One strange day, in 2002 or so, my friend Nick and I were sitting at a bus stop in Springfield, VA about to board a greyhound to Nashville, Tennessee en route to Plano, Texas for The Hoedown. We both sat smoking, silently contemplating the long trip ahead. A random stranger approached asking for a cigarette. I handed him a Camel from my pack. As he lit the cigarette he casually asked if I was wearing a Senate sweatshirt. I replied that I was, and he responded “That’s crazy. I grew up next door to Arlo Eisenberg in Orange County.” His name was Shelby, named after the Ford Mustang, and he had just arrived here to wait for a bus transfer back to California from Virginia beach. He talked to us for a few minutes, claiming to have once dropped a young Roadhouse with one punch in the face, and seeing Arlo selling the first Senate wheels out of his backpack at the local skatepark. Senate grew from the early days of making grindplates in their garage and selling wheels out of backpacks to at one point bringing in $10 million a year in sales.
I guess we have to give Rollerblade respect. Without their stubbornness to create better products and lame marketing, the inspiration and necessity to start r
ollerblading’s earliest companies wouldn’t have happened. Senate started out of necessity and anger. Anger at the very product that they used. I mean, think about it, they were spitting lots of hatred toward Rollerblade, which is kind of weird to me because they used Rollerblades. Like, you don’t see a bike tire company say, “FUCK BIKES!”