Music Appreciation (soft skaters edition): Belle and Sebastian

It is very rare for one particular person or group to be representative of an entire culture or subculture, but for some reason if somebody asks you what kind of music you like, and your first response is “Belle and Sebastian” you really need say no more. I mean – they pretty much cover this shit in 500 Days of Summer.

Liking Belle and Sebastian, especially if you were in high school anywhere between 1995 and 2005 was a way of clarifying your identity to others, and distinguishing yourself from the masses. You were in tune with music that wasn’t on the radio, you had a more sophisticated palate, and you were just generally way fucking cooler than all the assholes that the girls you were in love with were banging.

Let me make this clear, though – if you were listening to Belle and Sebastian, you were NOT getting laid in high school. Ha ha, ohhh no, most certainly not.

You were, on the other hand, feeling some real emotional shit, learning life lessons, and actually gaining some comfort in the fact that maybe you weren’t the only person who has been lonely, had a gay sibling, had traumatic things happen to you, or a plethora of other situations that would differentiate you from the rest of your peers (AKA the reason you started skateboarding in the first place).  

I think I actually might owe it to Austin Stephens, the original hipster skater. To be honest, when I first saw this part I wasn’t the biggest fan, I mean, the next 4 parts after Heath’s you’re pretty much just recovering / thinking back / wondering if it’s too soon to just rewind and rewatch. After going back, though, this part rules. Great style, great kickflips – I mean, what kind of psycho does a kickflip back tail on a square rail?

Still too many boot-cut jeans for me, though @denimviolators.

Even after the Austin Stephens part, though, I didn’t really know who Belle and Sebastian was, particularly. It was a different time – unless you really loved a song, looked it up in the credits section, then went out and bought the CD, you weren’t hearing any other songs.

So with that said, I think the most impactful moment for me was when I saw the Crailtap, Nice Little Wednesday edit.


That Carroll bs one-foot. All day, baby. Such a feel-good clip, super young Olson, Rick Howard switch tre, and of course, getting that perfect shot.

This is the one that sealed the deal. Had to get this album. So I went to the store and sadly they didn’t have Dear Catastrophe Waitress :(

But they did have Tigermilk. So of course I bought it, and lo and behold – Austin Stephens’ song from This is Skateboarding. “Wow, I thought…who is this band? And why are they so popular in skate music?”. So my journey continued, and as I became more familiar with their discography, the more I would see them pop up in videos.

I think the next time I noticed them was when Boston Massacre came out. Sadly I’m unable to locate either of these sections on the internet (which blows my mind, come on people) but the way this video was made was that it was supposed to seem like each person had their own video, and for Hector’s credits, it was ‘There’s too much love’. More importantly, though, Fiske’s credits was to ‘Sleep the clock around’, one of the greatest B&S songs all time.


So by the time 2005 rolled around, it seemed that there was a circle of skateboarding that really embraced indie pop music – and Belle and Sebastian’s music was the cornerstone for this movement.

Blueprint, Lost and Found – Intro (Simple Things)

Bueno, Wizards of Radical – Nick Mclouth (Boy with the Arab Strap)

Toy Machine, Suffer the Joy – Credits (Rollercoaster Ride)

But let’s be honest – there had to have been some sort of deal signed between Belle and Sebastian and Crailtap. Spike? Do you have any answers here? Contact us directly, thanks.

*Also – a personal question to Spike if you’re reading this – the Belle and Sebastian / The Streets mashup in the Fourstar SF Catalog shoot…I want answers. *

Anyway – the Crailtap gang really just knocked it out of the park. Perfect example of a subtle one would be the We’re ok Eurok – Credits.


But perhaps the most well-known use of all time, you guessed it, the Crail Couch theme. Has a more contagious and unforgettable guitar riff existed, and has there been a better use for it than to get you in the zone for a great interview? The answer, folks, is no.  

