GENIUSES WEAR SWEATSHIRTS

Preparing a presentation and attempting to feign PowerPoint competence for next week, so it’s one of those entries for the sake of chucking something up here. My fixation with sweatshirts is well documented (here), but some old-time cotton fleece talk is always a strong look.

First up, in a 1964 LIFE profile, one of the men who popularised Mensa, their international president Mr. Victor Serebriakoff administers a hearty gasface at an ‘M’ sweatshirt. With typical verbosity, he invents a “Perspiration Shirt” for us stuffy Brits. I’m miles from Mensa status, but I’d really like to wear the creation he’s dismissing. The text beneath reads,

Serebriakoff winces at sweatshirt proposed as mark of membership by a U.S. colleague.

“American Ms might wear these sweatshirts once for laughs the British wouldn’t. They would sell like cold-cakes in England. The British don’t wear sweatshirts. They don’t sweat—they perspire. If we did design a British perspiration shirt it’d have an M about one-half inch across the inside. I think all forms of claiming distinction by markings are vulgar. The Mensa pin we wear is alright if you were to meet someone at a pub. My beard is really my Mensa pin.”


I’ve posted Albert Einstein in a sweatshirt up here before, but here’s a few shots of the man sporting athletic gear in a casual context between 1947 and 1948. That’s a well-dressed genius right there. Victor would have done well to check Albert’s look before unleashing that expression.

It’s good to see that Supreme #6 has dropped in the far east. I interviewed John Lydon for this project. He was very forthcoming with answers, scowled a fair bit and asked, “Was that okay?” afterwards. He didn’t disappoint. I don’t know how much made it to print, but it was a fun experience. While being shot for that cover image (shouts to West and Shaniqwa Jarvis) he told me that Harvey Keitel opted for a loaded gun over blanks while they were filming ‘Order of Death’ in NYC and put his life at risk in a major way.

Seeing as it’s Halloween, you should ditch the Paranormal Activity 2 bootleg and watch Full Circle (aka. The Haunting of Julia), The Changeling and Carnival of Souls. Best ghost films ever.

HISTORY IN THE MAKING

It’s a speed blogging day. Before commencing, it’s nice to see that Fuck Yeah site doing satire so deftly. Whoever’s behind it is a genius—satirising menswear blogging is like shooting fish in a barrel with dumdums, but this person’s picking them off with precision. I particularly like the fact that the targets are laughing along too. I was also hyped to hear of the recent discovery of some form of sneezing monkey that comes in an endangered limited edition of 260 or so. That got me as hyped as the vast Guatemalan sinkhole did a few months back.

Brand new monkeys and holes that swallow buildings are more exciting than trail parkas. Like the colourways that crop up on NikeTalk as mere product codes, that mystery monkey is strictly PhotoShop status at time-of-writing.

Continuing the Criterion manner of doing everything so well that I can’t help but dickride (I’m sure there’s potential for a tagline there), kudos to whoever decided to hire Daniel Clowes to illustrate the covers of Sam Fuller’s pulpy, queasy and unforgettable,’The Naked Kiss’ and ‘Shock Corridor’. It’s a tough vision to capture, but Clowes has done an admirable job.

Sam’s controversial 1982 ‘White Dog’ – a one time Sky Movies mainstay and a film utterly misunderstood by cretins—is a necessary watch too. The director does a superb job with Romain Gary’s excellent source material, creating one of cinema’s finest explorations of racism and one too steeped in metaphor for reactionists to ever kick back and fully understand. If you’ve never investigated Fuller’s work, get involved and marvel at how one of cinema’s key integrationists ended up being accused of being a racist.

I’ve been taking the lazy route and browsing LIFE for some photo-essays (the archive on Google Books is outstanding) that might slap me out of my current apathy with nearly everything (bar ground collapsing and rare animals) and having taken an interest in how Gordon Parks directed ‘Shaft’ and his son directed ‘Superfly’, offering some blueprints for a wave of b-cinema and covering both a conventional hero and a “villain” as central figures between them, I’ve been looking at Parks photographic work. ‘Harlem Gang Leader’ from LIFE’s November 1st 1948 issue is a pinnacle piece, covering four weeks in the life of Red Jackson.

