Big Brother were also involved in Jackass ? like Dimitry, Sean Cliver, Jeff Tremaine, Chris Pontius, Wee Man, Knoxville. So when I?m asked how Jackass got started I always say Big Brother.
Jack Ass Movies Versus The Television Show Vs. Big Brother
How was it to film the Jackass TV show? It was cool but at first none of us knew how to make a TV show. We were just a bunch of idiots and the producers who worked with us just thought we were the biggest Kooks.?You made it in the TV show??Yeah, the first year I was all over that show.?Did you get your S.A.G. cards and stuff??I?m a Screen Actors Guild member and now I?m a Union camera operator. Do you remember the episode where the hearse pulls up on a hill next to a crowded coffee shop? Oh where the coffin falls out of the back, yeah that was funny. We had a blanket permit to shoot those types of things, so people thought it was real. We?d get a permit to shoot in an area and you don?t really have to say where you are going to shoot at any given time. Who got hurt the most??I would say Knoxville got hurt a lot..?When did you guys decide to do the first movie?I don?t know how that came about, the TV show ended and the idea of the movie came around I guess. At that time I was still working with Big Brother, and also filming for Jackass. The first movie ended and then ?Wildboyz? came around
For those who don?t know, what was the premise of?that show??A nature show with Steve O, Chris Pontius. It was the best job?I ever had. It lasted four seasons. I got to go to India, South America, Russia, Africa, and some third world places here in the states like Louisiana, just kidding. It was an awesome, awesome, experience I wouldn?t trade it for anything.
What can you tell us about the new Jackass 3D movie? Yeah, Jackass 3D, I can?t really talk to much about it though. What can you tell us??Ok we are using 3D cameras and making it a 3D movie and were in the process of shooting it right now. It?s going good we are shooting with these big 3D cameras. It?s quite exciting and I?m learning a lot.?Are there any new characters or changes in the format? No it?s the same crew. If it?s not broken why fix it? Yeah, it?s pretty cool, we?re all a little older now but everyone is in great spirits. What do you like to do for fun??I go to shows, I?ve rediscovered my first love, photography,
and I?ve been going to Club My War to watch bands and photograph them .
I Shoot What Moves Me Or What I’m Paid To Shoot Yes I Shot That Deftones ?Album Cover 🙂
Didn?t you shoot a cover for the Deftones??Yes, I did and I ended up doing an album cover for them about ten years ago. Revolver magazine voted it as like one of the best album covers which made feel really good.?Are you ever going to shoot skate photos again??Probably not, but it doesn?t mean I don?t love skateboarding. When I go to the store I check out all the magazines and I run into a lot of skaters and stuff. I feel like I?ve already done it and I want to pass the torch. I?ve done my time, I?ve left my footprint in skateboarding, I?m totally grateful for what it did for me.?What?s your favorite magazine??Probably Thrasher. Here?s the thing that bums me out is the current state of skate photography, the format you know? Your shooting a square image and you have a 500th of a second a flash sink, big deal. If you can pull it off at 250 flash sink and with a normal camera. I think it works better for layout. It?s cool for an artistic layout, every once in awhile.?What else to do for fun??I?ve been doing music videos for underground bands, I am work- ing on TV ideas and things but I don?t want to talk about it. Your all over facebook??Yeah it?s pretty cool.?I notice on facebook you got a new guitar??Well I really wanted to get one then I started taking lessons and now I rock out from time to time. I was playing guitar hero and then I just thought; this is stupid I might as well as play real guitar. It?s a great way to kill time, so much better than watching TV.?I also noticed a lot of girlfriends on facebook are you gonna marry one of em??No.?Would you go out with a chick you met on facebook? Why not??Would you have sex with a chick you met on facebook??Why not??Have you had sex with a chick you met on facebook??No Comment.