Country Clubbin’ – Another Beer in El Rancho

Six or seven years ago I worked in a video store here in Santa Cruz. Previous to that I had been a student here and in some ways my time at the video store was a crash course in all things Santa Cruz. I met a ton of crazy locals, scratched out enough money for rent while working two jobs and pedaled around a ton, exploring a town that I had lived in for a few years but was, in many ways, new to me after college. Our video store was a bit of relic and while it had a DVD section the place was crowded with old VHS tapes. My co-worker who had been there longer, urged me to watch “The Lost Boys” and “Glory Daze”, as they were both set in Santa Cruz and I reveled in the feeling of sharing a town with some big screen characters.

It was right around that time that Andy Maguire moved to town and I remember one of our first meetings was a chance encounter down the street from the video store. He was by himself, riding a flat rail set up in shorts and a t-shirt at 11pm on a cold night. Andy’s decision to come to Santa Cruz has left a mark on this town. Literally, you can drive down almost any back street and his tire marks are on the walls, but truly, Andy has been a key ingredient in shaping Santa Cruz BMX in the modern era. His prioritizing of friendly outings over competitive filming missions, his well rounded mix of bizarre and classic riding, his encyclopedic knowledge of BMX history, his blog’s ability to blend low humor and the most intelligent witticisms and his occasional antics have all helped define what we think of as our scene. Thanks Andy. – Jackson Allen

Jackson sat down with Andy and asked him a few questions about his new video and Santa Cruz.

It sounds like this was a long time in the making. Does it feel good to be done? It’s on the web now, any plans for a country clubbin’ dvd?

I bought my camera in January and basically started filming up until a few weeks ago. There were several web-vids made from footage between then and now, but it was a little less than a year in the making. It feels great to be done, because it was a lot more work than I anticipated, but I’m happy with the way it came together. Of course, there are always changes I’d like to make whether it’s a short web-vid or a longer project like this, but in the end it’s about being stoked on riding with your friends and what you all accomplish in the making of it. Unless I can get some financial help, I don’t plan on doing a country clubbin’ dvd. It’s more important to me that people have access and enjoy the video, rather than try to make copies and sell it.

What’s the inspiration behind this more lengthy piece?

There were several factors that came together to make this project, but the main inspiration was riding with an awesome crew of dudes in an equally awesome place to live. As with any scene video, you want to share the good times and the shredding that goes down, but I also wanted to portray it in a really honest light. I didn’t want it to revolve around bangers and create some epic hype around our scene, because it’s really low-key here. I filmed clips of my friends that I was stoked to watch, and they were stoked to do. It wasn’t like we were trying to keep up or feel relevant to what you see in videos today.

From a video-making perspective, I was definitely inspired by Scerbo videos and old Ride videos like “Generation” and “Through the Lens.” These are good examples of having “honest” videos. I feel like in those videos, you get a sense of the riders having a session at the trails or at a street spot, and by filming the energy that goes into those sessions, awesome clips are produced. Another inspiration came from Glory Daze, a tacky angst-ridden movie from the mid-90’s set in Santa Cruz. The movie isn’t very well-known, though the plot is something I relate to a lot; you get to a certain age when people expect you to grow up and take life seriously, as if your youth and happiness are polarizing characteristics to maturity and success. I think most of us as BMX riders can relate to that, because most non-riders seem to feel that BMX is something you’re supposed to grow out of as soon as you get your driver’s license. Plus Glory Daze had really shitty punk-o-rama style music in it, which was something reminiscent of reading old ads in Ride BMX and videos from the era of “Generation.” So basically it was a combination of liking longer videos, wanting to make a video centered around my friends and where I live, and through the video just say “Hey, it’s OK to want to spend time riding BMX even if you’re in your mid-20’s and don’t have your life figured out.”

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