1/22/10

Vinyl Dynamite #19: Skateboardin' USA (1976)



I don't think many people today realize that skateboarding was every bit as much a phenomenon in the 1970's as roller skating. Certainly, Dogtown and the Z Boys and Lords of Dogtown helped bring awareness to its history, but I think most associate skateboarding's ascention to mainstream popularity with the 1980's.  Tony Hawk certainly brought unprecedented attention to the sport, and the whole alternative music scene embraced it; however, it was big first in the late 70's.



Today's vinyl dynamite is Skateboardin' USA by Sneakers & Lace. I don't know if they ever recorded another album, or what ever became of them. However, this LP is a fantastic example of capitalizing on a trend and actually doing a good job with it, rather than just churning out crap and hoping people buy it just because of its association with the skateboarding trend.




I'm also not sure if they were real skateboarders (commentors, please enlighten me). But then, who cares? The Beach Boys sang about surfing, yet members of the band couldn't surf if their life depended on it. And speaking of the Beach Boys, many of the songs on this album bear more than a passing resemblance to Brian Wilson's music.

"Skateboardin'" (click here to download)



"Down in the Street" has a Tony Orlando flair. In fact, the album was produced by Phil Margo, who alos produced Tony Orlando & Dawn. (Click here to download)



"Sidewalk Convoy" is amazing because it simultaneously capitalizes on count'em TWO fads of the day: skateboarding and truckers! Pretty impressive. C.W. McCall would be very disturbed. (Click here to download).



According to the LP inside cover, their average age is 16 and a half, and the three guys were known as the "Toilet Trio" at school. They bumped into the girl, Carolyn, whilst skateboarding in Central Park, and BANG! Sneakers & Lace were born! Supposedly, a famous record producer heard them practicing in the park and instantly had them in a recording studio....... this whole story sounds a bit fishy to me.



Rare MP3 Music has the entire LP available for download here.

Bootz and Glitz has an amazing collection of skateboarding songs from the 1970's. Take a listen to one before you go.

Wood Lane - "Skateboard Saturday" (1978)



9 comments:

  1. Skateboarding AND trucking in one song? That's forcing two unlike things together in an unnatural way.

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  2. I knew a few skateboarders in the late 70s and this was NOT what they were listening to.
    'Sidewalk Convoy'...WTF? Does Tony Hawk know about this?

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  3. I have no recollection of this album's existence. Sidewalk Convoy has to be the goofiest thing I've ever heard!

    Back in 1978 I got a concussion from a nasty skateboard spill. I was cruising down my street really fast and I hit a rock...the skateboard came to a stop, but I kept going. What was really weird was that my neighbor was down the street mowing the lawn and saw the whole thing, but pretended not to see me lying on the ground. That was the end of my skateboarding days.

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  4. I can't say for sure since I've never heard of them before but I think their origin story sounds fishy as well. The music sounds completely artificial to me. I don't think it's a coincidence that they sound like other bands. I'm sure it was quite deliberate.

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  5. I knew skateboarding was big in the late 1970's because they were doing it in episodes of Wonder Woman and Chips. I think I learned of all the current late 70's trends through watching cheesey TV shows. Okay, maybe that wasn't the best source, but it was all we had.

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  6. The 70’s were actually the second wave of skateboarding it was big in the 60's too. Around 1964/65 - a world championship and the first skateboard magazine; The Quarterly Skateboarder

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  7. i still got my old school Skateboard
    anything else??

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  8. Awesome! Thanks for sharing. Ever hear of a skateboarding movie called "Go For It!" I think it came out in 1976...should have some classic footage. Can't remember where I heard of it...

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  9. I have the album sitting on my record player right now.. I love the way it looks, super colorful... although i have yet to listen to it!
    HA

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