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Speed Freaks Video Advert 1989

Speed Freaks Video Advert 1989The issue closes with a Speed Freaks video advert. At last. It’s been a long slog working my way through this fat edition of the magazine, and I’m starting to have doubts about the virtue of posting every single advert up here.
For the time being I will carry on with the same approach for the next issue, but it may soon be time to reconsider the approach to take. What’s the feeling here?

Adverts &Issue 82 December 1989 timlb 08 Aug 2006 4 Comments

Slam City: If They Have Time to Risk Their Necks…

Slam City: If they have time to risk their necks, they have time to learn the pianoThis is one of my favourite adverts of all time. It produced a roar of delight when I first saw it, and it still does.
One of the earlier publishers of the magazine complained of a Volkswagen advert offering free badges to people who might otherwise be inclined to steal them from cars that it served no purpose, because these people would not (yet) be buying Volkswagen cars. By that measure, whether an advert appealed to people working on a magazine rather than the people buying the magazine is irrelevant — and the fact that it can still raise a big smile, even less so.
But the wit and skill with which this advert was devised and executed also perfectly communicated a sense of Slam City’s status as the de facto coolest (for want of a better word) skateboard shop in London in a way which could be understood by all the different audiences who saw it. The understatement distinguished them in masterful way from the more manic approach of M Zone (ignore the one in the current issue and consider the M Zone advert from 1987 instead) and put some useful blue water between the two for anyone who did not appreciate their two different markets.
Did it sell any skateboards at the time? Possibly. Did it contribute to Slam City’s long term survival by helping position themselves in a particular place at the top of the market, out of the reach of immediate competition? Yes. This was a place of pilgrimage for many, many skateboard generations.

Adverts &Issue 82 December 1989 timlb 07 Aug 2006 7 Comments

Bankead Skating Buckingham Palace

Will Bankhead skates Buckingham PalaceOwn up! Who took this picture of Will Bankead skating in the Buck House Bowl? I wonder if we dropped the photo credit for fear of recriminations?
The same skater and location appear in the elegiac sequence at the end of Ged Wells and David Slade’s “Mouse is Pulling the Key” — one of my favourite sections in one of my favourite skate videos. Re-release it on DVD please!
Anyone interested in the work of David Slade really ought to take a look at it. As far as I’m aware it was only the second thing he did outside of college. The first, “Smart People in a Car Crash” (more BMX than skate video though to describe it in those terms is plain silly), was even more astonishing as a debut.
As this issue draws to a close it makes me smile that (at last) it brings back some fond memories of the time: each one of them prompted by things I had nothing to do with personally, beyond making it possible for them to appear. One of my all time “best things ever in R.a.d Magazine” appears tomorrow and it’s one which I first saw, like everyone else, when the magazine came out.

Issue 82 December 1989 timlb 06 Aug 2006 No Comments

Clan and SS20 adverts and Gavin Hills falling off a bridge

Clan and SS20 Adverts December 1989As you may imagine, it’s normally very hard finding anything to say about most of the adverts. The editorial team had nothing to do with them and usually only saw them when the magazine came out. On rare occasions they struck chords which resonated with the editorial of the magazine — and this was such an occasion:

Circle of friends. Balmaha gathering. Brighten up the horizon, and bring hope for the future.

The Clan/Poizone group had a distinctive voice and vision which seemed to me to steeped in something deeper, older and more mystical than our own suburban ‘turn on, tune in, just skate’ mantra.

I also liked their stuff: one of the few items sent in for review which I actually wanted to keep was one of their super-tough tweed (!) jackets. Gavin got it instead, of course. Shortly afterwards he was wore it while walking home, drunk, from a party* along some railway tracks. Continue Reading »

Adverts &Issue 82 December 1989 timlb 05 Aug 2006 2 Comments

Skater Owned Shops, Christmas 1989

Skater Owned Shops: Stampy's and Soul SkatesThe ‘Skater Owned Shops’ group got together to take a double page spread of adverts for Christmas and wen to town. Stampy’s was the famous Birmingham shop at the Wheels Park which went down in flames later, although some of the people who worked there went on to open the long-running Ideal in the centre of the city.
Soul Skates took care of Chorley and Stockport with a “wanted” advert which reminds me of something similar that I once helped create for Alpine Action.

Adverts &Issue 82 December 1989 timlb 04 Aug 2006 No Comments

Angel Lights and Others in Small Ads

Small Adverts from 1989 Rad MagazineIn amongst the usual suspects there are some intriguing rareities in this page of small adverts. The Angel Lights Planetary Skatepark was the wonderful (and infamous) indoor Glasgow park, more commonly known as “The Church”. It had a short but brilliant life and lives on in legend, but we never gave it enough coverage.
Meanwhile, from the suburbs of London we have someone selling ‘skateboard keyrings’ (the original fingerboards from a time way before Tech Decks) by mail order and also someone specialising in “surf and skatewear” but “also flouro surf & skate accessories” by mail order from Acton. Both of these were signs of times to come, although too early by some years.
Elsewhere on the page someone else was clearing out decks at £30.95 — another portent of what was round the corner.

