1997 annual (special edition)



This equation may seem a bit abstract, but it was my first reaction after checking out his new book so beautifully titled, Fuck You Too. Although it is the scrapbook sidekick to Friedman's first book, Fuck You Heroes, released in 1994, it by no means any less impacting than its predecessor.

The books are collections of photographs snapped over the past few decades of three of the most radical expression of our time: skateboarding, punk rock and rap. Glen was involved in all of these movements from the get-go. Many of the skate photos in the books were first published in the original SKATEBOARDER Magazine of the '70s. He shot photos of Tony Alva, Jay Adams and Stacy Peralta when they were inventing moves that are commonplace today. He witnessed Peralta doing a kickturn on vertical for the first time, and remembers having a hard time describing Alva's frontside aerial at The Dog Bowl to his friends at school the next day because it had never been done before; there wasn't a name for it. A lot of the kids didn't believe him until they saw the photos published in Skateboarder.

The raw energy and uncanny timing in Friedman's photos shuttle you directly back to such historic moments. You can feel the heat, smell the sweat, sense the intense character of the individuals present before you. You know what it's like to be weightless on a skateboard for the first time, or to attend a show at CBGB's when H.R. of Bad Brains had stubby dreads or when the Beasties were just pimply punkers.

Friedman's photos reflect the spirit of progression and angst that defined an era. He was there at the birth of modern skateboarding, back when there was no such thing as punk rock or rap. As skating began to fade, punk became more popular, which eventually made room for rap. His books are the most accurate representation we have today of these three movements that naturally progressing into each other because of their shared roots in rebellion.

In the beginning, skateboarding was not known for its aggressive attitude. Friedman, along with C.R. Stecyk and a few others, portrayed skating in a gnarly way, pushing the attitude that has become second nature to skating today. This contribution is often overlooked. Friedman believes that without such influences, skateboarding might have come to resemble Little League baseball. With these books, he has given skateboarding the credibility it deserves, and has proven once and for all that it is more than a fad or trend.

It's interesting to realize that Friedman was initially offered the opportunity to reproduce his photos in three separate books-one for skating, one for punk and one for rap- but declined because he feared the punk and rap editions would be the more popular while the skating would be left on the shelf. He wanted to expose and educate people to the role skateboarding played in developing the music, and show them that skateboarding has a history worth noting.

Friedman's photos release energy in the way that fire gives off heat. With these books, the fire has been built; it's your choice whether you want to become warmed. Knowledge is freedom. Do what you feel.

- Michele Lockwood

SkateBoarder 5/97

(1 oversized full page with many photos and lots more in same issue)