the Story of GLEN E. FRIEDMAN
"When Friedman locks on to something it's absolutely scary. He's one
relentless motherfucker." Ice T
Random selection has chosen a crumpled curio of the Seventies for
inclusion into the history books. In it Bobby Piercy leaps from skateboard
to skateboard over a brace of siliconed Playboy Bunnies supine in their
polyester party vestments and furry rabbit ears. Piercy's role as the
symbolic manifestation of the winged god Mercury is quite clear. The
Freudian significance of the girls all laid out for display is more
perplexing. Were our boys fronting for some pussy or is this a high camp
tongue in cheek ruse? Piercy is said to be long vanished with his
unrecovered body still missing in action. This professional skater has
reportedly been officially pronounced dead by the law. The vividly nubile
young Bunnies are old faded hares by now. Only the photographer survives
intact to tell the tale over twenty years later. A graphic document
somehow has prevailed over the capricious ravages of time and its creator
needs to know why. The lensman muses over Bobby's strange disappearance,
running clues into the ground much like the salt of the earth migrates
towards the core. "The federal government's witness relocation program,
that could be the answer."
"Friedman's always been crazy." Tony Alva
He can recite litanies of specifications and data on command that tend to
irritate both the unwise and the unholy. Envision having your sumptuous
daily repast at Mickey D's enlivened with the admonition that "You think
they're building homes down in the disappearing rain forest? NO, they're
clear-cutting to graze cattle for fat greedy Americans who need ther Big
Mac's, that's why the quality of the entire earths air will be shit soon.
Do you know that a family of four can take showers for A YEAR with all the
water that is used in the production of just one pound of beef?"
Quotations from obscure sources such as the first century Talmudic scholar
Hillel occur in these discourses from Glen with regularity, "In a
situation where there is no righteous person, try to be a righteous
person," "Not all who increase their wealth are wise."
"Glen was up in the mountains working with these snowboarders from the
company Generics who had never met him before. I started getting phone
calls from Utah from all kinds of people. Each was asking the same
question" "Who is this guy and is he for real?" I told them just wait
until he comes up to speed. Then you're really going to be in
trouble." King James Cassimus
In his capacity as a photo documentarian he has been known to turn down
job offers from large multi-national corporations like Coca-Cola ("Their
shit just isn't correct-fuck'em!") and Vans ("They wanted to print an
old shot of Minor Threat in an ad because Ian was wearing their original
skate shoes. He had those shoes on because He liked them, not to be in an
advertisement. To commercialize that moment after the fact would be the
antithesis of punk.") Friedman is deeply irreligious. If Glen were a
Catholic he would be a Saint in training. As it is he is the peripatetic
wondering Jew who wanders wide in a compulsively driven search for the
essential. His Zealotry amazes some and abrades others.
The G.E.F. method has yielded countless images that are now regarded as
classics. That is a laudable achievement in itself. Virtually alone
amongst skateboarding's historically significant image makers, Glen still
chooses to stay involved with the sport. Recent Friedman skate shots
still exhibit that unique spark of stoke that characterizes his vintage
As his interests broadened G.E.F. also extrapolated musical and artistic
treatises which later became templates for others to follow.
"The bottom line is that he was there at the beginning of so much cool
stuff in so many different areas it's not funny." Henry Rollins.
His graphic documents of the movement reveal the science of defiance upon
which all are based. The point of view, in your face grainy realism mixes
suburban pathos with urban dread from a co-conspirator's perspective.
Friedman's dense slurry of A-Type, B-Boy, hip hop, old school, punk, OG,
Dog Town sensibilities is punctuated with hard New Jack aggregate. G.E.F.
was there, went through the drill and departed long before most everyone
else even showed up. And he did it better, Glen got the goods and was
(6 full color pages with many previously un-published photos and extensive
captions by G.E.F.)
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