This interview is about a dead company, a company that slit its own wrists when the industry was dying of hunger... That company was 976.
--This interview was conducted inside the Boys and Girls club of Long Beach where Mike visits me weekly. Mike has been like an older brother for me over the years, he has been there for me through thick and thin, and is my greatest influence in my life . Please, if you have the time join the Boys and Girls club near you, it could help others like myself ok I lied, Mike and I our brothers.
*Hollywood reporter has chosen HW, while Mike Opalek will be represented by the hot 80s clothing maker Op, or Ocean Pacific for the haters.
HW: Lets start with some warm up questions
Op: I am ecstatic, don't keep me waiting a moment longer.
HW: Don't fuck with me Opalek.
Opp: your all talk inglewood.
HW: that's it were throwin' down RIGHT here right NOW!
*a furious battle of Mortal Kombat III ensues, Mike is Sonya Blade (weak sauce), I am Jax(black badass) and I am Victorious.
Op: I can't believe you just got a flawless victory in my own interview.
HW: That's how the Jenga fell bitch.
HW: So What's your full name?
Op: Michael Patrick Opalek (and I'm not Irish)
HW: What is your social security number?
HW: What does 976 stand for?
Op: nothing. Its the code for the porn numbers....900-976-????. Back then they all those had 976 in them in them.
HW: Really, that's fucking perverted dude.
Op: what can I say? Ya know? (Nudges me with his elbow and winks).
HW: Who owned this smutty 976 launderings?
Op: this is a great question. The Bravo Corporation who owned 50% of senate, were the money backers and probably owned 50% of 976. Vera Heinekin, Marks wife at the time owned it (at least that's what we thought) and ran it.
HW: What was your involvement in 976? Did you answer phones? (Return the nudge and wink). (This was becoming out of control).
Op: I was a rider and gave my input on logo's and ads. B love actually came up with a few graphic concepts. He did the little fish eating the bigger fist and the F- one.
HW: What is a dickfore?
HW: In your mind, what was the most innovative product 976 developed?
Op: It had to be the leather jacket! They only made a few of them. They didn't give the team any cause the cost too much.
HW: Dickfore saywhat!
Op: What?!? Oh you son of a bitch your dead! That's it round two.
*Liu Kang was my weapon of choice, Mikey picked Night Wolf. Fire balls were thrown and blocked, that night wolf and his magic hatchets turned Mike into the victor.
Op: You've just been served!
Hw: when you're right you're right, but back to business
HW: Why did 976 DIE?
Op: They tried to go commercial and get into clothing stores and made to much clothing when the industry died. It basically committed suicide.
HW: If time could be turned, what would you do differently with 976?
Op: Be move involved, learn the business and not try to make so much shit.
HW: Who is the coolest person on myspace.com? (I hope he answers me, but even if he doesn't I could still edit it to look that way, no. that would be unethical).
Op: Lol umm. I think Tom is? He seems to be so hot right now? he's like Cher....so eternal.
HW: you truly can be a cunt, you know that?
Op: (glances down at his Hanger shoes). You know back then I could never wear these, because of contract agreements and everything. It was really depressing, they were the hottest shit out. I was out of the loop outkasted like Big Boi. You know?
HW: (wiping tear away). Yes, those Pro Matty Mantz shoes are pretty nice, green and white and all. Lets get back on track. I swear this interview has add.
Op: True true
HW: no false, fuck that saying, it is seriously the "wasssssup" of rollerblading. Fuck that saying in its eyelids.
Hw: What have you taken away from 976, and how will you use that in the future in your business ventures or life overall?
Op: Well it was a great experience. They treated me very well. I guess I would try not to make the same mistakes they did. I wouldn't make watches and sunglasses. There really not a necessity in our sport.
HW: Do you still own any 976 threads or products?
Opp: yeah I got a few pairs of painter pants, some cd holders and a hat or two. I might have some shirts in storage. Oh I still have underwear, but there about to be thrown away.
HW: Yah, I had a 976 watch, it was pretty bossonova until it died.
Op: Your lucky, mine never even worked.
HW: What if... 976 were around to day, how would the industry be different?
Op: well, if it were still around it would be shit. Cause it would still be under the Bravo umbrella just like senate is and senate is shit.
HW: In your mind did 976 contribute anything to the industry besides on sale clothing in the back of roller warehouse catalogs?
Op: HaHaHa, that's funny cause its true. yeah they gave skaters a chance to ride for a great company at the time. They paid us and gave us the opportunities to skate for a living.
HW: any other comments on 976, anything you feel that I left out and want to state, like general info or stories, anything. you like taking dumps? say it for the masses to read.
Op: 976 ruled the mid to late 90's. I want to thank Vera for her support. She will never read this. I do enjoy dumping, it's a great way to start your day. I also enjoy wine, laughter, a nice book and the killing that goes on in my dreams.
sorry its late I've been drunk in Korea for a week. Have you ever had Soju? That's some good shit!!!
HW: please your killing me with the exclamation points!
Op: THEN DIE BITCH DIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
HW: I believe Round Three is in order.
Op: I'm game.
Interview: Dan Leifeld
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