Skateboarding experienced a revolution in the seventies and then died. And then a renaissance. Then another death. Tony’s sponsor went out of business. He bought a house with his earnings and had to sell it, eating ramen just to stay alive. And when his partners in Birdhouse told him that he was best skating instead of sitting behind a desk, he went out and competed and became the Tony Hawk you know today. Quite possibly the most famous athlete in the world. Musicians come and go through the TuneIn studio, but the staff needed Tony’s autograph, they grew up playing his videogames!
And we hear that story here. Along with how Tony went from suburbanite to icon.
Not that he acts that way. But after having a stylist and doing awards shows he decided to be himself 24/7 and is much more comfortable, and still skating.
You see skateboarding is a culture. Jan & Dean popularized it in the sixties, but it wasn’t until the midseventies that an equipment revolution blew the sport up.
And then came the injuries and the noise and the attitude and the closing of pools, curbs and parks, but the ethos could never be buried. Because skating is about being free. In a world where everybody’s conforming. You don’t think you are, but…
Now Tony’s not an outlaw who went to jail. He comes from a middle class family, but he did fly to Japan to appear on TV in his teens. He did make more money than his teachers in high school and figured there was no point in going to college, since he already had a career. And Tony is SMART!
Funny how people get mic fright. Funny how people can’t tell their story. Funny how inarticulate so many are. But not Tony! It’s so weird talking to him, because he’s just like you, only different. Someone you can relate to yet is world famous. Someone intrigued by the toys who can laugh at himself yet is devoted to raising his kids.
Tony made it work. Not that it was all laid out in front of him, it’s just that he stayed the path and rode the wave, or in this case the street.
And he gives back.
And if you can find someone to say a bad word about Tony Hawk I haven’t heard it.
So in this podcast we get his story. From an upbringing with two older siblings to his parents taking him to competitions to the X Games to the videogames. Hell, I think you’ll be fascinated even if you’ve never ridden the wild asphalt!
So, once again, you can listen here: