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.
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