Piracy has existed throughout the whole of history. During the height of the Pax Romana pirates held Julius Caesar captive. Then again, the Romans were some of the most widely operating pirates of all time.The Vikings were also pirates. They would go up and down the British and French coasts terrorizing and pillaging wealthy monasteries. They invented a sport called monk racing in which Vikings would mount monks and race them about while drinking mead.

Muslim pirates emerged in the East during the Crusades and preyed on ships off the African coast. They would force entire nations to pay them tribute. The newly-formed United States became so fed up with them that during the 1800’s they sent troops after them. Hence, “To the shores of Tripoli” was added to the “Marine Battle Hymn.”

In England one of the most respected seafaring men of the day was Sir Walter Raleigh. Operating as a privateer with letters of marque in the employ of the Queen, Raleigh and the “Sea Dogs” defeated the entire Spanish Armada. After the Queen’s death, however, Raleigh was beheaded for continued acts of piracy against Spain.

Pirates still exist today. However, these are not the jovial days of riding monastic inhabitants and forcing prisoners at gunpoint to drink to excess while sea shanties are sung. Present day pirates aren’t very fun at all. They travel in speedboats with assault rifles and lurk in mangrove inlets to kidnap and sometimes kill innocent fishermen. They also attack pleasure cruisers and oil tankers. The major hot spots for this are the coastal areas of Nigeria, Somalia, Venezuela, Trinidad and Tobago, and most notorious of all the Malacca Strait that runs between Malaysia and Indonesia. Since the beginning of the year, there have already been 30 deaths resulting from 182 separate attacks worldwide. This is the highest number in ten years. This kind of piracy is making a comeback in a big way. The insurance industry estimates the cost of piracy to be as high as $15 billion a year.

I implore readers not to fall into this flashy new trend of piracy with their shiny guns and cool speedboats. Instead, try to become your own personal pirate. Here’s how:

Start out with small things at first. One thing you might try is, the next time you’re at a bar and your buddy leaves his cigarettes and pitcher of beer unattended to hit the rest room, say ” Avast Ye! Prepare to be boarded!” Then pocket his smokes and chug as much beer as possible before his return.

The next time you get into a bar fight and thrash your opponent to the ground, go ahead and take something, like his glasses or one of his shoes. I know what you’re thinking: strong arm robbery. Nah, it’s just personal piracy pillaging and plundering.

One thing that you can do to increase your pirate legitimacy is to get a case of scurvy. To achieve this you just need one thing, or rather, the lack of one thing: vitamin C. This means avoid any sort of citrus fruits or vitamins like they were hookers surrounded by flies. Do this and you’ll be losing teeth in no time.

Another thing to keep in mind is that pirates drink grog, a stiff mixture of rum and water. If consumed with the frequency that one drinks beer on an evening you will become quite blatantly pirate-like (or incarcerated).

Hell, why just become a pirate, when you can become a super pirate? Try drugs like PCP. I know that some of you guys are thinking, ” Hey pirates didn’t use drugs.” Right, but that’s only because they didn’t have them around. I guarantee that if they had, they would have been flying on every single substance known to man. What’s scarier than a pirate with a huge ego and super human strength staring at you while growling, ehh?

Also, you must surround yourself with a good crew. I don’t mean your respectable “job” having friends. I mean your horrifically lackluster, shitbag, drug addict violent, friends. They’re not hard to find, they’re right there on your couch. Go ahead and wake them up. Unleash them on the unsuspecting land lubbers.

Hell, there have to be millions of ways to achieve your inner pirate. Just brainstorm and think up your own. Just don’t think too hard, pirates aren’t big thinkers. Pirates are about acting on impulse. Oh, it also helps to say ” AAAARRRRRR!!!! ” a whole lot. So get out there follow this advice and you’ll be on your way to happiness, or jail.


The morning of the Warped Tour, I woke up in bed being handed a nice hot cup of coffee by my girlfriend. This was pretty strange to me. I say this because more often than not, “Thanks for the coffee darling,” isn’t being uttered when I wake up, but something closer to, ” Who are you? How did I get here? Where did this street cone come from and where are my pants, dammit?”