...if you really want to go down the rabbit hole…

So how do we wrap this up? I think first and foremost with a thank you to Belle and Sebastian for not only providing us with great music over the years, but also filling the soundtracks of some of the greatest skate videos made to date.

Lastly – we should remember that though they’re beloved by many, they’re not for everyone.  

Music Appreciation: David Bowie

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And now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

David Bowie died on Monday. This time it really happened, and it goes without saying that the world lost a truly unique and incredible individual. Music, and pop culture as we know it, will never be the same. Bowie left his mark in many aspects of popular culture, music and fashion being the two most prominent of all, however The Thin White Duke played a huge role in skateboarding culture as well.

Whether he knew it or not, a Bowie song in a skate video was more than just another song in the credits━you had to fucking earn that song. Bowie’s music transcended so many genres that any song, from any album, could be blended seamlessly into almost any skate video. From the hip-hop/funk infused “Fame”, to the acoustic opus “Quicksand”, or the fable-like “Width of a Circle”, Bowie’s music could elevate any video part, solely for the fact that it was a David Bowie song.

His name alone, whether it be music, fashion, or even skateboarding, meant something. It is with a heavy heart, that we here at SMLTalk HQ, honor David Bowie and his contributions to our culture. Thanks for everything.

*We know that Ripped Laces and Jenkem have already done this. You can save your breathe o[n mentioning the[ similarities between our three write ups because regardless of redundancy, Bowie was a childhood hero for all of us and we’d like to express our gratitude for his contributions not only to skateboard culture, but to popular culture as well.

Arto Saari - Sorry (2002)

“1984” - Diamond Dogs (1974)

“Rock n’ Roll Suicide” - The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars (1972)

It’s really hard to describe to people that don’t skateboard what a skate video actually is. “Stunts set to music”, while totally painful to say aloud, is at the end of the day, exactly what they are. We know that they’re more than that, they tap into the human emotion the same way Hollywood films do. They’re messages to our culture and they breed new ideas and innovation to skateboarders all across the world.

When it comes to Arto’s Sorry part, I think anyone can see meaning beyond just “stunts set to music”. Bowie and Arto together is a magical pairing; I can’t fully articulate why, but his two song ender from 2002 is a cinematic masterpiece...and that goddamn fakie flip as “Rock n’ Roll Suicide” comes in. Two musical masterpieces to score what is undoubtedly one of the greatest parts ever filmed.

Bryan Herman - Baker 3 (2005) “Width of a Circle” - The Man Who Sold the World (1970)

Herman’s curtain call in Baker 3 saw the dawn of a new chapter in a young man’s life. It was the transition from rookie to professional, and Bowie oversaw the entire metamorphosis. “Width of a Circle” was a remarkably appropriate choice, as the glam-rock medley takes many forms, much like Herman’s skating and persona do throughout the part.

We see striped polos, shaved heads, and pristine, white button ups. There’s hucking, picnic tables, and handrails. Herman didn’t choose this song, but the song didn’t choose him either. The two were simply meant to be. What we’re left with is something legends are made of, and so another Bowie song is off-limits forever.

Marc Johnson -Pretty Sweet - (2013)“Five Years” - The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars (1972)

Luckily when I watched MJ’s Pretty Sweet part for the first time, I wasn’t sitting at a table. If that were the case, you know for damn sure I would have flipped that thing the moment he bossed out that backside noseblunt, just as the opening drums for Ziggy’s “Five Years” kicked in.

It was a perfect moment in skate history, for a man whose transcendental stuntwood abilities are vested in a rich history of flawless music supervision. “Five Years” was the icing on the cake, and what we’re left with is proof of the undying human spirit, and the possibility of progression regardless of age.

In many ways, Bowie and MJ are parallels in their respective crafts for this keen ability to reinvent.

