Note: Obviously this was written before it was revealed that Saville was a manipulative nonce. There was that clip from a Nolan Sisters documentary that was a tad seedy at this point, a strange comment with Louis Theroux and some David Icke forum rumours about him getting up to no good at a Jersey childrens’ home. Plus those necrophilia rumours.
“I spend a lot of time in the stacks in the libraries, looking at these stacks of unreadable masterpieces that men devoted their lives to, standing on the shoulders of geniuses before them — Bertrand Russell, ‘Principia Mathematica’ and all these things — who will read those? How will they change society? How do they really factor into things? Me? I was able to contribute with a lot of tricks. Those tricks now have names and those tricks factor into what everybody else does. In a very meaningful way I have helped create a vocabulary by which this community communicates. I mean you’ll hear people chat and listen to how skaters talk and the words and expressions…things that we created, it’s our language, but it’s also physical and it helps define us as individuals and how we fit within that framework and it helps define our community itself. And so, when I look and think of the contribution of all these geniuses and the smell and the browning paper of these dusty books that no one will read I think I am so rich in that what I have done has meaning.”
Rodney Mullen, ‘Bones Brigade: An Autobiography’
I really enjoyed Stacy Peralta’s ‘Bones Brigade: An Autobiography’. I enjoyed it so much, that not even a Fred Durst appearance could curb my enthusiasm (in fact, his memories of ‘Thrasher’ previews for ‘Animal Chin’ made my forget about his rapping). Skate folk love gossip and trivia almost as much as hip-hop fans do, so there’s bound to be some people who’ll complain that Peralta’s film only skims a pivotal moment in time, but there’s a humanity to his portraits of Hawk, Caballero, Mullen, Mountain and McGill, with plenty of introspect, tales of crumbling under competition conditions and a lot of footage that should resonate with anybody who grew up in the 1980s. This one won’t make for a Hollywood adaptation a la ‘Lords of Dogtown’ but it’s a tale that must be told, covering the vert to street switch, two craze periods for skateboarding, a golden era of graphics and plenty more. 110 minutes felt a little skimpy toward the film’s climax, but deleted scenes on a DVD are more or less guaranteed. The highlights of the film are tales of CR Stecyk’s lunatic copywriting and creative concepts, Rodney Mullen’s sensitive, intricate recollections of self and family imposed pressures and Lance Mountain breaking down at the end under the false impression that he doesn’t deserve the success he attained.
There’s some interesting talk of the marketing of the Bones Brigade too, and it’s fascinating to see how these personalities came together to change the industry, but Mullen’s final summary (see his excellent TED talk for an expansion of this worldview) as quoted above should stick with viewers, even if they get lost mid Rodney’s trail-of-thought., It’s a joy to celebrate legends while they’re still living. If you want a semi-definitive skate history you’re going to have to set aside at least 10 hours and play ‘Dogtown & Z-Boys’, ‘Bones Brigade: An Autobiography’, ‘Rollin Through the Decades’, ‘Stoked’, ‘The Man Who Souled the World’ and ‘Deathbowl to Downtown’ in one sitting, This documentary is an era of neon icons thoughtfully distilled. Who thought the stars of the only non-porn VHS you paused and rewound until they had a permanent static mist would wind up getting this kind of glossy treatment 25 years later?
In all honesty, there still isn’t a skate documentary that can surpass the skateboarding dog in sunglasses at 1:48 into 1976’s ‘The Magic Rolling Board’ (kudos to eDboy1955 for uploading this 16mm transfer). Skate peaked right there.
Berlin just got a pop-up Stüssy store in association with the gents at Civilist accompanied by an exhibition of German photographer and streetwear don Konsti’s work in documenting the city’s close-knit Tribe back in 1989. For years these guys had to make do with tees and sweats listing other cities, but now there’s a Stüssy Berlin collection. About time too.
After a recent post about Nike Cram shoes and another regarding Jimmy Saville’s formidable footwear collection, the impending Jimmy Saville auction is riddled with deadstock rarities. OG Pegasus, Terra T/Cs, Le Coq runners, unworn Cram Windrunners and ZX 600s are all in the mix. Jim might be fixing a posthumous wish for some fanboys out there who rarely see these things on sale.
With all the unnecessary brouhaha about Frank Ocean swinging both ways (doubly baffling, because more than a few soul stars have been gay and a handful of hip-hop pioneers are gay too), it’s fun to see that MMG members have been liberally and obliviously using the word “poof” as the sound of a genie-style magic trick being executed as per the chorus to ‘Black Magic’ where Rick Ross ditches MC Hammer during a backseat brainstorm smokeout in favour of the equally satin suited Vegas magic legend David Copperfield. Everyone’s favourite goon turned lyrical monster Gunplay even added a hashtag to it. The song could be misinterpreted as a pink pound anthem,“Pooof! There go the car! Pooof! There go the crib! Pooof! A 100 mill! Whooo! David Copperfield!” If ‘Black Magic’ blows up and goons in clubs do magical fingers at every #poof, I want to see it.
2012 and 2013 is the year are the years of missing the point by remaking Paul Verhoeven films. The mock ‘Rekall’ ads in the States for ‘Total Recall’ are pretty poor and should have been briefs for real ad agencies if the quest was to go “viral” or get attention and now it’s official that ‘Robocop’ is being remade, thanks to this OmniCorp commercial. I’m glad Hollywood is going tits up. Without bodies used as shields, Michael Ironside, rapists being shot in the genitals and ED-209 turning an employee into tomato puree, a remake of Verhoeven’s work is pointless. I hate ‘Robocop 2’ but even the ads within that film were better than this teaser.
For no reason other than because I didn’t update this blog on Wednesday (blame German Wi-Fi). here’s a couple of Nike-related ads from years ago.