When I was twelve years old I started skateboarding. My fifteen year old sister started dating skater guys and I wanted to be just like them. I quickly absorbed myself in skate culture. I watched videos, had my mom buy me the baggy clothes and gear and most importantly I started listening to skate music. The music found in skate videos of the time, to be precise. This music has had a long term effect on my tastes and a lot of these bands have remained in my constant rotation of music I enjoy. Bands I would otherwise have never been exposed to if it weren’t for skate videos of the 90’s. New Deal introduced me to The Odd Numbers, a San Jose mod/pop/punk band who always sounded like a retro band ahead of their time.
After breaking off from Powell, Tony Hawk formed Birdhouse Projects and introduced me to Pixies, Fluf and New Model Army. What other “mainstream” arena would you find any of that music?
The 90’s also introduced me to some great hip hop. I would watch Yo! MTV Raps on the weekends, so I had an appreciation for some of the bigger acts, like Public Enemy and NWA, but the skate company Planet Earth used a few songs by SWAT. Ever heard them? Probably not. The World Industries faction released so many videos with a random array of genres and styles of music.
Feasters – Birdhouse Projects (1992) – This kicked off my love affair with Pixies. I still listen to those first 5 albums all the time. One of my favorite bands – then they became too big for themselves in the head of Frank Blank. What a shame.
Falling Down – 101 (1993) – Gang Starr. Skateboarding and Yo! MTV Raps introduced me hip hop. I was never a fan of gangster rap, so Gang Starr is as tough as I get. Premiere’s jazzy loops and effects under Guru’s voice make Gang Starr stand head and shoulders above the rest.
From 1990 – 1998 I was all about skateboarding. I wanted to get sponsored, but living in the suburbs of Chicago (and not Los Angeles) made that a difficult task. Being not that good didn’t help either, but I tried. I met a lot of friends through skateboarding. We would take trips to different spots/parks/states just to skate, fall, get up and try again. It was a constant.
I’m an old man now and I officially live in Los Angeles. I’ve given up the dream of being a sponsored skateboarder, but I still try to get out to the local spots and parks and ride for fun. I’ve still got a few tricks in me. Sometimes my muscle memory kicks in and I think I can still do the same tricks I used to, however my body usually disagrees. Growing up is weird.
I compiled clips of old skate videos I made with friends back in the day, as well as some more recent clips. So here’s another important video part, including a song and band I love dearly:
Thank You Skateboarding (1993 – 2020) / Beauty Pill