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Jordan Burns | Moto XXX Memories

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INSTAGRAM | @motoxxxofficial
INSTAGRAM | @jordanburns178

Were you one of the many that left a Supercross race in the 1990s with a Fat Wreck Chords compilation CD in your pocket caught from the Moto XXX trailer? It’s been twenty-five years since the start of the punk rock-inspired project, but the impact that it left on an era is undeniable. Think about it: some people think that punk rock is the only type of music allowed to be associated with moto. The story of Moto XXX has been told numerous times (Steve Matthes put together an excellent oral history on the group a few years ago) but there’s always some new detail or memory that can be uncovered in conversation.

Jordan Burns is one of the guys that I see at practically every pro motocross race on the West Coast and it’s always good to catch up. When I spotted him at the Red Bull Straight Rhythm, next to the Suzuki RM 125 that Brian Deegan launched into infamy, it figured it was time to ask him about the world premiere of the original Moto XXX video. What started as a one topic question spun-off into a few other topics.

Everyone in moto has some sort of wild story that they like to share, so if the reception is right, this could become a regular feature for our site. Let us know in the comments what you think and we’ll come up with a list of possible candidates to hear from…

The first premiere party was out of control. We debuted the first movie at the Mammoth Motocross, at a Mexican restaurant, and I remember it was 21-plus. It was the first day of our band being on tour, so we had the tour bus up there and all of the riders and everything. Oh my God. So we had a band playing and after they played, it turned into a wet T-shirt contest. It totally made sense that Jim Holley was the emcee. “Holleywood” was up there and even though it was 21 and over, all of these kids snuck in through the back. I mean, I was letting kids in all of the time [Laughs]. “You wanna cruise in? Go ahead, come in.” 

We got the idea because that’s what happened in the snowboard industry. Kurt Haller, our partner, was from the snowboarding industry and we were in punk bands, so we knew to combine it into an event. We knew to cross-promote punk rock and motocross.

I cannot describe the feeling that we all got watching the movie and seeing the reaction from the crowds as they watched, thinking of how we made the video. We got goosebumps. We didn’t know what the initial reaction was going to be. When you see it, hearing the people cheering for the parts that happened or laughing at the skits we did, it’s hard to explain the feeling. It’s like releasing a new album and having people get stoked on the songs.

I think the music came from the bands thinking, “Take the music because we’re homies.” I don’t think they really realized that we were creating something new and special. Me and Erik (Sandin, drummer for NOFX) were in bands, we had relationships with the other bands to get the music. With Fat Wreck Chords and Epitaph sponsoring the team, I think it was because we were in bands and they wanted to help out. But it also promoted the shit out of the other bands and the labels too! We got the compilation CDs, “Punk-O-Rama” from Epitaph and “Fat Music For Fat People” from Fat Wreck Chords and the Nitro Records comps. We threw those out and it blew people’s minds how we spread the music. Without patting myself too much on the back, I feel like we brought punk rock music to motocross.

Sometimes I’m really blown away by all of it. Being a part-owner and creator of it, you lose track of the impact. Then you’ll think about it later and see we did some big-time shit. And then with the race team that we developed, I think of the big-name riders that came through our program. We won a 125 Supercross with Deegan, won a 125 National with Larry Ward being the first person to win on a 250F at RedBud. I think about that shit and it blows my mind. Here I am still really proud of the brand that we created. I never wanted to let it die, so here we are.

We really thought we were going to be completely and fully accepted by the industry, but we were just the total black sheep. The industry really wanted us to disappear but I think eventually they saw how we were making an impact as the little guys. We’d be parked next to McGrath, who had a huge autograph line, but then we’d throw out free CDs to people and they would go crazy and leave his line.

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Michael Antonovich

Michael Antonovich has a wealth of experience with over 10 years of moto-journalism under his belt. A lifelong racing enthusiast and rider, Anton is the Editor of Swapmoto Live and lives to be at the race track.

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2 Comments

  1. Donn Maeda October 8, 2019

    ISN’T JORDAN THE GUY WHO TOOK A SHIT IN RONNIE FAISST’S DRIVEWAY?

    Reply
  2. Tye Crandall October 9, 2019

    Moto XXX and Jordan Burns helped keep motocross real and not so serious in my opinion. Unfortunately it got way to competitive and all these people thinking that their kids would be or should be the next Rickey Carmichael and couldn’t even hang out together and have fun which is the main reason why anyone who rides ever got started in the first place. Thankfully it seems that people are starting to come back around again and you have events like the 125 Dream Race that have brought the good times back to the track. Thank god for punk rock and Moto XXX

    Reply

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