Adverts &Issue 82 December 1989 timlb 03 Aug 2006 1 Comment

Zebra Ramps and Skate Rags Adverts

Zebra Ramps Advert 1989Metal ramps were never my favourite thing, although I was over-enthusiastic about metal surface on wood construction at one point. This was at a time when local authorities were just starting to take a vague interest in providing facilities. Things have come on a long way since then. I’m still amazed and delighted when I see ramps and parks popping up all over the place. Many of them are as useless as ever, while others seem great, but it’s the number of the things which amazes me.

Adverts &Issue 82 December 1989 timlb 31 Jul 2006 No Comments

Bod, Backyard and Hastings Ramp Advert

Backyard Skates, MyCycles Malvern, Hot Wheels and Skate AttackOK. Step up to the challenge: what’s interesting about this page of adverts? For me: Bod Boyle skating the big ramp at Hastings makes the Backyard advert stand out. He doesn’t look too happy in this shot. As for the rest: MyCycles plugged away at it with an advert which looks like a faxed layout to me (no idea whether that was intentional or just the advertising production team playing tough) while Hot Shot and Skate Attack list brand names and stick to their bike and roller-skate roots.

Adverts &Issue 82 December 1989 timlb 30 Jul 2006 No Comments

Bod Boyle, fast high lines in Madrid 1989

Bod Boyle, Madrid Comp 1989On we go with more strange but true Madrid skateboard facts from the pen of Mike John.

S.B.T. Fact 5

Street-style wasn’t a ridiculous collection of jump ramps, death walls and other nightmares — it was worse! The ‘course’ was just the four-sided fun-box thing and nothing else. Yup: no-thing else. Christian Welsh and co did their best to put the object together, but only after they had finished did they realise that they had been following the instructions for an MFI cabinet. Everybody Ollied, flipped, slid etc. In the end all that mattered or impressed were Fowlie winning with an Ollie to 50/50 down the handrail, Waage big smelly Fish into second and Skousen frontside Railslide to third. Oh, and some hombre did the sweet nutcracker on the rail.

S.B.T. Fact 6

Go-Go won the skate photographers ‘Best-looking freestylers award’ beating Shane Rouse by a hair’s breadth.

All tried to do their perfected runs to their sound-tracks but most ended up doing the sand dance on the dry and dusty slippy surface.

S.B.T. Fact 7

I could go on for ever about the ramp, how it was built, how everybody ripped but still had a good time — but I won’t.

The ramp was huge and perfect (see photos). Almost all the top European skaters were there (see comp reports over the past few months for basic tricks). There was lots of new and good stuff like Danzie’s Stale-to- tail, Douglas’ long 50/50 off the extension and Bod’s Lipslide up it, Tietzer’s forehead scraping Fakie Footplant Thrusters and biggest crowd pleaser of all, Florian’s back to back McTwists.

The top three could have come in any order and nobody could have said they were ripped. In the end Bod’s multi-trick gob-smacking runs, using all of the ramp, won over Nicky’s high speed runs, whipping round the ramp like a Tasmanian devil and kicking out 8 foot high Japan airs. Florian brought home third with Fast-plants off the extension and consistent Twists.

So, those of you still reading, that’s about the size of it: all in all, a relaxed fun comp with old friends, new friends and no pressure. I reckon Europe needs loose comps like this, as well as the big US pro-baiting slick comps like Munster, if only to keep a balance.

“And you get a free trip, you cheeky sod” added the reader. ”YOU’RE FIRED”

CAPTIONS: Mr Boyle used the full width of this big ramp for fast high lines
Bod, Payne and the big baby nearing completion
(below) ‘And here’s one we prepared earlier…’ — and the crew

Issue 82 December 1989 &Skateboard Competitions timlb 29 Jul 2006 No Comments

Steve Douglas, Frontside Rock’n’Roll Madrid 1989

Steve Douglas Madrid 1989There’s an interesting insight into Tim Payne’s ramp building techniques on this page: build it in sections on the ground so that you can have several teams working at the same time without the need for ladders. This was at a time when ideas like that were not common knowledge. Only a few years earlier none of us had any idea what the Americans were on about when they talked about using ‘Masonite’ to cover (indoor) ramps. Finally someone came back with the news, “Masonite is hardboard”. It always reminded me of the line “Soylent Green is people” from the end of the science fiction film.
Caption: Think of your own Steve Douglas caption.
The photographs of the ramp building are by Nick Ajose, not Mike John

Issue 82 December 1989 &Skateboard Competitions timlb 28 Jul 2006 5 Comments

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