Hector Gill Credits - Coliseum Boston Massacre (2004) “The Man Who Sold The World” - The Man Who Sold The World (1970)

I think it speaks volumes about Bowie’s legacy that a clip of two dudes in the back seat of a car, singing along to “Man Who Sold The World” for a fleeting moment of time, crammed smack dab in the middle of Hector Gill’s credits section in Coliseum’s oft-forgotten Boston Massacre video, would leave a lasting impression on an very impressionable 12-year-old.

At this time, Kazaa was still sort of a thing, and I remember making it a point to download that song as soon as the video was over. Something about that lyric, “You’re face, to face, with the man who sold the world” incited a bit of a religious experience within me. I was there. I looked at that dude. The one who sold the world...That dude was me, and nothing was the same.

*Zoolander *(2001)

Yeah we know this has nothing to do with skating, but this was important for me as a kid. At the time, I had only heard “Heroes” and while I had fallen in love with Bowie’s sounds, I didn’t fully understand what kind of icon he actually was. The “walk off” scene, featuring Bowie, is a testament to whom Bowie is as an icon, both in the fashion world and the music world as well.

I know it’s a comedy and a ridiculous comedy at that, but this is what seeing Bowie in public should actually be like...people literally in awe, like you’re in the presence of a creature from another world. It should also be noted that as it appears, this ain’t Bowie’s first rodeo. See “old school rules”, aka been there done that, and you lads are lucky I’m sitting this one out. Fucking legend.

Chocolate Montage* - Yeah Right! (2003) - “Fame” - Young Americans (1975)

2003 was sort of a “changing of the guard” moment for Chocolate. Some of the brand’s original members, from the days of Paco and The Chocolate Tour, had either taken a back seat or had left entirely. Keenan had passed on and his vacancy would never be replaced.

However, these departures opened doors for some newcomers i.e. Kenny Anderson, Marc, Justin Eldridge, Chris Roberts etc. and our first “New Chocolate” experience came in the form of the Yeah Right! montage set to Bowie’s “Fame”. And here’s where the real genius of editing comes in: “Fame” is laced with notes of funk and hip-hop, two genres of music that basically defined the soundtrack of prior Chocolate videos. But now with Chocolate beginning to move on from the tragic loss of Keenan, and the departures of some of their original riders, they’re seeing a chance to reinvent and rebuild themselves...and who else knows that game better than Bowie himself.

An appropriate tip of the hat to the old Chocolate, while also making a step in a new direction...all by way of Bowie’s irrefutable mastery of all known musical genres. That’s how you edit a video, boys and girls.

Steve Olson - Tentacles of Destruction (1993) “Quicksand” - Hunky Dory (1971)

This part rules, but it’s not without its oddities. It’s probably one of the earliest forms of the #emotional skate video part, and not so much in the modern sense with all of the board throwing and crying, but more so the tear jerking selection of “Quicksand” to highlight Steve Olson’s head scratching technical abilities. Take the frontside 180 nosegrind frontside shove it out down Hubba, or high speed crooked grind nollie frontside heelflip out...all set to Bowie’s acoustic masterpiece “Quicksand”.

You see, some of these tricks are really insane and ahead of their time...and some are just really weird. But again, we see a genius in editing here, because the true lesson that Bowie taught us in his time here on earth, is that being different is not only ok, but it’s integral for any culture to evolve. And as we all know, Olson followed his weirdness where ever it would take him, soon evolving into the Skate Hippie/Monk we all know and love. Embrace your strange, people, fuck what anyone else says.

Jeremy Klein/Heath Kirchart - The End *(1998) - Under Pressure" - Hot Space (1982)*

Few songs could be more "suit"-able (so sorry) than "Under Pressure" for this classic 1998 part. Freddy Mercury and Bowie together, a dynamic duo that sets the score for another dynamic and truly timeless duo, Jeremy and Heath. For such a serious video, it was so rad to see two legendary street skaters come together and do something totally different.

