“I’ve died a thousand times but I’m still alive” – Fred Gall – Dirts Win

Fred Gall doesn’t really seem to worry about the past too much. He is celebrated because his friends and fans celebrate him, not because he is a self-promoter. Even in the midsts of his present comeback (which feels like a beautifully collaborative happening with his New Jersey crew), Fred seems more interested in shining light on the spots he is skating than himself.

And so, until the next part comes, we end this fantastic voyage of Freddy. I saved the 2013 Thrasher retrospective, Dirts Win, for this final post. It’s a very solid celebration of the career of Fred up to that point and even features a few never-before seen tricks and angles. Plus Brian Wenning chilling on the stoop in sweatpants. I asked Fred who made this video and he told me, “Dude. I think Brennan [Conroy] might have made that cuz I don’t know who else would have.

Also inspired by the general idea of Dirts winning is the Dirts Win clothing company done by Freddy’s boys out of Florida. Tim O’ encapsulates the connection in a Thrasher article from over a decade ago: “There’s a lot of Jersey folks who are disgusting scumbags, and there’s also some Florida scum, so it’s just scummy bastards bonding.”
They should have some new stuff coming as soon pandemic manufacturing allows.

Freddy has had such a long and legendary career based on both early innovation and crusty spot choices. But much more important is the loyalty he has gained through being such an genuine fun person and a true skate rat. Fred has made some very bad choices over the years and it is a testament to his character that everyone stands by him through it all. The fact that he has had essentially just one board sponsor continuously for 30 years despite being such a handful is very telling. How many other skaters have stuck with, and been stood with, for that long without owning the company? Cab? I can’t think of any others off the top of my head.
We all want Fred to triumph, which makes his present resurrection so satisfying for all of us as spectators.

You can support Fred buying boards or shoes with his name on them where you can find them and by telling Habitat to stop sleeping on our boy. Domestics, the made in America clothing company of which Fred is part owner, is still around so buy some pants or a shirt. I’m still hoping they reissue this Turkish Script logo.

Most importantly, in the spirit of Freddy, spend time with your friends and have fun. Pitch in a bag of concrete and some elbow grease to that DIY, bring a case of beer or sparkling water to the session, give that grom a high five when they finally get the guts to skate that hubba but then slam, if you have a pal who is trying to get sober be supportive. Be good to your friends.
Oddly enough, the biggest realization in this exhaustive examination of a single skateboarder is how interconnected he is to his scene. The story of Fred Gall is populated with essential supporting characters as is all our lives: The filmers, photographers, TMs, teammates, shop owners, friends, business partners, fans, friends, Mom, and Granny.

Bonus Fred:
The Chrome Ball Incident interview from 2019 is amazing. All their interviews are amazing, but this one is the best. I also took a lot of photos for these posts from Chops’ scans.

Bonus Bonus Fred:
The Tim O’Connor podcast with Freddy is fucking nuts. Like, seriously unselfconscious talk about kinds all of horrific things. It is amazing.

The Bunt also did a great podcast with Freddy in 2019.

Bonus Bonus Bonus Fred:
I’ve mentioned it a few times before, but the Bobshirt interview with Freddy is essential.

Bonus Bonus Bonus Bonus Fred:
Freddy talks about a different time he saved lives in foreign countries on an episode of the Ride Channel’s Free Lunch from 2012. Unfortunately, Fred never appeared on Rob Brink’s Weekend Buzz show.

Bonus Bonus Bonus Bonus Bonus Fred:
The Fred Gall episode of Epicly Later’d from 2007. Featuring Granny and a pole jam rock to fakie.

Bonus Bonus Bonus Bonus Bonus Bonus Fred:
We’ve already mentioned Freddy’s instagram account, which is just infested with crusty spot checks up and down the East Coast, but some other Gall-grams worthy of a look are the @churchofgall tribute account (which never really solidified its following like the Cult of Tom) and this account that posts the same Fred Gall pic everyday.

Bonus Bonus Bonus Bonus Bonus Bonus Bonus Fred:
In 2010, Freddy calls Tony Hawk from Canada to see what strings the Birdman can pull to get Jaws across the border. The conversation is about as clearheaded and sensible as one might imagine. Ryan Lay recorded it. I think the Boil the Ocean transcription is even better.

Bonus Bonus Bonus Bonus Bonus Bonus Bonus Bonus Fred:
Here are some more images I gathered from the interwebs but didn’t use yet.

Freddy caveman dark sliding a handrail
Uncle Freddy
Perhaps the one of the earliest Fred photos by Geoff T Graham
another masterpiece from Matt Price
I can’t squander this opportunity to post this brilliant Thrasher valentine.

I want to thank Fred for taking the time to connect and answer my questions, Jared over at 4ply Magazine for getting the ball rolling on this one, Matt Price for the photos, Thad Croskey for unearthing the busride footage, everyone who has said nice things on social media, blog comments, or the message board, and everyone whose photos and videos I used for these articles. If I didn’t give you proper credit, please let me know so I can make it right.
Shout out to everybody in the NJ Fred fam for their support, especially Metal Skateboards (I assume it’s Lou behind that account), NJ Skateshop, Paul Gar, BA, and everyone else. All those session seem like so much fun.
Acknowledgments to Jono Coote’s 2016 Fred Gall Footage Feast article in Sidewalk for doing this first.

Please check out our Fred Gall: Living Legend article on 4ply that crunches the numbers on all these videos with interactive data-visualization charts. Freddy even gave us a few choice quotes about some of the tricks.

I’ve made an All the Gall playlist on Youtube that dives even deeper, so check that out if this just wasn’t enough Fred for you.

We’ll be back when that new part drops. Until then, have a good time all the time.
More skate video commentary and analysis coming soon right here on the Warm Up Zone.
Thanks for tuning in.

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