In mid 2000 I attended an annual competition at Bones in Bolton, I remember holding the flash for Leo as some young lad was attempting to kickflip off the top platform, he fucking landed it. Who was this kid? I smashed my arm up pretty badly that same day and ended up in hospital, but this kids kickflip was insane it stayed in my memory, even with the injury. It was only when I moved to Sheffield in 2003 I ended up getting to know that same kid, that kid was Ben Grove.
RC - Morning G-rover, how’s it going?
BG - I'm good mate thank you, back on the straight and narrow what ever that means! Ha. You?
RC - Yeah sick, so the format is just a super informal chat, a little bit of a roast too, a bit like the old big brother interviews, only I'm your big brother
do I get to dis Cashman?
BG - Sounds good do I get to dis Cashman ha ha, And, you are like my big brother
RC – that’s entirely up to you, but i will say, I have tried to contact him [Cashman]
BG - One of the best I've ever skated with lad. Listening to the Seahorses while we are doing this man.
RC - stop sucking up now, you were ready to dis him earlier
BG - I know, I can still do that ha ha
RC - anyway lets find out about you Ben, we'll come back to this, where are you these days?
BG - Living in moss side Manchesterrrrrr.
RC - I took part in your epic 30th birthday celebration video how did you feel about that?
Amelia Ryder on Thursday, 5 February 2015
BG - Yeah it blew my mind and brought a tear to my eye man what amazing friends
RC - you seem to have a lot celebrity friends around Manchester I always see you post things on your Instagram, I don't know who most of them are but I recognise a few, are you a Manchester celebrity these days?
BG - I have a couple of well known friends yes and call me what you will man
RC - How did you end up in Manchester?
BG - I've always been around Manchester and it's always with me - I moved back after my 3 mega years in Sheffield
RC - So that’s when we lived together, I know you had some good times in Sheffield, you also had some bad.
BG - It was yeah some of the best times of my life Ronny thank you for that
RC - no worries, couch surfing at my bet-sit
BG - Yeah I did man, them were the days, stress free, skating every day and doing what I love the most
I don't mind ManHead Doing that ABD
RC - You pretty much filmed your Sidewalk section and Blueprint section when you lived there, including the now infamous Ollie into the bank at ponds forge, how did that come about? did you see ManHead, he did the ollie too.
BG - I don't mind ManHead Doing that ABD. I love my little bro ManHead ha ha
He tried to do it in a line and nailed him self. Oh and I one upped Geoff [Rowley] I think that's the only reason I did it and the whole Black Label team were there. You know I like to show off.
RC – Tops off
RC – That’s when we were both skating Dev the Black Label Team arrived and you buoyed me off and jumped in their van leaving me, cheers
BG – Yep, ha ha. You gotta do what you gotta do, and it worked out
RC – I always imagined you noshing them off in the Van and Ben Gilley shooting one right in your face, I went home and rubbed one out. Ha ha
BG – Fuck!!! that Mosher Grant, the filmer
RC – Yeah ollied the steep to steep in 2 goes at Dev, that’s’ insane. I only just did that myself last year.
BG – PISS OFF, really? I thought you would’ve flipped it by now
RC – Yeah, on a hype
BG - Grant works for Supra now, he’s a legend
RC – BITD we trolled Darryl Cashman via the medium of Document Magazine, can you remember that? caused some shit
BG – What the fuck does BITD mean?
RC – Back in the Day, fuck sake Grove
BG – Sorry Man, ha ha
RC - So we had a little Document interview in my bed-sit in Sheffield and I made you walk into a question about Cashman and they printed it, what happened next?
Blueprint board sales stopped in Wales and kids had FUCK GROVE on their griptape
BG - Well I heard Blueprint board sales stopped in Wales and kids had FUCK GROVE on their griptape and PnD [Pritchard and Dainton] bigged up a massive fight. But we met and became very good friends. He ended up staying at my gaff in Sheff for about 4 months I couldn't get rid of him ha ha
RC – You even had sex with each other!
BG – With 2 girls, yeah
RC – Where you found out you and him were basically, exactly the same. I've tried to contact Cashman but he's not replying
BG - He's the Welsh version of me, I'll get hold of him for you
ALAN GLASS where was the phone call? ere you scared or summit?
RC - You've had a list of sponsors over the years, some pretty big ones, who was your favourite, in other words, who sorted you out the most?
BG – Blueprint, Unabomber, Vans, Shiner but I have to say I wasn't very happy with the new TM at Shiner after 15 years of repping Spitfire and Indy hard, I got binned off via a Facebook message, thanks for that ALAN GLASS where was the phone call? ere you scared or summit! Ha ha ha
RC – That Alan Glass fella ha ha. I’ve seen some of the dudes they sort out at Shiner and you’re much better than them.
BG - I know I am
RC – You ain’t. I’m just trying to make you feel better. Ha ha
BG – ha ha, Fuck that, there’s a lot of people getting sorted who are shit! No names. One who stands out for me and my new favourite is JORDAN SHARKY he's a good skater and a very nice lad
RC – How did Blueprint come about? you know, when you peaked ha ha
BG - Blueprint came about thanks to Cubic when I was riding for Savier shoes. The kids probably don't even know what the fuck that is! Pre-Nike test shoe
RC – Should we get deep for a bit? Lets talk about addiction
BG – Sure, why not
you've had your problems with substance abuse
RC - I've always said, as obsessive skateboarders we seem to have addictive personalities. It's quite easy to get deeply involved in stuff, some good, some bad. I know you've had your problems with substance abuse
BG - Definitely man
RC – Your problems were worst than most though, you couldn’t seem to get through a day without it.