The suits, the jump ramps, even the song is sort of odd in the context of The End, though maybe people couldn't understand Freddy Mercury and David Bowie collaborating the way they did back in 1981, but regardless of it's meaning, or rumors of their relationship, the world is a much better place for their collaboration, as is the skateboard world for Mr. Klein and Mr. Kirchart's.

Music Appreciation: Andre Nickatina


Like so many others who have been lucky enough to grow up in and around skateboarding culture, countless bands and artists have come to my attention through skate videos. Before skateboarding was being #hashtagged and shared across the universe every second of every day, it always felt so cool being able to soak in new music when watching a skate video, as if you were in on a secret only a select few people knew about. The music meant so much more to you than just a song you heard on a radio, it brought you to a certain place and time relative to the part it was from. Cue Sir Andre Nickatina, who is, in my humble opinion, the greatest living Bay Area MC (RIP Mac Dre). What I love about Nicky is that the moment he starts rapping you know exactly who he is, he has a voice that could be recognized anywhere in the world, he's like the Morrissey of the rap world (easy voice recognition is where there that comparison immediately stops). Like so many bands and artists that have wound up in skate videos over and over again (Dino Jr., Smiths, etc.) Nickatina has seen his fair share of video parts, I honestly think of him as a skateboarder first, rapper second. We took a brief look at this contributions to skate videos and picked a couple of our favorites from over the years.

Mike York, Hot Chocolate - "Ayo For Yayo"


Damn, dude. York and Nickatina just make sense. They blend so well, they're like a banana and strawberry smoothie...if the strawberries were cocaine and the banana's were tech manual tricks on a bad knee. While Nicky tells harrowing stories of the destructive nature of a crack cocaine addiction, York is twisting and bending, combo-ing slides into grinds, flipping in and out of stuff, shifty-ing whilst in the city...I mean how could you not just love what's happening here. And what a catchy chorus, you'll be walking around mumbling about the yayo all in yo' naso' the whole goddamn day, and that's ok. But just like characters in Nickatina's rap tragedy, poor York's knee gives out, cutting both his time skating on tour and in his part, all too short. Don't do drugs, kids (jk).

Mike Carroll, The Chocolate Tour - "Crack Raider Razor"


Like, DUH. This song was made for this part. And I don't mean like that MURS song that James Craig skated to, where MURS was actually rapping about James Craig, I mean that the lyrical assault and all out destruction that Nickatina hands down on the track is mirrored visually by Carroll's merciless slaughter of so many innocent spots across the country. Spike recently won "Best Original Screenplay" for Her, and while that is most definitely an outstanding accomplishment, I kind of feel like he got robbed in the "Hardest Carroll Part Ever" category, though I've been told that this doesn't exist in any industry's award show. Either way, we salute all three of you, Nicky, Spike, and Carroll, because the world is just a better place when you all work together in any context. (A special sorry to Meza if you were the one that edited that part, def not trying to take that away from you, if it was you, you killed it too ;) )

Furby, Via Marina - "I'm A Junkie"


I should start by saying I'm not really a Furby fan. No offense to Furby or his fan base, just being honest, he's never been someone on my radar. However, if there was ever a time where I did like Furby, it would be pre-gauges/Batman pajamas Furby, faded baggy jeans and kind of a bowl cut Furby. This part is actually really good. And no, I can't think off the top of my head of any tricks that he did, why? Because I'm listening to this fucking song so loud. The song is the part. Honestly they could just nixed his footage and played the song with a black screen loud as fuck and it would have made me want to go skate. Even despite Equipto's presence, this is still one of my all time favorite Andre Nickatina songs. It feels like what would be playing in Nickatina's villainous cocaine cathedral, where crack fiends come to worship the almighty drug dealing pope as he gives his psychedelic sermons. And yeah, Furby's footage is pretty sick to it too...

