I remember it so vividly: It was Christmas in 1998. I was 14 years old. My parents, sister, and myself were in Georgia visiting family for the holiday. Earlier in the the year I has asked my mom for a skateboard. I attribute this to the Tony Hawk video game coming out and me playing that thing to death. I guess I figured if I loved the game that much then the real thing would have to be just a great. Christmas morning, get to opening presents. I couldn’t name anything else that happened that except for my dad saying “hey, look under the couch” and me finding a brand new Element Skateboards complete. I ran outside right away and began pushing around the driveway and street. I had no idea what I was doing on the thing, and on top of that it was probably 30 degrees outside, but I stayed outside for an hour or so until I couldn’t feel my fingers. Once I finally got back to Miami I had my sisters friend Milo show me how to Ollie. First attempt I fell flat on my stomach and knocked the air right out of me. Fantastic.
Over time I got a little bit better. I met people who enjoyed it as much as I did and had friends to go skate with during the summer or after school. I went over to my friend Jose’s house one day after school and he played for me the skate video The Storm from Osiris. I remember watching the whole thing, and my immediate thought afterwards “Holy Shit. Let’s go skate right now.” My second though was that I hadn’t heard anything like it either. Up until this point I would listen mainly to what my sister listened to, or the radio. The moment I heard Busta Rhymes “Extinction Level Event” I knew I had to have that song some how. From there I went on to watch other videos and find other bands I had no idea about. Jets to Brazil, The International Noise Conspiracy, The Album Leaf, The Avalanches, Built to Spill, Sunny Day Real Estate, The Enkindels, Reflection Eternal, Sizzla. Hell, even bands I was familiar with like Iggy Pop, The Offspring, and Iron Maiden were seen in a new light when paired with someone completely ripping to the music. Reading magazines and watching internviews in 411 VM, I discovered he symbiotic relationship between skateboarding and music. Certain bands make skate music, or even just rebellious music for people to enjoy in their own way. Skaters go out an create in their own specific manner as well, whether in vert, tech, or gnar fashion. It became apparent to me that wherever there was skateboarding there was music, and wherever there was either of these things you would find people expressing themselves creatively, passionately, and hopefully just for the love of doing it.
This week’s Five for Friday are skate video parts from video’s I owned/watched in my youth. I gave myself some guidelines for picking the parts:
-I had to have owned the video, or at least seen the whole thing.
– I can’t pick a part based on the music or skateboarding alone. It has to be a combination of both. Danny Gonzalez’s part in The Reason is amazing, but the music is lackluster to me. Alternatively, Heath Kirchart’s part in Sight Unseen uses The Moody Blues “Knights in White Satin”, which I love but I don’t think fits in with the part.
I present the Five for Friday
Mike V-Black Label’s “Label Kills”
Song: Rollins Band-Hotter and Hotter
Mike V.s part isn’t the most technical, or or most gnar, or doesn’t even have the most tricks. But when he skates you sense a furious drive behind each kick, a person intent on destroying whatever is in his path. Henry Rollins singing feels like it’s pushing him on, at other times like it just might get left behind. Vicious and fast, Mike V. is amazing.
Cairo Foster-Transworld Skateboarding “The Reason”
Song: Built to Spill-Carry the Zero
The Reason came out at a time that video’s were transitioning from being the gnarliest, grainiest things you’ve seen to more of Skateboarding meets Art. I think that’s the perfect way to describe Cairo’s style too. The part impressed me when I first saw it mainly because of the amount of switch tricks he goes for. Secondly, I had never heard of Built to Spill, and I felt like their laid back sound match the editing and style perfectly. Such a great thing to watch.
Marc Johnson- Girl Skateboards “Yeah Right!”
Song: Joy Division-Love will tear us apart
I’ve always seen Girl Skateboards, and their sister company Chocolate Skateboards, as sort of the dynasty team of skateboarding. Always sponsor great riders, seem ageless, the cool kids everyone wants to hang out with. On top of that Marc Johnson is a smooth son of a bitch. His skating seems so effortless and buttery smooth that I can watch him do nothing but pop ollies all day. Then you have Joy Division’s Love will tear us apart, which is a phenomenal, albeit sad, song. It’s almost as if Marc is having a farewell romp with something that he loves so much before saying good bye (which is a lie cause he went on to become skateboarder of the year a few years later and still rips till this day).
Nate Jones-Real Skateboards “Real to Reel”
Song-Gil Scott Heron “Gun”
Nate Jones is another smooth dude, and match that with Gil Scott Heron who one of the smoothest….damn, just too good. Nate has this great flow to his skating that it feels like he board is urging him to keep moving, which is helped along by the flowing streets of San Francisco. Gil has this same style where you want the music to never end. It felt as if the song and the part were made for each other.
Kenny Anderson-Adio Footwear “One Step Beyond”
Song: Mr. Scruff “Get a move on”
Kenny Anderson’s part is a standout from what is otherwise an average skate film. He has great style, seems like he’s having a fantastic time, and makes it look effortless. Mr. Scruff’s “Get a move one” has this great beat and bounce to it that seems to match Kenny’s personality. This part also get’s bonus points for a lot of spots in Miami (That opening line he does with the step down nose slide and the back bluntslide…yeah, that’s at University of Miami, near my mom’s old office. I’m VERY familiar with those pads).
This is just scratching the surface of the skateboarding and music collaboration. Expect another post similar to this in the future. But for now, do you have a favorite past time/activity that you feel is only heightened by music? Let us know!