The Patrick Melcher Interview

Patrick Melcher

Patrick Melcher

Patrick Melcher Interview By Rory Parker

To be completely honest with you, from the start I was a little concerned about how this whole Patrick Melcher article was going to turn out.  I’m a huge fan of the guy and I was more than a little worried that Patrick Melcher would think I was a kook and be over the whole thing.  It’s been known to happen before, some people aren’t into my behavior and I can be a bit of a prick at times.  On top of that I’d heard rumors that the guy is a bit full of himself and can be difficult to deal with.  I’m happy to report that neither of these two things turned out to be the case.  I managed to keep my personality under control, and Patrick Melcher is a super friendly guy who was more than happy to sit down with me for a while and share his thoughts.

It seems that Patrick Melcher’s penchant for petty theft has been slowly escalating to a point where it’s starting to surprise even him.

The plan was this:  I was to fight my way through LA traffic and meet up with him at his house in Hollywood.  Once there I’d pull out the tape recorder and pick Patrick Melcher’s brain.  Well, I was in my car, headed toward the freeway when I got the call.

“Rory,” Patrick Melcher said, “Hey, is it cool if we meet somewhere else?  I’m at the Grove right now, can you just meet me here?”

If you don’t know, The Grove is a huge mall off the 10 freeway that markets to an upscale yuppie shithead type clientele.  I’ve been there once or twice before, but I try to avoid it if I can.  It’s always totally packed, and just a nightmare if you’re like me and start to have a meltdown whenever you’re in a crowded place.  But, fuck, you gotta do what you gotta do.

Patrick Melcher

Patrick Melcher Backside Lipslide. Photo: Peterson

On the drive there I couldn’t help but wonder what the guy was doing at the mall.  I’d never met Patrick Melcher before, but he didn’t seem like the kind of dude who’d be happy to hang out in the food court all day.  So, I was a little curious as to what the situation was.  I mean, fuck, for all I knew he could have been stocking up on pre worn baseball caps at Abercrombie and Fitch and wanted me there to help him pick out the one that best matched his eyes.

Once I found a parking spot I quickly located him in the café area of the Barnes and Noble.  When I saw him he was standing in line to buy a drink and a snack, with a brightly colored shopping bag clenched tightly in one hand.  Definitely not what I expected.

We sat down and began talking and the real story quickly came to light.  I’d thought he’d been shopping, what he’d really been doing was stealing.  You see, Patrick is really into stealing.  Apparently, all he does is walk into a store, grab a bag, fill it up with whatever he wants, and walk out the door with it.  On this particular night he was procuring some clothing for a young lady named Anna whom was currently staying with him.  Anna seemed pretty nice, but I think she was a little put off by me.

Late Night Fronside Bluntslide. Photo: Tadashi

It seems that Patrick Melcher’s penchant for petty theft has been slowly escalating to a point where it’s starting to surprise even him.  He estimated that on that particular night he’d absconded with around three hundred dollars in merchandise, bringing the weekly total of purloined goods to a more than respectable three grand.  That’s a lot of shit to steal, especially when most of it isn’t really worth anything.

“Yeah, when first started stealing stuff I’d make myself do it, like, toady I have to steal at least one thing.  Now, though, it’s gotten to the point where I have to declare, like, non theft days.  I’ve just been getting out of hand about it.”

He expressed some concern that I might be freaked out by the fact that he was sitting next to me with so much stolen stuff.  I could give a shit, I’m white, they wouldn’t put me in jail for something like that, but I wondered if he was worried about being caught.

“Not really, I mean, yeah I could get busted and get in a little bit of trouble.  But, it’s like, I stole three thousand dollars worth of stuff, and, I could get punished for it.  But, when I stole that stuff I had, like, three hundred thousand dollars worth of fun.”

I fucking love that.  Personally, I ’m a bit divided about theft.  I think that stealing from an individual is one of the most fucked up things you can do, but, stealing from a big faceless corporation?  That shit’s fair game.

Patrick Melcher

Patrick Melcher Ollie out to front board. Photo: Broach

The conversation turned towards his parents.  I wondered what kind of parenting results in a person like Patrick Melcher.  It turns out that he had some pretty permissive parents, no real rules, one of those free flowing ‘rental situations that usually ends up with a stoner junior college drop out working at Starbucks at thirty.  If you really think about it, true individualists rarely come from a creative background.  Usually the type of person who experiences a driving need to stand out does so as a result of having been told that they must fit in, or else.  Melcher’s an exception to this rule.  A surprising one, if you ask me.

But, this whole thing was supposed to be about death and dying, so, at this point I felt I should steer the conversation accordingly.  Not that Melcher ran out of things to talk about, the dude could go on for days about any given subject.  But, you know, this is a theme issue and I’ve got to be a professional.

