Drake Jones



Danny Finkelstien from New York has been my friend for many years and approached me to do this interview. Beans, thank you for still thinking about me and hope all is well with the Brew, because of my trust in our friendship I am doing this.

I am not one to really go on record but I have hopefully matured enough to not worry about other people's opinions and views toward how I skated back in the day. I want to say thanks to everyone who ever helped me out and to the skaters out there that enjoyed watching me skate. There might be a little skate left in me yet, so watch out!

I hope everyone enjoys this interview. Thanks. -Drake


BobShirt:Where did you grow up?
DRAKE:I was born at St Luke's hospital in the Mission District of San Francisco. But I grew up down the Peninsula in Hillsborough, then Anaheim, and then when I was almost 13 I moved to New York. I lived in NYC for the first year then moved "Upstate," yeah right! I always hated being told that I was Upstate because I could get to the city in less then 30 minutes.  Bronxville is the name of the town I lived in and also hung out in Tuckahoe for a while. We used to say Tuck-a-hoe under your bed! Crestwood Pizzeria had the best Lasagna slice ever. Dang that shit is good!
What was your favorite video when you were a kid?

I had a lot of em like Hokus Pokus, Life video; Sheffey killed it,  Video Days from of course, the best company ever, Blind Skateboards. Rudy Johnson and Jason Lee were my fav's.

Who do you think influenced your skating when you were younger?
As I got better at skating my views on who I thought inspired me changed. But the first ones were Ray Barbee, Matt Hensley, Sean Sheffey, Barker Barrett ( wearing Enigma's cut down and sticker'd up ) Tim Gavin, Eric Koston- may be the best street skater ever- and of course the smoothest skater back in the day and if he still steps on his board today would have to be Jovontae Turner. He is my all time mentor when it comes to style and trick selection. Check out the Planet Earth video, I think it was called Now and Later. "The Girls!"




Who was the first pro you saw in person?

Local established Am's from NY like Billy Backer, Billy Waldman, and then I saw Jeff Pang at a contest in the Bronx. What up Pangster? Hope you're doing well.
Who was the first to hook you up?
I was skating with my cousin Noah at the Pacifica bus station and Keith Cochrane was cruising by and skated with us for a while. Then he got my address and started flowing me Think stuff. It was pretty rad living in New York and getting packages from not only a West Coast company, but any company for that matter. Man, being sponsored when I was like sixteen was rad because I could give my boys boards, wheels and other shit if they needed. Mike Moore I still have boards for you whenever you're ready.
    My first shop sponsor was called Sports Boutique but everyone called it "Henry's" because that was the guy's name who ran it. The first crew I was ever down with was WPP, which stands for White Plains Posse. If you were in you got to tag and write WPP on your boards and on anything else. We had a lot of kids from Westchester on the squad. What up to all my homies from around that way. We had some good times skating together. I will never forget you guys. My homies were Smitty, Mike Moore, Ken, Shane, Kelly, Jackie, the Jufers, the Eggers, and of course Sue Mackey. Should have stayed and "played" with you that day in S.F. I'm still bumming on that one. Call me. Just kiddin, but not really.




Were you ever approached to ride for world/blind/101 or menace?

Yes, several times. "That's all I have to say about that" for now. – Forrest Gump

Half Cabs or Shell Toes?
Easy. Just ask Richard Angelidies.

Top 5 favorite styles on a skateboard?
No order of who's number one, but here we go:
Jovontae Turner
Josh Kalis
Jason Lee
Bastien Salabanzi??? Man that kid could have been something special.
And another guy from the new school era, Mark Appleyard.




Are you still in touch with Joey Bast?
Joey fucking Bastard! I just sent him a Mystery package. Stop biting my style son. Here is a story about our friendship, it goes a little something like this. On time at Woodward we (me and Joey and some camp skaters) were playing basketball and a quarter fell out of my pocket. You know where this is going. Don't cha? I went to pick it up and so did he. He kept claiming it was his so I had to push him around and knock him into a trash can in front of like ten kids. They were all yelling at us to stop fighting and saying, "you guys are team mates," but whatever, he was being a punk. That's how Joey was. He knew the whole time it was mine but needed a confrontation. He loves to fight his friends. Anyway, he is one of my best friends but we are very opposite people. He and I reconnected shortly because we both retired from skating and took up golf. One year we lived in Phoenix for a golf season. Played some killer courses like Troon North and Desert Mountain. The Geronimo course is my favorite in Scottsdale. I lost touch with him for a couple of years, but my friend Shelton gave me his # since I've been back in the mix. He is now back in the Mile High chillin, literally. Move back to the West, son. We all miss you.

Who's got the best 360 flip in your opinion?
Let's start with a trick I suck at - heelfilps. Lindsey Robertson has that on lock down, but Ronnie Bertino had the sweetest heel flick back in the day.
360 flicks, that's another story. Jovontae Turner, Jason Lee, Conhuir Lynn, and my nigga Josh Kalis.



Who approached you to ride for 23?
Sal the "Swamp Rat" Barbier. He was coming up to S.F and we hung out and skated for a couple of months before I left Real to ride for his company. More like buying aftermarket parts for our whips than skating, but we had a good time. Thanks Sal.

What's the best trick you saw down the Embarcadero 7 in person?
So many sessions down the "Seven" went down. Lavar Mcbride killed it. Mike Carroll everything. Never saw the switch tre Koston did but you know I'm down for that guy. But I will have to say my old friend Tim McKinney did the first b/s 180 heelflip down it perfect. Meza has the footie. Also, that was the day I stopped being a T-dog. I did a trick down the seven as well and about thirty EMB loc's ran over to me after I made my trick and jumped me in the gang. EMB for life.

What's your all time favorite spot?
Embarcadero by far. It was a perfect "new term" Skate Plaza. We had it all. The spot looked amazing in footie but wasn't the easiest place to skate. Them bricks were rough as hell. Not to mention the rounded ledges having little rocks sticking out of them. That's my home man. I wish it was still around. EMB becoming a super bust was the beginning of the end for SF. The skate mecca of the nineties. Then came Love Park. Kalis showed me the film about him and Stevie's home spot and EMB will get its due documentary style one day. Hopefully James Kelch will narrate it and tell the story of EMB on why it was such a huge influence in the skate world. Yo Kelch, can I get my EMB tat yet or what?

What are you up to for 2007?
I have been in San Diego with the "Chief," Jamie Thomas. Right now I work for him at Black Box Distribution as the Mystery Team Manager. Mystery Video coming real soon! He is one of the main reasons that I am back in the industry and I would like to personally thank him for being so fucking dedicated to his skate career since day 2 in S.F. when I first met you. I know way before that as well but that's another story. You are my favorite skater of all time and your ability to overcome many hills, mountains, and other fucked up adversities in your life have proven to me that you had a goal in your mind the whole time and wouldn't let anyone or anything keep you from achieving what you wanted and now deserve. I hope we remain friends for a long time. Love ya brother. Peace. Drake Jones.


editors note: I'd like to personally thank Danny Fink for hooking up the first Drake Jones interview in seven years, thanks Fink! I'm positive the rest of the skateboard world thanks you as well. Also, a big thanks to Drake Jones for taking the time to answer our questions.