On the same time frame as when i bought my first twin shaped snowboard (which completely revolutionized what we could do on the slopes, after years of riding directional boards) i also sent a self addressed stamped envelope (SASE) to a guy in art school for one of his stickers. While skating around Boston friends and i started seeing these stickers of Andre the Giant popping up, especially around the best places to skate (we too, were maybe putting up some stickers of our own… or maybe not… depends on who’s asking… if you’re a cop you have to tell us, right?!?!). In some ‘zine i was reading i saw an PO box address to mail the artist to get one of his stickers… so i did. A few weeks later i received my envelope back with a sticker and a manifesto about what this social experiment was. Andre the Giant has a posse! i take stickers very seriously, always have. So i put this sticker on the most valuable possession i had as a teenager: my first ever modern shaped snowboard!
The artist’s name is Shepard Fairey, and i remain a fan of his work to this day. His art now graces some of the walls of my home and helped lead to a bizarre series of events that culminated in me getting my mother to come to a Henry Rollins show! For Christmas i bought my wife the ornament that is a recreation of the Earth orb Shepard Fairey displayed hanging from the Eiffel Tower. In the shipping box his company Obey Giant added several stickers, including one re-print of that first iconic posse sticker. So now, decades later, my most recent snowboard - from the snowboard shop i own, has that same sticker gracing it. We have to grow older but we don’t have to ever grow up. Andre the Giant has a posse!