Jeff Lenoce, Baker 3 - "The Last Rap I'll Ever Write"


"ANDRE NICKATINA KIDS, SHOW ME WHERE YOUR SISTER LIVES..." I mean need I say more? I actually like Jeff Lenoce a lot, but the Nicky song steals the show here. While Lenoce rifles off clip after clip, Nicky is over the top, spitting more fire than a goddamn dragon. Just before your brain fully melts and you don't think you can take anymore, you get a black screen. OH SHIIIIIIIIIT, DID SOMEONE JUST PUT CODEINE IN MY SODA OR DID THIS WHOLE PART JUST GET SCREWED THE FUCK UP? What an insane way to bring in the hammer section to your part. Start to finish this part's more of a drug trip than a video part. I wonder if Nick ever heard Beagle/Reynolds chopped and screwed version...he'd be psyched for sure.

Gailea Momolu, Battalion - "All Star Chuck Taylors" 


Despite being able to sense your skepticism about me posting a part from a Darkstar video, I'll have you know, this video is full of good skating. There was a time and a place where I watched this video almost everyday, start to finish. Nicky actually makes an appearance twice in this video, here in Gailea's very chill part, as well as the credits of the video. A great track for this dude's skating, "All Star Chuck Taylors" has a very calm and collected flow, probably no coincidence when set to Gailea's skating. Unfortunately for us, Gailea does not seem to have been as prolific as Mr. Nickatina, and while we are continually blessed with Dre. Dogs flows, we are very much without Gailea's nollie bigspins/very cool pop shove its. Another reason to thank the seemingly never ending archive of the internet, you shall never be forgotten, Gailea, your legend lives on.

Gilbert Crockett, Cell Out - "Cadillac Girl"


I saved this one for last because it's the newest on the list but it also has a very high go skate factor, so I won't blame you if you're not even reading what I'm writing and just watching the part. It also is a special Nickatina song because it features Mac Dre as well as Nickatina and like so many dynamic duos in skateboarding (Carroll/Rick, Danny Way/Colin McKay, Jamie Thomas/Jamie Thomas) Nick and Mac Dre together is guaranteed perfection. Now, I understand that Greg Hunt just made the Vans video, and he's probably one of the greatest filmers/editors in skateboarding, but is it wrong if I prefer Crockett skating to this fucking cocaine inspired ignorant bliss, shredding curbs and ripping the fuck out of his hometown? No offense Greg, you definitely did a good job and all but this is just something I can relate to more (the music and the curbs, not really the ripping or the cocaine). Download this song, turn your car's speakers all the way up, and go skate. More stuff like this and skateboarding wouldn't really be so bad all the time. :)

An Abbreviated History: Rodney Mullen's Song Choices


The other day I was listening to my starred songs on Spotify. For those of you who aren’t familiar with “starred” songs, it’s a feature that Spotify is desperately trying to get rid of. It used to be a really easy way to save songs and create a playlist (you just click the *star* next to the song) but now there is no star. Just a plus. Not sure what the plus does, but I'm definitely not using it. I’m probably just stupid. Spotify


So I was listening to my starred songs (which are now just in a hard-to-access bucket, fuck you Spotify), and Cat Stevens came on. I like Cat Stevens. Might even say I love Cat Stevens (let’s stick with like for now). My dad used to listen to him when I was a kid, so it has all that nostalgia built in. The song that came on was “If You Want To Sing Out, Sing Out”. Great tune. But it reminded me of something.

Rodney Mullen skated to this song.

Yes, the original "King of Freestyle", the guy who laid the foundation for what we call street skating today, skated to a slow, emotional folk song with nothing but guitar and Cat’s voice. Amazingly, it worked. I didn’t get bored watching, or think it was weird when I first saw his part in Questionable. I was just taking in the fact that this guy could slide a casper. And land it.

