If there was ever a man who was born solely to prove to the world that he was in fact alive… it is Mark Baker.
I didn’t even bother to ask how old he is, it’s irrelevant. Mr Baker’s a force, an uncut diamond on the exterior but a cobalt blue lightening bolt opal within. There’s no buffed up polish to his honesty, but there is an undeniable attraction to his integrity and shrugged off regrets. Be fascinated by his place in skateboard culture, he was a goddamn Z Boy owning it 70s California style. Be warned of his relentless curiosity, youthful determination and midlife eccentricity.
Mark Baker is the closest living human to a wolf loving, pulp fiction character you will ever share a papaya juice with.
Will the real Mark Baker please stand up!
Wildchild, circus performer, pro skater, convict, waiter, gangsta debt collector, nitelife godfather, juice purveyor and now a wolf whispering farmer who parties lol
You ran away & joined a circus at 9 years old?
It sounds glamorous but honestly it was quite sinister and not always a healthy environment for a 9 year old boy on his own. Chipperfields circus came to my hometown, Brighton (England) and when they left I went with. I did the whole “run away with a circus” thing. I dressed as a clown, I donned a gorilla suit and was strapped to the roof of a billboard van that drove round the towns blaring music and handing out fliers. lol My first foray in marketing. Other times I was taking care of the animals – lion cubs, elephants and horses. Apart from the wonderful international artists and their families, the circus attracts a lot of villainous types who are on the run and want to be anonymous. Needless to say I saw and experienced both incredible and terrible things..
Still a fan of the circus?
These days I’m into animal welfare and would be helping the animals escape !! In the old days we didn’t know better. In 2018 there is no place for the lions, tigers and other animals in a circus. My friend Guy La Liberte has shown a new way of circus when he created Cirque du Soleil.
What was your circus life lesson?
Hahaha, be aware of pervy old men! Mainly, everyday, can and should be an adventure with travel and new experiences. Life is to be lived, I refuse to just exist. My dad and his brother both died young. I promised myself to live every minute and never accept the norm.
The Zephyr Competition Team was a group of skateboarders in the mid-1970s from Dogtown Santa Monica and Venice, California. The aerial and sliding skate moves that the Z-Boys invented were the basis for aerial skateboarding today. They were every kids wet dream back in the day.
How does a nipper from Brighton get his first skateboard?
I was washing cars door to door and saved up to buy my first red plastic board. It was 1975 and I’d just been ‘removed’ from my school.
Give us the Dogtown lowdown?
We were in Brighton and the skate craze hit us big. We used to look at the magazines and dream of The Dogtown Boyz and the California dream lifestyle. We emulated them. They were the bad boys of skateboarding. Finally when Tony Alva (founding member) came to England on tour, his manager asked me to join them. We toured and terrorized the country. When Tony went back to Cali I went with him. It was incredible, I was 15 and had managed to break out of a potentially disastrous life on the streets of Brighton. I would have certainly ended up in prison. I, like many street kids, took all that energy and channeled it into something positive. Being a competitive guy I skated and trained and did crazier shit than anyone else -hence the name “Mad’ Mark Baker.
Perfect skating bowl?
Ahh kidney pool , great transitions , 14-15 ft deep with 3 feet of vertical and concrete coping to smash and grind !!
If Dogtown Boyz was being made into another movie, who plays you? In fact there was a movie in play about that era and my later life in New York, written by Jay McInerney (American novelist). Then Vin Diesel (pre actor fame) ended up finishing writing the script. Vin was a doorman at Tunnel Club way back. I will bite my tongue over the whole deal. Needless to say it never made it to production…they should have stuck with Jay……anyhoo…..Brad Pitt was in talks to play my character. I like him he’s pretty diverse, good guy bad guy.
Did fame make you an arsehole?
Noooo.. I mean I can and have been a dick at times, but I’ve always made time for kids and little old ladies LOL. One thing my mother did teach me was to be a gentleman, especially to girls. Maybe thats why I have so many girl “friends”. I never flake out and always deliver if needed. I like to think I’m a solid guy who gives a lot.
You have been called the NY Don of nightclubs? Wtf?
Being, and maintaining being a leader of nitelife in a city like New York, obviously can be a rough and tough life. It’s not all kiss kiss and ferraris. There were fights, shootings, stabbings, the mob, broken relationships, dodgy partners and keeping the energy going to work 20 hours a day when your exhausted and just want to sleep. It’s supremely challenging. Combined with booze n drugs and all the madness I lived through, my life lesson learnt from NY is don’t do drugs!
Did you ever think death was inevitable?
Yes absolutely! I’ve had many near death experiences, being shot, pistol whipped, stabbed , run ins with the mafia and much more. The heart can only take so much abuse. I always thought I’d die of a heart attack and thank the heavens I got out when I did.
Do you still love a good night out?
Honestly I don’t do nights much anymore. I am up at 5am to oversee my restaurants and juice business so am exhausted and tucked in by 9pm. (In case you didn’t pick up readers we are now in Bali) Bali has become a ‘day party’ Mecca and of course I am involved promoting one of Bali’s best venues OMNIA ! So that keeps me out of bed. In the old days in NYC we used to hit 10-15 venues a night. The clubs were crazy fun and full of all different types of people. It was totally unpredictable and always an adventure till dawn and beyond. I suppose these days it has all become a bit monotonous and predictable. Daytime DJ sessions have become the new night life.
Why did you skip from NY to Bali?
I knew it was time. I had got sober from all the bad stuff and New York has an expiration date. I had done everything I’d dreamed of – twice. It was time for the next chapter and in my heart I’ve always known Bali would be my next home.. it’s my happy place.
What is In the RAW?
As I was trying to transition to a healthier life in NYC I was approached by a friend who was starting a cold pressed juice business. I was asked to join and do the marketing. Well we started with a small place on the Lower East side. I got all my celeb and supermodel friends on the juice and it blew up.! Within 3 years it became a 100 million dollar business with 80+ stores and growing. When I moved to Bali I started a juice brand in Seminyak. Wrong timing. Juicing was in its infancy here then, so I waited and relaunched In the Raw 2 years ago. Thankfully everyone now sees the benefits of including juice in a daily diet. I get hundreds of vistors to my juice bar, restaurant Beachgarden-In the Raw. Its finally become a culinary destination.
THE REAL ME
If you were a piece of fruit which one would you be
Hahaha a passion fruit…..or a banana.
Is Kombucha a phase or a lifestyle?
In between…kristal dairy free probiotic kefirs are the new rage
Calvins or commando?
Have you ever been in love? Do you want to be.
Aahh yes..very much so with 2 women in particular. I am a romantic but my lifestyle has ruined all my relationships and one marriage. I totally get why they didn’t last in fact I helped them pack! I am friends with all my exes and talk to them regularly. I’m hoping one day I will meet someone now I’m calmer and have a less stressful lifestyle x
What would you tell your 25 year old self?
Don’t do drugs. The rest I’m proud of and have no regrets.
Have you ever had an interlude with a higher force?
Yes in Tibet once and also a near death motorcycle crash put me in a NY hospital .. that is too long a conversation..
Name 3 things you would take to a desert island?
My wolf, my cat and a sarong.
Name 3 things you hate?
Cheap people, mean people and animal abusers.
Name 3 things you love about Bali?
Dawn, peoples smiles, sambal.
What will your headstone read?
Nothing as I will be cremated. If I did it would reference my thirst for life. I hope that I was a kind man who had a positive affect on everyone I met.
Name your superpower?
My willpower and sheer determination. No and Can’t are not an option.
Photoshoot location Pretty Poison
📷 Sasha Navetnaya