It’s easy to wish you were somewhere that you never were and engage in some fake nostalgia, conveniently ironing out the fact we’d probably be total victims, but late 1970s New York always looks like a culturally fertile place to be. The downside being that it was probably terrifying. After getting turned away from some fabled nightclub for being aesthetically displeasing, there’d be a kicking when you tried to hop on the hip-hop scene early in boroughs that didn’t want your culture tourism. Factor in a stifling heat wave, a blackout and the risk of David Berkowitz shooting you in the head, and it’s probably better left to the residents who were built for that shit. The Kino Library just upped some 1977 NYC footage from that summer that I’m sure I’ve seen extracts of in a variety of documentaries. Seeing as it’s silent, I recommend supplying your own soundtrack: Jimmy Sabater’s This Is Love, Rufus and Chaka Khan’s At Midnight, Richard Hell and the Voidoids’ Blank Generation or anything off Destroyer by Kiss might work well. Continue reading SUPPLY YOUR OWN SOUNDTRACK
The internet just keeps spitting out gems. Kyle Lilly upped another chunk of NYC public access show Video Explosion’s coverage of a 1996 Vibe Magazine and Def Jam party. With DJ Finesse chatting with Mic Geronimo, Charles Oakley and the mighty DJ Red Alert (wearing this incredible Odd Squad promo t-shirt for a night out), plus (a grainy) umlaut-era Jaÿ-Z with Mary and Foxy live on stage (where did I leave my Nutty Professor cassette?), it captures a transitional point for hip-hop. Half a year later, Jay would command a very different status in the city.
Thanks to an insatiable appetite for content online (and a lot of curious writers) there’s a lot of deep histories on some brands that had been barely mentioned online in recent years. Slowly — and whether a more image and video inclined audience have any interest in reading it — the lesser-discussed foundations of an industry are being given the treatment they deserve. I wondered what exactly happened to the R.A.P brand — which made plenty of appearances in British style magazines before it folded in 1996 — that was founded by Moroccan-born London resident Hassan Hajjaj and began as a shop on Neal Street in Covent Garden in 1983 before spawning its own apparel line. Continue reading HISTORY OF R.A.P
If Harley Flanagan’s recent memoir (which, by the way, is an excellent read) whetted your appetite for further tales of fighting with found weaponry, godawful living conditions and a decidedly un-gentrified Lower East Side, then the news that Roger Miret’s book My Riot: Agnostic Front, Grit, Guts & Glory is set to arrive via Lesser Gods next August will cheer you up. Given that Miret’s story starts in Castro’s Cuba before the New York experiences, it’s the stuff of movies. In fact, the Kickstarter funded Agnostic Front documentary The Godfathers of Hardcore should be out around the same time as Miret’s autobiography. I’m addicted to these things — unlike those atrocious footy top boy and gobby UK gangster memoirs, NYHC books are anecdote after anecdote of confrontations and tear ups with a bit of heart behind them. As a bonus, Miret also seems to have obtained a foreword by no less than Phil Anselmo too.
I meant to up this here yesterday, but the gloom of being too slow and old with the keyboard to buy the Zoom Spiridon when it rereleased the other day dampened my spirit. Going forward, I might post more shoe-nerd bits here in this vein, though the cult of reposting and my own laziness might stop me doing that.
There’s something about the Zoom Spiridon that two solid reissues hasn’t dampened.
Released in 1997, promoted by Michael Johnson, and named after Greek runner Spyridon Louis — winner of the first modern-day Olympic marathon in 1896 — it’s a lightweight training model and a fan favourite from a golden age of design. It wasn’t the first Nike shoe to carry that name either — around 1984, there was a gold swoosh racing shoe called the Spiridon in the line that was followed by the Spiridon Gold a few years later. Continue reading SPIRIDON-DADA: A TRIBUTE TO A CULT CLASSIC
Seeing as it’s 30 years today since My Adidas was released, and the anniversary of Raising Hell was a couple of weeks ago, my friends at MR. PORTER took my mind off pondering my old age (and subsequently, ruminating on my mortality) to write a quick homage to the Run-D.M.C. adidas deal. Continue reading WHAT ‘MY ADIDAS’ DID FOR US
When I was growing up, Milton Keynes seemed like a futuristic wonderland. Nowadays, it doesn’t, but back then there always seemed to be an exoticism to that modern, straight-lined architecture and grid structure. In the very early 1990s, I saw plenty of big trousered skaters there practising their flip tricks on benches and ledges. Continue reading MK DON-DADAS