All this really got me thinking. Rodney parts were bouncing around in my head. From Virtual Reality to Almost Round 3. Has this guy ever skated to a normal song? Let’s start at the beginning. Well, maybe not the beginning, I’m going to skip over the Bones Brigade stuff because they don’t really fit the standard format of individual parts and the music for the most part is just generic 80’s rock and sucks ass. Let’s start with Rubbish Heap.

Rubbish Heap, 1989


Now first thing to remember, it’s 1989, years before many of you reading this were born, and long before the rules of the modern skate part were established. Second thing to remember, Spike Jonze made this video. Now that you have some context, let’s review Rodney’s soundtrack.

First song - some insane classical violin that lasts about 20 seconds.

Second song - silence, which we’ve learned only pays off in rare instances.

Third song - I want to say this is an improvised original by Spike using a Casio keyboard. That's all there really is to say about it. NEXT.

Questionable, 1992


Who directed this, Ternasky? I'm gonna go with Ternasky. Now what I’m going to say here might shock you, but I am going to say that Rodney (again) didn’t pick his own songs here. I want to say that Ternasky picked songs that he thought fit Rodney the best. You’ll understand why later.

First song - What a Wonderful World, by Louis Armstrong. WOW. Not sure that there’s anybody in the world who hasn’t cried at least once listening to this song. I’d like to imagine that Mike chose this song as a representation of Rodney’s true love for skateboarding, as we’ve all heard a million times in interviews, TED talks, etc. The guy loves his damn skateboard.

Second song -  If You Want To Sing Out, Sing Out, by Cat Stevens. No clue, really, I think Ternasky just liked this song a lot and knew that nobody would question it if Rodney was skating to it.

Virtual Reality, 1993


Ternasky at the helm again. Before we dive into Rodney’s songs in this one, I just want to quickly say that VR was and still is one of the most significant videos in my collection. Before there was Dill/Strobeck, or Carroll/Howard, there was Mike Ternasky. Rocco likens Ternasky's motives to making the dream team of skateboarding, but I think it was more. I would say that it was more organic than that.  You didn't feel like these guys were forced to skate together. It felt genuine, and proved to be so with the long-lasting Girl family.These videos had a family-style feel, and perhaps created the importance of the credits section. RIP Ternasky.


First song - You Don’t Mess Around With Jim, by Jim Croce. Ahhh, the classic up-tempo folk song about a bad-ass pool shark who runs the town. This is Mike’s idea of Rodney. You don’t disrespect the boss (not to be confused with The Boss...or The Boss. Or The Boss?).

Second song - Time In A Bottle, by Jim Croce. Okay, so this is where I’m going to just say it, though these are great songs, classic songs, 0 out of the 4 songs that Ternasky used for Mullen are songs that are in any way appropriate for skateboarding. During this section we are watching Rodney do anti-casper slides, and darkslides down hubbas. And for some reason we are listening to a slow, romantic love song that our parents probably...I won't even go there. COME ON!

Second Hand Smoke, 1994


So as we know, Ternasky passed away in 94 in a tragic car accident. This left this video to Jacob Rosenberg, who actually helped produce the previous videos, and would go on to have a pretty cool instagram with relics from this era, @jacobrosenberg. More importantly though, it’s my opinion that in this video Jacob came on and the skaters pressured him to let them choose their own songs. Including Rodney.

Song - Dream On, by Aerosmith. Finally Rodney shows his true colors, as a classic rock/pop junkie. Rodney’s CD cases are full of Greatest Hits, 80’s Pop Compilations, Now That’s What I Call Music, etc. He fucking loves it. Run out of CDs and have to turn on the radio? No problem for Rodney, that’s his shit.

Rodney Mullen vs. Daewon Song, 1997


Rodney’s first feature film. His name in the title. This is your big moment Rodney, don't blow this one. “Who can I use?”, he wonders.

First Song - Help, by the Beatles. “Ahh, that’s it, I’ll just pick the most popular band in history!”

