The Know Show trade show is on in Vancouver and that means plenty of parties and special events. Despite lengthy audio issues, Vancouver’s skateboard industry types were treated to a private screening of Bones Brigade: An Autobiography, presented by Vans and screened at the Red Bull Lounge.
The documentary is of special interest to me, since I was skating during the 10 years that the Bones Brigade dominated trick progression, products, contests and media. For me and my friends we had a love/hate relationship with Powell Peralta in the 1980s since it could be argued that it was Bones Brigade that made skateboarding mainstream. Their graphics for each skater were for the most part amazing - bridging the gap from Dogtown’s classic menacing style, to the trendy bright day-glo colours that represented the Californian skateboard ideal that still is present today. Unlike other underground skateboard companies, however, each member of the team went from unknown status to becoming the face of their style. Arguments over Hawk’s trick inventions compared to Hosois’ style and power were common. Mullen’s freestyle skating, although impressive was seen as an oddity and not something that most skaters in the 80s wanted to emulate or achieve (his hard tricks somewhat unacheiveable).
It’s fun to see the team back together and at times interesting and uncomfortable to hear each person’s story as to how they became a Bones Brigade member, as well as see how their contributions to skating has been built on by new generations. Tommy Guerrero, who basically created street skating, is especially cool to see. In the end, the Bones Brigade did not fade away because of drugs or egos, they just kind of went different ways.
The crowd at the screening seemed appreciative and the young and old talked about graphics, style, and who was the best. Some things never change.
- Roger Allen
(images are from Roger Allen's collection)