Jul 27 • 1HR 11M

Episode 190: Stacy Peralta - Lightness of Being

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Matthew Barr
Presented by Matt Barr, Looking Sideways is a podcast about the best stories in skateboarding, snowboarding, surfing, and other related endeavours.
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Stacy Peralta, Croyde, July 2022. Photo: Owen

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Let’s start with the facts: this week’s guest Stacy Peralta is one of the most influential cultural figures in our corner of the world. If you’ve stood sideways on any craft - hell, even if you’ve listened to my podcast - you’ve been influenced by Stacy, whether you realise it or not. Even my weird little career, on an extremely minor level, is following a template set by Stacy and his peers. He’s a giant, in every sense of the world.

Photo: Owen

Just look at the CV. By his mid teens, he was part of the legendary Z-Boys. At 19, he joined forces with George Powell to form Powell-Peralta. He followed that by establishing the Bones Brigade, then went on to create epoch-defining films such as The Search For Animal Chin and Ban This. A few years later, he parlayed these experiences into his current career as a director and writer, making Dogtown and Z Boys, Riding Giants and Lords of Dogtown, among others. Today, he balances a career as a highly successful commercial director with passion projects such as the Yin and Yang of Gerry Lopez, his latest film and the reason he was in London when I sat down with him.

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I’m sure you get the point. Stacy’s influence is incalculable. And, as ever with this type of guest, the challenge is how to approach a conversation with such a figure. Especially when you only have an hour, and he’s spent three weeks on the promo trail essentially giving the same interview.

Photo: Owen

If you’ve listened for a while, you’ll know I try not to do the chronology or the straight, on-the-nose career debrief. Sure, I want to cover the highlights, but in a way that’s insightful, revealing and ideally less obvious. (This is, incidentally, is a big part of the How To Podcast And Interview People course I’ve been running for companies recently. Hit me up for more about that).

Anyway, I’m really grateful that the conversation we ended up having is just about everything I hoped it would be. Stacy embraced the spirt of the pod wholeheartedly and showed himself to be the curious, creative, humble, vulnerable and yet truly generous person you always hope the legends will be when you get the rare chance to meet them.

Photo: Owen

There’s so much gold in here, from somebody who has defined the board-riding conversation for a solid 40 years. I’m hugely grateful to Stacy for his time and creative insights.

If you enjoyed my conversation with Stacy, let me know 👇

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