Dogtown and Z-Boys
DOGTOWN AND Z-BOYS KICKS ASS!!!
DOGTOWN AND Z-BOYS KICKS ASS!!! DOGTOWN AND Z-BOYS KICKS ASS!!!
my review. What else do you need?
When I first
saw the previews for Stacey Peralta's documentary of the rebirth
of skateboarding during the mid 1970's I knew it was something that
would interest me. When it finally appeared at the local "art"
theatre I was practically salivating.
And I wasn't
and Z-Boys" chronicles the lives of several teens growing up
during the seventies in a crappy section of Los Angeles's Orange
County. In an area devoid of state sponsored cultural activities,
they create their own with disciplines like graffiti, hot rod design,
surfing and finally "land surfing" or skateboarding. Skateboarding
becomes these kids’ primarily pursuit, and aside from hanging out
at Jeff Ho's Zephyr surf shop, they do little else. They challenge
each other to crazier and crazier acts. They hop park benches. They
drain pools to simulate the surfing experience of "catching
to, they create the vocabulary for the modern language of skateboarding.
Toward the middle
of the decade, skateboarding experiences a bit of a comeback. It's
popularized as a sport, but also as a culture, primarily through
Craig Stecyk's articles in SKATEBOARDER magazine. Now calling themselves
The Z-Boys, the team of skateboarders who frequented the Zephyr
surf shop (it should be noted the team contained one girl) take
their style to the 1975 Del Mar Skateboarding championships. And
then it all blows up.
who were skating for fun, for companionship are being handed product
sponsorships worth tens of thousands of dollars and are traveling
the globe. The Z-boys explode. In more ways then one. It's their
individual success that ends up destroying the team.
And that's part
of what made "Dogtown and Z-Boys" so fascinating to me:
It's about so much more that skateboarding. As a musician,
much of my teen hood was mired in arguments about what constituted
selling out. And there's no doubt that by the tenets of punk philosophy,
the Z-boys did sell out. They traded friendship for fame, camaraderie
for cash. They became rock stars.
And yet, can
you blame them? The Z-Boys were poor. The Z-Boys were young, subject
to all the temptations of that age. The Z-Boys were… kinda stupid.
And there's no denying that by pursuing the big time as they did,
the Z-boys profoundly influenced modern culture, creating a sport
and pastime that has affected and attracted millions of teenagers
since the seventies on. (Myself included, as I had a brief flirtation
with the sport - enough to get several scars I carry with me to
other aspect worth commenting on in relation to the film Dogtown
and Z-Boys: the aesthetic. The seventies were a funky looking period
and so much of where Skateboarding headed was determined by the
design of the public structures where young skateboarders skated
- The public schools, the bus stop benches, the parks. Part of what
drove the Z-Boys to skate pools was the experience of riding these
big tar gradients that lowered themselves in the high school basketball
courts - just like the ones the public schools where I grew up had.
I was born in 1971 and while looking over the geography of the era,
I found it both familiar and absolutely alien. (I get the same feeling
with those retro seventies Nike ads starring Bootsy Collins.) Like
it or not - this is where I come from. But, it was a long time ago.
"Dogtown and Z-Boys" - check it out, bro!