Words and Photos by Matthew Ismael Ruiz
No one throws a party quite like Andrew WK. Happy-Tom, the makeup-wearing sailor-bassist of Norwegian punk band Turbonegro, knows this. So when his friend, Henning Andersen, CEO of the World Snowboarding Championships, asked him for help finding his “musical ambassador,” for his inaugural event in Oslo, the answer was easy.
“He’s kind of like the president of the universe,” Happy-Tom said. “For this week, he’ll be the president of the World Championships in Oslo.”
But first, Andersen had to bring Oslo to New York—and WK’s club Santos Party House—for a raucous opening bash celebrating the first annual WSC. Billed as “The Championships’ own shining star and guiding light,” WK used his significant expertise in partying to host an exclusive pre-party in the club’s basement before a sold-out Turbonegro concert that rocked the faces off an adoring crowd.
The scene in Santos’ basement Friday night was laid-back, and the mood was festive. The drinks flowed generously as a pack of tall, gorgeous Norwegian women (including Norwegian handball legend Mia Hundvin) stalked the floor, pulling journalists into a side room for interviews and photos with the likes of Andy Finch, Jamie Lynn and Ty Walker.
Lynn made a point to tell us of his appreciation for the WSC’s snowboarders-first ethos, evidenced by their invitation to We Are Snowboarding’s Chas Guldemond (also in attendance) to help set the purses for the inaugural event.
“It’s a contest put on by snowboarders, for snowboarders,” Lynn told us, shortly before stripping off a denim Turbonegro jacket and flexing with WK for photographers. “It’s got industry backing, but it’s the snowboarding industry. Terje ( Haakonsen) especially gives it the legitimacy and integrity that a World Cup event needs. It’s refreshing to see someone with 20 years of experience give back to the youth of today.”