Interview by Mike Daily   (August 1989) 
 

WHAT TRICKS HAVE YOU INVENTED?

"Locomotive, trolley, caboose, elephant glide, uhm, elbow glide..."

Lungmustard: "Hang five..."

"Yeah, hang five, rope-a-roni, dump truck, death truck, hitchhiker, backpacker, John Doenut, uptight wheelie. That's all the good ones."

THE WHOLE KEVIN JONES SITUATION HAS WARRANTED A GREAT DEAL OF WONDER. IT WAS EMERSON WHO SAID, "TO BE GREAT IN TO BE MISUNDERSTOOD." KEV PERPLEXES NEARLY EVERYONE WITH HIS SELF-PATTERNED RIDING CONTRASTED BY SOMEWHAT STRANGE, LACKADAISICAL BEHAVIOR. HOWEVER, GREATNESS IS AN ENGAGING JOURNEY FOR KEVIN JONES - NEVER A DESTINATION.

HOW MUCH MORE DIFFICULT WOULD YOU SAY IT IS TO MAKE UP A NEW TRICK THAN TO LEARN ONE ALREADY OUT?

"It's a lot harder. You can't see it, you don't know what it's going to look like, you have to figure all that out yourself."

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO WIRE YOUR OWN TRICK AFTER YOU MAKE THEM UP?

"Well, if I think of a good trick, it'll take a couple of days. I'll just work on it all day until I get it. I don't just put it off or anything. Within a week, for sure. Unless it's something real hard."

DO YOU EVER DIAGRAM CERTAIN TRICKS IDEAS?

"(Pause)...Yeah. I guess it just helps me figure it out. I just draw it for the heck of it. I don't know how much it helps, but it's kind of funny."

WHAT COMPELS YOU TO GO OUT AND DO ROUTINES OF ALMOST ALL YOUR OWN TRICKS?

"I wouldn't feel right doing somebody else's tricks. Like when I'm making up my routine, if I put any trick in there that's not mine, then I just don't feel right. It feels stupid taking credit from somebody else."

IS IT TRUE YOU SOMETIMES PRACTICE IN YOUR DREAMS AND COME UP WITH NEW IDEAS IN YOUR SLEEP?

"Well, not so much anymore, but way back, a couple of years ago I kinda did. Like when I made up the dump truck or something like that, I did."

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE FACT THAT MOST OF YOUR TRICKS ARE THE MOST POPULAR TRICKS OUT TODAY? DO YOU FEEL COPIED, OR FLATTERED?

"Well, in a way I'm flattered, but some people do too many. Like their whole routine will be all my tricks. It gets a little out of hand when people don't realize that there's other tricks out there, too."

CAN ANYONE EXCEL AT FREESTYLE, OR DO YOU THINK IT'S SOMETHING THAT SOME PEOPLE ARE MORE GIFTED AT?

"Yeah, definitely some people are more gifted than others, but pretty much anyone can get good. There's nothing that would really hold you back. But I definitely think some people are more gifted than others."

WHAT'S YOUR DAILY PLAN?

"Get up and ride all day. I used to have to squeeze in riding time before and after I got off work, but now that I'm on GT, riding is my job. That's what I do all day, all night."

DO YOU FEEL LIKE IT WAS MORE FUN WHEN YOU WORKED ALL DAY -- DID YOU LOOK FORWARD TO RIDING MORE?

"It wasn't more fun ... it was more work then. I had to go out of my way, ride at weird times. I'd be tired from working, but I'd still have to try real hard when I rode. Now that I can ride all day, It's funner. Definitely."

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE "CRUISING" TRICKS?

"Like a hang five, or a wheelie. Anything like that. Whiplashes too, flyin' down the hill."

WHAT GETS YOU STOKED WHEN YOU GO TO A CONTEST?

"New tricks, when somebody has a new trick that they came up with. Huddleston will get me stoked 'cause he'll just be busting out with everything. and Mary (Stoyer), if Marty will go."

WHEN YOU SEE NEW TRICKS, DO YOU WANT TO LEARN THOSE?

"Well, at first I'll just wait until a few months, after it's already out and everybody knows who did it ... then I'll try to learn it. But I would never learn somebody's trick to try and get credit for it, or do it in a contest or something."

