Day In The Dirt - May 24 1992

The following is an article originally published in the 1992 July issue of Beach Happy magazine, written by Volcom's co-founder, Richard Woolcott. It chronicles the legendary party known as 'Day In The Dirt'. The story embodies the spirit of Volcom that had only just begun the year prior and set the tone for the Stone that has remained part of its ethos to this day.

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The following is an article originally published in the 1992 July issue of Beach Happy magazine, written by Volcom's co-founder, Richard Woolcott. It chronicles the legendary party known as 'Day In The Dirt'. The story embodies the spirit of Volcom that had only just begun the year prior and set the tone for the Stone that has remained part of its ethos to this day.

Day In The Dirt article pg1
Day In The Dirt article pg2
Day In The Dirt article pg3
Day In The Dirt article pg4

After four months of planning, "Drop In The Park" was finally coming together. A full-on skating, rock-n-roll, all day extravaganza for free at Gas Works Park in Seattle, Washington. Headlining bands were Pearl Jam and Seaweed, while other attractions included a custom built half pipe, MTV coverage, Rock The Vote, and pro marijuana activists.

The mini Woodstock was a great event for a Volcom road trip. A time to rock, rage and ride with bros and tap into some good energy. A road trip like this was special in that it couldn't be 100% planned, but more importantly lived. The actual trip lasted ten days and was so intense that no picture or story will ever completely recreate the vibe that we had experienced.

Our crew consisted of a bunch of "good for nothing no accounts" including Steve Graham, Dave Seone, Mike Parillo, Troy Eckert, Kyle Meza, Steve McNutt, Rob Defoe, Ryan Immegart, Tucker Hall, Clint Moncata and myself R. wool-air. Also included was Jamie Jackson, who we had to pick up on the 5 fwy near Sacramento and Chet Thomas, who would meet us at the airport in Seattle.

The initial plan was to leave at high noon on Wednesday, May 20th, drive straight to Seattle, build a mini ramp, skate and rock hard to Pearl Jam, hang for a day and split to Mt. Hood for some riding. Everything sounded great. What really happened was unforgettable.

With less than a week away, I had received a call from our bad ass organizer "Super Beth". Apparently, the city had decided that the event was too risky. Thousands of people having a good time spelled riot and after a heated argument, city officials had decided to pull the permit for the event.

However, all hope was not lost. Beth had already found a new location in the country and assured me that the concert would happen. Our plans didn't change. We're going to Seattle rain or shine, sleet or snow.

The big day had finally arrived. Our two 15 passenger Ford 250 rental vans were packed tight with every needed road trip neccessity including a two-way walkie-talkie communication system. At high noon all participants were ready when we received a call from the Newport Beach Police Department. To my surprise, one of our troops, Kyle Mesa, had been arrested while going to the bank for an unfortunate and overlooked warrant. Quicky we flew to the station to free our captive brother. After writing a $500 rubber check, we were finally off.

The drive was a simple task, leave from Orange County and don't stop. The rest room was nothing more than an empty bottle, and if you were hungry, meal time was waiting at the next AM/PM mini market. Showers, health food and clean living were out. We were just a couple of good ole boys on the road... scummy, raging and owning it.

After 22 hours of driving we arrived in Portland, creedled and crisp. The drive had been quite smooth except for a 5:00am wake up call when Troy found himself on two wheels sliding sideways in the dirt at 70mph. Besides near catastrophe, we were all stoked to be in Oregon.

Seone, who was now leading the charge, took us to a little magical place called Burnside. Situated underneath a fwy, this concrete creation of bowls and quarter pipes has become a second home for many of Portland's hardcore skate rats. We skated and hung out for a while, but we were soon back on the road to finish the drive.

Before leaving, I thought it would be a good idea to call Beth and Eddie to check up on the status of the concert. Eddie who is the lead singer of Pearl Jam as well as Beth's long time "steady man" had been working hard to convince the city that the concert must happen. With two days before show time, the city had once again decided that the event would be too out of control. They pulled the plug on everything. No concert. No Pearl Jam.

