Riding rollercoasters at midnight with a crew of teenage skate kids was the last thing I expected to be doing tonight, but hey – sometimes you just gotta go with the flow.
Here's how it happened – I had MySpaced Danny Minnick, the pro-skateboarder turned cinematographer, to ask if he would talk to me about choreographing the skate sequences in Larry Clark's upcoming movie The Wassup Rockers (I'm writing a story for the Weekly about it). Minnick wrote back with his phone number and I called him at around 10PM tonight. “We're about to go to Six Flags, you wanna come?” he said. “Er…Six Flags…as in Magic Mountain, the theme park with crazy rollercoaster rides?” “Yes, I'll be with all the kids from the movie, we're taking our skateboards. You comin'?”
15 minutes later Minnick picked me up outside the House of Pies in Los Feliz with his buddies and a truck full of skateboards in tow. We took the 5 North and Minnick, 28, told me about how he's getting sober after the death of his good friend, Kids actor Harold Hunter from a cocaine overdose in February this year. These days, rather than getting high, he spends most of his time skating down Hollywood Blvd with The Wassup Rockers kids, a loveable posse of El Salvadoran teenagers from South Central, with whom he bonded in a big way during filming of the movie.
When we arrived at the park I saw a big red carpet, a bunch of limos and a press check-in with a 'Brent Bolthouse Productions' placard beside it. Ahh…this was to be no ordinary night at Six Flags. In fact, it looked like the whole of Hollywood had been transplanted to the usually ultra-cheesy tourist attraction. I spotted Petro Zilia designer Nony Tochterman wandering around, LilJon (at least I think it was him), and Indie 103.1 DJ Matt Sorum (formerly of The Cult and Guns n Roses), came over to talk to Kiko, one of the Wassup Rockers.
I noticed many of the party-goers seemed waaasted, in a suspiciously wide-eyed sort of way. Added to the beautiful full moon, it all made for a pleasantly insane atmosphere. Oh, and I have never seen so many hot, scantily clad girls at an amusement park in my life. As you can imagine, my new teenage skater friends were literally in heaven – hot chicks, candy floss and rollercoasters, all in one place. “We have to come back,” said Wassup Rocker Milton, aka Spermball, who seemed under the impression that Six Flags is always this glam.
Meanwhile our Pied Piper-like leader Danny Minnick led me and his proteges to the biggest and scariest rollercoaster I have ever seen. We stood in line and I played Mom, looking after the kids' Ipods and beanie hats. I didn't pussy out completely, and did have a go on the ride, (I can't recall its name, it is something Chinesey), which, it turns out, was the whole reason the event was being thrown in the first place. Once on it, you spend most of your time being flung through the atmosphere upside down. And if you're brave enough to keep your eyes open, you get to enjoy some rather lovely views over Los Angeles.
And to think I almost stayed home tonight…