He was well known for his relaxed style of street skateboarding and his Bones Brigade footage … His father Frank and mother Nancy became active in promoting skateboard events to support Tony's interest in skating and encouraged him to follow his heart, instead of forcing him to pursue more traditional sports. In 2000, Rodney Mullen founded and designed Tensor Trucks. Naw, naw, naw—it’s our story. I think we helped create that. Aside from the original Bones Brigade members - Tony Hawk, Lance Mountain, Tommy Guerrero, Steve Caballero and Rodney Mullen - Powell Peralta gave birth to the careers of Ray Barbee, Frankie Hill, Guy Mariano, Rudy Johnson, Gabriel Rodriguez, Danny Way and Colin McKay. This film doesn’t say that other people or companies weren’t contributing or doing innovative things but they didn’t tell the story as well as Powell Peralta. The main guys in the Brigade have moved on and had great lives after the Powell Peralta broke up, but there was something about that time that was special to skateboarding. Seriously. Although freestyle was not a widely popular skating style, his incredible creativity and contest prowess demanded that he have his own pro freestyle deck. I was too close to the material and quite a few times during post-production I told Josh, "I don’t really know what to do with this part of the film—you have to take over here. Skateboarding history hasn’t always been available because the coverage, the articles written, were being done to market a brand. He was no longer the chaperone taking the kids on skateboarding field trips. QUESTION: What were you thoughts upon hearing that the BONES BRIGADE: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY was going to be made? I had a sense of it during the interview, but I had no idea how deep everyone else would go. But, if it hadn’t ended, each of us would never have gotten to the places where we are now. He didn't have a lot of drama in his career, same with McGill. Did you schedule the interviews in a certain order or just let the skaters dictate when they were available? The bottom line is that we want to approach this as a group with a common goal. Photo courtesy Stacy Peralta. Basically, if you wanted one you had to build it yourself. A month had past and it was enough time for an interview to come out and it raised flags [about the film] that were very much beyond Stacy's control. So the camaraderie you guys shared 25 years ago while in the Brigade came full circle. Rodney's flatland ollie was years ahead of the industry and sport, and so he proceeded to just use this new lever to move the entire skate world into the third dimension. TH: I think it’ll help enlighten kids nowadays as to what their roots are. It didn’t need to end that way. We were all very selective about who was to be let in and it didn't matter if they were articulate, it was a question of does this guy feel right? Most of the skating footage was shot on videotape and you emphasize that medium's inherent defects rather than treating them as problems. Powell became interested in skateboards through his son and began tinkering with homemade designs. She figured that if anyone had any issues with me as the filmmaker or the guys making their own film in a sense, then telling them upfront should set it straight. This is not to say that I didn’t feel the Bones Brigade was a viable history and potential good story. You were the last of the Brigade to commit to this film. At the end of the first day, the crew was absolutely stunned by what they'd heard. We weren’t enemieswe were the top competitors who, by default, were pitted against each other in the eyes of the public. "Stacy had just introduced the Bones Brigade concept," George says, "we had really high-quality wheels and decks and then the market just died. I called Tony to basically tell him that I was going to pull out of the documentary. I voiced these concerns upfront and Stacy gave a long pause, not because he needed to deliberate but to give these concerns their space. Language. Lance joined the Bones Brigade in 1984, and was the only Brigade member to have come from another team (Variflex) as an established ... Mike McGill. And he made sure of that throughout. This film is important for skateboarding because history can change what’s going on now. I’ve spent the last two days trying to get a new trick on video and I’m going to go out next week and do the same exact thing until I get it. One of the reasons that this movie could even happen is because Tony Hawk, Rodney Mullen, Steve Caballero and myself were the first skaters ever to have product on the market from the beginning of the ’80s and we never left. When he went to competitions, he would drop these new tricks, obliterating his competition. It was the same back in the 1980s. Videos became a must for any company trying to make a name in an expanding industry, and the Bones Brigade were the pioneers. Bones Brigade: An Autobiography documents the lives of the original Bones Brigade crew that included Tommy Guerrero, Tony Hawk, Lance Mountain, Mike McGill, Steve Caballero and Rodney Mullen. LM: Yeah, because in some sense the chapter was never finished. Only six copies of the deck … It wasn't until we began shooting that I realized we had something very unique and I could not make the film alone. Grant Brittain back in 1986. Powell-Peralta Classic / Re-issue skateboard decks are close reproductions of 1980’s old school skateboard decks, featuring the original graphics, shape and concaves. The Bones Brigade Video Show was the first skateboard video and it instantly rearranged skate media priorities. TH: I was happy to explain it after having lived through it. SP: They feel that as a unit, they had an experience in skateboarding that nobody else had during that decade. When six teenage boys came together as a skateboarding team in the 1980s, they reinvented not only their chosen sport but themselves too - as they evolved from insecure outsiders to the most influential athletes in the field. RM: That's right. It needed