With JFA hitting these shores in just a couple of weeks, we've been going back over various moments when the skate rock pioneers' music has been paired with a number of our favourite skaters to good effect. Formed in 1981, the band's snotty hardcore blasts interspersed with surf instrumentals were perfectly developed to soundtrack skateboarding on film when the skateboard video surged in popularity towards the end of that decade. Since then, they've scored numerous slices of shredding, from early street pioneers, to backyard pool slayers, to all terrain legends, as well as vocalist Brian Brannon having a section in Speed Freaks and more than one skateboard-focused music video. Here's just a portion of that legacy...
Jeff Kendall in Santa Cruz - Wheels of Fire (1987)
Musical duties on Santa Cruz's 1987 video Wheels of Fire was shared between JFA, Eight Dayz and Screaming Lord Salba. Jeff Kendall's section opens proceedings with a two song section of innovative and stylish shredding, set in the second instance to 'Standing on the Verge'.
Brian Brannon in Santa Cruz - Speed Freaks (1989)
JFA frontman Brian Brannon rode for Santa Cruz for a time, with a short section in Speed Freaks offering up stylish pool and ditch cruising set to Dinosaur Jr. and a much quoted intro which seems extra relevant in the current world climate - "I think everybody in the world should just live."
Santa Cruz - Risk It (1990)
The JFA/NHS coalition continued to be a fruitful one with 1990's 'Risk It', soundtracking pretty much half of the (lengthy) video. They take the intro honours, as well as the second half of paid up Santa Cruz lifer Tom Knox's classic section with 'PBA' and a medley for Damon Byrd's section with a combination of 'Middle America' and 'Pipetruck'.
Brian Bannon makes an appearance once again during a session with Micke Alba, while Aaron 'Fingers' Murray hits the alleys, curbs, walls and pools of Venice to Pipetruck (again).
The editors at Santa Cruz manage to move on in JFA instrumentals to 'Flyboy Theme' for Mark Partain's style-infused all terrain assault (this was 1990, so I can use the epithet 'stylish' about a section that includes a roastbeef tailblock and mean it. Try and fucking stop me). Danny Way's section, meanwhile, is mostly about his vertical insanity set to Kinghorse's 'Too Far Gone' - but it is flanked by two brief snatches of JFA instrumental in the forms of 'My Movie' and 'Dark Side of the Mushroom', plus it's absolutely bonkers, so we're including it for good measure...
Phil Shao and Tim McKenney in Think - Damage (1996)
The legendary Phil Shao (RIP) opens up Think Skateboards' classic video Damage to a JFA medley in what still stands as one of the best skate video sections of all time. Smith grinds down handrails or kickflip indy's on vert, Shao did not fuck about. Tim McKenney follows up mid-video, opting out of the possibility of an old lady singalong for the surf instrumental 'Baja' to back up high speed, high popped savageness, nighttime handrail missions and some violently stomped wallride variations.
Griptape and Gasoline (2000)
Griptape and Gasoline was a 2000 Norcal video consisting heavily of park and pool skating, alongside live footage of punk bands of varying levels of listenability; luckily the inclusion of The Beltones, Los Olvidados, Drunk Injuns and JFA on the soundtrack makes up for a myriad of lesser bands. JFA themselves kick in at around 21:15 for the Brewce Martin/Skatopia section.
A slew of well known and lesser known faces appear and then fade back into the punk rock murk including Pete the Ox, Tony Farmer, Steve Bailey, Dan Drehobl, Tim Brauch, Chris Senn and more, but absolute video high point has to go to 'Big Bad Thad' and his power-pre-grabs around Palo Alto Skatepark at 11:05. File under low-budget gnar!
Chris Cope in Thrasher's 'Route 44' section (2016)
Chris Cope's recent 'Route 44' Thrasher section saw him doing the Texas tradition of powerful transition skaters proud, to the sounds of 'Tentpeg'. Cab tailblocks, layback hurricanes and the internet-breaking invert to eggplant show a creative edge to the gnarliness that chimes perfectly with the band's multi-faceted approach to hardcore and makes this section a solid close to their skate video contribution - for now...