Long Beach, California
November 9, 2006
I rolled up really early to a line of kids wrapping around the block. We didn't really have security, so I worked the door, which sucks, because I had to hold back fans who just wanted to see the movie. I fucking hate telling kids to wait, or having to hold them back. Anyway, we let them in and the theatre got packed. Kids started getting rowdy and the owners of the place started getting bummed.
We showed the video, but the sound was fucked! They couldn't turn it up very loud at all, and you had to stay pretty quiet to hear it. It was weird, but it worked out okay, and kids seemed to be pretty amped on it! Then we tried to get 'em out, and it started getting crazy. People started barging in, and I had a bunch of VIPs waiting outside that I needed to get in. Daewon Song, Jamie Thomas, Greg Lutzka, Darrel Stanton and a ton of other friends of mine and the team were waiting in a sweaty, rowdy and increasingly angry crowd.
The cops showed up to control the crowd, but people started throwing shit at them. Eric from Tum Yeto counted 51 cops from where he was standing. I was able to get some people in, but at some point, we needed to relieve the kids in the line, some of whom were getting crushed. So, we started letting people in, and a stampede started. I got completely ran over, the door of the theatre got torn off its hinges, and glass started breaking. It turned into total fucking chaos. The riot police started getting aggro and arresting kids. Rumor has it that they did so very forcibly. One kid's arm did, in fact, get broken by a sheriff in disguise as a theater employee. That sucks.
I saw two kids in the back of the police car when I left, and I saw one kid getting slammed to the ground. The theatre people were bumming hard at this point and wanted to shut it down, but we begged them to show the video again. There were about 2000 skaters waiting to see the movie, and over 12 got arrested! We really needed to have five showings for everyone to see it. We got the sound figured out and the second showing went great--aside from the riot happening outside, the damaged theatre and all the kids who didn't make it in.
I am really sorry for anyone who didn't make it in, or anyone I had to hold back. I hate doing that shit. My apologies to the theatre for the damage. My apologies to the kids who came and didn't make it in. My disappointment with the cops who harshed the loyal Toy Machine pawns. My anger with any skaters who caused a riot by fucking with the cops and ruining it for everyone else. My LOVE of the fact that we are skaters and we like it raw. Toy Machine came and left the streets of Long Beach in ashes. Both good and bad, we fucked shit up.--Ed Templeton