to have an accessible terrain and to be not so advanced in skill level that it would deter those new to skateboarding. Mike McGill grew up in Florida, and journeyed to California in 1978 with his buddy Alan Gelfand, who was sponsored by Powell-Peralta. Members: Andrew Jackmauh, Charlton Hessian, Mullet, Phil Harwood. They built a ramp on stage and we explained that the ramp wasn’t solid enough. The Brigade went through a lot of strange times together, did that create a unique bond between you guys? He was very helpful in giving me the confidence to tell this story. As he progressed, he became completely obsessed with skating, and developed a ground breaking string of new freestyle oriented tricks, completely by himself. Tony just said, "Look, I'm in and the story needs to be told with you … maybe Lance could speak for you or I could speak for you, but we need you." Not one of the participants on their own can overshadow the others and take whole credit for this being a thing of value. And it wasn't just one or two innovations—they invented books of maneuvers. The street style revolution created opportunities for many smaller companies to focus on this new skate paradigm. Caballero then tells the story of a re-created Powell-Peralta Bones Brigade deck, based off an original that he had in 1980. Skateboarding has developed so much that it’s probably not possible, so I think that story is good for skateboarding as a whole. They were very successful in competitions around that time. SP: I purposely scheduled the secondary interviewees towards the end of the week and the primary characters up front. Stacy had held together skateboarding's most successful team for a decade—dog years in skateboard terms. Tommy's pro model became widely popular as street skating took off, displacing vert skating altogether in the late 80s. I wasn’t emotionally tied to it so it was pretty easy. During the 1980s, the guys and I shared moments of high elation and triumph together. That’s the story: teamwork and perseverance. It makes a difference. Steve Caballero was picked after placing fifth in a contest. The McTwist was a ground-breaking maneuver which took skateboarding to new heights and became essential to winning vert contests in the mid 80s. Do you think this film shows cultural aspects that are difficult to convey to younger skaters? His day job revolved around the aerospace industry and he employed its high-tech approach to making aluminum skinned decks and the first double-radial wheels called "Bones" due to their rare white color. Flash forward to the year 2004 when Peralta was invited to dine with some of the original crew members, including Hawk, McGill, Mullen and Guerrero. Over the next nine years, Bones released eight more groundbreaking videos, including Future Primitive, The Search for Animal Chin and Ban This—all of which are must-have titles in every skateboarder’s visual canon. A handful of the Dogtown guys didn't get what they wanted out of their skate careers, but everyone in the Brigade got what they wanted. It's important to have that tonal mixture. They wanted to meet with me to talk about the possibility of a “Bones Brigade” documentary and if I would consider directing it. Now we have it on a piece of film that we can share. RM: Yes. Most of today’s top brands can be traced back to a member of the Bones Brigade. LANCE MOUNTAIN: When the Dogtown and Z Boys documentary came out, I remember asking Stacy, “What next? But in the early ‘70s, as more and more kids began to participate, and with the introduction of the urethane wheel, the skateboarding industry began to boom. CAB continues to skate, compete and win masters division skate contests around the world, to play music with his friends, and generate paintings for his art fans. SP: First thing I did was put the music soundtrack together. Glen Friedman was amazing—everybody in the film gave amazing interviews. Non-skaters who have seen the film tell me they relate to it for the same reasons. Tony Alva Steve Caballero Shepard Fairey Tommy Guerrero Ben Harper Tony Hawk Christian Hosoi Mike McGill Lance Mountain Rodney Mullen Stacy Peralta George Powell Ian MacKaye. Both Tony and Rodney invented an entirely new vocabulary of maneuvers in skateboarding. What was your reaction after seeing the first screening? Immediately, I was engaged with the feel of the movie and its authenticity. Stacy is very respected in the film world for a reason. A lot of people were asking me when were they going to do a documentary on the 1980s, the era when I became popular. Unlike BBVS's simple linear storyline and collection of tricks, Primitive marinated itself in skating subculture. If anything, it gave me a chance to skate more the way I always wanted to. The interviewees come in and feel that something special is going on. This board was initially released in 1984 and went through several iterations to become one of skateboarding's most iconic graphics. What were the origins of this doc? Check out the original Bones Brigade members Tony Hawk, Steve Caballero, Mike McGill and Lance Mountain rip the ramp again including new tricks they’ve never done together. The video was based on a day in the life of Lance Mountain and his skillful and comedic skating greatly increased his visibility and popularity after the video was released. Unhappy with the way the magazines covered the Brigade, Stacy and cohort Craig Stecyk III circumvented them with newfangled VCRs and created a new propaganda weapon. I understood why: The numbers of us who grew up idolizing Alva in the 1970s was in the hundreds of thousands but it was in the millions for the 1980s, so a lot more people were asking me about doing a film on the Bones Brigade. SP: Not really. The original Bones Brigade crew consisted of Alan Gelfand, Steve Caballero, Mike McGill, and Ray Rodriguez. You might be able to bring a documentarian who’ll make a technically better documentary, but they won’t capture the spirit or the feeling of what skateboarding about. At the first screening, when the Chin