Skating to the beat of your own drum
Recently, after watching this section section of Ulph Andersson killing shit backed by his own band, I got thinking about other skaters who's sections have been set to music fully or partially created by themselves. Music choice can make or break a section and, while some skateboarders have a major part in choosing what song they skate too, others leave this side of things to the vagaries of chance and editors' tastes. I've always liked seeing people skate to music they have created, both are deeply imprinted with personality and give an idea of the character in question. Not only that, it is always good to see people with interests outside of the four wheeled plank making good in different areas! Here are a few of our favourite skateboarding musos to shred to their own musical output.
Above photo: Brian Kelley
Tommy Guerrero in Real - Non Fiction (1997). Tommy Guerrero - Black Sheep Blues
Tommy Guerrero's laid back latin/blues guitar playing perfectly compliments his steez overload filmed around the hills of SF and a backyard miniramp - not the first or the last time he would skate to one of his own songs (in this case 'Black Sheep Blues'), his personality is so intertwined with how the two respectively look and sound that the connection is seamless. That's not to say that the various other sections his music has been a part of seem clunky, with his heavy involvement with Real and Deluxe seeing everyone from the Gonz to Matt Field to Ishod Wair killing it to his jams.
Matt Rodriguez in The Other Ones (2011)
Another skateboarder who has skated to his own music on more than one occasion, Matt Rodriguez's section in The Other Ones is scored not only by him but by Tommy G as well - dub and ditches is a winning combination.
If you've never seen his closing part in the 2005 I-Path promo, you're blowing it...
Pat Washington and Henry Sanchez in Gold Wheels - Got Gold? (2002)
Pat and Henry do it for SF in this 2002 section for Gold Wheels Got Gold, putting together a strange hybrid of skate section and music video. Pier 7 tech madness and dope beats in the supermarket bring this one together!
Rob Mertz in Zorlac - Zero Hero (1991)
One foot inverts with his knee touching the board, fastplant to airwalks, the Mertzplant - Rob Mertz was pretty much inventing tricks as he went along and it was fucking exciting to watch. He also decided to score the first half of his section in Zorlac's Zero Hero with himself playing a very distorted guitar lick in his bedroom...
Duane Peters in Black Label - Blackout (2003)
One of the first to connect skateboarding and punk rock in the 70s, Duane Peters' section for the second Black Label video sees him hit Bellmar's Bowl with signature layback and invert tricks set to the Duane Peter's and the Hunns' instrumental 'Hunns Anthem'.
Quim Cardona for Sushi Wheels (2012)
Tweaking grabs and shredding the streets in front of the camera, Quim Cardona also created the dubbed out electronic beats which accompany.
Josh's Harmonies with Josh Harmony in Strange Notes (2014)
Josh Harmony talks music and trucks in between bouts of cruising around a ridiculously fun looking concrete park.
Terry Kennedy in Baker 3 (2005)
"When you fuck with Baker, that's what you GET!"
Chris Gentry in Big Brother - Crap (2001)
While this doesn't fall strictly under the banner of 'skating to your own music', Chris Gentry has a trick in the closing vert/pool montage in Big Brother's Crap and also provides the soundtrack to a video which also includes his then wife dancing awkwardly for the camera. Here's an internet edit of him actually skating to his own music on a bowled out miniramp set up.
Steve Alba in Santa Cruz - Wheels of Fire (1987)
In between hunting down, draining, skating and doing press ups next to hundreds of backyard pools, Salba has always seemed to find some time to play in a band. The first track in his classic section in Santa Cruz's Wheels of Fire is one of his, during his time playing in Screaming Lord Salba and the Blue Flames.
Chris Oliver in Alai - Alaiole (2006)
Ray Barbee in 411VM Issue 11 Profiles (1995)
Street skateboarding OG and no comply master Ray Barbee has been playing guitar for a long time, and his song 'Powerlines' scores his section in his Profiles for 411VM Issue 11. While the attempts to cut in clips of the song being recorded in the studio into the skating are, shall we say, rough, the song itself compliments his unmistakeably smooth but powerful style perfectly.