RIP Jay Adams. The Last Interview

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We're tripping out that Jay Adams is dead. He was just 53 and so much more full of life now than he ever was. But a heart attack took him out like no one expected. Certainly not like Jay himself would've ever expected. After all, he survived so much. Went through so much in his life. But he's gone. We're saddened by the news of Jay's death but you know Jay wouldn't be stoked to hear that. He would want us to go surfing or skating in his memory. He would want us to celebrate his life, you know, party it up (minus the drugs!). That's what he would want, guaranteed.

Ghetto Juice Editor Skip Snead sat down with Jay Adams last November for what would be one of his last interviews …. Here's how the conversation went.

THE LAST INTERVIEW WITH JAY ADAMS

Ghetto Juice: So what are you doing here at the glass shop?
Jay Adams: I busted one of my fins out and just getting it fixed. And I live right down the street.

Ghetto Juice: So you’ve been getting some good waves lately, the shot you had in that one issue of Ghetto Juice was epic ….
Jay Adams: You know what was amazing about that day (the swell of Oct. 5, 2013) what that basically John Denny and myself were sharing the southside of the pier with one other guy for about an hour and a half. Everybody was on the north side. That one I got was alright but I had one earlier that was on Surfline that was fricken’ sick. One of the best waves I’ve ever had out there.

Ghetto Juice: Was there ever a time in your life when you were distant from the ocean?
Jay Adams: Well yeah, I went to prison twice, and I’ve never felt so far away from the ocean as that. I lived in Hawaii for twenty years, and I got into drugs real bad … my whole life, pretty much, my whole life revolved around surfing and skateboarding, mainly surfing, but I let drugs take over and there was a time in Hawaii where drugs came first, and that really took me out of the water. I mean, when you get addicted to heroin it just really grabs control of you and it’s so powerful that it was the last thing I’d think about at night and the first thing I’d think about in the morning. And that became, all a sudden, my life revolved around drugs. I mean, I was living in Hawaii and I wasn’t even surfing that much. So that was pretty far away from the ocean. I went to prison twice because of my drug abuse and you know, you don’t really … well, sometimes we don’t appreciate what we have until they’re taken away. When I was getting loaded, I’d say, what was I going to do if I wasn’t going to get high? Go for a walk on the beach or something gay like that? Then when I went to prison I was thinking about that, going, I’d give anything to walk on the beach right now. Sobriety is the key to everything to me, and it’s never too late for kids to turn it around.

Ghetto Juice: How lucky are you that you survived all that?
Jay Adams: So blessed, man. I do believe God had another plan for my life, and it wasn’t OD’ing on drugs. But you know, I died twice … woke up blue a couple times. You know, I was a complete junkie, heroin’d out. So for me to be able to be here today and tell others the dangers of that, I’m pretty blessed by that.

Ghetto Juice: Let’s go back to the Dogtown days … you’re driving around all over L.A. looking for pools to skate … kickstarting the revolution … would social media have ruined all that back then if people were tweeting about a pool they found?
Jay Adams: Well there are a lot of pros and cons; I mean I spend a lot of time on Facebook where I could be out doing other stuff. There are positives and negatives to it. Maybe we would’ve found more places to skate if people posted stuff up, and say “Come skate this or that!”

Ghetto Juice: Do you still have clear memories of those days in the 70s and how amazing the times back then were?
Jay Adams: There are some clear memories, and then others are faded by drug abuse and partying and that stuff too. But I have a pretty good memory of a lot of it.

Ghetto Juice: You’re a legend to the skateboarding world. Your story is amazing. Do you ever get stopped on the street by fans wanting an autograph or anything?
Jay Adams: Here in California, kind of. I mean, it’s kind of trippy. We went to dinner last week at the Cheesecake Factory in Huntington and the waitresses came and got my autograph. And I’d just been to an autograph signing at Joker’s skate shop and they gave us free food, and you know that kind of stuff, well, it’s cool. I don’t mind it now. I didn’t really like it when I was a kid. I was kind of bummed at all the notoriety, but now that I’m older, I’m trying to be a positive influence on people.

