Welcome back to Pt. 7 of the #SDK History, follow #sdkstory to read them all.
Before I continue where we left off last week, I wanted to show these two photos of myself. The first one is during the dark days of my life following the news story, I was abusing drugs, terribly unhappy and wondering what to do now that i'm not filming. The second photo is me only 5 years earlier. It is hard for me to look at these two photos because of the drastic change in my appearance.
After years of using drugs as fuel, now it was becoming more of an escape for me and less about filming videos. Not only was I letting myself down, I was letting my friends and family down.
I want to use this opportunity to talk to the lost ones out there that might be going through what I went through right now. Because of drugs & alcohol we lost a lot of people over the years, including my little brother Mitch in 2014. I don't think there was a day that went by in the early years of SDK where we weren't completely fucked up. There was probably 1000 near death experiences because of this. I just want to make it very clear that this is not a lifestyle I would recommend to anyone and it is a miracle we are here today. I wasted 1000's of days in a fog of negativity, please don't do what we did because it was a complete waste of time & money. That's all I wanted to say about that subject. Back to the story....
It's tough to write about those days in my life, I was still filming videos but drugs and alcohol were killing my motivation. My days were spent at a local pub, it was basically my home for 6 months. I just didn't have any inspiration or ideas on how to go on with life. Filming these graffiti videos was the best thing that ever happened to me and now it was fading away because of abuse and depression. Days passed very slowly and I just kept to myself in a dark smoky corner of the pub. One day Label and myself were sitting there drinking when we heard about a local kid that was robbed and killed just down the street. He was only 19. We didn't know him but a lot of people around town did and we could see how much pain it caused in the community. Label came up with the idea to paint a memorial for him but we didn't have a wall so Label said "fuck it, lets paint the back of Safeway" (grocery store in Aldergrove BC). I filmed it, the video is on YouTube titled "KYLE NEWBIE MARUD"
I fully expected to have the painting shut down by the police but it didn't. Kyle's mom and family lived behind the grocery store and they stopped by. It was one of the most emotional paintings I have ever done, unfortunately it would be one of many more we would paint over the years. After the painting was finished we left without saying a word. Nobody really knew who we were and we didn't want them to, this painting was for the family. The next morning when we arrived back at the pub and ordered our usual tall cans of beer, suddenly a tray of drinks arrived at our table. Confused, I asked the server who they were from, she pointed to a group of men at the bar. These guys were regulars at the pub and because I was usually alone and didn't talk to anyone, they had been very suspicious of me and even confronted me a few days earlier asking why I was here everyday. Word had spread about our mural and these guys wanted to say thank you, apparently Kyle had some friends and family at the pub. From that exact moment, my life changed forever.
I went from sitting alone in the corner, to sitting up at the bar with these guys all day, all night, then repeat. Not only were these guys locals but they owned the place. There was no closing time for us, it was one big party for months. We went to wild private parties, hosted car shows and held huge events at the hotel. Things I had only seen in movies was now my everyday life. I knew it was a dangerous world I had ventured into but I liked it, maybe this was the path in life I had been looking for. I was fascinated by the life these guys lived and could easily picture myself living this way for the remainder of my days. My film career suffered and only a few people came by to visit me, I even released a music video for a local rapper that was edited entirely at the bar. I was a mess. 12 years later and the painting of Kyle was still up last time I was there. Even when Safeway tried to remove it the community threatened to stop shopping there. Sadly Kyle's mom passed away shortly after but she still got to witness the painting and even be in the video.
Thank you for reading along, see you next week for Pt. 8.