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.
image via vintage skateboarding magazines
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.
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)