Life After BMX: Liam Fahy-Hampton

Liam Fahy-Hampton. Photo: Gascoine

Liam Fahy-Hampton. Where do I start.

Let’s go back to a time where Focalpoint was still a black and white, photocopied and stapled together ‘zine. I’d seen bits of pieces of Liam in FP coverage, but not that much. Then his interview in Rebelyell dropped, which was kinda amazing really. There’s this dude rocking a Shitluck t-shirt riding chainless doing some really wild stuff. To this day I remember the photo captioned ‘fakie railride’, and I just couldn’t comprehend it.

When his part for the infamous and ill-fated Run at me Slut dropped a month after the mag, I began to comprehend. There were clips from his interview, plus a whole swag of new stuff. Some bits freecoaster, other bits chainless. This was right at the start of the ‘web edit’ era for BMX, and the whole chainless thing stirred a bit of controversy on forums and blogs worldwide. But he got noticed.

Following from that, Liam got hooked up by a couple of different brands and before you know it, kids all around Australia are messing around with riding chainless. And love it or hate it, he was a pioneer of the low slung frame.

For the next few years, Liam continued on a pretty serious progression curve. Dude even scored a cover for Ride US. Only a small handful of Aussies can claim that kind of recognition on the world stage.

Then one fateful day in 2010, Colony released a press release stating that Liam and Colony had gone their own way. After that, Liam popped up in a couple of edits here and there, gracefully exiting the BMX scene.

So what happened? Where is the dude now? We had a chat late last week, and along with the help of Nick Gascoine, we dug into the photo archives to get at some old gems. I even found my copy of Liam’s Run at me Slut part, it’s in there too. If you haven’t seen it, you gotta see it…

Fence Gap. Photo: Raine Turnbull

I guess to start this off… When did you start riding? When did it progress to something more serious?

Umm ok… I was a latecomer to BMX. I started around 99… I think? Weston Creek skatepark got built down the road, so that fast became my new hang out. As for progressing… I think it was a combination of watching videos, watching all the pre-backbone crew kill it, as well as having Dan and Nick Gascoine pushing me… if only for good media, it worked nonetheless.

Dan and Nick Gascoine. That reminds me of my first memory of Liam Fahy Hampton – seeing you in a mag. I think it was for a Rebelyell interview? Chainless and that fakie railride. Mind blowing. What point were you at then? And was it even Nick that shot that interview or is my mind playing tricks…

Yeah that point in my life defiantly epitomises what BMX was, is and can be. Solid crews, with a level of respect and admiration for one another that formed the infrastructure for some of Australia’s biggest names… not just riders but brands, shops, filmers and photographers.

Keep in mind, the net wasn’t being used as a platform yet. If you wanted to get known, you had to make waves.

Oh and yeah, Nick shot the interview. (Laughter)

I think around that time, there was Run at Me Slut too. Chainless tailwhips both ways. When do you think you began to fall out of love with BMX?

(Laughter) Cheers, I guess. Ummmm I guess I started to lose interest when the injuries started piling up… As lame as that is for an answer, it’s the truth.

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