Legendary Skate Bar Max Fish Gets the Mini-Doco Treatment


For generations born into a world where childhood was free of certain internet “networks,” social or otherwise, there’s a special reverence for the accessibility with which we can share knowledge and pass along cultural stories, especially in skateboarding.

On the other hand, new tools like the internet, smartphones, and digital cameras are perfect not just for sharing the mundane details of your life, but also for nerding out on the things you love the most. Things you would think about whether you were sharing them or not. For this generation, these tools become invaluable in putting the things we love on record.

Leland Ware is one of that generation and his new short documentary, for his website 48blocks.com, shows it. Produced by The Good Homies, a newly minted group of friends and collaborators loosely identifying as a collective, this is the first episode in an ambitious 48 episode project. Simply titled “Episode .01: Marc Razo // Max Fish,” and it’s about just that. More of an oral history on video than a documentary, the piece recapitulates Max Fish’s solid standing as the most famous skate bar in the world. It attempts to qualify its status and lure through interviews with the folk who refer to it as their living room. It uses simplistic and elegant Documentary 101 techniques such as sitting Fish mainstays down for their take on the bar’s life, showcasing visuals of its current iteration and some archival stuff.

Long term regulars like Leo Fitzpatrick, Spencer Fujimoto, Neckface, and RB Umali share their fond recollections of drunken nights and friendships made at the bar. They all stress that it’s not just a place to get ripped, but a familial environment where you can talk about art and culture or discuss a creative project. It’s to the point, informative, just long enough, and, importantly, journalistic though it regrettably lacks any interviews with women who had ties to the bar. The project uses technology to tell a real story, not one popping up in your Instagram feed. I hope the informative technique gets passed onto future generations along with the story of Max Fish.

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