Crust spot head honcho, beer warrior and all round man about fucking town Fred Gall is a skateboarding institution; first appearing in Tracker videos at the age of 12, earning his place at the forefront of switch skating and with an innate ability to find a spot that others wouldn't even notice as skateable - an approach which has become intrinsically connected with US East Coast skateboarding in the public mind.
This obviously translates well to our shores given our lack of perfect marble plazas and plethora of cracked floors and haggard banks and there's always been much love for Ol' Dirty Freddy, so here's a few of his finest moments! If you still need convincing, here's the man himself drunkenly prank calling Tony Hawk.
Cover image: Shawn Brodsky
411VM 8 - Rookies (1994)
After brief sections as a 12 year old in a couple of Tracker videos, Gall's Rookies section for an early 411VM is an early shot in the barrage of switchstance destruction he would subsequently lay down on the ledges of the East Coast.
Sub Zero - Real Life (1994)
A switch shuvit nosegrind on a full sized ledge in '94 was pretty brain melting, as was most of the switch skating which goes down in this section. Add in the Canned Heat soundtrack and your onto a winner!
Eastern Exposure (1996)
A few clips from Real Life are spliced together with more recent footage to get a picture of an all round assault on the streets of Philly. The section gives off a definite 'cruising through the city' vibe, aided by Freddy's post trick push and forward glare towards whatever the next obstacle laying in his path may be.
Alien Workshop - Timecode (1997)
Switch tricks get taken from ledges to Hubba Hideout and Gall's legendary status is cemented. His first section for Alien Workshop sums up the East Coast aesthetic; kinked rails, cracked floors and the hood of a penis extension car all get shredded, while the aforementioned Hubba session would blow minds. Maximum hill bomb danger zone is reached at 2:08!
Alien Workshop - Photosynthesis (2000)
A solid mixture of sketchy bank spots and rail/hubba ripping sums up Freddy's ATV abilities in this Alien Workshop classic - watching back through these is a reminder of how good their videos were and seeing a bunch of hubbas getting the switch treatment in this is nothing short of inspirational!
Habitat - Mosaic (2003)
"Don't get hit by a car". Gall one ups his automobile close shave in Timecode in his first section after switching over to the Sect's new brand and Workshop's sister company Habitat, before taking his usual crust spot quota a step further and annihilating a selection of obstacles that most wouldn't want to touch with yours! The switch frontside 180 over a bin and into a bank is boosted as.
Habitat - Inhabitants (2007)
Riding full tilt at the gnarliest looking spots he can find, Gall carries the torch for those dedicated to making life hard for themselves with regards to what they skate - rough as arseholes, rad as owt.
Last of the Mohicans (2008)
Last of the Mohicans is an independent video by Joe Perrin who was involved in Josh Stewart's legendary Static 3, a solid pedigree which is made good upon. Gall shares a section with Ed Selego and Joel Meinholz and kicks things off with an ollie into bank, through the kink and through some serious flooding which shouldn't allow as much rideaway as he achieves. From then on its a battle between the three to hit the most awkward spots they can find. Watch it then go out and skate into the sea!
IPath - Ukraine Trip (2008)
A select crew of Ipath riders hit the Ukraine in 2008 and show to a wider world some unexpectedly skate-able architecture, from curving street transitions to perfect marble ledges. Of course its the crustier spots that get the Fred Gall treatment, we're assuming while powered by good Eastern European lager. Special mention goes to Adam Alfaro's full scale charging throughout!
Thrasher - Brutality (2008)
Speed, power and quick feet are always a winning combination, and Gall's section in Thrasher's Brutality oozes the three throughout. Footplants on gnarly transitions, getting tech on ridiculously awkward bank set ups or straight up charging at a wallride, Uncle Freddy's got that shit covered.
IPath - Blazed and Confused (2010)
Ipath hit the parks and streets of the UK hard back in the 2010. Skating Tottenham topless would end badly for most...
Lowcard - Worst Skater of the Year (2010)
Outright dirtbag power! Going to war on the most rugged of spots in a storm of beer and snot, bottle pole jams and frontside wallrides in ditches jostle for space with bluntslides down handrails and kickflip nosepicks on crusty quarterpipes.
The comments on the Youtube link are next level as well, current favourite; "He lit his pubes on fire lol".
The Other Ones (2011)
"Hold on tight boys, its gunna be a rough ride!" A solid comedy slam starts proceedings off in Gall's section for what would have been the newest Ipath video before Ipath started blowing it. Gravel-slamming, mosher-hyping sickness, with time in between to shred Livi and Tottenham and an inner GPS which seems to direct him to the most legit street transitions around!
Strange Notes - From the Scum League to the Street League (2012)
Fred Gall along with Justin Strubing, Joel Meinholz, Frecks and more hit up a killer piece of DIY construction, skate and drink some cold ones before heading to Street League...long live DIY!
X Games Real Street (2012)
Gall's section from the 2012 X Games Real Street contest contains his usual barrage of ditch and bank based radness, but the best reason for posting this section is this interview about saving monks from a burning building.
Thrasher - Dirts Win (2013)
An insight into the wrecking machine himself from those who know him alongside a heap of archived footage, this kept me going on Christmas Eve a couple of years' back as the rest of my family watched an extended Dr Who special; so it could technically be argued that Freddy saved my Christmas, although Street Trash and Jameson played their respective parts.