Top 10 Skateboarders Who Became Musicians
Duane Peters onstage, being punk as, well, you know what
Skateboarding and music mingle nicely, from the soundtracks of skate videos to the shredders themselves hitting notes. For some skaters, it's hard to say what comes first, the music or the maple. It's not uncommon while learning about a band to find that a member or two has skateboarding in their past, so we thought we'd take a stab at a Top 10 of sorts. That's not to say there aren't gazillions of skater savants who are melodically inclined. But here's a rundown of our faves.
10. Ethan Fowler
Bands he's been in: Green and Wood
Longhaired, bearded wild card Ethan Fowler wowed the kids back in post-Toy Machine, Big Brother days as one of the elite in videos such as Stereo Skateboards' Tincan Folklore (with My Name Is Earl's Jason Lee) and more. He and Stereo owner Chris Pastras did the music for the video as the Bucket Brothers, to boot.
More recently, the 35-year-old fronted LA stoner-doom rock band Green and Wood. The group have been around since 2007 and played South By Southwest in 2010. He sings, plays guitar and drums on the band's self-titled album. He's not a real chatterbox, and he's not big on the social media that is hip with the kids these days, so it's hard to know what the hell is up with him.
9. Tony Alva
Bands he's been in: The Skoundrelz, G.F.P.
Tony Alva, one of the original Z-Boys skaters, was the first to form his own skate company, Alva Skates, back in 1977. His aggressive style took the industry by storm, putting Dogtown on the map.
In addition to his skating talents, Alva also rips on bass. In the 1980s, he was a member of the Skoundrelz with Mike Dunnigan and Mike Ball (Suicidal Tendencies) and Dave Hurricane (Wasted Youth). Currently, he plays in the hardcore punk band G.F.P., a.k.a. General Fucking Principle, which also includes vocalist Tom Paul Davis (DFL), whose friends call him Crazy Tom for a reason; guitarist Greg Hetson (Circle Jerks, Bad Religion); and drummer Amery Smith (Suicidal Tendencies). They are working on new material with Mario Caldato Jr. of Beastie Boys fame.
|Steve Caballero, left, with the Faction in Orinda, California, circa 1982.|
Bands he's been in: The Faction, Odd Man Out, Shovelhead, Soda
"Skate and Destroy" became a bit of a skateboarding mantra in the mid-1980s, thanks to the Faction, a skate-punk band featuring Steve Caballero on guitar from 1982 to 1985. The song with that title was prominent in Powell Peralta's Bones Brigade Video Show, prompting the phrase to be lovingly placed on many a skate deck at the time. The band was composed of all skaters, including singer Gavin O'Brien, guitarist Jeff Kendall, drummer Craig Bosch and others rotating in and out. They played their first gig opening for Social Distortion in San Jose.
Caballero, who was named Skater of the Century by Thrasher in 1999, went on to be in alt-rock band Odd Man Out (1987-89) and rock band Shovelhead (1991-94) and played pop-punk with Soda (1995-96). Session Records released a compilation CD with various bands he's been in called Bandology Vol. 1.
7. Ray Barbee
Bands he's been in: Solo artist, BLKTOP Project
From San Jose hails Ray Barbee, who is best known in the skating world for his no-comply variations and stellar parts in Powell Peralta videos such as Public Domain and Ban This. The current Long Beach resident has a signature shoe with Vans and bragging rights as one of the first African-Americans pro skaters.
And while his skating is stylish, it was his 2003 debut EP on Galaxia Records, Triumphant Procession, that caught the ears of guitar lovers with his jazz-influenced surf-rock instrumental tracks. That led to 2005's In Full View. In March 2007, he recorded in Japan with the Mattson 2 and released Ray Barbee Meets the Mattson 2. Their music has been featured on NPR, a number of surf videos, as well as a Ford commercial. Barbee gets extra skate points for his collaboration with Tommy Guerrero for BLKTOP Project, which also included fellow skater Matt Rodriguez, who is in the band Sacramento Storytellers.