Sunday, 28 February 2010

Sixties French 45's

Just getting to grips, with some help from Johnny Alpha, on posting Audio here on my blog. So.... just as a test, here is a half dozen top notch 60's French Freakbeat/YeYe 45's from my record collection.

The tracks are:
1.  Palladium  - Liz Brady
2.  Le temps d'y penser  - Eric St. Laurent
3. Ce maudit journal  - Ronnie Bird
4. C'est pas prudent  -Alice Dona
5. Ce fini  -Larry Greco
6. Tut tut tut  -Gillian Hills

Saturday, 27 February 2010


Here is a full set (so far) of SIDEBURN magazine, numbers 1 to 4. This really is the best 'Go Fast, Turn left' magazine in the world! The mag is masterminded by Gary Inman (pictured above) and Ben Part.
When you consider the subject matter in the magazine, i.e. dirt track motorcycle racing, predominantly an american pastime, it's kind of unusual that the printed word for this activity... is based in the UK!
What's even more unusual, is the mags acceptance by the U.S. dirt track community, both old and new, as the mouthpiece for all things dirt track.
I am not just making an assumption here...I witnessed it first hand.
Last September, I went to the Indy and Springfield Mile races. I took some copies of issue #3 to give to Chris Carr to sell at his race tent, which he did in about 2 hours. I don't like to name-drop but some other guys who are amped on SIDEBURN are Jared Mees, Rich King and Dave Aldana, just that I know of.
It's not just the racers who dig it either. We got talking to a coupla older guys in the stands, when Sideburn came up in the conversation. They had heard all about it but not actually seen it in the flesh, so to speak. I gave 'em a copy and some stickers and they really liked it.
I feel that part of the magazines charm, is the skewed angle it comes from. I don't think you will ever see race results in its pages, nor classified ads. It's fair to assume SIDEBURN won't run ads for products that have little or no relation to dirt track/flat track. It is not purely focused on the winners has just as much interest in the supporting cast... the folks that limp, that live and breath oval racing, no front brakes,steel shoes, big, wide bars and square number plates.
The writing and photography have a timeless quality to them....Issue #1 will have just as much relevance as issue #20 in 10 years time.
Now I don't want to put words into Mr. Inman and Mr. Parts mouths, but in my opinion, for what it's worth, I believe the magazine takes the stance that dirt track is an 'artform'.....Put the competion element to one side for a moment.... the very act of riding a certain kind of motorcycle, in a certain kind of way, at a certain point in time.... when it's popularity has been in steady decline for many a noble thing to do.
Please don't think I am insinuating that the mag is yet another 'retro-rag'....nothing could be further from the truth. You may well see features within the pages that take a look back at dirt track's rich ,100 year history but they will be right next to articles on todays young racers.... like Sammy Halbert and Brandon Robinson.
Sideburn is a 'specialist' magazine that somehow manages to appeal to people who don't neccessarily ride motorcycles,own dirt trackers or even go to the races. It is able to convey all the excitment and ritual, without getting too bogged down in the mundane details.......People seem to just get the 'grassroots artiness' of it all! It's a labour of love....

Issue #5 is due to drop late March and will be available in some discerning stores worldwide, or online at

For a daily SIDEBURN fix have a gander at the SIDEBLOG:

Friday, 26 February 2010

Death of Bob Biniak....

Sad day......Just found out from Trawler that 'Dogtown' skater, Bob Biniak has died from a heart attack, aged only 52.

Here are a few words from Glen E. Friedman. Pictures by G.E.F.and C. R. Stecyk:

Bob Biniak was someone I've known since I was probably twelve years old. You can read in my DogTown book how we first met--it would not be appropriate to include it here. But as his wife said in her note to some of his personal friends thursday afternoon: "Bobby loves Life and lived more in his short life than many us of can ever imagine to do." From what I knew of Bob I can attest to this not being an exaggeration or a cliché.
Back in DogTown's heyday Biniak was known as one of the toughest, hardest skating dudes out there. Few could match his skills skating the infamous pipes out in Arizona or on the vertical flat wall of Mt. Baldy. In pool skating he was a clear innovator as witnessed by my lens, and Craig Stecyk's even earlier when he was interviewed in SkateBoarder magazine's first ever "Pool Riding Symposium." Bob early on received the coveted "Who's Hot" bio, and later, only for the most respected riders, a full length interview in SkateBoarder. He was also voted as one of the top ten Skateboarders of the year in SkateBoarder magazine's first annual poll held in 1977.
In my personal experience he was far and away the toughest guy on the original Zephyr skateboard team. Bob drove a "Beemer" way before most of his comrades even had cars, or were rock-starring out. He led a life that early-on, spanned everything from rumored, sinister behaviors to a career in professional golf, while the rest of us were still just acting like kids. Bob waited for no one and was the ruler of every situation I ever saw him in. He leaves behind many friends and family including his wife Charlene and baby daughter Brie. He suffered a massive cardiac arrest on Sunday and passed away Thursday at 12:51pm EST in Florida. He will be missed.

