(Featured: Welcome Skate Store blog, 20th March 2015.)
I am the ghost of troubled Joe…
Hung by his pretty white neck, some eithteen months ago…”
These were the first words I ever heard Morrissey sing. It was during Wieger van Wageningen’s opening carpark lines in the Nike SB ‘Nothing But The Truth’ but I was just a youngster who saw it as nothing but one of the few parts in that video that held my attention. Certainly, I was always fond of that part and then as I grew up and became a lover of the Smiths – even more so.
Morrissey and skateboarding has been somewhat of a love affair over the years. Many a skateboarder, be it professional or everyday will have some varying degree of love for the man and with numerous productions over the years have seen his vocals, be it with the Smiths or solo, accompany a video part.
You may be aware that Mozza is playing in Leeds tonight, which myself and fellow blog head Josh Hallett are both very excited about and attending. With this in mind, we thought it was a fitting time to round up some of our favourite parts from over the years that have been made all the better thanks to our beloved boy with a thorn in his side…
Wieger Van Wageningen
‘A Rush And A Push And The Land Is Ours’ – Nike SB ‘Nothing But The Truth’
I’ll be honest, there is very little left for me to say about this section that I haven’t said before but as illustrated about one hundred words prior, it does hold significance to me with being my introduction to The Smiths via skateboarding, though I just didn’t realise at the time. Anyway, it seems like the most appropriate starting point. The quiet, almost ethereal, vocals perfectly accompany Wieger as he glides his way through a car park spot delivering two well held crooked grinds to round off each line. Not long afterwards Mozza’s growl on the first delivery of the chorus times up nicely with Wieger dropping a trademark Backside 180 Nosegrind 180 Out in Barcelona (0:55). Around the two minute mark the repetitive crooning of ‘Fool me, fool me, fool me…’ lines up with the quick back to back handrail bangers. While the part comes to a close with a couple of fading, soft, Mozza moans lined up with Wieger’s lengthy Backside Tailslide (nicely reflected in a puddle) and a Nollie Heelflip Noseslide at Flushing Meadows before the song’s instrumental accompanies a Hubba Hideout Heelflip Nosegrind. With the video part ending with Wieger promptly ploughing himself into a table, juxtaposing the previous calm mood…
‘Why Don’t You Find Out For Yourself’ – Heroin Skateboards ‘Live From Antarctica’
Josh’s first choice is the man behind Descent and ex Heroin Skateboards stalwart, Chris Pulman. Amongst the forced creativity we are barraged with on a daily basis, it’s always refreshing to watch a skateboard video from a few years back and be pleasantly reminded that someone was doing it first and more importantly, for the sake of fun rather than ‘fashion’… Morrissey’s smooth solo vocals accompany Chris’ quirky trickery that never tires, amuses or fails to raise eyebrows. Furthermore, it’s also fitting that as Pulman just welcomed resident Barnsley purveyor of pompadour, pop powerhouse and our good friend Myles Rushforth as a Descent Descendant, that we should include this for you’re viewing pleasure…
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d59aRYOyMsk Arto Saari
‘Handsome Devil’ – Flip Skateboards ‘Really Sorry’
Despite Arto’s filming being cut short due to one his many unfortunate knee injuries, I think that his opener to Flip’s Really Sorry is one of the best sections of the video and holds a permanent spot on the list of my favourite video parts of all time. A few years ago shop rider and good buddy of mine Brenna had Handsome Devil as his ringtone. After recognising it from somewhere, I ended up re-watching Really Sorry and getting reacquainted with Arto’s part and in turn shortly after, absorbing myself in The Smiths.
So anyway, Arto and The Smiths, two of my favourite things… Obviously due to not being able to film a full part, this section isn’t quite up to scratch with the double David Bowie decadence of the absolute masterpiece that is Sorry; though the fast paced nature of the song works with the quickly edited stair hammers the open the part. Whilst the deeper tone in Morrissey’s vocals match the powerful yet nonchalant nature Arto exudes in this section. I’ve always enjoyed Morrissey’s shriek timed with Arto’s crook bonk towards the end of the part. Whilst Johnny Marr’s closing strums emphasise the pure style on what would be an otherwise sketchy, if it wasn’t Arto, lean and brief hand touch as he rides away from his closing Nollie.
Finally, it’s amusing to note that years after skating to a song focusing on the dashing looks of an individual; Arto would be an initial member of a footwear team, alongside his charming protégée, that would be the first step towards the industry embracing the openly handsome skateboarders of today…
‘Speedway’ – Alien Workshop ‘Mind Field’
“Worshipped by devoted fans for twenty years and hailed by his peers as a genius…”
It’s not Heath that Christopher Eccleston is referring to in the opening to the documentary ‘The Importance of Being Morrissey’ though the quote is very applicable. The links between the two men don’t end there as both are renowned enigmas who collided in the curtain closing part of the Greg Hunt directed Alien Workshop video Mind Field in 2009. Yes, I am very, very guilty of often hyping this section up on this blog in the not too distant past but who’s to complain about seeing pinnacle footage of the man the whole skateboard world wants a comeback from?
It’s rumoured that the original intention was for Heath to skate to Pink Floyd’s ‘Wish You Were Here’ and while I definitely don’t doubt it could’ve had the same poignancy, personally Speedway and Heath could be my favourite piece of music supervision from any skate video. Though I’ve also said it before, there’s irony in Morrissey’s statement that ‘all off the rumours keeping me grounded, I never said, that they were completely unfounded’ would be a sad, yet fitting tribute to the difficulties that the Workshop faced in the years following on from the videos release until it’s ‘closure’…
With further lyrical comparisons being more than apt as what has been one of Heath’s most remarkable and enduring qualities throughout his career? The ability to ‘slam down the’ metaphorical (but usually stair/handrail) ‘hammer’. While as Heath cascades down from a failed bump to bar attempt the proclamation that ‘there’s nothing left to break’ harkens back to his infamous 5050 slam at the start of Emerica’s This Is Skateboarding.
Recent rumours suggest that Morrissey has been performing Speedway as a the encore track to his live set. With the thought in mind that this could be also be his last show and with the strong emotions, for reasons including but also aside from my love of his music and skateboarding.
I am completely unashamed to say that if the rumours are grounded, I just might cry.