Lizard King And The Ghost Of HellRose

Lizard King and the Ghost of Hellrose

Lizard King Back Smith. Photo: Sean Peterson.

When I called to interview the Lizard King I had no idea I would be uncovering a mystery of historic proportions.  The mystery I am referring to is the Ghost Of Hell Rose.  You might be inclined to believe that we made this up for our own gain.  We didn’t, Lizard King swears it is true.  He claims, in fact, others living at the house have seen the Ghost of Hellrose themselves.  You decide, is Lizard a delusional tripper he appears to be or does he have the special gift of being able to actually contact The Ghost of Hellrose? 

So the Lizard King is from Utah?
Yeah, Salt Lake City.

What’s that like?
Sweet man!  Lots of Mormons, lots of good times, tons of skate spots.

Are you a Mormon?
Fuck no.  I am Catholic fool!

Lizard King Switch Heelflip

Lizard King Switch Heelflip. Photo: Rodent

So what is your real name your parents didn’t name you Lizard King right?
I can’t tell you that.  That is some secret shit.  None of my homies know my real name.  I had a check waiting for me at Tum Yeto for like two months because they didn’t know my name.  Nobody knows it.  I made them burn the paper that I wrote my name on because I wouldn’t say it out load in front of everybody.

How bad could it be?
Everyone’s got to have a secret.  Mine is my name.

So how did you come up with The Lizard King?
My homie in Salt Lake, I had never met him before and he just rolled up to the skate park and started calling me Lizard. Everyone who didn’t know my name just called me Lizard after that.

Lizard King Frontside Flip

Lizard King Frontside Flip. Photo: Josh Roberts

How long has Lizard King been skateboarding?
Probably about 8-years.  It is all about the green room.  Everything I do is for the green room.  I even got a tattoo over my heart GR for green room.  It is homemade he made it out of a electric toothbrush, a pen, and a guitar string.

Shoot Lizard King, let’s talk about ghosts for a little bit okay?
Hell yeah there is some intense shit going on at Hellrose man.   The old Hellrose was haunted.  Everyone left the house one night and all of a sudden I see some dude and I think to myself,  “Ah man I wonder who the fuck that is?” He disappears, then the front door opens and closes then J Roy’s [Justin Roy’s] door opens and closes and no one was in there and they were both completely shut like you had to turn the doorknobs to open them.  It tripped me out.  And then another time I was just chillin in the bathroom and I saw the silhouette of a person like walking in.  He looks at me, doesn’t say a word then walks into the other room but there was nothing there.

Did anyone else living at Hellrose at the time see it?
Oh yeah everybody.  Some say it is bullshit but that is bullshit.  What else could it be? It was some intense shit. I think everyone has had some sort of experience with it.  Everyone has seen something moving or doors opening and shutting or the outlines of people or the full image of a person but all of a sudden there is nothing there anymore.  I would call DJ [Chavez] at like six in the morning and ask him if I could come stay at his house to get out of there.  As soon as I moved all my shit in there I would see different shit all the time.

Do you think that you upset the ghost of Hellrose?
No much love for him.

Have you ever tried to make contact with the ghost of Hellrose?
No, the first time I saw him I just freaked out and ran out of the house and I went to my friends house and chilled there for a bit.  The first time I had ever been there by myself all of a sudden I see some dude just lurking and then he was not there.  One time I was so scared I locked my self in the bathroom for like two hours and I called up DJ and was like, “I need to get out of here right now”.

Were you on the Devil’s Cabbage at the time?
Well yeah I smoke weed everyday and I’m not going to see some crazy shit all of sudden.  It happened to me when I was totally sober I was by myself just waiting for everyone to get home and some dude just walks in the front door and closes it.  I am just staring at him and he just disappeared.

What did he look like?
He had a youngish face. I think something went down at that place before and the ghost was trying to figure something out from the past.

So would Lizard King be afraid to stay there now?
Yeah but I figure that if I keep it mellow with them they will keep it mellow with me.  I don’t freak out.  It was crazy at the old Hellrose.  Our stove would just turn on.  James would, go turn it off and wake up for some reason, walk back into the kitchen and the thing is on again.  It would happen all the time.

Lizard King Frontside Flip

Why was the Ghost Of Hellrose so attracted to Lizard King? Backside Disaster. Photo: Sean Peterson.

