The El Gato Classic was started by pro skateboarder Eddie "El Gato" Elguera and his wife Dawn Elguera. Eddie lives locally in Palm Desert. He was an early innovator of vertical skateboarding throughout the late 70's and 80's. He was also a two-time world skateboard champion and named Skateboarder of the year in 1979 & 1980.
On top of that, Eddie invented several vert tricks including the "Elguerial" and the "Frontside Rock-n-Roll". Eddie helped advance and inspire the next generation of skaters that became household names including Tony Hawk, Steve Caballero, and Christian Hosoi.
The Founding Fathers of Skateboarding
Events like El Gato's have increased in popularity as new skaters are learning about and paying respect to the "founding fathers" of the sport. Because of this the Elgueras were inspired to create a unique event in the Coachella Valley, that catered to this new demographic and united skateboarders across all generations. Like Push for Good, El Gato Classic hopes to inspire a new generation of skateboarders, artists and musicians.
Art and Music at El Gato Classic
Art, music and skateboarding have always had a symbiotic relationship. From the art that graces the decks skaters ride to the music that pumps up their adrenaline, they are the trifecta that makes up the community.
This year, the El Gato classic hosted several, artist, bands, and creative outlets.
William Sharp’s was on site with his new book “Back In The Day”. The book features hundreds of Sharps photos from the early pioneering era of skateboarding.
KC Armstrong, a photographer that creates stylized images of athletes and celebrities, displayed an amazing showcase of portraits of skateboarding legends that he has photographed over the last few years.
L.A. Artist Robert Vargas has played a vital role in revitalizing the Downtown LA art scene. He can often be seen on the street drawing huge portraits that draw crowds to watch. Robert joined the El Gato Classic to display his portraits of skateboarding legends. Many enjoyed the spontaneous live art collab with Vargas & Pops Hosoi.
Music included bands like One Less Zero with skateboarder Allen Losi on guitar. His Eyes Have Fangs also performed with legendary skateboarder Tony Alva.
One Less than Zero brings a fresh flavor to the music scene. The beautiful and talented Sara Wright is on vocals. Accomplished old school skateboarder Allen Losi is on guitar. World renowned veteran tattoo artist Mike Spasbo plays drums. The gifted stylings of Fender employee Luis Agulair also plays guitar. And, the back bone of many bands-master of all music Allen Buglione is on bass.
One Less than Zero has played such clubs as The Rialto Theater in Tucson AZ, Wasted Space at the Hard Rock in as Vegas NV, the Punk Rock Pic-Nic in Irvine CA, and Wiskey a Go Go in Hollywood CA with bands such as NOFX, TSOL, Cro-Mags, The Dwarves, Amber Pacific, Teenage BottleRocket, The Dirty Filthy Mugs, Angry Samoans, ILL Repute and many more in the first year alone. With their "we're here to skate the session" attitude and Sara Wright's natural charisma, the fun never stops!
Legendary skateboarder Tony Alva and his band, His Eyes Have Fangs also performed with their "Neo-Noir Dream Rock infused with retro vocals, explosive modulations, visceral beats and melodic guitar overtones."