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Practice makes perfect.....

Construction of our new, top secret 'SKOOTER FARM TRAINING FACILITY' is now entering the final phase!
It's been a much bigger job than anticipated but it is looking like all the hard work will pay off. The track is now laid and the surface initially packed-in with lots of slow laps in the team van and my dads pick up truck. Today, we fabricated some heavy steel track graders to drag around behind The Captains Jeep. We got the 10 ton road roller, shown above, being delivered first thing Monday morning. We should be testing the surface out by Tuesday or Wednesday, weather permitting.

Skarfing Material.......Damn tasty!

Running late? Too busy blogging to eat? Need to grab a quick snack? Try this... Beans 'n' Sausages burritos.
Super-simple, super-cheap, super-fast, Super-tasty.....I can make this AND eat it in less than 5 minutes!

Watcha need:
1 tin of beans 'n' sausages (I'm veggie but you can use meaty ones, I guess)

2 x soft tortilla wraps.


Watcha do:
Slice up 3 of the 6 sausages onto each burrito.

Divide equally, the remaining beans onto each burrito. Its best to run off some of the excess bean juice or they will be too soggy.

Tuck 'n' roll 'em up and chuck 'em in the microwave on full power for 2-3 minutes depending on your microwave.

Garnish with 'Branston Fruity Sauce', salt and pepper.

I can live off these for days on end..yum yum!

"Once you go ain't never goin' back!"

Captain Highside doesn't do things by halves. Still a bachelor, he attended Ged and Sue's wedding dressed as a black man. Now we aren't talking about just the reception...he showed up at the registrars office in full pimp garb. To tell the truth, it wasn't a standard wedding. Local boxing/ex BMX racer legend Phil 'Pitbull' Henigan was dressed as Fred Flintstone......and the wedding car was a JCB.
Good friend Bean turned up with his hair dyed peroxide blond just like me at the time and also dressed very similar.
The reception was held in the local curryhouse and as the night progressed things got messier and messier. The entertainment got going and John was up singing and dancing. People really thought that John was a coloured gentleman.....and the women were swooning around him, wanting to get into his tight, silver pants... check out the lustful look on the young lady in the last picture. By the way, that's Pitbull bopping away in his Fred Flintstone shoes with the Captain in the same shot.
After the curryhouse, the party moved to local nightclub 'Applejacks'.
It was a Saturday night and there was a huge queue outside. Fred Flintstone and Bean walked straight to the front, told the bouncers who we were, and bish-bosh, we were escorted in, much to the dismay of the clubbers patiently lining up.
We didn't stay very long, John was now really drunk but stayed fully in character. He spent much of his time in the ladies toilets with Louise, touching up his make up. Fred Flintstone and Bean were on the dancefloor and not before long, a fight broke out. Fred/Pitbull is somewhat renowned in the Chorley/Preston area as a tough guy.... he instantly layed out four lads. The bouncers were soon on the scene and unknown to us, Pitbull and Bean were gently ushered into the managers office. At the same time the four battered and dazed young lads were very roughly manhandled out of the nearest fire exit (and probably given another good kicking)
Sensing it was time to leave, we couldn't find John anywhere......trouble was brewing, the battered lads mates, who were still in the club, were on the warpath.........looking for Fred Flintstone and his peroxide blond sidekick.....who just happened to look exactly like me!
 After a few tense minutes we found John and high-tailed it out of there. The next morning we got the full story. The police were called in and Pitbull and Bean 'explained' that they were minding their own business when they got 'picked on'...the police promptly arrested the young lads and then gave Pitbull and Bean a ride home to their respective doorsteps. cheaper than a taxi! Below is a shot of me and Bean earlier in the night.


last installment of bike week pics...check out the guys racing number in the first pic!

