THRASHER Skateboard Magazine    [Nov. 2012]

Not a ´zine but a proper book, this is an astoundingly well-researched and documented look at the representation of skateboarding in popular music in the 1960s and 1970s (prior to Mofo´s coining of the phrase and what we think of Skate Rock, ie, after punk). It´s a compendium that´s organized like an encyclopedia, with alphabetical listings and descriptions of the band and personnel, the song, and the record, as well as links to other bands and info on re-pressings and compilation versions. It´s an amazing artifact, and there are tons of photos of the actual records, artists, etc, and a thorough index. A lot of that stuff is kind of painful to listen to, but some of it is pretty good and it´s always interesting (if not mostly maddening) to see how pop culture appropriates skating and sells it to the masses (here, in music form).    [Nov. 2012]
When I first heard of this book (before it was published) I was skeptical. I couldn’t believe there would be enough material to fill a book of any size. Then I was excited. It seemed like someone was writing a book (or playing a practical joke) just for me. Then I was pissed. Why didn’t I think of this idea? I quietly watched this, because I was not expecting it to actually come to fruition. When I saw that Dr Skaterock’s Vintage Skaterock had been published, I bought a copy without trying to hit the author up for a review copy. I figured the audience was going to be really small, so I wanted to support it. Upon receiving the (reasonably priced) book, I geeked out. It was a lot more scholarly than I had thought. I had assumed it was going to be a small coffee table styler book focusing on album covers, but equal (if not more) attention has been paid to release dates, record labels, alternate pressings and the sort of minutia that made me think, “Man, this guy is a geek!” – fully aware that I am the same caliber of geek. Then I thought, this is exactly the kind of geek I want contributing to Skate and Annoy. I have dabbled in skatesploitation music here on SNA. I’ve considered it a pet project of mine, even though some friends can’t understand why I even bother. However much of an “authority” I fancied myself as, Dr Skaterock has completely outclassed me in this area.    [July 2019]
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.