BG – Yeah, it was bad
RC – You still on the vinegar?
BG – Haa haa, its makes me the man I am. Sarsons massive
RC - When you lived with me I noticed a couple of strange habits, do you still have them habits or have they gone?
no raw pasta, my teeth can't take it
BG - The vinegar is still going strong but no raw pasta, my teeth can't take it anymore
RC – It’s probably the vinegar fucking your teeth up ha ha
RC - OK, obviously with addiction comes the down side, depression, you don't strike me as the sort of person who would be affected by things like that but recently we had a talk about it and you've been diagnosed. How's it been for you since? How are you dealing with it?
BG - Mate it's been the hardest thing I've ever had to deal with man I never thought it would happen to me! First start was admitting I had a problem until then I just got pissed and avoided it!
RC - I was pretty surprised when you told me, you always seemed on good form
BG - Pretty much lost everything including my girlfriend, so something had to be done and I'm coming out the other side and I'm feeling a lot more positive about myself! It's was just a mask mate, I'm good at putting a front on
RC - It's really good to hear. I know we've been in contact a lot more since. It's nice to speak to you on the regs.
BG – Even talking about it now makes me feel better. For me anyway
RC – Lets get back to the bullshit
BG – Yeah fuck that shit!
The EDGE! Because if your not living on it, you’re taking up to much room
RC - Do you have a board sponsor at the moment?
BG - Yeah I get stuff off Deathwish, which Erik Ellington sorted. Slugger send out my boards when I need them.
RC – He [Ellington] has a pet name for you right?
BG – Yeah, The EDGE! Because if your not living on it, you’re taking up to much room
RC – Ha ha, You have a board out on Note too?
BG – Sold out
RC – Give over - that vinegar bottle? Your dad must’ve bought them all, or maybe your mum, she loves you too much.
BG - Yeah man Matt Carol from central station design did it the guy who did the Happy Mondays designs and there’s an edit to go with that. I've got some news, which I can't reveal yet but I'm pretty buzzing with
RC – Board Sponsor? Come on
BG – No
RC – Please tell me you’re pregnant? – Great Uncle Ron
BG – Defo, ha ha
RC - There's so much going on in Manchester at the moment, the scene is huge over there. Can you put that down to anything?
BG - Joe Gavin, Sean Lomax, Note shop & Black Sheep it's just going off!
RC - Yeah those two main shops in Manchester hate each other don’t they?
BG - Whatever innit? Yeah. Can I give a shout out to my sponsors?
RC – At the end. So you've mentioned something new coming in the near future which you’re not going to expand on, so lets talk about Raw papers, you need to send me some more of them, I’ve run out
BG – Mate, I gave it all away as I've not smoked anything for 3 weeks and I've done with them, sorry man
RC - Piss.. That was a good one, that one
BG – I know, fucking brain
RC – You realise alcohol is way worse for you
BG – That’s why I’m not drinking at the moment. One day at a time. Speaking to Ali after this
RC – So have you knocked everything on the head now? You were a notorious partier
BG - I know and that's what fucked my skating up! My relationships etc
I'm not turning to god
RC - Your skating never seemed to suffer to be honest, remember the stairs at Newquay? That was the morning after a mash up.
BG – I know mate but that was also 2007. I'm not turning to God though ha ha and I'm not saying I'm not going to drink and party again, just not for a bit. Skating is my number one at the moment
RC - So what’s happening at the moment? I've seen you skating recently a lot, just getting back on it slowly?
BG - Filming with Joe Gavin & Sean Lomax new Manchester scene video. Full-speed only. Never slow that shit
RC - Can we talk about Harvey Nichols quickly?
BG – Yeah Man
RC - You had some experiences of Manchester football types, who was the worst you had to deal with? Name and shame
tall dick head with side show bob hair who plays for United
BG - The tall dick head with side show bob hair who plays for United, Cunt! No manners! Fellaini
RC – YEAH? I always thought he looked like a chump
BG – I call him manners now, biggest there is
RC – Tallest there is
BG - Shit footballer as well, big chip on his shoulder the reason you never won shit, cunt! Manners don’t cost anything
RC – ha ha, amazing, who was the best, the nicest?
BG – Mata, he's a really nice guy he asked me about the returns policy and I couldn’t believe it, what a guy! Frank Lampard also, I thought he was going to be a cunt too but what a lovely bloke. Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Andy Cole - all diamonds
RC - So you ended up packing that in because it was making you sick?
BG - Well I'm on the sick ATM so we'll see
RC – Retail sucks
BG – ha ha Give me my job back at Note any day
BG – We got enough yet?
RC – One last one, current affairs
BG – ha ha, last one
RC – Shawn Powers?
BG – Fuck Off
RC – Last words, shout outs?
BG - I would like to say Thank You to Paul from Note shop. Everybody at Supra, Deathwish, Shake Junt, Slugger Dist, Cvike Sunglasses, Smuggling Dudds, Your Own Clothing, Erik Ellington, Muska, Ant and Chris Donnelly and you Mr Calow,