Tuesday, 23 February 2010


Great clip of the last ever "NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD"  Halloween skateboard all-nighter.
If you don't know about this event, It was the brainchild of Foxy (vocalist for S.S.S.) and was held at a skatepark I built, RAMPWORX in Liverpool. It had a bunch of bands play in the early part of the evening and then at the stroke of midnight, a 10 minute bare-knuckle brawl/ skate session took place. The baying crowd were actively encouraged to throw stuff into the bowl during the Deathmatch. Over the years I saw beercans, pumpkins, fireworks, male and female streakers and a lambs heart.
Foxy is the "Don King" of promotion in UK skate circles and NOTLD was extremely well attended.... maybe 1000 or so people at the last one and things really did get out of hand but it was a real lot of fun.
 Foxy even managed to get Tony Trujillo, John Cardiel and the rest of the ANTI-HERO team to attend one of that was an eye opener for all involved parties!!

The Great Unwashed

Got an email from DP this morning about the pool skating footage in the last post...He's keeping busy to say the least....he sent me this link to a live studio performance of THE GREAT UNWASHED. This is another of Duanes many musical projects that he is involved with right now alongside his new record label INDIAN RECORDINGS, an acting career and some runway fashion modeling.

Monday, 22 February 2010

"Don't tell me what to do.....N####R!" YoYo's bowl 2003

Finally figured out how to convert analog video tapes to M-pegs, so I can now host stuff on Youtube and then post it here.
Here is a short clip of Duane Peters skating my backyard pool back in 2003.We booked a Manchester show for The Hunns with my band The Stags and we put the band up. As soon as Duane saw the pool he wanted to skate but the weather was crappy. The morning after the show,it was still very cold and overcast but it had stopped raining and we got to skate for about 30 mins or so. Duane did all his trademark moves: Sweepers, Layback Roll-outs, Invert-Reverts, Acid-Drops and Tail-Tap stalls. That's me in the red hoodie putting in the odd run....we coulda done with another couple of skaters sessioning but sometimes ya gotta just take what ya can get!
The pool, named after our cat, YoYo, was home-built in summer 2002 and took just over 14 days to construct.I know its 8 years after the fact but I would like to publicly thank the following people for all their help with the build: Di and Joe Crawford, John Lee, Pike, Tim Stamp, Whitey, my Dad, Adam Wilson, Doug the Hole and Louise Crawford.
At the start of the clip I shouted out "Do a Layback Roll-out!" you can just about hear Duane reply "Don't tell me what to do...nigger!!"

In the wind....

Me and Louise havin' fun in the sun in 2000

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Mert Lawwill

Here is a nice little 'promo' mini mag given away free with the March '99 issue of Classic Racer.
This was exclusive to the USA edition and features a bunch of pictures from the Dan Mahoney archive.
I picked this up during Bike Week and got Mert to Autograph it when we met him at a 'Hall of Fame' Breakfast fundraiser, where he was guest of honour.
The event was kinda like a Sportsmans Dinner with maybe 150 guests in attendance. It started at 7.45am with a fantastic breakfast followed by an 'after-breakfast' lecture/talk from Mert. He talked at length about his racing career, his contributions to the bicycle industry, his patented amputee gadget for motorcycle riders and his friendship with Steve McQueen and the making of 'On any Sunday'. It was a very special morning and something I will remember forever.
In all my life I think I only ever asked for 3 autographs: Mert Lawwill and Evel Knievel, both at Daytona '99 and Tony Alva in '78 at Southport Skatepark.

Saturday, 20 February 2010


Three top-drawer early 80's punk singles that I really love......this is the only way I can post music until I can figure out how to do a linked podcast.

Friday, 19 February 2010

The Stags in Paris 2009


Here are a few shots from The Stags trip to Paris, to play a pre-party show for BORN BAD's 10th birthday.
We drove in the van and also delivered a Triton motorcycle for head honcho Ivan Le Terrible. A great weekend was had by all...the video clip is very poor quality and probably only of interest to the people that were there at the time...

