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Tag Archives: Skateboard

I was once, a long time ago, one of them there skateboarders. Not a very good one mind, but a passionate, proud one. I would spend all my pocket money and early wages on new gear, magazines, cassettes (for our younger viewers they are mp3s on a roll of tape) and trips on a 365 bus to the infamous concrete shitpit known as Rom Skatepark.

DOWNLOAD: Cargo Cult – Cargo Cult

DOWNLOAD: Skoundrelz – Exterminator

DOWNLOAD: Scram – Fear

DOWNLOAD: McRAD – Tomorrow’s Headlines

DOWNLOAD: Steve Caballero – You Will Go

[more tracks at end]

I would skate all day, with no money for lunch or a bus home (45minute skate home) and never be happier.

This was back in the days of Thatcher the Milksnatcher, an era of recessions and enormous pressure on young working class families like mine. There were riots happening in numerous cities and sectors of Britain. Black youths fed up of racism and police brutality & persecution, Miners striking, seeing their industry destroyed and clashing with the police on  daily basis, Anti-War protesters, Poll Tax riots etc.

And a host of marches and protests about public sector sell offs, NHS dismantling, Incapacity Benefits and the like. Times were bleak.

With the “adults” all going mental there was a huge section of the day’s youth, also disillusioned, with no idea where to look for guidance and inspiration. Many of us found it in Skateboarding.

It was like a big family of good cunts with a “Fuck you I wont do what you tell me” attitude. The rules were simple, do whatever the fuck you want, but not at others’ expense. If someone doesn’t like that, fuck em. You could wear what you wanted, as long as it wasn’t what the plebby non-skaters wore. And the soundtrack to it all was passed around the skatepark and copied on state of the art “Tape to Tape” midi hi-fis.

The mags and fanzines were littered with anarchic rhetoric, the brands were all heavily anti-corporate and the skaters did it ‘for the love’ (mainly because thats all they could do it for anyway at that stage).  Rainy days and evenings in were spent watching skate videos (for our younger viewers they are mp4s on a roll of tape) and listening to some genuinely creative DIY lo-fi music. The sounds were varied and followed the skaters rules of “do what you like” & “FUCK YOU”, an ethos that threw up some brilliant music.

Many of the skaters we worshipped were even IN the bands. Steve Caballero made a decent fist of a Cure-esque post punk artist while Tony Alva’s Skoundrelz were a more than decent band. The reviews section of RAD Mag and Thrasher were scoured every month and the local independent record shops started ordering stuff in for us especially. Much of the music from that era still sounds fresh today. Genuine angst & rebellion rarely dates. Good times.

Fast forward 20 years and the “sport” has changed almost beyond recognition. We were so anti High Street & mainstream culture when I was faceplanting concrete that anyone wearing Adidas or Nike would have been target number one in Rom. The corporations were the enemy. Nowadays the kids are all chasing the latest shiny wanky Nike shoes all over the interweb and skaters are signing for non skate brands who want in for “cool” points.

Like most things in life, money took hold at some point and turned it to shit.

Not often I’m glad to be as old as I am. But to have been around back then is something I’ll always be grateful for. RAD days.

DOWNLOAD: Free Beer – Start The Ark

DOWNLOAD: Accused – Take No Prisoners

DOWNLOAD: Dehumanizers – Halfpipe

DOWNLOAD: Stupids – Built To Grind

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