Ghetto Juice: What are your thoughts in regards to how huge skateboarding has come the past 40 years … do you feel responsible for that?
Jay Adams: I just think I’m lucky to have been a part of it when I was. You know, I mean, of course it would’ve been better to be Shaun White or Tony Hawk financial wise, (laughs) but you know, we enjoyed it in a pretty cool period of time. I do feel blessed that I’m 52 years old and I’ve been doing it since I was four years old and I’ve never stopped surfing or skating. So I’ve seen guys come and go. Maybe they’ll surf for one or two years then get into rollerblading or some other sport. A lot of guys don’t stick with it for life, and a lot do, but I’ve seen a lot of guys come and go.

Ghetto Juice: You were raised in Venice … do you ever get back up there much these days?
Jay Adams: Not as much. A little bit. But Hawaii was my home for a long time, so Hawaii feels more like home but I grew up in Venice.

Ghetto Juice: Well Hurley’s really taken good care of you the past several years …. Bob Hurley’s sure a good guy, huh?
Jay Adams: Bob Hurley’s the coolest guy. He’s just super positive all the time, and one of the humblest nicest guys. Whenever I see Bob he’s always got something good to say, something uplifting. I think it’s his personality, and I’m super stoked to be a part of Hurley.

Ghetto Juice: Who was your favorite skater?
Jay Adams: Christian Hosoi was one of my favorites … and Tony Alva. Tony was more like my brother. There are so many good skaters. Hosoi I would say was one of my all time favorites.

Ghetto Juice: Any final words of wisdom to the kids?
Jay Adams: Just to all the kids out there thinking about getting into drugs, just don’t, dude. You’ll save yourself a lot of heartache and misery. If you don’t do it then you’ll never have to quit. And anybody that ever gets good at it either has to go to rehab, dies or goes to prison or has to get help quitting. So it’s just a total dead-end from the start. Don’t give in to peer pressure. You don’t need drugs to be cool.—-Skip Snead

Photo: Jay about to paddle out. Hank Foto


Posted by: Ghetto JuiceGhetto Juice at: 15 Aug 2014 20:52




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We're tripping out that Jay Adams is dead. He was just 53 and so much more full of life now than he ever was. But a heart attack took him out like no one expected. Certainly not like Jay himself would've ever expected. After all, he survived so much. Went through so much in his life. But he's gone. We're saddened by the news of Jay's death but you know Jay wouldn't be stoked to hear that. He would want us to go surfing or skating in his memory. He would want us to celebrate his life, you know, party it up (minus the drugs!). That's what he would want, guaranteed.

Ghetto Juice Editor Skip Snead sat down with Jay Adams last November for what would be one of his last interviews …. Here's how the conversation went.

THE LAST INTERVIEW WITH JAY ADAMS

Ghetto Juice: So what are you doing here at the glass shop?
Jay Adams: I busted one of my fins out and just getting it fixed. And I live right down the street.

Ghetto Juice: So you’ve been getting some good waves lately, the shot you had in that one issue of Ghetto Juice was epic ….
Jay Adams: You know what was amazing about that day (the swell of Oct. 5, 2013) what that basically John Denny and myself were sharing the southside of the pier with one other guy for about an hour and a half. Everybody was on the north side. That one I got was alright but I had one earlier that was on Surfline that was fricken’ sick. One of the best waves I’ve ever had out there.

Ghetto Juice: Was there ever a time in your life when you were distant from the ocean?
Jay Adams: Well yeah, I went to prison twice, and I’ve never felt so far away from the ocean as that. I lived in Hawaii for twenty years, and I got into drugs real bad … my whole life, pretty much, my whole life revolved around surfing and skateboarding, mainly surfing, but I let drugs take over and there was a time in Hawaii where drugs came first, and that really took me out of the water. I mean, when you get addicted to heroin it just really grabs control of you and it’s so powerful that it was the last thing I’d think about at night and the first thing I’d think about in the morning. And that became, all a sudden, my life revolved around drugs. I mean, I was living in Hawaii and I wasn’t even surfing that much. So that was pretty far away from the ocean. I went to prison twice because of my drug abuse and you know, you don’t really … well, sometimes we don’t appreciate what we have until they’re taken away. When I was getting loaded, I’d say, what was I going to do if I wasn’t going to get high? Go for a walk on the beach or something gay like that? Then when I went to prison I was thinking about that, going, I’d give anything to walk on the beach right now. Sobriety is the key to everything to me, and it’s never too late for kids to turn it around.