Jacob Roberts BMX national #1

Coppul 2008

This is my Nephew, BMX racer, Jacob Roberts. He started racing when he was 8 years old, he's gonna be 15 this year and has been the UK national #1 for the last 3 consecutive years. He rode for SE RACING for the last couple of seasons but this year he is back on REDLINE. The shots on the motorcycle are from when he was 9 years old. The video clips are Jacob winning the British Championships in 2008 and Coppul national 2008(He's in blue SE RACING riding gear)

Split Skates indoor mini ramp

This is Pete 'insomnia kid' McNiel doing a f/side smith grind on a mini ramp that I built.
This ramp was the 2nd ramp I actually got paid to build. It was situated upstairs in Split Skates Manchester in 1988. I built the ramp for the owners and on the back of that somehow ended up working there as Shop Manager. The ramp was heavily used every day for about 6 months until there was some argy-bargy between some skaters and the neighbouring businesses. People came to skate from all over and we even had Natas Kaupas and Jesse Martinez do a demo there.
When the landlord forced the shop to shut the ramp down, we hired a Luton van and relocated it at my house, where it stood for almost 14 years.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

I like magazines....part one

Whilst up in my attic space, photographing the stickers for the last post, I came across my stash of old magazines. I've never been that much into books but have always really loved magazines. I think this started as a 5 year old when my Grandad took on the role of night watchman at a magazine distribution warehouse. The warehouse was located on the same grounds as the Joinery company he worked for. He agreed to keep an eye on the warehouse on the understanding that he could take a few comics and magazines, for his trouble, to give to his grandson. This was 1969-'70 and I vividly remember visiting my Nana and Grandads in St. Helens, Merseyside and him taking me into the warehouse every Saturday. The place was just stacked floor to ceiling with mags and comicbooks. As a 5 or 6 year old  I was mainly drawn to the comics, American Marvel and DC. I remember Gold-Key comics with Photo covers of 'Man From Uncle' and 'Star Trek'.
I also got 'Mad' magazine and 'Famous Monsters' magazine plus all the other FM ripoff publications.
I still have some of the 'Famous Monsters' today but regretfully, I sold all the other comics (200 plus) for 6 pounds back in 1980.
 As with a myriad of things, I think the internet has killed off the Raison D'etre of the specialist magazine. In the late 70's the only way of checking out what was going on with U.S. skateboarding was to read SKATEBOARDER mag. This was before the video age and you would just look at the pictures and try to imagine how the guy got up there.....and how he got back down and there was never ever any question that the guy bailed the trick. Nowadays, its all de-mystified, you are aware that Jake Phelps smashed his glasses within minutes of it happening and if you wanna see him do it, it will be on Youtube.
The old mags featured in these pics are just a few of the hundreds that I have boxed up. I have most THRASHERs from the beginning to the mid 90's. I also have a good collection of early BMX PLUS, KUNG FU MONTHLY, FAMOUS MONSTERS, EASYRIDERS, IRON HORSE, MONSTER MAG, AWOL, BACK STREET HEROES, 60'S PLAYBOY, 60'S MOTORCYCLE MECHANICS, FANGORIA, FLIPSIDE, MAXIMUM ROCKNROLL to name a few.

I think I'm gonna go back in the attic and find the issue of the English SKATEBOARD mag with the topless model kneeling on a giant skateboard!

UPDATE Fri 19th Feb: Here it issue # 9

I like stickers......

I am a sticker nerd. I just emptied out my sticker shoebox....I've had some of these for a really long time. Within the skateboard community, stickers were regarded as "currency".A fistful of cool stickers could get you a long way! A lot of these stickers have been given to me over the years, as a gesture of goodwill or whatever. I must admit I am not shy when it comes to asking "Give us some stickers!" I think the oldest ones I have are the BMX ones which I was given when I got to visit the 'Mr. Sticker' factory in California in 1981.The newest are the various Chris Carr related ones, which fellow Skooter Farmer 'Racin' Jason C # 99 won in an auction last year (2009) and then gave to me. Thanks very much Jason!

Go Sideways....

Shots from 2009 season. Going back up to the practice track today to do some more work. Can't wait to finish it and get riding!

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Rita Pavone "IL GEGHEGE"

Looking at this song as a potential new Stags cover.

"If ya got a $10 head....get a $10 helmet!"

Actually, those Bucos were almost 50 Dollars in the 60's!!

I hate roller bladers....

Yes I hate rollerbladers, windsurfers and kiteboarders but back in 1920, this was cool. check out the guys style just before the clip finishes.

Point of no return....

Full Frokkul Wheelie.....just about to loop out and land flat on my back. Summercamp, Les Deux Alpes 1998.

Daytona '99 part two

Part Two: Daytona Bike Week 2010 in less than two weeks. Here are a few more shots from our trip in 1999 when we rented a Fat-Boy (motocycle not an obese, teenage gigalo) and met E.K.(will do a more in depth post about meeting him when I got more time)