Matty Ryan: Odd Hours
In 2002, when I was 22, I moved down to L.A. with just $300 in my pocket.
I moved in with a bunch of guys: Gareth Stehr, Ragdoll, The Nuge, Justin Roy, Richie Belton, DJ Chavez, Lizard and Slash. Shit wasn’t too conventional. I was living in the fucking kitchen with a queen-size mattress I’d found in a dumpster off Hollywood Boulevard. I had my clothing stowed away in the cabinets, and I’d set up a shower curtain as a divider and an upside-down American flag as a makeshift door. Spray-painted on the flag were the words “Dirt squid.” The rent was cheap.
I was living in the promised land — California — and I was busy pissing my life away. I was psyched on getting fucked up. It was a Keith Richards type of roll.
At one point during my time in California I went down to San Diego for ASR [Action Sports Retail] trade show. It was pretty fucked. The night of the TransWorld party, my friend J2 went up on stage with a suitcase full of fake cocaine. The next night was nothing short of that. We were all partying after the “Grenade” premiere in downtown San Diego, trying to sort out what a crew of loose cannons could get itself into. It was me, Jordan Mendenhall, Ninja, J2, T.G., and Mike Ranquet. We were getting loose — like to the point where I told Dave Lee’s wife to fuck off for yelling at my homie Ragdoll who’d pissed in the corner of the room. We probably should have pumped the brakes but back then that option never sat well with me.
After some healthy drinking someone mentioned that Padres Stadium was under construction and that we should probably check it out. We figured we’d party where the big leaguers party, so we broke in and fucked around a bit. We weren’t too stealth about shit either. A couple of homies slid into home base.
I think Ranquet eventually took a shit where the players sit.
For some reason J2, Jordan and I started climbing one of those huge stadium-light standards. I was scared as fuck but J2 wouldn’t let me stop climbing. I remember looking down and just thinking, “Is this what my life has come to? Climbing 300-foot light standards at odd hours of the morning?”
We climbed all the way to the platform at the top. It felt like we summited Everest. We were in our own bubble, as high as the city skyline. The fucked up part is I can’t remember how we even got down from there. How that night ended is fuzzy but one thing’s for sure: back then I hated to see the good times end.
That was one memorable night and it certainly wasn’t my last.
A few years later I found myself at some famous French fry joint in Buffalo on a filming trip with Mikey Leblanc. The place was packed with college idiots. I was waiting for my food and some fool accused me of cutting in line. I was shocked. I thought he was about to say, “No cuts, no buts, no coconuts” — like in grade school. I decided to fuck with the dude, so I got up in his face and made a scene. “Are you fucking joking right now?” I asked him. I don’t know what came over me — actually I do: whiskey — and I cold-cocked the asshole. I floored him. He grabbed me by the hood of my sweatshirt and ripped the shit out of it, but I still knocked him on his ass. Amazingly, in the end, he got kicked out and I got my chili fries. “I’ll be waiting outside,” he yelled back at me. I just sat down at the table to enjoy my fries and Mikey stared at me in a confused, drunken haze. Neither of us said a word about the fight and when we left, the dude was gone. The next day I felt pretty guilty because the fool didn’t even get a punch in.
There was another incident during that same trip. A whole bunch of us — me, Bob Plumb, Cale, Butterz, Keegan and Nate — squeezed like sardines into a rented a mini-van. Limited luxury on a limited budget. When we arrived in Montreal we found a cheap hotel with a bar and we got one room for all of us. It smelled like dirty socks and cigs.
We decided to find some weed. We needed someone on the level so I decided on Travis Kennedy. “Oh, I got it on lock,” he told me over the phone. “You just need to go meet up with my girls at this strip club.” We got there and a stripper hooked us up immediately. We got a VIP table, bottle service, everything. “I’m the bitch,” the stripper boasted. “I’m the bitch.”
We were rolling. As the night went on I somehow made my way upstairs to the little secret stripper room and hooked it up. I came back down with a big, dumb grin on my face, when Bobby Plumb asked what happened. “For 80 bucks,” I told him, “it’s worth it.”
So Nate and I were hanging with the stripper who called herself “the bitch.” “You two are leaving with me,” she told us, and invited us to another stripper’s house. We told the other guys they couldn’t come because the girl-to-guy ratio would be off.
As we headed to the stripper’s place I could tell Nate was a little uneasy, which I can’t blame him for. No two ways about it: it was kinda weird. But I was psyched. Not too much later, at the stripper’s house, Nate bugged. “I gotta get out of here, man,” he told me. He wouldn’t even wait in the apartment for the cab, so I was left there with both girls.
They were both cool French-Canadian babes. I walked into one girl’s room and saw a poster of Travis Kennedy and, beneath it, on the nightstand, a big purple dildo. The next morning I woke up alone in one of the girls’ beds. Just as I thought to myself, “I should get going,” in walked a three-year-old girl holding a teddy bear. She started spitting mad French at me. I was shocked. I couldn’t decide what was crazier: that I didn’t know she had a daughter or that a three-year-old could speak French. The stripper was making breakfast. All I could think of to say was, “So, you have a daughter…” The kid was way cool as it turned out, though. I knew she couldn’t understand English so, just joking around, I told her I was her dad. “Daddy’s gotta go to work,” I told my new family. That’s when the little girl told her mom in French she didn’t want me to leave. I felt terrible.
I’ve got a few more stories from those years, of course — we were having too much fun, I think. But I don’t have any regrets about how I lived. I mean, there are some things that went down that, remembering them now, make me wish I could have changed my trajectory, but I don’t think it was in me at the time. Nowadays I got my riding, my family, my friends, and BozWreck is killing. So is there a moral to this? Yeah! Basically, if you want to have fun and get your yayas out or whatever, go for it, but as my homie, the dirt nasty Simon Rex, would say: “Visit there. Don’t live there.”