So in uncharacteristically alert and awake form, I began my journey to the State Fairpark, where I was to be interviewing some friends of mine from Florida who were to be skating at the Warped Tour. Pretty simple right? Wrong. Upon arrival, I was notified by the press liason that none of the skaters I were to be interviewing were in town that day. At first, I was pretty bummed. But all was not lost. I did notice that Jon Comer, Texas vert legend, would be skating that day. For those of you who don’t know who he is, he has been killing it for years and to top it all off, he has been doing it with a prosthetic leg. Years ago, Jon lost his leg in a car accident. This would have stopped most people from doing something like skating, but not Jon. We were lucky enough to get to sit down and chat with him about some things and here’s how it went.

SLUG: Jon, how are you doing?

Jon Comer: I’m doin’ alright.

SLUG: So, you’re from the dirty South. What do you think of the dirty Mormon West? Have you had a good time at this stop?

JC: Oh yeah, I’ve had a great day. It’s awesome. Same day, different parking lot.

SLUG: So most of your time is spent in Texas, then?

JC: Yeah, yeah, that’s where my house is. Dallas; grew up skating there.

SLUG: So have you ever drank on the grassy knowle?

JC: No.

SLUG: You should try it out some time.

JC: We always drive by the grassy knowle and out the window we’ll just be yelling fuckin’, “POW!” People just jump. It’s so funny.

SLUG: So you’re riding for Powell?

JC: I don’t ride for Powell any more. I ride for Gringo, Dakine bags; I get free shoes from Vans, thank you very much, Ripzone clothing, Bones bearings and Fast Forward skateshop.

SLUG: Answer this if you like, but what do you think of George Powell?

JC: He’s kind of weird. He’s cool. But I don’t know, he’s definitely not an easy man to talk to. That’s all I know about that dude.

SLUG: So who’s riding for Gringo skateboards right now?

JC: Pretty much me, Craig Johnson and John Gibson, all the old Texas dudes.Then we had Bill Taylor for a little while, but I guess they had a fallin’ out with that dude.

SLUG: Who’s pressing your boards right now?

JC: Generator, the same company that does Anti Hero. And then Jeff Knuden runs it. He’s the guy that ran Zorlac originally back in the day.

SLUG: How long has Gringo been together?

JC: Three or four years, but I just got on four or five months ago.

SLUG: Represent Texas and tell me your most interesting Mike Crum experience.

JC: I don’t know if I ever really experienced any of them because I was a little bit younger. I didn’t really start partying with Mike until later. I’ve heard a lot of stories. The best one I ever heard was, he was in fuckin’ Europe somewhere and he was mouthin’ off to some huge French guy. And the guy took a glass, like a beer glass, and shoved it in his neck. And I saw it [the wound]. He’s got this huge scar on his neck; it’s gnarly. That’s the craziest, because he could have died.

SLUG: Not that he would die. He’s somehow indestructable.

JC: Yeah, he always manages to float to the top.

SLUG: So John, I think it was on 411, I saw that you built and designed your prosthetic leg, right? JC: No, I just did a lot of modifications like putting rubber shit at the top because I kind of use it like a knee pad all the time.

SLUG: It’s carbon fiber, like one of those cars from The Fast And The Furious.

JC: Yeah, but the heel piece breaks all the time.

SLUG: So do you own a sweet rice-burner street-racing car with an interior that matches your leg?

JC: I have an ’88 Honda Civic. It does have one of those dope tailpipes on it, though.

SLUG: So how old is your kid now?

JC: Six, he’s staying with my mother-in-law while I’m out on tour. My wife’s off working right now.

SLUG: Any shout-outs you’d like to give out before we close this out?

JC: What up everybody! I’d like to say hi to my mom and family. Skate for fun, everybody, and don’t be a bitch!

I was assigned to interview members of Flogging Molly. I was looking forward to it; particularly the part about talking to Matt Hensley, the accordion player. I’ve hung out with him before and he’s always been a real nice guy. For those who may be unaware, he also was a skateboarding legend. In the early 90s, he rode for H Street and was in the video Shackle Me Not. This would make the interview a lot easier.

[Flogging Molly]The difficult thing would be waking up at 9:30 in the fucking morning. I’ll let you readers know something, I drink like a goddamned fish and 9:30a.m. is usually when I’m passing out. Well, obviously, through some sort of miracle, I got up in time to do the interview. Except Matt wasn’t there. Dave King, the lead singer, was, however. He had just woken up too; this was also, as he described, hard, because he also had had a “long night.” I already liked the man. I know from previous meetings that they have a trailer behind their bus that is literally full of Guinness of which, let’s just say, they aren’t scared to take a sip or two of.