Ghetto Juice: How lucky are you that you survived all that?
Jay Adams: So blessed, man. I do believe God had another plan for my life, and it wasn’t OD’ing on drugs. But you know, I died twice … woke up blue a couple times. You know, I was a complete junkie, heroin’d out. So for me to be able to be here today and tell others the dangers of that, I’m pretty blessed by that.

Ghetto Juice: Let’s go back to the Dogtown days … you’re driving around all over L.A. looking for pools to skate … kickstarting the revolution … would social media have ruined all that back then if people were tweeting about a pool they found?
Jay Adams: Well there are a lot of pros and cons; I mean I spend a lot of time on Facebook where I could be out doing other stuff. There are positives and negatives to it. Maybe we would’ve found more places to skate if people posted stuff up, and say “Come skate this or that!”

Ghetto Juice: Do you still have clear memories of those days in the 70s and how amazing the times back then were?
Jay Adams: There are some clear memories, and then others are faded by drug abuse and partying and that stuff too. But I have a pretty good memory of a lot of it.

Ghetto Juice: You’re a legend to the skateboarding world. Your story is amazing. Do you ever get stopped on the street by fans wanting an autograph or anything?
Jay Adams: Here in California, kind of. I mean, it’s kind of trippy. We went to dinner last week at the Cheesecake Factory in Huntington and the waitresses came and got my autograph. And I’d just been to an autograph signing at Joker’s skate shop and they gave us free food, and you know that kind of stuff, well, it’s cool. I don’t mind it now. I didn’t really like it when I was a kid. I was kind of bummed at all the notoriety, but now that I’m older, I’m trying to be a positive influence on people.

Ghetto Juice: What are your thoughts in regards to how huge skateboarding has come the past 40 years … do you feel responsible for that?
Jay Adams: I just think I’m lucky to have been a part of it when I was. You know, I mean, of course it would’ve been better to be Shaun White or Tony Hawk financial wise, (laughs) but you know, we enjoyed it in a pretty cool period of time. I do feel blessed that I’m 52 years old and I’ve been doing it since I was four years old and I’ve never stopped surfing or skating. So I’ve seen guys come and go. Maybe they’ll surf for one or two years then get into rollerblading or some other sport. A lot of guys don’t stick with it for life, and a lot do, but I’ve seen a lot of guys come and go.

Ghetto Juice: You were raised in Venice … do you ever get back up there much these days?
Jay Adams: Not as much. A little bit. But Hawaii was my home for a long time, so Hawaii feels more like home but I grew up in Venice.

Ghetto Juice: Well Hurley’s really taken good care of you the past several years …. Bob Hurley’s sure a good guy, huh?
Jay Adams: Bob Hurley’s the coolest guy. He’s just super positive all the time, and one of the humblest nicest guys. Whenever I see Bob he’s always got something good to say, something uplifting. I think it’s his personality, and I’m super stoked to be a part of Hurley.

Ghetto Juice: Who was your favorite skater?
Jay Adams: Christian Hosoi was one of my favorites … and Tony Alva. Tony was more like my brother. There are so many good skaters. Hosoi I would say was one of my all time favorites.

Ghetto Juice: Any final words of wisdom to the kids?
Jay Adams: Just to all the kids out there thinking about getting into drugs, just don’t, dude. You’ll save yourself a lot of heartache and misery. If you don’t do it then you’ll never have to quit. And anybody that ever gets good at it either has to go to rehab, dies or goes to prison or has to get help quitting. So it’s just a total dead-end from the start. Don’t give in to peer pressure. You don’t need drugs to be cool.—-Skip Snead

Photo: Jay about to paddle out. Hank Foto

Image jayadams_hank3web.jpg