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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Cesario Block Montano

Cesario & Jay Adams
I Skate, Therefore I Am -Home- Yes! isTia skateboard blog talks about skateboarders, skaters, vert, ramp, skateparks, pool, backyard pools, kidney pool, pink motel, supreme skateboard, copying, skateboarding photography, skate rock, concrete disciples, daily skate news, Vans, Venice skatepark, skate spots  and skateboard news. There are plenty of other skate websites that publish skateboard news faster than me, and better than me (Transworld, The Berrics, Thrasher, Slap magazine, skatedaily, crailtap, juice magazine, skate and annoy,…), so I won’t just give the skate news, I’ll also tell you what I think about it even if I’m wrong. Then you can conform and think like me too and impress your friends with your profound knowledge of the skateboarding industry. LOL
Cesario “Block” Montano is the friend of Scott Oster, Jim Muir, Christian Hosoi, Ray Rae, Aaron Murray, Kelly Jackson, Jay Adams, Stacy Peralta, a couple of other Z-Boys and 2000 Facebook fans… He is a skater, a complete artist and photograph. He worked for Thrasher, and has published pictures in Rolling Stone magazine, Time magazine, Rap pages and probably every hip hop magazine around. He has directed music videos for The Pharcyde, Kid Frost, photographed the Beastie Boys, Carmen Electra, Snoop Dogg. He was the one behind the Christian Hosoi documentary called “The Rising Son of Christian Hosoi”. He has a production company called “Ambitious Films and owns Venice Original with Jesse Martinez. And he lives in venice and has just been interviewed by How did you segue from skate photography into Hollywood?

This is an extract of the excellent interview. To read more, log on Venice paparazzi

So I sat down with Cesario “Block” Montano at Café Collage yesterday. If you don’t know Block, then you’ve seen him around town. And if you haven’t seen him around town, then you need to get out more! This man has one foot in Dogtown, one foot in Hollywood, and two hands in all the right places. Not only does he own Venice Originals Skate Shop in Windward Circle, he also is an accomplished photographer and director. And to top it off, he makes a mean margarita!

SP: You were skating and surfing in Venice right after the Z- boy era. What was it like growing up in that scene?

CM: Dogtown was dead by the time I started skateboarding. Jim Muir was one of the Z boy guys. He started Dogtown again with some of my friends who were my age. I was just getting to know those guys too…like Scott Oster and Aaron Murray. Kelly Jackson grew up around the corner from me. He was one of the guys that got those guys on the team. Julian Stranger was just growing up with us. Christian Hosoi — I skateboarded for. And Christian was going to Area D Alternative School over here, by Washington and Pacific. And it was called Area D– Anchorage, I think. And I used to date a girl that went there. So I would go over there and hang out with them, and I got to meet Christian. He would skate in the Marina skate park and then come down the beach. And he just decided to sponsor me. So that’s how I got into skateboarding. But that was in the 80s. That was about 83. 82. 81 maybe…82.

SP: Four years ago, you opened up Venice Originals- a skate store which keeps the Z Boys legacy alive. What prompted you to do that? And what do you want people to know about the store?

CM: Venice Originals was an idea I had because they were petitioning the skateboard park for about ten years; and I kept telling my partner Jesse (Martinez), ‘We need to open a skate shop! We’ve skateboarded our whole lives and we know everyone from Tony Hawk to Jay Adams, Stacy Peralta. There’s no reason we don’t have a skate shop here!’ Ray Flores had a shop on Abbot Kinney, but he was more of a Santa Monica-based guy. So we needed to be the first ones to have a skate shop. I had just directed a film, called “The Rising Son of Christian Hosoi;” and that won best documentary. So I had some money. I threw that money from the film into the skateboard shop….to me VO is everybody originally from Venice– people who are part of the skateboarding industry….not somebody who has a clothing company who doesn’t skateboard; and they have a skateboarding company. That’s like Jay-Z rapping about gangster rap and he was never a gangster. But he was. Jay-Z used to sell cocaine. He’s from the streets. And we’re from skateboarding. So VO is me and Jesse (Martinez). If anyone from the industry questions it, go talk to Danny Way about it, or Tony Hawk…there’s kids now that have grown up in that store, from 16 years old to 20 years old now. They feel like this is their home, and it’s a piece of them….something where they can say, ‘man, I grew up there.’ Cause it’s a big change from your adolescence of 16 to a grown up 21. They take pride in that store. And I’ve always opened it up to anyone who’s from Venice…if you have a product, and it’s something I can use, and I think it’s genuinely a “Venice Original” product, I’ll put it in my store. To me VO is an outlet for anyone in Venice who is a Venice artist. If you have something that’s a cool niche that I think will work, I’m down to sell it out of my store– it’s not a problem. But VO– I want you to walk in that store and feel like it’s original. It’s not like some corporate franchise that looks fuckin plastic. And since we’ve had that store, there’s been nothing but copycats. It’s cool with me, ’cause it’s a compliment, you know what I mean? When someone’s biting, it’s just a compliment– no problem. It goes both ways. We’ve done the same thing with the bandana logo. The Suicidals, and a bunch of other people have used the blue bandana. And it’s a compliment. Cause we dug it. We grew up with it. We put it on the front of our store.

SP: What is your one piece of advice for an artist still struggling to make ends meet?

CM: Keep doing it. As long as you keep doing what you’re doing, 20 years from now, no one can doubt you and tell you that you don’t know what you’re doing. Cause you’ve been doing it every year of your life. And if you have, then you’re just gonna keep getting better and better at it. And eventually someone’s gonna come along and give you money to do it cause they’re gonna see you love doing it. If you love doing what you do, someone’s gonna come by and spend money with you; but if your only trying to do it for the dollar and the buck, you probably won’t get a job.

Venice Originals’ Skateboard Shop. 1525 Pacific Ave. Venice, CA, 90291.

Phone: 310.314.1415

For more of Cesario “Block” Montano and the Venice Original Skateboard shop, read the interview at or visit

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posted by Xavier Lannes @ Thursday, January 13, 2011 


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