The only acceptable use of The Beatles in a skate video was when With A Little Help From My Friends was used in the friends section of Virtual Reality (it was appropriate, and Jeron/Lotti kill it)

Second song - People Are Strange, by The Doors. Rodney has the music taste of a twelve year old. He is literally just using the last song that he heard and was stuck in his head when he was going to edit.

The Revolution, 1997

Same songs. Don’t even get me started.

Quick break for a great YouTube comment:

rodney youtube comment

Rodney Mullen vs. Daewon Song: Round 2, 1999


Alright Rodney, now here’s your chance to redeem yourself. Just pick a rad song. Something we haven’t heard before, something maybe a little less emotional.

Song - Clubbed to Death, by Rob D. Now you might not recognize this song by it’s name, but you might remember it from a little under-the-radar movie that also happened to come out in 1999. Yes folks, Rodney used a song from The Matrix soundtrack. Good lord.

Opinion, 2001


I’ve kind of lost all hope at this point. Just roll it.

Song - Sweet Home Alabama, by Zoeangel. Honestly, what the fuck is this? Rodney thinks about using Sweet Home Alabama, the most tired song in American history, but decides to not use Skynrd, but an EVEN SHITTIER VERSION.

Round Three, 2004


This is Rodney’s retirement part, and I have to say, I was actually really psyched on the part for what it was, and still love it because the dude at this point had been killing it for so many years. Having said that

First song - Train in Vain, by The Clash. I’m going to be honest with you I just hate this song. Some people might like it but for me it’s just annoying. People may say that Rodney finally redeemed himself here, but I would pass on that statement.

Second song - Teardrop, by Massive Attack. I think I finally get it. Rodney’s song choices throughout his entire career have been a big joke on us, and he ties the knot with this one. A song that’s been endlessly covered, used in a million movies and TV shows, including the theme for House, and whose has over 25 million views on YouTube. I feel like this is that moment in The Usual Suspects when you realize that Kevin Spacey is Keyser Soze. We all just got duped. Bravo, Rodney, Bravo.

*not on the internet

THPS Soundtracks: The Mixtapes of Tony Hawk


This week we’ve been thinking a lot about Hawk, and it’s hard not to think back on his legacy without spending a good amount of time reflecting on the video games. What made these games so truly special? Was it the graphics? Was it School II? Was it the fact that you were abandoning all hope of hooking up with chicks so that you could get the secret tape in the Warehouse or try and stop Eric Sparrow from stealing your footy? No. It was none of those. It finally dawned on me that it was the soundtrack. These soundtracks weren’t just happenstance. Each one was intricately planned, with songs was specifically chosen by Tony, for each of these games.

You see, like many of us, Tony’s not much of an “I love you” kind of guy (ask Riley), he’s a mixtape kind of guy. And we’re lucky enough to have received a little gift from Tony in each one of his games, just like the one you gave (or made but never had the courage to give :( to that girl you loved in high school.

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater


Dead Kennedys - Police Truck

The Ernies - Here and Now

Even Rude - Vilified

Goldfinger - Superman

Primus - Jerry Was a Race Car Driver

Speedealer - Screamer/Nothing to Me

Suicidal Tendencies - Cyco Vision

The Suicide Machines - New Girl

Unsane - Committed

The Vandals - Euro-Barge

This is arguably Tony’s most natural mix, as the songs blend together seamlessly, and are each of a similar genre. Most some weird mix of ska meets funk metal*. Most people go through their ska phase when they’re in their teens. Tony went through his when he was 30. But hey, who are we to judge.

With this mix Tony wanted to share with us the songs that he listens to when he trains. Cyco Vision was actually the song that Tony was listening to when he landed the 900. Don’t believe me? Why don’t we take another look.

tony headphones 2

The proof is in the pudding. Anyway, I think it’s worthwhile to note that the inclusion of Primus was a direct tribute (diss) to Pat Duffy, for snubbing him from the video games. He even got snubbed from the bail sections.

