Living life on his own terms, Randy Ellis, on Episode 94. From tearing up trucks to building them, Randy is chasing sunshine in Mexico now on Simplify. Listen in as Big Rich and Randy share what it was like in the Phoenix desert when rockcrawling was still new.
Be sure to SUBSCRIBE to Conversations with Big Rich on your favorite Podcast Player
5:06 – vroom, vroom dad
14:04 – at 16, I started flipping cars
17:56 – If you boys are going to play, you got to learn how to fix ‘em
23:02 – I messed up so many things, but that’s how you learn
32:35 – you started out building your own everything
38:52 – we learned real quick to put on a show
46:23 – we started building parts for everybody
53:22 – the name of my baby girl is Simplify
We want to thank our sponsors Maxxis Tires and 4Low Magazine.
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[00:01:20.230] – Big Rich Klein
On today’s episode of Conversations with Big Rich, we have Randy Ellis. That’s right. Randy Ellis, the man, the myth, the legend. We are going to talk to Randy about his life in off road and what he’s doing nowadays. Randy, thank you for coming on board and sharing your history with us.
[00:01:42.670] – Randy Ellis
Right on. Rich. Thanks for having me on. It’s been a long time since we talked. This should be a lot of fun.
[00:01:49.970] – Big Rich Klein
Yeah. I will let everybody know that I did screw up this one. I was so excited to talk to Randy, I forgot to hit the record button. And we talked for probably ten minutes already. So a little bit of this I’ve already heard, but nobody else out there has heard it. So let’s start over again. And Randy, you did say that you were born in Tempe and grew up in that area. So let’s go from there.
[00:02:16.930] – Randy Ellis
Yeah. So I was born in Tempe, Arizona, which is basically Phoenix. It’s one big Metropolitan area and even much bigger now than it was back then. My parents moved me out to Gilbert when I was about five years old. And it was rural, mostly cotton fields and dairy cows and a lot of dirt. There’s only one street light. When I say streetlight, I mean like a red, green, yellow light. It hung from a wire back. One street, main street of Gilbert Road. But it’s a lot different nowadays.
[00:03:04.330] – Big Rich Klein
It sure is. It’s not rural so much anymore.
[00:03:09.530] – Randy Ellis
No, not at all.
[00:03:11.570] – Big Rich Klein
So when you were growing up there and being in a real rural area, you were able to play in the dirt a lot. And that started off with bicycles or what’d you start with well.
[00:03:27.100] – Randy Ellis
Probably like a lot of us in our age group, Tonka trucks.
[00:03:33.240] – Big Rich Klein
There you go.
[00:03:33.750] – Randy Ellis
I’m sure you remember those right? Oh, yeah.
[00:03:36.710] – Big Rich Klein
The metal ones. Not the plastic.
[00:03:39.350] – Randy Ellis
No, the metal ones where you could actually sit on them and I mean, you could beat the heck out of them, but scratch them up, and then I’d fix them up, put some paint on, make it a different color, make it pretty, and then go tear it up again.
[00:03:55.490] – Big Rich Klein
Excellent. And then from there?
[00:04:00.290] – Randy Ellis
Well, I moved on to BMX and bicycles and did a little freestyle with bicycles, and I raced BMX and, of course, three wheelers and dirt bikes. And I’m sure you grew up with some three wheelers in your time.
[00:04:19.760] – Big Rich Klein
Absolutely. I was more pavement. Yeah. I didn’t have a chance for a lot of dirt when I was a kid. I grew up south of San Francisco on the California. San Francisco Peninsula there. But it was a lot of pavement, bicycles and motorcycles and skateboards, that kind of thing, right? Yeah.
[00:04:47.300] – Randy Ellis
Well, I guess I was lucky to have a lot of dirt. Maybe it steered my ways.
[00:04:53.520] – Big Rich Klein
There you go. The bicycle/motorcycle/threewheeler. Is that what sparked your interest in off road?
[00:05:06.110] – Randy Ellis
Well, I really don’t know. When I was I’m talking, like super young, two or three years old. My dad had a Jeep and my mom used and he’d get up and go to work and drive that Jeep, and she said I would get up, and after I heard it started, it would wake me up and I’d be like, vroom vroom dad. So my dad actually think started me kind of with the four wheel drive thing. As soon as I was big enough to sit on his lap and hold on to the steering wheel, he was letting me try and steer the non power steering thing and told me to keep my thumbs and fingers out of the wheel and crawl around in granny gear. READ MORE