segment came on, I could hear Rodney and Tony almost throwing up from laughing so hard. Bones Brigade series 11! With Tony Alva, Steve Caballero, Fred Durst, Shepard Fairey. He took the flatland ollie pioneered by Rodney Mullen and extended it by ollieing over the obstacles that line its hilly streets, as he carved three dimensional lines down the streets of San Francisco. They thought that real story wasn’t interesting enough so they made some changes, made certain parts more accessible to non-skaters. There were lots of times I thought, I never knew that about this person. After leaving Powell Peralta, Stacy pursued his filmmaking aspirations, eventually writing feature film screenplays and becoming an award-winning director. Sensing this, Rodney left Powell-Peralta to co-found World Industries with Steve Rocco in 1990. “There were no shops, there were no contests, there were no magazines, there were no places where you could buy boards,” he says. I was in shock going through the old footage, especially with what Rodney and Tony were doing in the early '80s. I felt it was too risky—way too risky. As a teenager, Guerrero was one of the prominent members of the Bones Brigade, Powell Peralta's professional skateboarding team that was successful during the 1980s. This was the idea behind the Bones Brigade. Classic 80's Powell Peralta Tommy Guerrero Iron Gate NOS Original Never Mounted! “In a sense, it was time for us all to move on. SP: Ha! He hadn't rolled in years, but cashed in his books of blue chip stamps for two commercially produced skateboards. TH: I don’t think my success has changed my outlook on skating. "Skateboarding was considered as trivial as the pogo-stick," Stacy says. In 1986, Vernon Courtlandt Johnson (VCJ) illustrated a skeleton freestyling on a chessboard, twirling a crown in recognition of his amazing winning streak. We knew we were part of something special at the time, but I dont think we realized the resonance it would have and how formative it would be for people of the same age or interest levels. I really don’t know. Tags: steve-caballero; tony-hawk; mike-mcgill; lance-mountain; Rodney Mullen - Gracias LA … The Cast of the Bones Brigade - Bones Brigade: An Autobiography. The kids who wanted to keep doing it had to build backyard ramps and we decided to take skateboarding in our own hands and have professional contests in kids' backyards. Magazines, skateparks and shops began to pop up in increasing numbers. I know Stacy is one of the best documentarians and when you combine that with the fact that he was there the whole time, it’s obvious that he was the best choice. Tim Payne, who built the original Animal Chin ramp featured in the 1987 film, was brought in to build the replica. "I was a designer—I didn't know many skaters," George says. It has to do with emotion and feeling and art and passion … it’s just not facts. SP: As I put together the questions for each guy on the Brigade, I searched for the problems each of them may have faced during that time we were all together. But another person told me that they'll actually appreciate Chin even more. They've all told me that at different times. After seeing it, I think we all feel a bit more vulnerable and exposed as to what the days of the Bones Brigade meant to us. Even though youre spectacularly successful, do you still feel like that scrawny skate rat kid obsessed with something dismissed by most people? How has the experience been with the Brigade after the film? Somebody cracked open a bottle of wine or a six pack of beer and we said, ‘ok, what’s next,’” says Peralta. Even though I filmed this footage myself and was there to see these tricks being introduced, it was like seeing them for the first time. When I saw the other guys opening up and how it was woven together … I didn't question much at that first screening. All rights reserved. Skateboarding is theater. Not only because it provides a view into the careers of those now well- known skaters who got their jump by being Bones Brigade members, but also it gives insight into two of my favourite skaters of all-time, Rodney Mullen and Lance Mountain. Bones Brigade: An Autobiography documents the lives of the original Bones Brigade crew that included Tommy Guerrero, Tony Hawk, Lance Mountain, Mike McGill, Steve Caballero and Rodney Mullen. After the first screenings, Tony Hawk commented a few times on how unexpectedly personal the film was for him. I walked away because that specific interview wanted to praise and contextualize what we did in the past at the expense of what we're doing in the present in a very backhanded way. It’s been 30 years since the original members of the Bones Brigade—Tony Hawk, Steve Caballero, Lance Mountain, Mike McGill, Tommy Guerrero—gathered at the Chin Ramp. Stacy saw great determination and creativity in the young Hawk, however, and asked him to join the Bones Brigade in 1980, just as skateboarding was about to enter its first slump. And he kicked ass at it. What was the most unexpected aspect of directing this film? Lance expressed huge insecurities about measuring up to the other guys on the Brigade and his interview ended up being rich with great material. They also invited Christian Hosoi, Bucky Lasek, Kevin Staab, Tom Schaar, Lizzie Armanto, Clay Kreiner and Nicole Hause. Lance and I then snuck into the audience so we were spectators to our own "demo.". None of this would have happened if it weren’t for Peralta’s personal experience as an early pioneer of the sport. I was there when Tony got spat on. He still lives in the San Diego area, has 4 children, and runs his own skateboard company Birdhouse Skateboards. But once it hit in this bigger way, I was able to create a new path for myself where I could still skate actively, be progressive and be recognized without competing. Many TV shows have produced segments about your lifehow does this film differ from them? For his second pro model, the company decided to go with their popular skull and bones theme.

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