How did Lizard King get so good at skateboarding so quickly?
Skating with great skaters, all my homies like, James Atkins, DJ Chavez, Belton, and The Nudge.  The Nudge is the most amazing person ever, the most pop, Charlie Thomas,  Markovich, Ronnie Creager, my favorite skater in the world, I skate with him sometimes.  I just appreciate what they do.  I watch the best and I figured it out.

What is Lizard King’s favorite trick?
One foots.  Like backside 180 one foot.

Let’s talk some more about ghost shit.  Do you think Lizard King would be into coming back as a ghost and fucking some shit up?
Fuck yeah.  I would come back and hide people’s shit.  I would steal their cars and drive them to Mexico.  I would be peeking on some titties.  I would just appear in showers where I know a beautiful girl is taking a shower.  I would touch her back.

What is Lizard King working on right now?
I just got on Pig wood and Duffs and I am just trying to come up, make a future out of skateboarding.  I don’t want it to be like something that I have to take too serious and shit.  I just go skating because I have tons of fun with it.  Green Room.   I have a couple of Pig trips coming up.   We’ve got to film for the video and I have a Duffs trip to Europe in a couple of months.  I am hyped I have never been out of the country.  It’s going to be pretty intense.  We are going to Amsterdam and I heard they have these coffee shops where you can just go and get retardedly high and shit. They have these mushroom cookies and weed and everything.  Let me just move there and I will call you right back.  I don’t even know if I am going to be able to handle it over there. The language barrier and all I am going to be like some kid just sitting they’re not talking and shit. I just want to go everywhere and skate ever spot that is possible.

So are you moving into the new Hellrose?
For a bit but I still need to go back to Salt Lake a lot because it is where all my friends are at and those are my spots not their spots but my spots. I can’t have too many people coming up on my shit so have to go back and regulate.  I got to make sure everyone is having fun and not stressing too much.

What do you think of everyone competing for spots?
There are some fools that go to some gnarly ass thing just because they saw some dude skate it in a video.  They think, “oh if I skate that I am going to come up.” Don’t skate a spot because you want to come up.  Skate a spot because you are into it.  Because you want to have fun on it.  Don’t be like, “Heath Kirchart skated this rail, I am going to go there and try the same tricks that he tried.” Be your own person.

What does Lizard King do to be your own person?
I push down a hill and have more fun then I have ever had in my life.  Everyone should be themselves and not put some false imagery in there.  You don’t need to have some gnarly tight pants or baggy pants.  Fuck I used to wear tight pants but now I wear shorts everyday of the past six months.  All my homies where tight pants.  I don’t get Jamie Thomas putting a rag in his back pocket every time he skates.  “Oh let me put a bandana in my back pocket real quick.”

You know, back in the 70’s gay men used to use a bandana in the back pocket as a  code to tell each other if they are either a giver or a receiver.
Shut up! You are kidding me?

No it is totally true.
That is the funniest shit I have every heard in my life.

Lizard King has no need for flair with giant ollies on tap. Photo: Josh Roberts


What else do you want to talk about?  Anything else?
Just that I love my friends, they mean everything to me man.  Much love for everyone.   I fucking love weed dude. I love Jack Daniels and Budweiser is my favorite beer.

Let’s wrap it up.  Who are Lizard King’s sponsors?
Pig Wheels, Independent Trucks, Pig Wood, Duffs shoes, and my homies, and my parents, and Neff Headwear, it’s my homies company.  And also Milo Sport Skate shop.  I bought my very first skateboard there. It was an uncle wiggly old school skateboard.  I thought that you were supposed to sit on skateboards for the first four years I knew what a skateboard was.  Then I saw fools skate at my junior high who were shredding and I was like, “GOD DAMN DUDE this shits for standing on?”  I figured out how to skate by seeing some kids skating at my school and I was like, “Damn this is some tight shit.” I used to put a sled on top of my skateboard and bomb down the hill on my butt and hit a big ass crack like half way down the hill. As soon as I would hit that crack I would pop off the skateboard and go sledding down the cement on a sled.  It was so fucking fun dude.  Sitting on my ass dude. That is green room right there. That is the definition of.  And I want to thank Automatic for hooking this up.


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