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.
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"