Saturday, August 16, 2014

An old friend has died.
The Original, There is no other.

Jay and I go back, way the fuck back. My First published photo was a full page subscription ad for SkateBoarder magazine (see above). I took the photo when I was 14, Jay the belligerent "Radical Little Rat" was 15. Jay often rememberd it as his first published photo too -- it actually wasn't but he remembered it that way, which was always funny to me. It was very flattering. We were kids and we thought we knew everything, like most kids do. I found out about this pool near the Kenter Canyon School yard, borrowed a 35mm camera, invited Jay and PC to come and I'd take some photos (another with PC in the background below). That's where the documented history of Jay and I started.

Over the years we would travel around the southern California basin to skate spots, parties and punk gigs. Jay was the youngest of the original Zephyr crew and I was a year and a month younger than him. I've witnessed some pretty incredible shit around him, both positive and negative, he was a wild one that's for sure.

Jay was no slouch, he often surprised me, and others, with his brilliance on and off his board. Even though he was one of the most out of control motherfuckers, he would do some wild shit, and then, could hit you with some science that would have you asking yourself, "Where the fuck did that come from?". Although he didn't always act that way, Jay was smart. He was no doubt one of my favorite all time subjects to shoot, he was an inspiration to me and countless others of his generation, and generations to follow. Jay Boy's legacy and inspiration will forever be unparalleled in the art/sport of skateboarding.

When you look at Jay you have to think of the personification of all the DogTown stories that Craig Stecyk wrote and all the DogTown photos that I took: All we were trying to do was capture Jay Adams' essence. He was really fucked up crazy, and he was really incredibly great, all at the same time.

For so many, he was the inspiration, he was the seed. He was one of the originators, and he didn't do any of it on purpose. He was as spontaneous as they come, and because of that he was one of the sport's great revolutionaries.

Above, one of my last photos of Jay down at the Skatepark in Venice, 2011.

He was a living legend... and a crazy friend... now he's gone, we have the memories and for you all who didn't know him personally, i am happy we have the photos to share. I suspect his legend will live on gloriously.


(click on any of the images to enlarge)


Here are some more images I could not go without posting, I was not the only one to get great shots of Jay, in fact two of the greatest skate photos of all time are here below taken by C.R. Stecyk III, a mentor and friend to both Jay and I.


And here are some excerpts from the book I was so proud to help put together for Jay (while he was incarcerated), with the photographs taken by his step father Kent Sherwood, many of Jay before most of us ever knew him - I believe the one with the dog even won an award. If you can find this book, it's a gem...


and last but not least a great image of Jay's "Skatopia" membership card that's floating around in cyberspace:


There's so much more I can say about our friendship over the years, the experiences shared, but i think this shall do for now.

The world's always had a lotta love for you Jay Boy ...

thanks to Jess Braam from Juice Magazine for the pic's of Jay and I!


  1. Wow. What a beautiful story about a awesome guy. Thank you. RiP Jay Adams

  2. No less an authority that Mark Foo said, "It's no tragedy to die doing what you love," but in Jay's case we mourn for the time he'd lost,and for his family and friends who were deprived of his company too soon, and for too long. Style setter Phil Edwards said, "the best surfer is the one out there having the most fun," and no one every in the history of skating will express more joy, abandon and spontaneity than Jayboy did on a board. Every kid in the whole world who rides onto coping with gritted teeth, style and an attitude is riding in your wake. All I can say is thanks for EVERYTHING, Jay Adams. (and thank you too Glen for shining a light on us all - our lives were forever changed by seeing your photos of Jay and his friends. I got a year's worth of stoke from every shot of Jay, I swear it.)

  3. And one more thing... it's no secret that Jay was lent "the Black Knight" Mickey Dora's personal bullshit detector at an early age, complete with the swastikas adorned on the side so squares could fuck off. I can say with conviction to the world, if you don't know who Jay Adams was, your life is poorer than mine. He's left the planet for the astral waves now and I'd be a lot sadder if I wasn't still laughing and marveling at the pure spontaneity of every single moment he lived, filled with stoke and joy, and ripping on his board, and flying a big "fuck you" to anything that reeked of bullshit. I've seen every photo I could ever get my hands on of Jay, it became an absolute necessity to my life at a very early age - they are like old friends by now - but I had not seen his Skatopia card. That's the perfect parting shot. Tears in my eyes as I grab my board this morning to go get some waves, but I'm going anyway. Wouldn't be the first time I've puked or cried in the line up. It'll be laughs and cervesas, amigos and olas by the time the wind shifts anyway. I'd say when is the paddle-out, but every day is a paddle out for Jay.

  4. thank you, very nice of you to share your well thought out words.


  5. Beautiful photos and heartfelt sentiment make this a stunning piece.

    So sorry for your loss, and ours.

  6. Thank you for sharing Glen. Jay is pure magic, it showed through in every way. We were very fortunate for the roles Craig, Kent, and yourself played in bringing that to light for the rest of the world.

  7. Thank you for the words, and more importantly the windows into the lives of these groundbreaking individuals. They are the epitome of both "You had to be there" and "You NEED to be here."