Dinosaur Jr X Skate Video Tribute

With the news of their upcoming UK tour, it seemed like high time for us to sit back, whack on some classic AWS videos and put together a Dinosaur Jr X Skate Video tribute. J. Mascis, Lou Barlow and Murph’s unique melting pot of folk, grunge, punk and sludgy, metallic riffs have been always been a firm favourite amongst skate video editors, so we had plenty of choice cuts to choose from when putting this one together.

Obviously the AWS camp have gotten a good mileage out of the band, but here you’ll also find sections from videos as diverse as Video Days, Eastern Exposure 3, semi-obscure 1984 Clothing video Let It Bleed and Transworld’s recent Outliers. Enjoy over two decades of Dinosaur-scored skateboarding, then go see them live and lose a good portion of your hearing!

Santa Cruz ‘Speed Freaks’ (1989) – Mike Vallely

Before he was hockey playing, wrestling, murdering Black Flag songs acoustically, skating curbs in a helmet and whatever else Mike V does to pass the time these days, he was at the forefront of street skateboarding and innovating to the sounds of Dinosaur Jr in Santa Cruz’s ‘Speed Freaks’.

G&S ‘Footage’ (1990) – Duane Pitre, Rob Dyrdek and Steve Claar

In 1990, Duane Pitre and Rob Dyrdek were at the forefront of street skating while Steve Claar was in the same position on vert, with ‘The Wagon’ acting as the soundtrack to their shared section in G&S’ video ‘Footage’. The lack of diagetic sound might make for a strangely disjointed watch, but that Pitre curb footage is gold…

Blind ‘Video Days’ (1991) – Rudy Johnson

In a career made up of plenty of fine moments, in my opinion Dinosaur Jr’s cover of The Cure’s ‘Just Like Heaven’ is one of the finest. Hearing that distorted bassline kick in as Rudy Johnson effortlessly cruises down a US street in ‘Video Days’ gets me very stoked and it probably should you, too.

Alien Workshop ‘Memory Screen’ (1991)

Straight from the get go, with the introduction acting as basically a music video for the beautifully crafted J. Mascis folk song ‘Little Ethnic Song’, Chris Carter and Neil Blender’s first video post-G&S and as Alien Workshop relied on a deep symbiosis with Dinosaur Jr. Rob Dyrdek, Duane Pitre and Steve Claar all still skate to the band, but in full section rather than shared part form.

Eastern Exposure 3: Underachievers (1996) – Donny Barley

Kicking things off with what is probably one of the top ten recorded slams of all time, Donny Barley goes into full barbarian mode on the streets for the classic Eastern Exposure 3. The fairly mellow ‘On The Brink’ backs up his mach-ten charging surprisingly well.

Toy Machine ‘Jump Off A Building’ (1998) – Brian Anderson

After ‘Welcome to Hell’ introduced him to the world at large, Brian Anderson went on a proper killing spree for the follow up. There’s not much to be said about this part (or video) that hasn’t already been said, so the title of the track used, ‘Yeah We Know’, is perfectly fitting for this slice of text which I’m using to tell you that this is good…

1984 Clothing ‘Let It Bleed’ (2001) – Ricky Espinoza

1984 Clothing’s ‘Let It Bleed’ is a cruelly underrated video. TNT skating to the Partisans, Eric Dressen doing fingerflip disasters through fire, Sage Bolyard and Choppy Omega footage – this is dirtbag skateboarding at its finest. Black Label handrail slayer Ricky Espinoza handles the street side of business to ‘In A Jar’.

Habitat ‘Mosaic’ (2003) – Anthony Pappalardo

Another classic section which has been much discussed many times over, Pappalardo’s section in ‘Mosaic’ sees him dig out some untouched corners of the Big Apple to the ethereal, indie-esque sounds of ‘Forget The Swan’. A stone cold classic.

Toy Machine ‘Suffer The Joy’ (2006) – Diego Buccheri

At almost the opposite end of the spectrum from the section above, Toy Machine’s ‘Suffer The Joy’ saw Diego ‘The Butcher’ Buccheri, going fast as fuck to the meatier sound of ‘Raisans’.

Alien Workshop ‘Mind Field’ (2009) – Omar Salazar, Mikey Taylor and Grant Taylor

For the incredible 2009 release ‘Mind Field’, which saw AWS and Greg Hunt form like Voltron, the Sect once again delved into J. Mascis’ back catalogue multiple times. The nod to ‘Little Ethnic Song’ on ‘Creepies’ doubles up as a nod to Memory Screen here, before its Thin Lizzy-esque twin guitar attack kicks in to introduce us to Omar Salazar’s two song beast of a part. The fact that the second track was Dinosaur Jr’s ‘Almost Ready’, alongside the speed he seemed to take every line at, left us assured from the start that this video was going to be a classic.

The band also scored Mikey Taylor’s tech/gnar precision approach to the four wheeled plank as well as the phenomenon that is Grant Taylor, already well on the way to the SOTY trophy he would take two years later.

Transworld ‘Outliers’ (2014) – Zered Bassett

Perennial Sidewalk favourite Zered Bassett went all out for his section in ‘Outliers’, from switch frontside flipping handrails to switch hurricanes over the shallow end deathbox in a particularly whippy looking pool. ‘The Leper’ soundtracks your brain melting as you try and figure out whether he’s regular or goofy…

Emerica ‘Young Emericans’ (2017) – Zach Allen

What better way to finish this article than with Dinosaur Jr scoring one of the next generation’s heavy hitters? Zach Allen kicks off proceedings in Emerica’s recent ‘Young Emericans’ promo by attacking hills, handrails and everything else in his path to a furious cover of Last Right’s ‘Chunks’. The ollie one foot ender is insane!

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