Read more on Duane Peters ‘The Master Of Disaster’ at Wikipedia here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duane_Peters
Duane Peters and I are sitting outside a coffee house in Encinitas, legs knocking against the bottom of the table. Duane arrived first and chose a brightly colored kiddie picnic table. “Should I know you?” he asks. It’s part greeting, part apology in case we’ve met before and the notorious years of abuse blasted that memory from his brain. A neat row of safety pins fastens a torn pocket to his shirt and punk patches are carefully sewn on his gas jacket. Everything appears recently laundered, even his golf cap. The 1950s-era sunglasses are never removed and tattoos creep out from his sleeves and collar. Absent is the self-conscious strain of many modern pros dressing up to manufacture an image. Throughout the two-hour long talk, Duane’s iPhone constantly blares a nuclear reactor alarm ringtone. He never breaks conversation, merely glances down and shuts the ringer off. At least he notices. Duane has spent the better part of his life ignoring alarm bells that most people heed. Blind leaps off four-story buildings, jewel heists, snorting, shooting, inhaling a pharmaceutical warehouse worth of substances, detoxing in jail. For most mortals, repping the reckless OG punk attitude harder than any other skater would have paved a road to death or a cardboard-box home, instead Duane is a celebrity. In pictures—and even from a distance—Duane often resembles a reanimated corpse but in person his Eddie Haskell charisma instantly burns away that image. He’s missing teeth and his voice grinds like gravel but his energy magically reverts him back into a mischievous youth. It’s clear that an ” Evel-Knievel-loving-little-kid” powers Duane and the years of abuse miraculously haven’t drained his battery. He sleeps little each night, laughs a lot, tours, plays a ton of music and skates constantly. He’s closing in on 50, celebrating almost a year of sobriety and is clearly one grateful punker. He carpet-bombed the conversation with compliments to fellow skaters and his incendiary love of skating highjacked the talk no matter the original topic. He has the delivery of a combat vet who has seen such consistently heavy action that he’s unable to distinguish what’s incredible/insane to the average person. Numerous times I had to interrupt for details on an outrageous story that he offhandedly touched on while explaining another story. We drank cups of coffee and talked long past closing time and the shop refused to let us use their bathroom. But is there a more apt end to a Duane Peters interview than watching him bark a laugh and stroll behind a dumpster to take a piss?
Ed note: If you saw our “What It Feels Like” column in our January issue, you read about Duane almost recently losing his leg to gangrene. Here more of the story and help support his horrendous medical bills.
Where did you get the nickname “Master of Disaster”?
U.S. Bombs The World and Has a War Birth
Starting in 1993 out of Orange County, CA was Duane Peters’ first major band, U.S. Bombs. This band was founded after the implosion of Duane’s first band, Exploding Fuck Dolls. These guys were a straight up 77 style punk band with a number of songs about skating. Easily on of the best all time skate punk bands. They spent a number of years on the perfect fit of Hell Cat Records.
1994 brought out their first album Put Strength in the Final Blow. As strong a debut as any punk can ask a band for. This set the standard for a sound that differed from the rest of skate punk. Shying away from the melodic current sound this takes punk back to its roots and adds a 7 ply under those old Docs. Though this album doesn’t contain the skate anthems of later releases it’s just great simple punk fucking rock.
1996 saw the release of Garibaldi Guard. It opens with Duane talking about being homeless and it sounds like the mad genius of a Bukowski story. This release rocks harder than their first and continues this band’s reputation of the soundtrack to a great skate session. Every song sounds like a tribute to on of Duane’s favorite 77 punk bands in a good way.
1997 drops in with 1 of my 2 favorite Bombs albums, War Birth. This includes Jaks, one of the best skate songs without question. Every song on this album is absolutely great. This marked their first album on Hell Cat Records. This label move raised the band to a well deserved higher popularity.
1999 shredded with The World. For me this band’s hands down best album. This album gave us one their biggest songs Skater Dater. As great as War birth was, both of which I got on the same day, this one blows it and the rest of the catalogue away. If you ever get a U.S. Bombs album, this is fucking it!
2001 came out with Back At The Laundromat. This is another steamroll of an album. As always it makes sure you remember what punk is before the first track ends. The memorable track off of this was Wig Out.
2003 flowed us Covert Action. This one rocks like The World and War Birth. A couple notables off this are Roll Around and Lab Rats. Needless to say, this is another one to throw in the ghetto box while you’re shredding someone’s pool.
2006 marked the Bomb’s last acid drop to date with We Are The Problem. If this is their end, at least it’s great and the bands has a perfect record of keeping the skate punks hooked. They had gone from Hell Cat to Sailor’s Grave Records for this one. Though I’ve heard that they have new stuff in the works, this is where we’re at today. So if ya don’t U.S. Bombs, get the tunes and play loud while shredding the gnar around town!
Maty’s Corner #26
Nothing but tricks and more tricks in San Jose California this early summer 2013. The skateboard ambassadors and history makers gladly attended the Indy Ralley Pro Jam held the weekend of Santa Cruz’s 40th anniversary bash and sponsored by Independent Trucks Co. Santa Cruz Skateboards, Creature Skateboards, Krux Trucks, Mob grip tape and all NHS employees, friends and legends from the last 40 years. Popular skate pros showed up together to party, sign autographs and skate California’s largest skatepark, non other than, Lake Cunningham skate park, in sunny San Jose California. It was a dream pro/am jam session with some of today’s greatest pro skateboarders in the business and the living legends of skateboarding’s famous past.
The Santa Cruz 40th ended it’s long anniversary celebration weekend with a star cast of modern day skate pros, along side of skateboarding’s hero’s and the legends, all skating together and mingling with fans and the media press at this gem of a skate facility located in S.J. California. The Invites were heavy hitters from the past 40 years. Steve Olson, Duane Peters, Lance Mountain, Christian Hosoi, Steve Caballero. Jeff Grosso, Scott Foss, Dan Drehobl and Jason Richardson, were just to name a few on this great skateboarding guest list. Today’s top professional skateboarders in the extreme sport world were, Omar Salazar, Eric Koston, David Gravette, Chet Childress, David Navarette, Josh Broden and some of the Baker boys exciting the fans witnessing a once in a life time pro/am jam session going off in California’s biggest concrete jungle skate park at Lake Cunningham in San Jose. The casual session allowed fans to intermingle, up close and personal with the industry icons. There were giveaways, BBQ’s and lots of laughs for all attending this unique skate format jam. Christian Hosoi went on record to say, “he had not seen such a star studded skate jam like this in years.” Steve Alba (Salba) and his band The Power Flex 5 played in the back ground periodically as the session continued all day long. Pure carnage was in affect as the pros went big to please the hungry crowds.
The Lake Cunningham bowls were occupied by such greats like Steve Caballero, Jeff Hedges and Randy Katen. Underground skaters from all over the golden state showed up to show their bag of tricks, making for the most blended gathering of skate names from all walks of the art form we all love called skateboarding. Stylish.h individuals took turns showing every one in attendance why skateboarding was so versatile and unique
Congratulations and thanks go out to NHS and Santa Cruz Skateboards, along with partners Independent Trucks Co. and Creature skateboards, for showing the crowds a good time and for keeping the session going with FREE gifts all day long for the many lucky fans in attendance this historic day.