Tuesday, April 19, 2011
When did you start?
I guess I was always in a way really born to be on the trains is because when I grew up in chicago the way I got to New york was on a train and I was always fascinated by trains so when my mom got me to Penn. station we got off the train from Chicago we got on a cc coalminer train those are the old brown cruddy ones with the cascade green insides some times they were so dirty they looked like they were grey and they had straw seats. And those trains went in from the city to Bainbridge Avenue where my destination was gonna' be. The first tags I ever saw in my life were on the CC and the D train there was only stick figure tags. There was no writer yet to have a piece what so ever. The first tag I ever saw was on a coal-miner. A KILROY 1 white tag stick letter with a helicopter y bent loop on the bottom and it said just plain KILROY1. On that same train there was a FLINT, and I would probably have to go with TWIST 1 some SCOOTER stuff. TREE127 I think had a green tag with an EL MARKO up on the column. Then we took the bus the BX-15 to Mosholu Parkway and I was on 85 East right down the block from the 4 Yard.
What got you into graffiti on trains ?
What put graffiti into my mind really was seeing those trains running up and down with those names on them. It made me curious the first instant that I saw it. How the guys got the names on the trains. Did they do it in the train station? Did they do it at the train yard?, Did they do it while the train was moving? I was so curious about that. That's what made me think of the whole thing. My house was only a block away from the train yard. I was living between two trains. The CCs, Ds, then there was Mosholu Parkway; the 4 line. I noticed on all the garbage cans fire hydrants. Everything had graff on it. There was an abortion clinic being built. MINGO 1 JINX 2 and JIVE 3 had tags on it. The first time I snuck on the train when I was eight years old in 1970 to see the really big tags. I took the train from Mosholu Parkway I was afraid to take the train any further than that because there a lot of adults on the train. Some of them had come back from the war. So I got off.
Bedford Park there was no fence you could walk right down the hill into the yard now we were talking business! I watched how the elevated trains came down the elevated lay-up into the yard.that gave me a smooth idea that the writers must have been going some where around here to check out the trains.In those days writers would take tags anywhere on the train. If you had your name on the front of a train and the train was coming in that means you were the king. I took the train to Woodlawn. I spent most of my best years of graffiti at Woodlawn train station tagging the insides.
When I started learning about MartyÕs Doughnut Shop, that was the real connection between the trains and me. Every writer from one place or another found his way to Marty's doughnut shop. On one side of Marty's Doughnut Shop they had a juke box. There was dancing and some tables and on the side there was a pizza shop and on the other side they sold doughnuts and hot chocolate in the morning.There was three schools in that area. P.S.80 for the little graffiti writers, Dewitt Clinton for the big graffiti writers and P.S. 95 for the junior junior graffiti writers. All those three schools brought kids from all those areas of The Bronx from Mosholu Parkway all way to 161st street. Every writer from that time went to one of those schools or else they went to Gun Hill where there was Evanderchild where a lot of other writers came from. The gangs around that area patrolled the train yard. What ever layup or train yard or tunnel was in the neighborhood the gangs hung around the area you had to get thru the gangs to get to the yards and most of the time the guys in the gangs were writers themselves so they were hanging out at the yards so it was impossible to get into the yards without getting fought.
In those days that what was happening. A lot of big writers Spanish and Black like PREIST 167, TURK162, TE-KOOL, DOC COOL, SOUL 5, TON 5 were all in gangs so they really didn't have much trouble. The only writers that really did have a lot of trouble were like white dudes if they went into black or Spanish neighborhoods they would definitely get stomped out, but not me since I was FUZZ ONE and had a style about me and I was well liked by a lot of the top graffiti artists. All my boys they know who they are. STAFF 161 was the kind of dude who really put me in the program because he got me down with the Ebony Dukes. So it allowed me a lot of time to skate off scott free while other writers were getting jumped and stomped out I made out in a lot of aspects of life knowing STAFF161. He really taught me the trade.
Who influenced you?
I would definitely have to say that one of the guys was STAFF 161 because he showed me the right way and the safest way to write graffiti. The first time that he ever took me out to Kingston it was me, AJ 161 and STAFF 161(they were brothers). We were doing a piece together and a train was whipping right out of the corner and I was standing there in the middle of the tracks and AJ 161 pulled me out of the way of the train. If anything I owe it to him for that.
What crews were you down with ?
In the early '70s it would have to be the Ebony-Dukes because STAFF was the one who really got me into writing. I was kind of like devoted to him because I didn't want to go out with any other writing crews because like a lot of them were to sticky there was like the INDs dudes who really thought they were like Shaft and Superfly and The Mac and they use to come to the Concourse with purple hats with feathers in them. Wanted was a pretty good crew. I tagged that up you know because there were writers like CLYDE, FDT 56, TRACY168, GREEK 501, HULK 62. Then from the old days I met STAY HIGH149 and he was a nice fella. He wasn't like a really stuck up dude. If anything the godfather of graffiti was STAY HIGH 149. He always had the applejack hat to fit his profile but he was like a cool dude. If anything HONDO 1 and STAY HIGH 149 got up more than most writers out there.
Where did you do your first train ?
It was at the 4 yard with STAFF161. The first piece I ever did was with STAFF 161. The second piece I did was with RIFF170. The third piece I did was with PREIST and the fourth piece I did was with TURK 62. The fifth piece I did was with LIL FLAME 1-2 and the sixth whole car I did was with PEL DO IT WELL. The seventh was with SOLID ONE TFP the ninth piece I did on the 6s was with KINDO 1.
Was FUZZ ONE the first name you started writing?
Well in my graffiti situation five names kinda' of cultivated my style FUZZ ONE was one of the first names I ever had in my whole life as a graffiti writer. My favorite cartoon was like popeye the sailor man and I became king of Mosholu Parkway by POPEYE 1. I didn't get much recognition for it because I was like doing it for television. I cut it down and wrote POP so I started doing POP 170 pieces, but then I wanted to be somebody really big so I started writing TOP 170 because I use to love hanging around 170th street in the Bronx. They had the best stores. Old five and tens. Lamston's, Woolworth's, Martin's Paints. I use to crush 'em down there. Then I got into the IVORY thing and after that it was LORD 138 and if I go on. I had like sixty five names like RIFF, so that's neither here nor there.
Tell us some of the other names you wrote and still write?
LORD138, IVORY2, LOVE MACHINE 79, FUZZ ONE, ROMEO, PRINCE.