Skatestock III returns to Houston, Texas
For the third year in a row Skatestock, a unique skateboarding celebration, will take place at Lee and Joe Jamail skatepark in downtown Houston, Texas. Skateboarders from the golden era of the late '70s and early '80s will be in attendance, skating and interacting with the public. The aim is to combine skateboarding, music and art by way of a demo, but with more accessibility to the legends. And it's free for all ages. "Skateboarding is free, therefore Skatestock is," said organizer Barry Blumenthal.
Skatestock lll is scheduled for Saturday, October 18, 2014.
Skatestock is Blumenthal's brainchild, which came from similar events he organized in Houston in recent years. "Skatestock morphed from our annual free Sk8 & Rock concert series at Lee and Joe Jamail Park," said Blumenthal. "The event really focuses on the culture of skateboarding and its origins. Skateboarding's current form, from the skateparks, maneuvers and music to today's X Games, would not be possible without the discovery and work these skate legends put in nearly forty years ago."
This year, a greater number of the legends Blumenthal is referring to will be in attendance than the previous two. The list of invited skaters reads like a Hall of Fame inductee list: Tony Alva, Steve Alba, Lance Mountain, Steve Olson, Doug Saladino, Chris Strople, Jerry Valdez, Peggy Oki, Wally Inouye, John Gibson, Craig Johnson, Brian Brannon and Tim Kerr. "[All of these people] are skate or rock icons for different reasons," Blumenthal said. "They are all skateboarding royalty."
Fans would likely be in awe to meet these pioneers, but it's actually the pioneers who are most impacted and humbled. Doug "Pineapple" Saladino, a freestyle skater from San Diego who transitioned into bowl skating in the late '70s, agrees. "For me personally, it's an opportunity for me to give back to skateboarding," admitted Saladino.
One of Saladino's lifelong friends, Steve Olson, was equally excited about participating last year. "I've known Pineapple for 38 years," said Olson. "He asked me if I wanted to go down to Houston for an event featuring cats that have been skateboarding their whole lives and have done things within the skateboard world. I said 'Yes' and I had a really great time."
The spirit of Skatestock revolves around the earlier generation of skateboarders and draws on the creativity of both skate and punk rock music through authentic connections, but how the theme all ties in goes a bit deeper than most people realize. "This was an amazing time when modern skateboarding was discovered and developed," continued Blumenthal. "This is a period when the style and its connection to surfing were very clear. Moreover, this is the time period when American Punk Rock and the DIY movement started. The other reason we invited icons like Tim Kerr and Brian Brannon is because they were skaters first and helped discover what became modern punk rock and skate-punk culture."
Keeping that skate-punk culture ethos alive and making their debut at this year's Skatestock will be the 169ers, a band made up of Saladino, Olson, Alba and Brannon. "Me, Steve Olson, Steve Alba and Brian Brannon -- we're all musicians and we're going to play at the after party," revealed Saladino. "After the event there's going to be an art auction and there will be a lot of punk rock bands playing at the club next door."
According to Steve Olson, Skatestock proves that reuniting with old friends is rewarding and it serves as a reminder that once you skate, you're a skater for life. "It's totally fun," Olson said. "It's great because you don't get to always see your friends because they live in different parts of the country or different parts of the world. Then when you come together it's like a reunion and you get to hang out and laugh. I really enjoy it. And we still skateboard, so skateboarding dies when you die."