1. When did you start writing and where did you grow up?
1976, I remember being on the bus on the way to another day in 6th grade in PS 229 in Woodside, Queens. My chin was resting on the base of the bus window and then I saw it. Under the B.Q.E at 61st St and Laurel Hill Blvd. ovenite someone had put their name on the wall of the overpass. It said Caine 1. It wasn’t just a name, it had colors (orange & blue). It had depth (shadow & highlights). It looked like it was floating off the wall. Who did this I thought? Why did he do it? How did he do it? Didn’t any one see? All this things went through my head, but the main thing was it was sooo cool!
2. Who were the first writers you seen up on the subways and what writers inspired you?
Besides seeing Caine 1 and Tage in the neighborhood, the next couple of years I started riding the 7 train to school (Jr. HS 125) and to the city on weekends Flame and Fuzz TPA stand out most in my mind. Every stop from Times Sq to Flushing had their tags or throw ups riding the rails and on the streets. Both had similar throwies and hand style. I knew style was nurtured by writing their names over and over again. It was like their own type face. It was always about the letters and the idea of having my own style consumed me.
3. Could you tell us the first time you went hitting and who were your first writing partners?
In the beginning, it was just me, no partners. I didn’t know any other writers. The early years for me were 1980-1983. I started bombing locally in Queens, along Queens Blvd. and Roosevelt Ave, from Sunnyside to Forest Hills (I went to Forest Hills HS). I also hit my turf Maspeth and Greenpoint and basically did it for the rush. For me to see my name. For friends to see my name. For writers to see my name. I became a local celeb in my hood. At the same time, I was a foot messenger for the NY Times. I would walk around midtown and deliver ad proofs to advertisers. I would tag on freight doors, mailboxes and elevator inspection plaques. Along my route, I see other writers that I figured were also messengers. Notably BAN2 OTB and Geeski T.R. Eventually, I met them both. Both put me down with their cliques. Geeski and I would hook up and do our deliveries together. During the summer of 82, every van in NYC had us up in the dirt on the back 2 windows (knuckle method).
In 83, I was in a bodega on 61st and Roosevelt Ave., there was a kid in front of me (14 or 15 I thought) ink and paint all over his clothes (especially shoes) buying a pilot marker, this turned out to be DUTCH (Leland from Sunnyside where are you?). Through him, I me the guys from QV (Queens Vocational HS, Queens Vandals et al) Visa EA and Ros. Then it was the guys from NOG, NEO, GHOST, SUR 167, REC 127 and SO. Soon after, Ghost started RIS and perfecting his trade mark GH throwie. The first yard I hit was the M yard on Freshpond Rd. then the E and F yards in Forest Hills and my personal favorite the RR layups under City Hall.
4. What was your local subway line and were other subway near you?
The 7 Line was my line and it was my first line I got up on. In 81, I started college at Baruch and working for NY Times. Riding different trains, meant I had to get up on different trains.
5. Would you have any racking adventures to share with us.
I never to rack up. My home boy Fiz (not a writer) had a job in the stock room of Janovic Plaza Paints on Broadway and 72nd St. in Manhattan. During the day, he would fill boxes to the top with the freshes colors of Kry and Rusto. He would put a big “X” in masking tape on the boxes, place them on the side walk for garbage pick up, but it was never there long enough for the trash man. We would hop into my 70 Cutlass, drive into Manhattan and fill my car to the roof without any heat at all. Like taking candy from a baby.
6. What are all the writing group you were in and what groups did you push the most and why?
OTB, TR, QV, NOG, RIS, MPC. My click was Murder Ink.
7. You were down with the RIS crew in the early stage. How did you meet Ghost and what do you recall about that group of guys?
When I met other writers, graff become something different for me. The guys from QV and NOG bombed differently then me, had a different attitude, had a different priority. I started the graff game as a loner, a way to get recognition in my hood. These guys were on a mission to bomb and Ghost was the the catalyst. He had train keys, he knew the train schedules, he knew all the colors of Kry and Rusto by heart e.g. Clover green and plum etc. He and the other guys in NOG and QV (Neo and Visa) showed me the professional side of bombing.
8. What are all the subway lines you remember hitting and what line did you get around on most?
In 81 and 82 it was the 7 train to and from Baruch. The MTA just started painting the 7 train white. My tag was running between every car on the outside panel opposite the conductor window. The other lines I hit RR, G and N and the 4, 5 and 6.
9. The insides of the subways are very overlooked. There were guys with great hand writing and a flair on how they picked there spot in the insides? What are some of the writers you recall having the best HAND STYLES and were kings of the insides. Were you very effective in the insides?
On the 7, I remember Angel Duster as having a crazy style, lots of flare and serifs. Lee 3 and Rose also. You don’t hear about them much now days. Every once in a while Zephyr and Revolt would hit the 7’s. These guys to me epitomized great writers. They had amazing styles and they got up! Zeph, it seemed was everywhere. Not him but his tag, his mark or logo you could say. Graffiti was like personal advertising.
10. What were the biggest writing groups of your era and why?
Probably UA and RTW. They seemed to be the most organized and had the most fame. They were also some of the first to break into mainstream culture with art shows, in movies and books.
11. Would you have any chase stories/raid stories to share with us?
Never got chased or caught bombing. Just tickets for hoping the turnstile (trespass).
12. What writers do you feel had the best looking throw ups and what is your opinion on throwups?
Being in RIS from the beginning, you could say I’m partial to Ghost. His GH is classic. Almost iconic. Its simple, yet the letters are clear and uniform. Also style wise, HAZES’ SE3 was dope and SAIN TOP was graffically impressive. I also thought KP and AT one of WR had fresh style.
13. Did you ever have a problem with other writers going over your stuff?
No, I respected other writers and they gave the love back.
14. You were always very effective hitting the highways. Could you tell us how you would go about bombing the highways and can you recall others killing the highways?
I always kept paint in my car. Besides loving Graff, I was a huge music fan. Metal and Hard Rock were in my soul. L’Amour in Brooklyn, L’Mour East in Queens, Coliseum in LI, Garden in Manhattan and Clubs in the Village. To and from every show, I would leave my mark.
RTW hit the highway strong, Quick, IZ and Sach were all city. Visas Ros and EA of QV showed me how it was done in Queens.
15. What writers do you feel were very overlooked in history?
CHRIS 217 deserves its props, this guy was everywhere. He did not piece or throwup, but this boy could bomb. Sort of an early JA. I remember waiting on line on the log fume ride at Great Adventure NJ in 82 or 83 and seeing his tag on a light fixture. Holy Shit.
16. Who were the biggest Graffitti cops of your time and why? Did they ever catch you?
Curly and Ferrari, I was always told to fear. They have the yard under surveillance. But for me, they were more legend then reality. Never got pinched.
17. What are some of your favorite pieces you’ve seen running on the trains?
I have a faded memory, of seeing the Caine 1 “Freedom Train”. Also, Dondi’s “Hand of Doom” stands out. Skeme pieces were always great. Fresh colors and def characters came alive in his pieces.
18. What writers in your opinion are the all time kings of Queens.
Besides Ghost and QK, who destroyed Queens, they were all city. As far of just Queens, I’ve got to say Saint TMR, during his run was the King of Queens. Highways, Walls and Trains, he did them all.
19. When did you stop writing and why?
Got married in 89. Started a career in the printing business, my energy was focused on work and family. The Buff was in full effect. Tons of effort went into bombing and you wouldn’t even see your shit running. Wasn’t worth it. Now I collect canvases from only NY old school writers. I couldn’t wait to see their shit running on the lines. Now, I just walk into my living room. Peace INGYONE.