In late August after much conversing with Eric at Chrome Ball and enjoying all that he does on his site, we asked him if he’d be into putting our efforts together in working on a project. I really like photos on tees, and so we bounced an idea to Chrome Ball of giving tribute to skate videos that pioneered what skateboarding is today by capturing and projecting unforgettable “non-action” scenes. There are those of you that lived it and know those moments are countless, and so this could’ve easily been one of those “big-all-over-screen-print-type” tees (that we don’t make) if we tried to fit them all on.
We’re calling this the VHS Tee. Chrome Ball threw us a bunch of frames from videos he’s inspired by and we picked out twelve that we were super stoked on.
I started skateboarding in 1988. The first skate video that entered my VCR was the Search for Animal Chin. I was hooked, period.
Below Chrome Ball comments with us on the why and inspo of each frame.
1. Rubbish Heap Counter Intro
Chrome Ball: Rocco formulated a “table of contents” of Rubbish Heap by using the counter on his VCR and posted it at the beginning of the tape. So deliciously low-budget. And innocent.
Richard: I will never forget the day when I traded in my Powell deck & T-Bones in for a Vallely and Gizmos. Whatever he did, it worked. Watched this video ten thousand times, Ron & Jeremy’s twelve thousand.
Chrome Ball: Hokus Pokus was a time when things just got crazy. This kid with his head in the trash served as the perfect intro for that lovely slo-mo skate camp footage. Classic material.
Richard: “Yeah Maaaatt!” I went out and bought a chain wallet at the liquor store on the corner. Serious impact and role model here.
3. Mic-E at the Wig Shop
Chrome Ball: Sick Boyz was the perfect antidote to all that Powell shinyness… and Mic-E always seemed like the coolest dude. Skateboarding’s Arthur Fonzarelli. I wonder if those women working at that store ever had any idea of the impact they made on an entire subculture. I hear the store is still open.
Richard: First exposure to raw Frisco street skating. Saw a bootleg copy of a bootleg copy of a bootleg. Come to think of it all these videos came around to us in Fontana that way.
Chrome Ball: Evidently this guy was never really intended to be a recurring character in Chris Hall’s video parts… he just always happened to be around. Classic East Coast steez. Love it.
Richard: Always wondered about the connection with the bum in 1281. I’m going to stop for a minute and watch Chris’s Useless Wooden Toys part.
Chrome Ball: Fire hydrants, firehose and this life-size Tonka truck left no doubts in his abilities.
Richard: Everything about this part was perfect. One of those songs that still comes out of me out of nowhere. I could be standing anywhere and start humming this song, even though I haven’t heard it in many years. Talk about impactful. And seriously another thing- turn this part on, turn this song up, and you’ll start feeling crazy like you can do a 900 or something.
Chrome Ball: T.G.’s Future Primitive Opus. “Streetstyle” was never the same. So much fun. And as clean and modern-looking as a street plaza is these days… I do miss those classic 80’s spots covered in crappy graffiti.
Richard: After watching Animal Chin, I went back to video store and asked my Uncle to rent Future Primitive, and The Bones Brigade Video Show. Tommy was one of my favorites in Chin. Had the best launches.
Chrome Ball: Genesis. All of your death lens, dolly track, VX/HD, four years-in-a-van, mega chopper, and Motel 6 shit can be rooted back to this very chimney… for better or for worse. Powell magic, indeed.
Chrome Ball: I remember hearing about the Boy King for years prior during his Shut and SMA days. He was already an underground legend for sure. But when this section came out, the whole world knew his name. Dude crushed the earth with that part… and filmed it in just two weeks.
Richard: Gnarly. Shortly after this video everybody was rocking Life boards where the bottom layer die was cut in half with different colors. The whole video was good, but I remember us dudes at the skate shop just rewinding this last part over and over again.
9. Blender’s Bubble Lady
Chrome Ball: The blissful moment in Blender’s amazing, infinitely-quotable “G&S Footage” part. A beautiful woman blowing bubbles in slow-motion… beats my man “Trainwreck” everytime. “It’s 1990, boys. Let’s get rid of the skeletons.”
Chrome Ball: So I decided to double up on Hokus Pokus just because I really don’t think that vid gets enough credit for being as important as it is. We’ve all had that experience where some weird old guy tries to fight 10 guys half his age in order to protect the honor of some random inanimate object. Always quite puzzling. We always use to call this guy “Zombie Spock” when we were kids. It’s the weird stuff you remember.
11. Chin Shadow
Chrome Ball: I remember see this video after school in the fifth grade. I didn’t even skate at the time, but my friend’s older brother brought this video home one day and it absolutely blew us away. Never been the same since. Big up to Johnny Rad.
Richard: This video changed the course of my life too. Like ditching the Kamikaze K-Mart board, to upgrading & trading in my entire G.I. Joe collection for a Steve Stedham deck. Didn’t care- It was a pro model skateboard. Because Animal Chin taught me one thing- skateboarding was for real.
12. MG‘s Video Day’s Outro
Chrome Ball: The whimsical conclusion to the best video part of all-time… in probably the best video of all time. A no-brainer.
Richard: Well said. copy & paste 85% of it, because Jason Lee’s part was a masterpiece visual for me too.
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Press Check. I can hang out in the back of the Screen Printer’s all day- love the smell of the inks.
Available February 2011 on Standard White Color tees & Premium Natural Color Tees. There’s been requests back East for printing this on a Crew Neck because it’s still cold, so we’ll keep you posted if we do.
We want to say thank you to Eric at the Chrome Ball Incident for collaborating his efforts with ours in making this VHS tee a fun one for us, and many thanks to all the skateboarders, filmers, people, & places that have inspired us to do what we do past, present, and future.