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE CONTEST?

" That Texas one. The Austin masters where it was me and Rick in 19 Expert. I would have been satisfied if I'd have made the top ten, and then I got second. I don't know why there was all the controversy about it ... him beating me. I was just glad to get second, plus I got sponsored. That's all I really wanted to do anyways was get sponsored. I never really cared about getting first."

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN RIDING?

"About nine years."

WHEN AND WHERE DID YOU FIRST LEARN TABLETOPS?

"Back in '81, down at The Pit, this jumping place about two blocks from my house."

DO YOU THINK OTHER TYPES OF RIDING WILL HELP YOUR FLATLAND RIDING, OR IF SOMEBODY WANTS TO BE A GOOD FLATLANDER, SHOULD THEY JUST CONCENTRATE ON GROUND RIDING?

"I never really thought about it. The more you do, the better you'll get. I mean, if you can ride a skatepark, then ... I don't know exactly how much it would help your flatland, but it would help a little. It's just how much you ride your bike. But you wouldn't have to learn to ride dirt and ramps and parks just to be great at ground, or vise-versa."

WHAT'S THIS ABOUT YOU RIDING YOUR BIKE OFF A CLIFF, LANDING IN AN ENDO, AND EMERGING UNHURT?

"That was at The Pit. It was about 25 feet tall, a real steep hill. I was jumping down it, and I cleared the whole thing and landed on flat ground, rode a nose wheelie for about five feet, then the back wheel touched the ground. I rode another 15 feet and slid out in a bunch of glass and got cut up. I killed the guy's bike, though. I cracked the frame, broke the pedal off, cracked the cranks."

WHO ARE SOME GUYS YOU USED TO WANT TO RIDE WITH? WHO ARE SOME PRESENT DAY GUYS YOU'D LIKE TO RIDE WITH?

"Just any of the pros I would've loved to ride with. Just anybody who was in the mag, even Fred Blood, at one time. Nowadays, whoever's into it. It doesn't matter it they're really good or whatever, as long as they want to try real hard, ride a lot."

DO YOU RIDE BY YOURSELF A LOT?

"Kinda, yeah. Every day I ride by myself for a certain amount of time. I don't go out of my way to ride alone ... I'll have to wait for Mark (Eaton) to get up or get off work or something, and I'll just ride for a couple of hours by myself."

WHAT KIND OF MUSIC DO YOU LISTEN TO?

"Anything. I like rap a lot, Easy-E. I don't know, I'll listen to anything. Old stuff like Rush or something, I'll get into it."

HOW MUCH DO YOU SPEND ON GOOP (JUNK FOOD)?

"All the money I spend is on goop, practically. Cupcakes, chips ... just anything you can buy at a 7-11, that's all goop. Candy bars, something to drink, chocolate milk."

Lungmustard: "We can't go two hours without it."

WHAT'S THE THREE PART GOOP PLAN?

"You mean mine? Chocolate milk, butterscotch tasty cakes, and Martin's chips. I eat that at least two or three times a day."

DO YOU EAT FOOD?

"Sometimes. Probably only like one meal a day at the most."

YOU CLAIM TO HAVE SEEN EVERY GILLIGAN'S ISLAND EPISODE EVER?

"Yeah."

OKAY, HOW DID MRS. HOWELL ESCAPE FROM THE GORILLA WHO KIDNAPPED HER AND TOOK HER TO THE CAVE?

Lungmustard: "I know the answer to this one."

Kevin: "You DO?"

Lungmustard: "I'll back you up if you want ... (Laughter)."

Kevin: "Give me some ideas about the episode."

Lungmustard: "Okay, they're in the cave, and ..."

Kevin: "Oh! The mirror? They took this mirror into the cave -- the gorilla looked at himself in the mirror and he thought it was another gorilla."

HOW MANY BMX FRAMES HAVE YOU OWNED?

"All added up? It would be about 50. I used to send them back after I cracked them."

Lungmustard: "He used to throw away big garbage cans of bike parts every day. Millions of old tires and stuff ..."

ARE YOU PRETTY PSYCHED TO GO ON TOUR WITH GT?

