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Vice highlights the upcoming exploits of Philadelphia-based skateboard photographer Phil Jackson in a short interview previewing his upcoming book, Badlands. Living a worry-free life and embarking on whatever travels are brought on by skating, Jackson has captured some seriously stunning imagery along the way with several stories to accompany his experiences. With a forthcoming book titled Badlands (based his home for three years, a dirty skate house) on the way, here’s a preview of some of the imagery as well as a short interview below.
Vice: Hey Phil. One of my favorite things about you is that humongous old Monte Carlo you used to drive everywhere. Do you still have that thing?
Phil Jackson: After seven long years the Monte is dead and waiting to go to the junk yard. It is a sad day. I bought the car for $300 bucks off my friend Brian, he got it from a dude who moved to LA to write porno. So the car had a great provenance.
Yeah, you definitely got your money’s worth. Your photos look like a never ending skateboard road trip. Do you have any good stories from life on the road?
The last trip I went on, we were in El Paso, Texas getting food from a burrito cart. My friend Dee was peeing on the side of this abandoned Chinese restaurant and, mid-piss, a 70-year-old lady came at him and started whapping him with a stick! He had to run away with his wiener out.
Old ladies have balls.
Then, in Washington State we skated a pool at a meth hotel. Some tweaked-out lady tried to pick up my friend Jersey Drew. “He’s cuuuuute.” she said. I thought it was awesome.
Speaking of drugs, your photography shows lots of parties and drunken late nights, but you’ve never touched the sauce. How come?
Maybe I am just a voyeur? I guess I just like to spy on my friends while they get drunk since I never have. I definitely feel like I’ve experienced things that, in reality, I haven’t, just because I’ve been around those people so much and photographed them.
What’s the deal with skating in Philadelphia? It’s hard for me to define, but skateboarders there seem to be all about doing their own thing.
We definitely have our share of weirdos, but it’s a lot more genuine than other places. Philly is the redheaded stepchild of New York in so many ways, but it keeps us down to earth. In New York you have so much Cool Guy shit that people just won’t stand for in Philly. Here you get called out quickly for that kind of ego bullshit. So the people here that are doing their own thing are genuine grade-A oddball people. They’re not trying to fake it, and that’s rad. There are a lot of people who don’t follow any sort of skate media outlet in any way. Also, there’s the thing with FDR being in a pretty much constant state of disrepair, and you can see that in the way people skate it–hairball.