Penal Code 100 A is such a good shop video, it even made forget that there’s a Coolio tune in the Howard/Carroll part –courtesy of Mike Carroll, according to Aaron. The epitome of the SF/NYC connection, it also doubled as the the swan song of the hi-top white Superstar craze and featured about fifty of the most-wanted (sometimes blunted) skaters from both coasts, on classical spots. Penal Code 100 A also drew the blueprint, music-wise and otherwise, for the Girl/Chocolate decade to come.
(click on the sleeve, see the part)
The Isley Brothers : 3+3
Tune used : Who’s that lady (Montage #3)
Allright, allright: some might argue that this section’s highlight actually starts when the music stops. Just when the brothas from the same motha stop wondering who that intriguing lady might be, the Lennie Kirk show begins. Two sick lines, one drop of death, no music, cut. This said, this 90s skater’s wet dream montage wouldn’t be this good without The Isley Brothers’ track, a 1973 reworked tune inspired by, yes, another Impressions song. Which in turn was used by the Beastie Boys on Paul’s Boutique. “They sampled this and I loved it,” Aaron says, “so I just went to the source on this one.”
Back to more skate-related concerns, though: Guy Mariano’s come back. About as big as The Isleys’. Hailing from Cincinnati in 1954, they consisted originally of four brothers and lasted only one year with the original line-up, before they disappeared. The reason being, one of them died in an accident. Three years later, using the reliable Phoenix tactic, they rose from their ashes and went on as a trio, briefly using a guitar player named Jimi Hendrix. After elaborating some pretty cool soul/funk singles and LPs, success came when the Isleys somehow looked in their drawers and found two more brothers, plus one brother-in-law. Hence their album’s name, as simple as what they had become : 3+3.
After various disbandings, platinum albums, deaths and add-ons, things became fairly more complicated, so why get into it? All you need to know is that some of the most powerful (sometimes political) soul music came from this band of bros that sang a tune called Fight The Power 25 years before Public Enemy. Also, that once upon a time, a skateboarding montage bared names such as Weston Correa, Pepe Martinez, Robbie Gangemi, Rob Carlyon, Ben Liversedge and… wait, was that photographer Lance Dawes, almost a decade before Chomp? Meza truly invented everything.
Sly and The Family Stone : There’s a Riot Goin’On
Tune used : Family Affair (Montage #2)
Skateboarding’s always loved lyrics that matched the “montage spirit,” for some reason. While the Plan B guys were appreciating “a little help from their friends” in Virtual Reality, FTC saw the whole thing pretty much as “a family affair”. Cute. “I think I picked the people for this section that were actually family,” Meza explains, “like Marcus and Lavar McBride and the Keefe brothers, or people who were really close friends. Pretty corny, huh?”
Anyway, Sly’s little affair wasn’t any less rambunctious, as he stated on his 1971, Rhodes piano-led, synth-drummed mega-hit co-sung with his sister Rose. Family Affair definitely helped propelling the band’s fifth, darker and more conscious album to the very top of the charts. A funny destiny when you keep in mind that the tune itself got recorded in a Wenebago, at least part of it. And also that it was this close to becoming nothing at all: according to the biography Sly and the Family Stone An Oral History, the singer felt that Family Affair wasn’t strong enough to be released as a single. Imagine that. What would Aaron Meza have done? Use Thank You For being A Friend by Andrew Gold, of Golden Girls fame?
(*) Disclaimer : Please note that if one of the cleverest-matching tunes of all video-times, Althea and Donna’s Uptown Top Ranking, “Nah pop no style” (on Huf’s section), isn’t part of this selection, it’s simply because it is drowned in one of these disappointing reggae albums (jut re-listened to it, I confirm) –and we’re all about fully classic LPs over here, sorry. What do you mean, what’s a LP?