Tag Archives: 2002

Trainwreck

To be fair, if we are indeed going to account for All the Gall, we should consider the bright but brief blowtorch of a career from Alex ‘Trainwreck’ Gall (no relation to Fred). It won’t take long, for his legacy was built on the weight of just 2 full parts. With such a strong impact made so quickly, only to disappear so completely, Trainwreck’s career path has become the archetype of the explode then vanish what-ever-happened-to skater.

As awesome of a nickname as he posses, Alex Gall didn’t earn it from his aggressive skateboarding or monumental slams. He got literally hit by a train as a child.
His skating wasn’t on any radars at all as he grew up and he emerged fully formed as a ball of destruction in his Jamie Thomas produced Wheels of Fortune part in 411 #39 from 2000. He went pro for Zero not too long after, but quit the team while on a trip to New York, thusly never having that Zero part you swore he did.

The original tape has a Ramone’s song.

By 2002, Trainwreck was pro for Bootleg skateboards (back when it was still connected to Baker), covered in tattoos, and skating to Slayer for his definitive part in Transworld’s In Bloom video. The part is a barrage of burley that was the style of the time: Handrails and hubbas with an occasional carcass toss thrown in there. The only line to be found is just a sequence of two large parking lot gaps. Looking back from a few decades in the future, the switch kickflips stand out, and that backside lipslide to fakie at the Banks is golden.

By the time Bootleg released it’s Bootleg 3000 full length video in 2003, Trainwreck was gone. With his body broken (and a drinking problem that wasn’t helping), Alex walked away from the skateboarding-for-money game completely, which is a rare thing in skateboarding. So there you have it: his career lasted all of about 4 years.

So where is he now?
Eventually Alex sobered up, got his shit together, and is now making high end aquatic themed fine art metal sculptures. For real, he does public art commissions and stuff. Thrasher did an Out There about it.

Bonus Trainwreck:
In 2015, the Thrasher series called Ricki the Dude’s Total Recall posted a whole mess of footage of Alex from 1999 that was filmed for Duffs, thus nearly doubling the amount of total Trainwreck skating available to watch.

Jamie Thomas and the call for the Killaz

update: you can find a higher quality version here (the 42:20 mark)

Jamie Thomas, or any human for the rest of existence, is not likely to ever top Welcome to Hell. While his parts in Thrill of It All, Misled Youth, Dying to Live, even Cold War and Heavy Metal are all pretty thrilling in their own right (and would rank tops in the CV of most  skaters), the only Chief part that even comes close to Welcome to Hell in rewatchability is the curveball that is 2002’s Chomp On This.

At a time when Jamie was fully ensconced as the king of big rails and tall drops, he unexpectedly dropped a part sprinkled with tech goodies, footplants, and what at the time  would be considered ‘dork tricks’. Expectations are filled with lofty frontside 5-0 grinds, bike rack nosegrinds, several satisfying backside 5-0 180s, and the obligatory Adrian Lopez cameo. We even get another classic Chief ‘I-can-do-that-one-better finger’. All the time honored tradition of a Jamie Thomas video.

But, wait, what’s this? Wallieing boards to tabletop tech dancing? Schoolyard lines featuring both a bench front crooks and a flatground bigflip? Laying hands on the Clipper hubba? And I don’t even really understand what the no-comply-flip-in-and-out manual thing was. And then there’s Master P. Against all odds it works, damn it.

In 2002, Jamie Thomas had reached an elite plateau of ability where he could cut loose with uncharacteristic tricks like this and produce something memorable, fun, and gnarly. A land with a short list of occupants such Koston, Haslam, the Gonz, and permanent resident Daewon. This part is also unexpectedly prescient of a future where steep rails and footplants are comfortably mixed in a single video part. Perhaps knowing this silly footage was going towards the homie video that was Chomp enabled Thomas to log tricks that were decidedly ‘non-Zero’. Jamie looks like he is having fun and not taking things seriously overall with this part.

One also hopes Jamie’s wardrobe at this time was also part of not taking things seriously attitude. I imagine the gold fronts and balaclava were just being silly. I don’t know if we can so kindly dismiss the extra-long frayed pant cuffs, the flapping sleeves, and the conspicuous bandana placement. The Chief had more fabric flapping than a semaphore conversation, amiright? The Freddy Kruger sweater kind of makes up for it all, though.

Anyways, I still prefer the Chomp era Jamie kit to that cop ‘stache he is sporting nowadays.