BEST FRIENDS episode #2
NAME: Shaun White
CATEGORY: Athlete & Musician
if you watched the 2018 Winter Olympics, then you probably saw my brother-from-another-mother crush the half-pipe and take another gold. i'm talking about a dude that has inspired me to be the best i can be.... a dude who explained to me that i skate "mongo" which is horribly wack and only reconfirms that i will never be a good skateboarder. for these things i am eternally grateful. i'm talking about the one and only, Shaun White!
i always wanted to be a skateboarder. my mom bought me the dopest Santa Cruz deck when i was 9 years old. it had a scary skull and hot pink grip tape. there was no YouTube to teach me how to ollie and no skate community in Greenville, TX. there was a skate show that aired with random frequency on Nickelodeon but no DVR to guarantee my viewership. most importantly, i had no natural talent. shit… i was doomed. i sucked so bad that i purposefully scuffed up my trucks to look like i knew how to grind. even if i could grind, there was nary a rail to grind in Greenville, TX. i was a total poser. then one day i wiped out sooo hard. busted my knee. splat. i swear there’s still gravel in my knee from that fall. that was the exact moment that playing guitar and devoting my life to Rock 'n' Roll was a decidedly better choice than continuing my life of skateboarding. guitar seemed equally as cool but with a lot less pain and suffering (at least physically speaking).
fast forward 20 years, i’m at home in Austin. Lizzy and i cuddled up on the couch watching the 2010 Winter Olympics, laying witness to this Shaun White dude and his freakish skills on the half-pipe. with a huuuuuge straight air into massive double corks and a backside 900, this dude lands gold. it was such a cool moment to watch and as he’s doing an interview, Liz casually says, “You and Shaun need to meet one day. Seems like you’d really hit it off. You’re like long lost brothers or something.” this wasn't the first time Liz Kweller had premonitions.
it turns out though, unbeknownst to all of us, there was already a twinsie phenomenon happening in the underbelly of the Googlewebs going all the way back 16 years!!
whomever posted the above vintage nugget couldn’t have even known that i too in fact have the same exact tuxedo shirt… i do. it's true.
moving right along… 2011. i met Shaun and his sister Kari at the Wiltern in LA. i was on tour with Pete Yorn doing my solo acoustic thing, armed with my trusty Ratón of course...
we hung backstage and became fast friends geeking out about Les Paul's, Independent Trucks, old cars and how hard it is to find cool, guys clothes.
Shaun has so many qualities that have inspired me over the years. his athleticism is unreal and work ethic is like a diesel engine. he's charismatic, stylish and beyond generous. i love his unique blend of humility and confidence. he's determined to be the best he can be whether he’s snowboarding or skating or playing guitar. he’s gonna go out there and go all out and it’s gonna rule and he's gonna be a nice guy throughout it, which brings me to my favorite point: Shaun KEEPS. IT. REAL.
despite all the fame and all the drama that comes along with all the fame, Shaun has made a point to keep family close, stay humble and keep those two feet on the ground . this is something we can all learn from and strive for no matter where we are in life...
in 2012, we made a redicu-spoof with Jason Schwartzman as part of the Go Fly A Kite album roll-out. you can check out that fine piece of cinema below.
as i alluded to earlier, Shaun not only shreds the halfpipe, but he shreds the fretboard too. if you haven't checked 'em yet, Bad Things were a really cool band that featured Shaun on lead guitar. they made one cracking eponymous album back in 2014 and broke up.
a few years ago, Shaun took over the much loved Air+Style festival which combines music, skating, snowboarding, fashion, and art. sounds perfect right? well it is. tickets are on sale now for Los Angeles - March 3rd and 4th, 2018. the lineup is sickkkkkk: Zedd, Phoenix, Gucci Mane, Phantogram, Cut Copy and others... grab tickets by clicking the graphic below.
FACEBOOK: facebook.com/shaunwhite for those of you that want to learn more about Shaun, check him out at the links above. i'll see you guys next Monday for another episode of Best Friends.