June 20, 2013/ / ARTICLES/ Comments: 29


Most skateboarders know the unwritten list of untouchable skate video tunes by heart, like Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide, Knights in White Satin, The Knife Song, and Like a Friend. In fact, the unwritten list probably is written down somewhere. However, I reject the notion that a song can only be used once in a video. There have been plenty of classic songs that have been wasted on dated skateboarding, random montages and mediocre edits, and I think these songs definitely deserve a second chance…

5. Jefferson Airplane – ‘White Rabbit’

Used by: Lindsay Robertson, in ‘Dying to Live’

‘White Rabbit’ is a relic of the 1960’s, an era when copious LSD usage and tie-dye was accepted and widespread. Similarly, Lindsay Robertson is also a relic of an era past, when heelflip indys and parts with no lines were acceptable (no, a trick on flat followed by a rail or gap is not a line). His ‘Dying to Live’ part is not necessarily a bad edit, but so much more could be done with this song. Specifically, the overuse of slow-mo for the first half of the song is awfully uninspired.

Possible candidates: I’d love to see a part where the gradual build of the song is acknowledged with a section of lines at first, leading to a fast-paced “hammers” section. I bet Nick Trapasso could pull this song off.

4. Sonic Youth – ‘Teenage Riot’

Used by: P-Rod, in ‘Nothing But The Truth’

No disrespect to P-Rod, but this song (a personal favorite of mine) just doesn’t fit. P-Rod skating to RJD2’s eerie beats works but P-Rod skating to Thurston Moore’s screwdriver guitar riffs, not so much.

Possible Candidates: The first thing most skateboarders think of when they think of Sonic Youth is Ed Templeton, and this song would still be perfect in a Foundation or Toy Machine video. A full Ryan Spencer or Daniel Lutheran part to this song would be badass.

3. Radiohead – ‘Karma Police’

Used by: Jason Jones, in ‘Sane’

The steady beat, the breaks, the build, the finale, and seemingly every other element of this late 90’s Radiohead track make it seem like it was tailor-made for a skate video, but no one jumped on it for years (sans local parts, shout-outs to Nick Turner). Eventually, Digital claimed it for a Jason Jones part, but the edit was mediocre at best. (Slams and time-lapses montages? Come on). ‘Karma Police’ never got its proper due, and with the Radiohead hype dying down, it may never be use in its full glory.

Possible Candidates: It’s been years since I’ve heard a Radiohead song in a video, so holding on to this song may just be nostalgia at its finest. However, when Transworld videos were king, there’s no doubt that Jon Holland and Jason Hernandez could have made this song work for most anyone.

2. Pink Floyd – ‘Fearless’

Used by: Habitat Skatepark montage, in ‘Regal Road’

Habitat was still at the top of the game when ‘Regal Road’ was released in the second half of 2005, and Joe Castrucci does a great job editing the team’s tour footage to this underrated Pink Floyd song. Just look at the way he edits all of the lines in the song’s first break, the transition from skatepark footage to street footage when the guitar picks up again, or the super-8 footage used towards the second half of the montage. None of that changes the fact that “Fearless” was used for a skatepark montage in a tour video, and thus limits any real kind of “classic” status. I wish this one was saved for the full-length.

Possible Candidates: Truthfully, I don’t want to see anyone but Castrucci use this song again, and Mark Suciu could easily fill out this song (with an extra two minutes of footage to spare).

1. The Doors – ‘Riders On The Storm’

Used by: Pat Duffy, in ‘Questionable’

I’m sure I’m gonna get a lot of shit for picking a song from a classic part, so let me attempt to justify myself quickly: There’s no doubt that Pat Duffy’s inaugural video part is one for the history books, but most people associate Pat’s video parts with Primus. The Doors song only kicks in for what, the last twenty or thirty seconds of the part? It’s not even enough time to hear the song’s opening lyrics, and definitely not enough time to associate the song with the part, which is why I think ‘Riders On The Storm’ is fair game.

Possible Candidates: A nice, long montage with lots of lines, from a region where it rains a lot.

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  1. Dave da Ribeira

    June 20, 2013 2:34 pm

    For a stonking, inspired soundtrack it’s got to be ‘Transworld: Cinematographer’. No moronic gangsta rap or fast food punk/metal just pure indie-rock joy. Chavez, Tortoise, Trans Am, Dinosaur Jr, Palace etc. For a (now) corporate skater Paul Rodriguez does like some pretty interesting music.

  2. Frank 2

    June 20, 2013 2:34 pm

    “no, a trick on flat followed by a rail or gap is not a line”

    This is especially true when the first trick is a standard line filler trick, like a tré or nollie flip. I suppose they are used to fill in some time, but otherwise a waste.

  3. Wussy

    June 20, 2013 3:10 pm

    Dear Mr. Murrell,
    Nicely done. A very credible selection of aesthetic miscues. But, kind sir, your characterization of the Paty Duffy “Riders of The Storm” is indeed troubling. In my humble view, this is not just an effective use of the song, but a moment of such
    transcendent beauty that only a heathen would fail to be moved by its poesy. Can you not see/feel/hear that it is at this very moment that Questionable truly begins to cast its mesmerizing spell on the viewer? Does your soul truly remain unmoved by the sound of the rain and like the actual rain and, like, the rain. Nonetheless, your maverick thesis suggests
    a healthy willingness to resist conventional wisdom. Maybe we have been staring at shadows in a cave all along and you are showing us the light. 1, maybe Dan Brown is a better author than Ralph Ellison. Maybe, just maybe, Godather 3 is preferable to Godafther 1 A/A-

  4. los piimas

    June 20, 2013 3:22 pm

    its funny to see how there is these periods when every skatevideo got some hippy rock and now gangsta rap. It would be nice to see some skatevideos where the music doesnt go with “skatevideo fashion”. Especially now it seems that gangstarap is fuckin popular.

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