In 1990, something amazing happened. H-Street released arguably one of the most influential skate videos of all time: Hokus Pokus features skaters with the likes of Ron Allen, Matt Hensley, Danny Way, Sal Barbier, Brian Lotti, Chris Livingston, John Sonner, Tony Magnusson, Eddie Elguera, Colby Carter, Kien Lieu, Alfonzo Rawls and more.. An amazing cast of street skaters to say the least. But it’s 1990. Street skating is really still in its infancy, and regardless of what you may think of the Powell-Peralta Bones Brigade machine (which was amazingly influential, make no mistake) this video (along with G&S Footage) was what I literally watched every night. I wore out the VHS tape, actually. This post is not about that video, though. I don’t think I could do that piece of skate history enough justice, it really shaped a lot of what I was and am, really. A giagantic part of that was that skating, but an equally large part of the influence that video has on my 15 year old self was the soundtrack. In a day when mix tapes were about the only way I could get decent music (usually from Sean Holland, now of Neutral Accents ‘zine), since I had very little money and always needed new skate decks, obtaining the music from the video was more or less impossible in a Central IL corn town. No internet, very limited record stores and no money made sure of that.
Recently I started thinking about it again, this time of year always reminds me of the first few years of skating when winter seemed to be dragging on forever and I was reduced to skating in my parents garage in a jacket and watching videos obsessively.
I decided to do some internet sleuthing and found a little on both of the bands I was thinking of. Sub Society was pretty easy to track down. San Diego high school garage band with a hard to classify sound. My buddy Sean said it best: “I guess the only way to put it is they were definitely a great band for skateboarding vids”, and he’s totally right. Great sound, catchy, kinda rough and yet kinda refined. Great lyrics. They offer all of their music free from their site, very cool, I would have paid money for it for sure. They should put it upon iTunes and get some cash, old skaters like me would certainly buy it.
Kirk and the Jerks. They were a little harder to find any info on other than a facebook page. Amazing sound that captures youth perfectly. I looked everywhere to buy some of their songs to no avail. There are a few obscure resources for getting their album if you look hard enough, but I’d love to float these guys the cash for their full album. Hell, I’d like to buy a shirt, too.
Even though it was a few years later, this music and video always reminds me of the time Matt Hensley kicked me out of the Chicago Sessions skate shop for being a little shit when he worked there. I totally deserved it.
These two bands and that video helped to shape a generation of skaters. Well done.
Featured H-Street image via Skately.