Does action sports still connect with rock? Not so much, if you consider the Warped Tour, which was built on the fusion of punk and skate cultures and is folding after 24 years. Or that Carlsbad-bred gold medalist Shaun White’s attempt to launch his own band, Bad Things, started with a Warner Bros. Records contract but crashed and burned with a legal settlement when a former bandmate alleged sexual harassment.
But a closer look shows that the snow/skate/surf world still thrives by connecting with rock and those worlds often intersect in San Diego.
“In the early days [’80s] punk rock was the staple of skate videos,” says Carlsbad’s Mike Palm of surf-punkers Agent Orange, whose music provided the soundtrack to the breakout 1984 skate video Skatevisions. “They both shared the same aggro sense of style. In the old days, a typical skate session was ten guys getting together and skating at an abandoned pool to punk rock blaring.”
While Palm says contemporary pro skaters and their videos have “branched out” musically, Agent Orange still enjoys its punk rock/skate connection: the band relies on selling Agent Orange skate-deck merch on its national tours.
“And we still play a lot of skate-park-related shows like the El Gato Classic in Palm Springs,” says Palm. “On St. Patrick’s Day we play the oldest existing skate park in the U.S. called Kona in Jacksonville, Florida…. I don’t think Warped Tour going away means anything since it seemed to move away from action sports.”
Another cheerleader for the pairing of rock and action sports is Chris Cote of Encinitas, who once edited the defunct Transworld Surf magazine, toured the country with Green Day and blink-182 as the bassist of Kut U Up, and who now anchors action-sports events for NBC-TV.
Cote agrees with Agent Orange’s Palm that Warped Tour fell off in popularity when it “moved away from its skate-punk roots,” yet he says there are telltale signs that the rock and action sports connection is still relevant.
- Saturday, February 24, 2018, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
San Elijo State Beach,
2050 South Coast Highway 101,
“Danny Way is making an album with Scott [Russo] of Unwritten Law,” he says of the world-famous Encinitas skater who jumped over the Great Wall of China and has his own band. “Now that surfing and skateboarding are going to be in the Olympics in 2020, it’s going to be huge. Because of what Shaun just did, I think more people just watched snowboarding than ever before.”
Cote organized this weekend’s Camp Shred free-admission event at San Elijo State Beach sponsored by Surfer magazine that mixes free surfboard demonstrations with live rock on Saturday and live reggae on Sunday.