“Where is Royal Flush right about now?” It’s funny how when you skate, there’s “the Jake Johnson song,” “the Rick McCrank song,” “the Mariano song,” etc. “Worldwide” by Royal Flush is most definitely the Keenan song. Just check the YouTube comments.
In our annual Keenan Milton R.I.P. / reminder of how Mouse is the best skate video ever post, here is Keenan and Gino’s part from Mouse plus the radio skit near the end, with commentary from Spike Jonze, Aaron Meza, Eric Koston, Guy Mariano, Mike Carroll, and Rick Howard. It’s from the Girl/Chocolate box set, which you should most likely already own. (It’s $32 on Crailtap, if you don’t.) It’s not much, just Mariano talking about how you can only use “timeless hip-hop” if you’re using it for a video part, as opposed to, you know, Band of Horses or some emo shit. We firmlydisagreewith his entire non-”hot song of the month” stance either way. There’s some stuff in there about the good-ol’-days when Spike Jonze didn’t know how to use a greenscreen, too.
We brought out the pom-poms to celebrate Trilogy turning 15, but it should be mentioned that in the company-wide artistic achievement rankings, World’s masterpiece is in a close second place for best skate video of 1996. It might seem weird to first see a four-year-old video in 2000 and be able to say it’s your favorite for the next ten years, as most VHS tapes we hold dear to our hearts are intertwined with some bit of nostalgia from the period they’re from, but Mouse has somehow held up to be the best front-to-back skate video to this day. There was a more generous definition of age back then, as it took years for a video to become old, now it takes a few weeks. Keep in mind that videos had a much longer literal shelf life in 2000, as Active and CCS still had Las Nueve Vidas De Paco and Welcome to Hell listed on their video page three or four years later. Hell, Autumn had *sealed* copies of Memory Screen in 2001…it’d be surprising if Autumn had copies of Since Day One right now.
The best soundtrack (Frozen and Carbonite already discussed the joy of findingsamplesources via Girl and Chocolate videos, a musical direction they have unfortunately abandoned in recent productions), the most iconic part of the 90s in Mariano, Koston’s most all-around rewatchable part, Gino’s nollie cab back tail, even B-list roster members like Burger Boy coming through with timeless parts (Two steps to a great video part: skate fast and skate to Earth Wind & Fire), and something that is otherwise an anomaly — skits that are as worthy of repeat viewing as the video itself. 38 minutes of neglecting that the fast forward button was invented. How many other videos can you watch the whole way through, intros, B-list roster, and skits included?
(This has been uploaded on YouTube by three different people. None of the versions have the audio because due to the Curtis Mayfield song, the good folks over at Warner Music Group decided to strip the audio away. Here is is with audio in tact.)
In most cases, we as the skateboard media consuming majority, only know professional skaters through photos and video parts. We derive great meaning from the images they deliver to us, by allowing them to influence which boards we buy, what tricks we learn, and even how we may dress in our formative years. But our conception of a person is inherently limited to an interview in a magazine, our favorite line in a video, or what we may widely consider one of the finest switch flips ever done.
Though we have this superficial yet significant view, our recollections of popping The Chocolate Tour into our VCRs for first time and hearing “New York Ya Out There” at the start of Keenan’s part will never compare to the memories of those who actually knew him. The above article appeared in Big Brother (of all places), and was not written by a skateboarder. It has no accounts of sessions at Lockwood or growing up in New York. But it is an amazing, highly personal read that is satisfying to an outsider — not because it’s about a skateboarder and his video parts, but an individual and his friends. And that might count for a bit more than some trivia about a picnic bench line.
Love your family and love your friends. It’s way too easy to take them for granted sometimes.