Everyone who knows Joey knows that he’s been graced by the touch of lady luck and, most of the time anyway, everything seems to work out for him. I could tell a thousand stories that show this but none of them will ever do the man justice. Just trust me on it; he’s got the golden touch. There is no one I would rather skate all day with, go feed the dog with or share a damp freezing-cold room with. I’d lend him my last quid and as far as I’m concerned every man makes his own luck. UP THE WAYWARDS Danny Brady
A while back there was a month or two when Joey, Brady and myself were indoor camping in the trash and clutter of Sarah’s old room up top of Waterloo Palace. We had a little pit of space cleared; just big enough for three to sleep in and all around was her odd detritus; aborted paintings, castanets, old sports bras, a didgeridoo. This was the dead of winter - before Brady’s mum got us a heater - and it was gulag-chapping cold up there. We’d sleep in all our clothes, zipped into bags; wake up, teeth chattering, a couple of times a night. We’d get dead drunk a lot, just to sleep like the dead. It wasn’t plain sailing but we kept chipper. It was in those days that the Palace Wayward Boys Choir was born. We lived like illegal Chinese migrant workers and we made our own dumb fun. It’s hard to be glum with Joey about. He’s a real upbeat kind of dude, eternal optimist, always stupid-grinning, more laid back than laybacks. More than anyone I can think of, Joey embodies that freewheeling and effortless-globetrotting cosmic-outlaw roll-forever beat-larrikin of old skateboard folklore. He goes at things freestyle and makes the record in his own way. He hardly ever works, he’s never not working; he hustles and swaps and boosts and shots and scams and gets about and never does anyone harm. He’s been doing it for years. He really doesn’t give a f**k and I, we, and everyone who knows him loves him and the Universe looks out for him, gives him little pushes, little thumbs-up, little high-fives; PROVIDES.
Let’s tell everyone about that ridiculous luck that follows you around like a big shitting force field; it’s real isn’t it? - Oh yeah that. I do have quite good luck I suppose. Like I’ve been sat outside a shop in town and a ten-pound note has just fallen out of the sky and into my lap before. Other stuff too: like being given change for a twenty when I hand over a fiver, or when I found that Annual Gold Travel card on Waterloo Bridge. On top of that, I guess it just seems to go that in situations that could be tough I generally land on my feet. But sometimes things have been a bit rough for me and it got to be a real pain in the ass when people would go on about how lucky I was. Now I just laugh it off.
What about the time you lost your phone after some audition and lost out on £10,000? - Yeah that was for some Playstation advert. My friend called me about the casting and I was skint so I went along. It seemed to go ok but then I lost my phone in the party vortex later that night. Then a few weeks later I got a new one and when I checked my voicemail there were loads of messages from these Playstation people saying that they wanted me for the gig. But it was too late by then and the dough was long gone.
Was it really for ten grand? - Something like that yeah. A lot of money anyway; but, you know, easy come easy go.
That’s the spirit pal. Hey where do you see yourself five years? - With a steady place to live I hope. Somewhere warm maybe, especially for the winter. Still skating loads and in possession of a couple extras like a dog and maybe a driving license: maybe a cool 2012 hairstyle too.
Yeah my hair’s going to be off the hook by 2012.
Your hair’s going to be off your head by 2012…
We’re straying from the subject here. Just say some shit about skateboarding. That’s the stuff these cats dig to hear. Like what do you like so damn much about it? - I like the fact that it’s traveling about using just human energy. What I also think is really cool is that I can lie in bed and think of a trick and then get up and try to do it - make something happen from an idea, even if does take three hours to land. It’s a feeling of real accomplishment: like ‘I MADE IT’. Learning a new trick is a brilliant feeling, best thing going. Traveling is great too - getting to bro-down all over the world.
'Just Human Energy', I love that. Way to perpetuate your cosmic dope reputation. So what do you not like? - I really don’t like when jaded people in the city say ‘you’re too old for that’, which is a very regular occurrence. They’re either narrow minded idiots who’ve lost touch with reality, or they secretly spend their time standing around in skateshops talking about it too much: one or the other. Both things produce the same mentality.
Who do you like to skate with? - I just dig skating with people that genuinely enjoy doing it. Dudes like Lev the Mayor of Southbank, Snowy the Graceful Swan-Potato, Edson the Ancient Spirit of Evil, Brady the Gifted little Otter-boy, Guy RZA because he skates/slams so hard every time, Nick the Wizard, you and your bandy camp style, Fos because he still skates like a kid, Charlie Twinkle-Toes, Robbleyard Every Trick in the Book, um... Rory - he’s so polite and cheerful all the time. Those dudes. And of course with good old Gabriel ‘Nugget’ Pluckrose too. And the gazillion other people I love skating with, but just can’t think of right now.
Oh are you still talking? I stopped listening after you got to me. So anyway what about that tattoo you got there? What a beauty. - Oh yeah this. It’s for the Choir, this one. The P.W.B.C: Palace Wayward Boys Choir, est.’ 2006 AD. I got it in Rio for the equivalent of 5p.
Ah the Waywards! I’m welling up over here. There’s a passage in an Edna O’Brien story called ‘A Journey’ that always takes me back to the Waywards: “Also these were townspeople, they all had lived in small steep houses, slept two or three or four to a bed, sparred, lived in and out of one another’s pockets, knew familiarity well enough to know it was the only hope”. Oh for f**k’s sake just spout some bullshit about Landscape and Nike and all that here if you have to: - Firstly I have to thank Fos for the support he’s given me from day one I dunno what I’d be up to now if I hadn’t had the help I’ve had from him. Cheers. Huge thanks to Sebastian at Nike for investing his time and energy and trainers into me and helping my sorry ass get around. Also thanks to Mathieu and Revival Distribution for the Matix hook up.
Joleon Pressey is a bang bang skateboarder.
Some people do so many flip tricks and crook grinds they forget the ‘skate about’ bit of skateboarding. Skating with Joey made me realise that it’s often more fun to zing about and do a powerslide than to practice my switch 900’s. Joey is kind of on a really skinny surfboard riding the concrete wave, but not in a Gaylord surfer luminous short dude hang ten way, you know? Talking of surfing, he’s also good at doing that on other people’s sofas. One time I saw him get about 5 feet of air on the of the lip of the old Brixton Palace couch, it was radical. Chances are someone else will make reference to Crack’s legendary golden touch when it comes to good fortune so, rather than spout the same old shit I’m going to tell you about one of the rare occasions when Joey’s infamous luck failed him. I was in a taxi with Edson and this girl who was paying for our taxi so she could come to the Palace and hump Joey. We were driving over Waterloo Bridge and she was trying and trying to ring him with no success and getting more and more anxious about it with every aborted attempt. “I think his phone’s broke, it keeps cutting off”. She was still trying to get through as we drew up to the Palace and looking out the window of the cab where we all saw him clearly looking at his phone and darking her calls. She screamed “STOP THE TAXI “, jumped out, ran over to him and threw his phone off the bridge and straight into the Thames. Unlucky mate.