Vintage Skaterock

I had the distinct pleasure of being sent a copy of Dr. Skaterock's Vintage Skaterock book that was released a few years back. To be honest I had really no idea what to expect from the book. The subtitle of the book is, "Skateboard Music of the 1960s and 1970s." It intrigued me. I mean, we are all familiar with the great punk bands associated with skate culture; Black Flag, D.R.I., Circle Jerks and so on, but what was this about, and what in the world was this reference to skateboarding music of the 1960's? Maybe some of you knew, but I certainly hadn't a clue.

The author of the book kindly hooked me up with a copy and when I cracked it, I was exposed to something I had never seen before -- something that always amazes me about skate culture; just when you think you've plumbed the depths of it, seen every board and so on, something pops up that is brand new. Skateboarding is a wellspring of creativity and inspiration and that's maybe why you can never really 'drain the pool' completely -- if you'll excuse the metaphor.

The author first sets out his criteria for what "skaterock" is in the context of this book. He forthright in noting that he's liberally expanding the usual definition beyond what most of us would tend think of. He gives seven criteria ranging from the band having a skater in it to the simple fact that the album art or lyrics simply reference skateboarding in some way. From that you can get a sense of how broad this book is.

The book includes a history of skate rock tied to a concise history of the rise and fall, and rise again, of skateboarding. Personally, I found this aspect of the book very valuable because it provided another angle on the history of skating. The real substance of the book, however, is the discography where a detailed review is given for each of the albums and their link to skateboarding. Following these reviews are full colour images of the various album covers and art; they range from the familiar to the 'WTF', but that's part of the book's comprehensiveness -- and also part of its fun.

Basically what we have here is a well produced book put out by a 1990's skate-zine author who has a real passion for his subject (and being a European, he also takes an international view).

If you're looking for a book that ruminates on the skate punk type scene that so many of us are familiar with then you'll want to look toward Glen Friedman's excellent books instead. But if what you're after is a treatment of the earlier roots of skateboarding and the musical connections that led up to that eventual scene, then you'll definitely want to put this book on your shelf.

Here are a few more details on the book from the publisher:
192 pages
7“ format
about 350 colored scans of record covers and labels
plus many photos and extras

Vintage Skaterock covers every piece of music written, performed and/or waxed from 1960 till 1979 with any connection to skateboarding. The book comes with a complete discography of all Skaterock songs and records, including all the relevant information a collector (usually) needs (except where to find the rarities!).

The record details are completed with background information about the artist, the song, the record plus a short review of the music itself.

For those who are not interested in record details and stuff like that, there are hundreds of pictures with many colors of all the featured records. The picture sleeves alone would have made a great book. But with all the extra information it´s just incredibly great!! (You also get a lot of that weak humor!)

Another chapter deals with the „History of Skaterock“. It takes a look at the chronological and geographical expansion of Skaterock and offers also some statistics.
To order Vintage Skaterock, go here.
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