On Saturday, April 22, Fausto Vitello, President of High Speed Productions, Inc., and publisher of JUXTAPOZ Magazine, died of a heart attack while riding his bicycle. He was 59.
From the official announcement:
Fausto Vitello revolutionized the skateboard industry and steered the
worldwide popularity of skateboarding through Thrasher magazine. The success
of Thrasher led to many publishing and manufacturing ventures, including
SLAP skateboard magazine, Deluxe Distribution, Street Corner Distribution,
and Juxtapoz art magazine.
“He was skateboarding’s saving grace,” his son Tony explains in a heart-felt letter on Thrashermagazine.com. “When the industry was in the gutter, he gave it mouth to mouth. When corporate types tried to step in, he remained independent. He did it all – publish, promote, market, and to top it off, he was a manufacturer.”
No one else could have done what this man did. Fausto’s unparalleled drive
and attitude came to define both the outlaw spirit of skateboarding and the
family nature of the scene. He was truly The Godfather. His integrity and
impact on skateboarding and artistic counterculture was a reflection of his
character, and he was a character! He was a visionary in every sense of the
word. He was a dreamer who made his dreams a reality. He influenced the
lives of too many to list.
Privately owned and operated, High Speed Productions, Inc. is a unique
company. It is well known that working at HSP is being part of a family.
Fausto inspired his employees to run his empire as he would want, and the
business will continue in that matter. Fausto was proud that his son, Tony,
and his daughter, Sally, joined him in the business. His dream was that
together they would carry his vision.
His numerous associates, friends, and family will be invited to attend a
Celebration of Life service to be announced in the near future, and a
celebration it will be.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to:
Boys and Girls Clubs of San Francisco
55 Hawthorne St. #600
San Francisco, CA 94105
Make checks payable to: BGCSF, and indicate Fausto Vitello Memorial on memo
All donations will benefit the new Hunter’s Point Clubhouse.