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Legends Series: Inside the Mind of David “Fishman” Rivera
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Legends: Inside the Mind of David “Fishman” Rivera

PASMAG: Who or what were your biggest inspirations?

FISHMAN: Mark Fukuda was ahead of his time. When I got to the IASCA finals, he had the stuff that caught my attention. He had this yellow Blazer with all this crazy motorization, all Rockford Fosgate, big old Rockford 1,000-watt amplifiers, big box with 18-inch woofers. This was the guy that I saw and said, ‘Wow! I want to be like this guy.’ He was the one guy I looked up to. His workmanship was so ahead of his time. We actually ended up becoming good friends.

Legends Fisherman Micky Slinger PASMAG 003

PASMAG: You’ve built cars for celebrities and many other noteworthy people. Is there someone that you haven’t built a car for that you’d want to?

FISHMAN: Simple: Michael Jordan. He was my biggest inspiration through all this. It’s something I’ve been working towards for 24 years. Back in 1984, his first front cover of Sports Illustrated says, ‘A Star Is Born’ and there’s Michael Jordan flying in the air. I didn’t know who he was and I’d never seen him play before. Something touched me with this guy as I was trying to learn about who he was. 

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He’s the guy who keeps me going. As hard as it’s been for me to stay in this industry and survive it, the one thing that keeps me going is knowing that someday I’ve got to build him something. I cannot quit until he knows how he inspired me to be the best. 

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PASMAG: What would you build for Michael Jordan?

FISHMAN: A golf cart. The ultimate, baddest golf cart on Earth. It would be beyond whatever he thought possible. First, I’d have to find out what he likes. What kind of cigars he smokes? What he does at the golf course? I don’t want to just build it without knowing what his preferences are. I want to give him something beyond anything he could ever even imagine. That’s why I built that one golf cart I did. I wanted to have something for when the day comes. I can show people what I’ve already done and the next one will be 1,000 times better.

Legends Fisherman Micky Slinger PASMAG 027

PASMAG: Do you have any advice for our readers who are just starting to get into car audio, or are looking to get involved in the industry? 

FISHMAN: Go to college! Go to college, man! But just be passionate about [whatever you do]. Simple and clean is better than big and gawdy and nasty. Less is more. Be passionate about it and be patient. Look at me, 24 years and I’m still learning. Every car that I do, I try to teach myself something new. I screw up, but most of my best ideas come out of screwing up. Never give up on an idea.

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PASMAG: What’s next for Fishman?

FISHMAN: Well, I’m working on a couple of TV shows. Talking to a couple producers right now. Most likely there’s a TV show that’s in development that I’ll start with, and I’ve got a couple producers who want to develop a show with me for the Spanish market. I don’t know exactly what the future holds, but something out there is waiting, that’s for sure. #pasmag

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