"Yeah. I can't wait to be on the road with Gary (Pollak)."

IS THAT WHO YOU'RE TOURING WITH -- GARY?

"Well, I don't know. I hope so. We should definitely be together on the road some of the time."

HOW LONG DO YOU THINK YOU'LL BE RIDING FOR?

"Pretty long. I can't see just quitting. I'll always keep a bike and ride a little. I'll be fully into it, riding every single day, for at least another year. Hopefully I'll be on GT next year. But even if I'm not sponsored, I'm always gonna ride."

HAVE YOU EVER GOTTEN OUT OF RIDING, OR BURNED OUT?

"Yeah, once we got out of it and got into break dancing. That wasn't even for a whole year, but we were fully out of it. We didn't have bikes, we  weren't gonna ever get back into it."

Lungmustard: "I thought there was no way we were ever gonna ride again. When Kevin was tryin' to learn cherrypickers, I was laughing."

"I'd borrow a bike and get up into a cherrypicker, do about six hops, and Eaton wouldn't even look at me. He'd be like 'Come on, let's go break."

Lungmustard: "I didn't want him to get back into bikes, so I tried to make bikes seem lame."

NOW THAT YOU'RE PRO, HAS YOUR ATTITUDE CHANGED AT ALL?

"Not really. Not that I can think of. It should, but it hasn't yet. I really should start practicing a routine or something ... It's just that I've never really done that before. I've never gone out and pulled a routine in practice before a contest. I just go out there and do whatever -- I know the tricks I want to do, but not the order, the music, the time limit."

WHAT DO YOU THINK IT WILL TAKE TO BE A TOP RIDER IN THE PRO CLASS?

 "I have no idea how I'll do in the pro class this year. I'm just gonna go out there and do all my own tricks."

DO YOU THINK THAT MIGHT WORK AGAINST YOU -- THE FACT THAT EVERYONE ELSE IN DOING YOUR TRICKS?

"Yeah, the judges might not know that they're my tricks. They won't realize that. so it'll definitely go against me. Kind of. But I don't care."

WHAT ABOUT PEOPLE DOING VARIATIONS OF YOUR TRICKS? DO YOU EVER SEE ANY THAT YOU THINK ARE BETTER THAN YOUR ORIGINAL TRICK?

"People make up  variations of my tricks that I've already thought up. I mean, I'll do 'em at home, but I don't really think it's that big of a deal to do 'em at contests. Like I did no-footed hang fives first, before anyone even saw me do a hang five. But people just figure that since they don't see me do the trick, I don't do the trick. But I pretty much do all the variations of my own tricks."

Lungmustard: "Never underestimate him."

WHAT GETS YOU FRUSTRATED?

"Wasting time. Like if I go out riding and my bike gets loose or something breaks, and I have to go home and fix it. That's why when something is loose on my bike, I'll stay and ride instead of wasting time fixing it. I can ride an extra half hour, even though it's not gonna be dialed in ... I still get more riding time, If the bike doesn't have a flat, or if it's at least rideable, I'll ride it."

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT STREET RIDING?

"I don't know. I kinda get sick of all that stuff. I don't care what kind of riding I do, any time I'm on my bike it's cool. At the street contest last weekend -- I could've done all that five years ago, whatever I did in the street contest. I didn't do anything new."

ANY REGRETS ABOUT RIDING?

"Naaaa. Maybe I regret not practicing routines, but it just seems so boring to me. It makes me want to get out of riding every time I go out and try to practice a set routine. Usually if I have one good new trick, that's all I rely on."

WHAT DO YOU THINK IS NEXT AS FAR AS RIDING STYLES GO?

"I don't think there's going to be a whole new phase, like rolling tricks or balancing tricks. I think everything's pretty much out, and now we're going to start seeing real hard tricks."

Lungmustard: "I think it kinda makes it hard for kids who are just starting to ride flatland. It got like freestyle skating, to where the guys like Mullen and stuff are so far ahead now, you can't even think of new tricks."

Kevin: "Yeah, the kids who learn hang fives or elbow glides as their first tricks instead of rock walks and rollbacks -- that'll definitely hold them back. Even though the old tricks seem boring, you need to learn 'em. You have to."