For me, it all started with the November 1985 issue of Thrasher Magazine. I was just getting into skateboarding when I walked into the local skate shop and stumbled upon this glorious mag with a sick photo of Christian Hosoi pulling an air over a graffiti covered car. I had never seen anything like it and once I started thumbing through the pages, I was transported into an entirely new world. Up until that point, skateboarding to me, had a very clean, California surfer dude, Nash Executioner riding, Ocean Pacific shirt, Jams wearing feel and image. Not that there's anything particularly wrong with all of that, but that definitely was not what Thrasher was about. Thrasher put on full display, the darker, grimier, harder, in your face side of skateboarding and to me that just seemed so much more interesting.
The more issues I bought, the more I found myself getting completely drawn into this "other side" of skateboarding. Seeing photos of dudes like Fred Smith with his spiked and bleached out hair and tattoo covered arms was an eye opener to say the least. In Thrasher, skateboarding wasn't just about skating the fine tuned halfpipes, the smooth dream like skateparks or the hills of the suburban neighborhoods. Those pages of Thrasher showed me photos of people skating anything and everything in their paths. I saw beat up old drainage ditches, cracked curbs, steps, broken parking blocks, beat up street ramps, roof tops and of course cars. Really there wasn't much that Thrasher didn't show people skating on.
Along with Thrasher exposing that rougher and rawer side of skateboarding, they also shined plenty of light on the music that fueled a lot of these skate sessions. Upon first discovery, I had no idea who any of these bands were that filled the pages of this magazine. I guess here and there I'd recognize a couple of metal bands, but all these skate rock and punk bands were completely foreign to me. What I did realize though, was that this was the music that skaters listened to and I might as well get myself introduced to it. By June of 1986 I decided to go for a one year subscription and along with that subscription came Septic Death's "Now That I Have The Attention…". Now if Septic Death isn't an eye opening, wall of violence and ear blasting noise, I don't know what is. It was one hell of an introduction to punk rock, I can tell you that.
From that summer of 1986 and on, I put a lot of focus into the band interviews, the Notes section, Igor's record reviews, the record ads, anything written by Pushead or Mike Gitter and just everything that was music related. I more than ate it up, I devoured it whole and kept on consuming. Of course I bought all the Thrasher Skate Rock compilations, which introduced me to so many incredible bands. Bands like The Big Boys, The Faction, JFA, TSOL, McRad, Boneless Ones, Beyond Possession, Corrosion Of Conformity, Accused, Gang Green, SNFU, Stupids and so many more. From there it was the snowball affect and I just kept hunting down and searching high and low for all the punk, hardcore and skate rock I could get my hands on.
As my music knowledge grew and my tastes were becoming more defined, it almost seemed like Thrasher was bringing me more and more of what I was taking interest in. I remember reading about bands like Dag Nasty, BL'AST!, Youth Of Today, Verbal Assault, Slap Shot, The Cro-Mags and some of those bands I was hearing about for the first time directly from Thrasher. By later 1986 and into 1987, I was picking up fanzines and getting even more in tune with the hardcore / punk scene, but it was definitely Thrasher that had introduced it all to me.
In 1989 there was an issue of Thrasher that had a killer BOLD photo in it from their second show at City Gardens in Trenton New Jersey. I was in that photo with my arms up in the air, screaming along like a manic fan while Matt threw both arms over the crowd to give a massive sing along. I remember seeing that BOLD photo and being so psyched that I ended up in a photo that appeared in Thrasher. That was a definite highlight in my life at that time. Then years later in May of 1993, my band Mouthpiece got a little write up in Thrasher and at that point I felt like I had really accomplished something. Here was the magazine that introduced me to the music that changed my life and my band was now being featured in it. My mind was blown and I almost felt like things had come full circle. I still look back on that as a major highlight from my years of doing Mouthpiece.
In closing I just want to thank Thrasher Magazine for everything they've done to expose me to some of the greatest stuff ever. Great skateboarding, stellar band and skater interviews, sick band and skate photos, phenomenal layouts and design, you name it and Thrasher had the best of the best. If you hadn't heard or hadn't yet checked it out, on Thrasher's website, they've got complete scans of all the early issues, 1981 through 1987. All those classic interviews, photos and ads that you remember are right up there in all their glory. FOLLOW THIS LINK and get on it. -Tim DCXX
Thursday, January 7, 2010
Posted by DOUBLE CROSS at 10:41 PM