I asked him about suicide.  I’ve always said that when I’m finally done with life I’m gonna take the suicide by cop route.  You know what I mean.  Blow a stop sign in front of a few pigs and make ‘em chase me for a few miles.  Then jump out of the car waving a banana over my head and get filled with lead.  It seems like a quick way to go, plus, if I’m lucky a few cops will lose their jobs over the incident.  I hate cops.  Melcher, however, thinks that a quick hop off the top of a building is the best way to end it.

“I’ve always fantasized about just jumping off something.  The feeling would be unreal.  Not, like, flying or anything, I mean, you can strap a parachute to your back and get the same thing.  But, to commit and jump, and then, on the way down, you’ve got the realization of what you’ve just done.  And, there’s no going back.”

Too true.  I’m scared to death of heights, and the gnarliness of looking over that edge and talking the first step, holy shit, that’s too much.  And, then there’s the questions of what comes next.  Fuck, can you imagine my terror if, after I die, there stands some angel with an open book, tallying my sins against my virtues?  I can tell you, one side of that list is going to be a whole lot longer than the other.  And, there’s always the question of perspective.  I mean, what one person sees as an unforgivable crime can be seen as a moral necessity by another.  I brought this up, just to see how he’d feel about it.

Patrick Melcher

Patrick Melcher

“Yeah, that’s the thing.  I mean, If I spent the next three months of my life just doing, you know, like good deeds and stuff, does that cancel out everything thing I’ve done before?”  Indeed.  Is it possible for a good act to cancel out an evil you’ve committed?  It wouldn’t seem so, any act, once committed, becomes permanent.  There’s no going back on what we’ve done.

The last thing we talked about was faith.  I went to a Jesuit college and it was something I heard for years.  “Rory,” they’d say, “You need to have faith in the almighty.  Without it you’ll always be alone in this world, but, with faith you’ll have a friend in your darkest hour.”  Fuck that, last time I checked “god” was pretty much leaving us too our own devices.

“That’s, whenever I talk to people about this, that’s what it always comes down to.  But, what am I supposed to have faith in here?  If, in any other walk of life, someone told you to ‘just believe’ you’d laugh at them.  If you think about it, everything we’re taught, as far as being self sufficient and not being taken advantage of, goes completely against everything the we’re taught about religion.  I mean, I feel like there might be something else out there we don’t understand, like energy or whatever.  Like, when we die our energy goes out and becomes something else, or it retains our consciousness or whatever, but, that’s not really something that needs to concern us while we’re alive.  Blind faith just seems as though it’s counter productive to leading a happy life.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Patrick Melcher

Patrick Melcher and the Crack Whore
Sean (Peterson) and Rakestraw, just the three of us, kind of tagged along on some other shoe companie’s tour for a minute and then broke out. It was across the south and halfway through we’re were just like, “Let’s just drive to Tampa, we’ll go to the contest, screw it, whatever.” That was all right so we decided to, and we ended up in Birmingham. We wanted to go visit Ben for a minute and he was kind of busy so we ended up hanging out in Birmingham by ourselves.
Birmingham is kind of ghetto in the downtown area, there’s, like, good spots and bad spots, and this was obviously one of the more bad spots. It wasn’t even a skate spot, we just rolled up and thought we could skate something. Of course, like, junkies kept rolling by, and people kept creeping, and then this hooker came over and was like, “What are y’all doin’?”
We’re trying to shoot, Sean ‘s got all his gear and stuff, tripods and all this stuff set up and I was like, “Man, you better be ready to break that down and run, quick.”
Instead, he was just, “Hey, what’s up girl?” And this chick, man, she was just so busted. Stretch marks, fuckin’ whatever, but, you know, we’re playful guys, we’re fun, it’s cool. So, we each had five bucks and Sean’s like, “Hey, let me get a couple shots of you.” But, she wasn’t into, like, “You can’t take my photo,” but it’s like, you make ten bucks blowing a guy, you can take a couple of photos. It wasn’t like we were asking her to get naked or anything. Just pose with my homie here, look cool.
So, she says, “I’ll take one of those skateboards,” but, what is she gonna do with a skateboard? She just wanted anything. “Gimme your camera, gimme this and that,” you know? I’m like, alright, I’ll give you my skateboard, I don’t care man, just zip your pants up.
So, she did dude, and it was disgusting. You would definitely be taken aback, like, “What the hell am I looking at?” But, we took a couple of photos of her and then she goes, “Where’s my twenty five bucks?”
But we said we were going to give her ten, what’s this chick talking about now? But she started getting wild, yelling about her twenty five bucks, like, “Where’s my twenty five dollars?” Just freaking out on us.
So, I started yelling to Sean to start packing up so we can split and it’s getting to the point where I having to physically restrain her. Meanwhile, Rake’s not feeling this situation at all. He’s just kind of standing back, and on top of all this it’s starting to rain, and she was, like, calling out for her pimp and stuff. Basically we had to just push her, get rid of her, pack it up and go.

 

 

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