Mike Tyson, Jamie Foxx & Oscar Langburne Walk Into A Bar  - Stab Mag

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"Hanging out with Tigers is different to hanging out with Lions" said Mike Tyson casually on his JRE pod. And what about surfers?

Mike Tyson, Jamie Foxx & Oscar Langburne Walk Into A Bar 

How a 19 year old freesurfer from Newy found himself eating lobster with the greatest heavyweight boxer of all time.

news // Aug 25, 2022
Words by Ethan Davis
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Editors note: This interview took place yesterday. Minor parts have been edited for clarities’ sake. Words by Oscar Langburne.

I’d just gotten back from a trip to Mexico, fried from surfing eight hours a day and Pat (Tenore) invited me to stay at his place in Costa Mesa. 

We’ve mostly just been hanging around the HQ, which has been awesome. The headquarters itself is a massive industrial space filled with art – it’s incredible. The culture Pat has built at RVCA is insane, I feel like a large part of that is the space itself. You have fighters, surfers, skaters and creatives around each other which makes for a lot of cool crossover. There is that ‘family’ feel to it, as cliche as that may sound. So often in surfing you can feel that divide where some people think they are the shit and above others. Not here.  

Anyhows, Pat has been really good to me. Like going out of his way to make sure I felt welcome. Two nights ago he goes to me, ‘Hey, want to come out for dinner? We’re going to a restaurant in downtown LA.’ Of course, I accept. I’d never been to LA before and driving through Beverly Hills and seeing the contrast between the different neighborhoods in LA is wild. It’s day and night. 

Part gallery, part gym, part skatepark, part workspace. Cross-pollination at work in RVCA’s Costa Mesa HQ. Photo credit: Empire Ave

So we arrive at this restaurant downtown and it’s hectic. It’s a nice place and we walk up a couple of flights of stairs to reach the VIP area. The host leads us to our table and sitting there is Mike Tyson. I’m shell shocked, to say the least. 

Mike gets up to greet Pat and then makes his way over to me. ‘Hey, I’m Mike,” he says, “Are you nervous?”. “Of course I’m nervous,” I reply. He laughs and sits down. For the next four hours we talk and eat. Appetizers, seafood of every variety and finally, this mental donut wheel for dessert – on the house of course (being Iron Mike has some perks). 

Obviously, this whole scene is surreal and I feel super out of place. What is a surfer kid from Australia doing sitting at a table with Mike Tyson? Pat, being the legend he is, fills in the blanks and tells them that I’m a team surfer visiting from Aus for the first time. I don’t want to harp on about Pat, but the way he can read a room and bring people together is one of the most impressive takeaways from this whole trip. 

When asked, Mike indulged questions about his past. He spoke at length about how at one point, he had three tigers living in his house. One of which slept in his bed with him. I just thought that was just some crazy made up shit I’d seen in the Hangover. But surprisingly, he actually seemed reluctant to talk about himself unless prompted, preferring to ask others what they were up to. He asked me about where I lived, the biggest wave I’d surfed, the places I traveled to and so on. It was super intimidating at first but the fact he was so open and forthcoming about his own past, disarmed.

Culture is a funny thing. What is it, exactly? And how does an individual contribute or detract from it? RVCA’s company culture, from afar at least, seems to have attracted a bunch of like-minded individuals from vastly different walks of life. That likely has something to do with the pull of Pat Tenore. You don’t simply buy yourself a seat at the table with Mike Tyson.

Mid-way through Jamie Foxx turns up and pulls up a chair. We exchange pleasantries and then he starts pitching Mike a movie idea for the next forty minutes. He was very complimentary towards Mike, talking about his past accomplishments, his legacy and the rest of it. When he finishes gushing Mike responds, “I’m just passing through.”

At the end of dinner a woman walks over to the table and asks if it’s okay to get a photo with Mike. Next minute, the entire restaurant, all the staff, chef, patrons, everyone, comes over and asks to do the same. I’ve seen plenty of pro surfers get pestered for autographs and photos over the years, this blew anything I’d seen out of the water. That guy is a global superstar, and yet he had time for everyone. It was cool that he seemed like a genuine person in spite of the surreal life he’s lead. 

Thanks Pat. I’ll take this one to the grave.

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