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2


Rage Against the Machine - Guerilla Radio

Bad Religion - You

Anthrax - Bring the Noise

Powerman 5000 - When Worlds Collide

Naughty by Nature - Pin the Tail on the Donkey

Papa Roach - Blood Brothers

The High and Mighty - B-Boy Document 99

Consumed - Heavy Metal Winner

Dub Pistols - Cyclone

Swingin’ Utters - Five Lessons Learned

Styles of Beyond - Subculture

Millencolin - No Cigar

Alley Life - Out with the Old

Lagwagon - May 16

Fu Manchu - Evil Eye

Ahhh, the THPS2 Soundtrack. A personal favorite. So many hours spent playing School II. Top track has to be When Words Collide. Tony seemed to have been coming off of his ska high, and settling into some "harder" rock. I wish I could see Tony listen to Papa Roach - Blood Brothers and say, "yes, this has to be in there".

Something strange happens in this mix though. Tony's changed. When you're playing THPS2 with your friends for the first time, you're in a state of pure hype. You can manual now, and Powerman 5000 is playing. Dinnertime? What the fuck is dinner?

Then, all of a sudden, just as you're settling in, Naughty by Nature comes on.


Don't get me wrong, I like hip hop, but this shit completely changed the tone. It's like when you're homie comes back from summer vacation and is all of a sudden wearing South Pole. Uhhh....

Tony doesn't stop there, though. Before you know it you're listening to Styles of Beyond, and you feel like it's the soundtrack of Rodney Mullen vs. Daewon Song Round 2. But I suppose the insanity of it all is what made me fall in love.

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3


Adolescents - Amoeba

AFI - The Boy Who Destroyed the World

Alien Ant Farm - Wish

Bodyjar - Not the Same

CKY - 96 Quite Bitter Beings

Del the Funky Sapien - If You Must

Guttermouth - I’m Destroying the WOrld

House of Pain - I’m a Swing It

KRS - One - Hush

Mad Capsule Markets - Pulse

Motorhead - Ace of Spades

The Nextmen - Amongt the Madness

Ozomatli - Cut Chemist Suite

The Ramones - Blitzkrieg Bop

Red Hot Chili Peppers - Fight Like a Brave

Redman - Let’s Get Dirty

The Revered Horton Heat - I Can’t Surf

Rollins Band - What’s the Matter Man

Xzibit - Paparazzi

Zebrahead - Check

Alright folks. THPS3 is a real turning point. It's when we discover the type of person that Tony really is, and we should have known long before this. From his trick selection, to the eclectic group of skaters in the game, to the incohesive styles of Birdhouse pros, Hawk clothing riders, the Boom Boom Huck Jam roster...the list goes on. He's the least picky person in history. Take Tony to a restaurant? You're fucked. He'll spend the first 45 minutes trying to decide on something, only to go with "whatever you're getting".

I think I'm going to let the soundtrack speak for itself on this one, but I do want to mention that the use of Ace of Spades is a ballsy one. He took a song that everybody knew, and forced them to forever relate it to his video game.

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4


Ok - this is where I stop listing all of the songs. If you really want to see them all, they are here.

Tony is speaking to us at this point. This is a cry for help. He is taking on too much in his life, and as a reflection he produces a mix that is not only 37 tracks long, it is all over the fucking place. Much like his life at the time, there is just no sense of stability.

From System of a Down, to Run-DMC, from Agent Orange to Public Enemy, Tony shows us that he is trying to be everything. You know that somebody is in trouble when they include Muskabeatz in their soundtrack. To this day I can't get through this video game without my eyes welling up with tears for Tony and his internal struggle.

As the story goes, the soundtracks following THPS4 (THUG and beyond) were handled by developers of the games, after they had witnessed Tony's meltdown. We are, however, forever grateful for the contributions that he was able to provide in those first four games, and will never forget the Mixtapes of Hawk.


*just googled "rage against the machine genre"