As our conversation continued, I knew we had to have some kind of venue. Eddie and Beth were on the same groove... The establishment was not going to have the last laugh this time.

Then came the solution. Call Mike Ranquet and see if we could have it on his parent's 5-acre wood forest. We could help restore the existing vert ramp, clear the land and go off. A full on private party for the hardcore Seattle skaters, record people, local bands and close bros. Beth and Eddie were into it, we were stoked and our game was set.

When we arrived in Seattle, we went straight to Mike's farm. He was into our idea, but informed us that there was at least three weeks of work to do on the ramp. With our crew and the Seattle boys, we decided to take the challenge. If we had enough beer, materials, food and flood lights, we could finish the ramp for the same session on Sunday. The pressure was on...

The next several days were intense to say the least. Under the direction of super chicken Steve McNutt, the extension of the 12 foot vert ramp began to take shape. And even though it looked like half the group was just sitting on their ass most of the time, everybody got involved and shit was getting done.

In between protests against the city for lack of support, Beth and Eddie were driving back and forth from town bringing lights and food for the crew. They also spent a considerable amount of time camping at the farm just grooving and giving off positive vibes.

The living conditions at the farm were as core as ever. Sleep in the van, a tent, in the barn or in the dirt. McDonald's was right around the corner and the nearest shower was the next door neighbor's pool. Night life was either slamming to the tunes of Gas Huffer at the OK Hotel or drinking and talking story around the fire at the farm.

By Saturday, all the plywood was on the existing ramp, while the transitions were being completed for the new extension. At around 2:00pm that afternoon, a movie production crew had showed up from Rock The Vote. They were there to film a segment for MTV with Eddie as the lead figure. The only problem was they wanted to use the ramp that we had been working on for the last 48 hours.

The situation was somewhat tense as one can imagine. On one side of the ramp was Hollywood painting their message on the finished plywood and on the other side was a bunch of scummy skate rats working hard and drinking beer.

Later that day the stage was set to film. Eddie would stand in the middle of the ramp reading material that upsets him while Scott Smile and Ranquet skate around him. After several dozen takes and hours of preparation the clip was finally finished. Hollywood was gone and the farm was back to normal.

That evening the crew was going off. Everyone was skating the plywood and raging. Work had come to a halt. It was at that point that I began to wonder if we were going to finish the project before the gig. The transitions needed to be framed and the masonite had to be put on.

Sunday 9:00am, nobody was working and the party started at 4:00pm. McNutt was burnt and really didn't give a shit anymore. That's when it got gnarly. The Seattle boys knew masonite and began to jam. The group had finally come together, everyone knew their task. Clear more land for parking, build the stage for the bands, get the ramp done.

By 4:00pm the ramp was finished and the party was beginning to happen. We couldn't believe it. After months of planning and problems, the day had come and it was insane. As tons of skaters ripped the HUGE vert ramp, Seaweed rocked hard along with Seven Year Bitch. Beth's band also played and even Eddie sang a few tunes of his own. Lots of beer, hundreds of people, good slam pit, no cops, no establishment. The energy was unbelievable, the vibe couldn't of been better.

All these skateboarders were en route to the park when the show got canceled, so we rerouted them to this giant piece of property owned by a friend of ours, about forty-five minutes outside of the city. It ended up being a massive party with a bonfire and a couple hundred people that were already at Gas Works waiting for the show to start. Gas Huffer, Zeke and 7 Year Bitch played, and I seem to remember singing some songs too.
-Eddie Vedder, excerpted from Pearl Jam 'Twenty'

The next several days we skated, cruised the city and hung out. By Wednesday, it was time to leave and get back to reality. One group had already charged home while my van, white trash, drove to Bend, Oregon to snowboard one last day at Mt. Bachelor. After that, home bound.

It's hard to write about a road trip because there are so many things that happen and so many cool people that you meet. I guess the moral of this adventure is that road trips are good. They bring friends together to experience unfamiliar places and happenings. So if you're bored and stuck in your town, get in the car and go. You don't need any real plans, just food, a sleeping bag, money for gas and the desire to experience life from a different angle. Good luck brother and enjoy...