FARGO ONE INTERVIEW
©2002, 2003 @149st Do not republish without permission.
Where and what year did you start writing on trains?
I did my first piece on a train in 1973, in Coney Island yard. A simple carnation pink fill-in and black outline block letter on the M train.
What inspired you to become involved in writing?
I had a friend who used to write PART 2. I knew him before he started writing. When I started seeing his name in the neighborhood and then I started seeing it on the trains, I knew I had to be down. Plus seeing all the other names like JACE 2, FLINT 707, SPARKY 747, SUPER STRUT, TASS, VAMM, CHICAGO, CASPER ONE, SCAR 36, those are just a few of the names that influenced me back in the day.
Did you have a mentor?
I didn't really have a mentor to speak of, but there were always writers whose styles were much better than mine. I guess the one writer whose style I dug the most when I was writing, would be "BIG D" GND. That cat could write! Nice style, great can control, always quiet in the lay-up.
Who influenced your style?
The one writer who influenced my style would be FLINT 707. I remember using his early style "F" for tagging. He actually used it for piecing, which looked awesome when done correctly, and when he put the 3-d on it, style for miles!
How did you get your name?
I got my name off an armored truck, Wells Fargo!
List all the other names under which you have painted.
Other names I pieced with JAM 1, SKYLAB 2, ROB 1, BASE 353, THC 2, JGE 3.
What borough are you originally from?
I'm originally from Brooklyn. Bensonhurst to be exact.
What subway lines have you hit?
I hit the Bs my home line of course, Ns, Ms, RRs, Ds, Fs and the occasional 4s and 5s.
Who were your most successful partners?
Most successful partner, CHUCK 129.
What crews have you written for?
I was down with GND for most part since they were first ones to ever ask if I wanted to be down, but I also wrote for BGA or Brooklyn Graffiti Action as it was known. I got hooked up with GND through BIG D and RODEO. I met them at the Sheepshead Bay lay-up. One Saturday, after going back there a couple of times, it started to get cold and windy, so I told them I knew about a lay-up at 53rd Street and 4th Avenue where they laid up RRs. Nice and warm and no wind. So we stated going there every Saturday. After that they asked me if I wanted to join GND and I did!
Do you have raid stories?
Good raid stories? Hell yeah! One of the few times that I did decide to venture to the IRTs, I went to the Kingston Avenue lay-ups, and back in those days, if you knew anything about the Kingston lay-ups, you knew that it was always hot. This particular day there was about twelve of us in the lay-up. PREIST 310, MR. AL, ALL 1. I think JESTER might have been there. Just too many guys to remember. I took off my jacket and put it on the gate on the front of the train so it wouldn't get dirty, just then the cops raided us and I took off up the emergency exit to the street, I left my jacket and got the hell out of there. Later on that afternoon we were at the Atlantic Avenue "watching our names go by" when all of a sudden there goes my jacket flapping in the breeze hanging off the side of the train I got chased from! Oh yeah I got my jacket back.
Who were the main cops when you were writing?
The main cop I remember most was this guy named Artie Giamarino. He had a black book and he'd make you sign it. Always seemed to be one step behind us in the lay-ups!
Are there any writers from your era that you feel need more acknowledgement in history?
The original guys from GND like MR. ICE, HASH 131, BIG D, CONDOR, KILLER. The guys from BGA SPIN, KRANE 150, PREIST 310, MR AL, TEX 2, aka NACO 1, MINGO 1, VINNY, CA, JESTER aka DYE 167, ALL 1, CHUCK 129, SUPER STRUT, A-TRAIN, just so many great writers!
When did you quit painting trains?
I left the trains for good in 1976. Too quick and too soon!
Do you have any closing words?
It's good to see that graffiti has come full circle from New York around the world and back again. Even though it really started in Philadelphia, but to the new guys "know your history". We all know that the trains are dead and the guys who were lucky enough to feel the full strength of graffiti. The ones who actually snuck into the lay-ups and yards and did their thing. These are the ones who know what its all about, to piece under intense pressure and get it to come out right is a feeling you just can't describe and still get away with it time and time again. I love the new stuff I see from people all around the world, but if you want to get my attention ask me about the old days!
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