Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Skaterdater


Skaterdater is a short film from 1966 that claims to be "the first theatrical film to capitalize on the new skateboarding craze." According to the back of this LP the film was made by two UCLA film grads who worked in the industry and borrowed equipment and worked on weekends to complete the film. IMDB features a review by Bill McKaig who is one of the skaters in the movie. According to him their skate club was called The Imperials.  They "won a skateboard contest in Hermosa Beach around 1964 and [writer/director] Noel Black was there looking for some kids. Since most of the other teams were sponsored by Hobie, Jack's Surfboard, etc., he talked with us."

The film in its entirety is on YouTube (linked below). It follows a skate team as they roll around town. When their leader starts paying too much attention to a girl he is challenged to a downhill race for control of the team. As I type this out I realize this is also the plot of Thrashin'. The film itself is about 17 minutes but the soundtrack contains 26 minutes of instrumental surf. It was written by Mike Curb and performed by Davie Allan & the Arrows. (The Arrows seems to be a generic name that Allan used for his backing band, whoever that happened to be at the time. There are actually no musician credits on the sleeve but it is widely credited to Davie Allan & the Arrows since Allan is known to have played on the album.) Due to a track called "Skaterdater Rock" that features Allan's signature buzzsaw distortion, Allan gained some minor acclaim and, together with Curb, worked on many other soundtracks, primarily for mid to late '60s biker films. This album was later parodied when the Phantom Surfers teamed up with Davie Allan on the 1998 LP Skaterhater.

"Skaterdater Rock" is almost certainly the first time skateboarding met distortion. Davie Allan is not too remembered but he did pioneer some fuzzed out guitar sounds that fall between Link Wray's early distortion experimentation of the late '50s / early '60s and Jimi Hendrix's guitar wizardry of the late '60s. 


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