Flogging Molly are currently on tour supporting their new album, Within a Mile of Home. Unfortunately, they won’t be coming through Utah on this tour, but they hope to be soon. Dave said he really loved the fans out here that came out and rocked out to their set during the Warped Tour this summer and then drowned in the stupid torrential rain that occurred almost immediately aftewards.

Dave misses his hometown, Dublin. He hasn’t been back there in many years. H e said that the album title had a lot to do with that, but sometimes, after you’ve been gone so long, you forget where your real home is. He said that home isn’t necessarily a physical place; it can also mean happiness. We discussed drinking and Ybor City, a bar district in Tampa, Fla., where the streets are paved with vomit. It turns out that we have a mutual friend, Seamus, who owns the James Joyce Irish Pub there. Dave said he was a crazy bastard and a generous man.

He was surprised to find out that the first single is actually getting radio play. I asked him if Paddy Maloney and THE CHIEFTAINS were an influence on the songwriting on the new album. He said that no one had ever asked him that before, but yes. The biggest influence was his personal life, he says: He was depressed and having a bit of a rough time. Coming from an Irish Catholic back ground, Dave said he sometimes feels guilty for being too happy. Dude, is that some heavy shit or what?

You can find out a little bit more about the band on their website at www.floggingmolly.com, and be sure to check out the video for the song “Drunken Lullaby;” in the extras section, it’s got my friend Patrick Melcher skating in it. Dave and I then talked about what he’s listening to in his car at the moment (Tom Waits) and about how I got arrested the other day (fuck you very much, Officer J. Adamson). I told him to pass along an apology to Matt for me because during the Warped Tour, when we were drinking backstage, my drunk friend Brad kept repeatedly trying to force him, ad nauseam, to take whiskey shots against his will. Dave would like all of you fans and readers to know that he appreciates all of you very much. There, I did it, a whole article about Flogging Molly and I didn’t mention The Pogues once. Slainte!

Burton Snowboards was recently in town premiering their new DVD, The Process 3. To promote this, some of the riders would be in town to do an autograph session at the Gateway before the premiere. I got to go have a beer with one of the riders, Romain DeMarchi. It would be the second visit of this kind to Utah.

During that visit, he also had a charity boxing match at Blindside with another Burton rider, DCP. He said it was fun, even though he lost. But it was by decision, not knock-out, so it’s not a big loss.

I met up with the guy at Monk’s House of Jazz, a bar downtown. I had decided that it would be a good idea to do the interview at a bar because being that it had been the week of my birthday, I was planning on a pretty brutal hangover and would need a maintenance beer to help my recovery.

Photo_ Perly Rider_Romain de MarchiI had heard from people that he was some kind of berserker. A wild man. Maybe they’re right, but that was not really displayed to me. Romain is a very nice guy. We shot a little pool and shot a little Jagermeister and I got to find out a little bit about Romain.

He told me that he’s from Geneva, Switzerland. He has been riding for 12 years. He skied when he was younger but decided to eventually give snowboarding a try. At the age of 14 he became really serious about his riding. He just had a birthday also (happy B-day, Romain). He has a girlfriend in France (sorry, ladies). He goes to Brazil and surfs every November.

I found out that Romain and Travis Rice recently, right here in Utah, hit Chad’s Gap in Grizzly Gulch. Romain told me it’s about 110 feet from knuckle to knuckle. They are the first snowboarders to ever do this. Before that, it had only been done by skiers. (For anyone that doesn’t understand that, it means he’s got huge stones.)

I found out that he was voted “Rock Star of the Year 2002-03” by Transworld Snowboarding. I asked what kind of music he listened to and he responded with Justin Timberlake and Brittany Spears (!) He did redeem himself, though, by also saying Johnny Cash and Sublime. Then he went and put Sarah McLachlan on the jukebox. This is understandable, though. A lot of European riders I’ve met are really into bubblegum pop.

His sponsors are Burton, Anon, Analog and Nixon. He gave shouts to his parents, himself and Everybody. The next day, I went to the premier and gave it a watch. I have to say it was fucking good. Romain’s part was sick. As soon as it was over, I left the theater and went to the bathroom and threw up. Let’s just say that if you have a crippling hangover, you should never ingest 20 ounces of beer, one large Chicago dog and the largest size of Orange Julius available to the public and then go watch people spin around in slow motion on the big screen.