‘Harlem Gang Leader’ sets a blueprint for today’s knives-at-the-camera exploitative gang pieces (depressingly frequent in British papers these days) that journos and snappers pump out in the quest for awards, but this was a more sensitive, powerful affair with some stark imagery and matter-of-fact prose. Gordon was a master of his craft and while the opening cigarette shoe remains iconic, it was good to see it in context and to unveil a little more history behind those frequently referenced Harlem streets. And by exposing the brutal day-to-day existence of Red and the Midtowners, whose life seemed to be limited to specific street boundaries, Gordon broke barriers and made history.

THE GENUINE ARTICLE(S)

This blog commenced as an outlet for non-sneaker babble, but as time goes by, I find myself drifting in and out of obsession with pleather uppers and rubber soles. At present, I’m fiending for the J Crew New Balance 1400 and the Nike ACG Lunar Macleay. As in, really fiending for them—not finding myself attracted to the next best thing because the competition is so aesthetically displeasing, like 2:59am in a provincial nightclub. They will be mine. So consider this post a celebration of a purer approach to sports footwear.

Lately —and this is certainly no bad thing—I’ve spotted more and more loving tributes to sports shoes of old and a throwback to a more genteel time of footwear preoccupation. While there’s a part of my mind that wants to fill the information gaps on everything from my teenage years, I try to gag that voice for fear of slipping into regression. However, here was a point a short while back, when the shelves heaved with trainers self-consciously trying not to look like trainers and appalling hybrids. Brands were hopping aboard with “top-tier” collaboration “programmes” who just weren’t very credible the first time around. Everything seemed to implode. No wonder suede brogues made a reappearance in the most unlikely of sportswear-centric circles.

Fortunately, common sense prevailed and some good bits and pieces seemed to drop without the ruinous gaggle of pre-release shit that makes us hate product before we’ve ever physically felt it. I maintain that the darkest moment for fanboys and girls was awareness of collector culture and an attempt to harness that love with colours and fabrics rather than innovation and brand-new product. It’s refreshing that even ‘INVENTORY’—that perfect-bound periodical clutched by the stern-faced neo-hype massive maintains a very strong sneaker page that’s a good continuation of h(y)r’s original online magazine output.

Just as camo is back (and while I’m not paying £65 for a Champion repro tee I need a Real McCoys Tiger print jacket), the sneaker seems to have made another of its cyclical returns, and the blog realm is currently reflecting this. Want to know why? Because sauntering around with a tote bag rocking a cardi and sensible shoes is something we’re destined to do in our twilight years.

Of course, we oldies need to smarten up, but I propose we delay the inevitable slide into utterly sensible for a short while to come and dig out the articles that weren’t too tainted by the cynicism that retrospective shoe slurry can fuel. Complete crap can fuel negativity as if it was biomass, so I propose you kick back and read Bobbito’s ‘Confessions of a Sneaker Addict’ from May 1991’s ‘The Source’—reading it now, it’s pretty basic, given the electronic access to information we’ve long been exposed to, but those AF1s with a gold swoosh are no joke. Listening to nearly five hours of Stretch and Bobbito’s reunion radio show makes getting reacquainted with one of the original collector articles courtesy of Kool Bob extra timely.

I just finished writing a piece that’s a hefty love letter to the greatest period for footwear for another source and my mind is aching, hence the brief length of this entry. As an extra bonus, I chucked in the ‘Mass Appeal’ adidas basketball article from spring 2002 too—it’s not as enlightening as the phenomenal ‘Three is the Magic Number’ adi history from issue three of ‘Grand Royal’ (watch this space), but I don’t care much for the brand’s non-basketball output, so some of the imagery is priceless.

STILL STAYING GOLD

If you don’t like Coppola’s ‘The Outsiders’ we can never be friends. Ever.

I’ve referenced it on these pages a few, whether it’s Two-Bit’s Mickey Mouse t-shirt, the brief ‘Spraycan Art’ appearance or just the general look and feel of the film. It’s the reason I love denim, the reason I really started reading, the reason why I took an interest in Van Morrison’s work, the reason I love Diane Lane, the genesis of my Tom Waits fandom. Adding to that list, it’s also the reason I’ll challenge anyone who thinks Stevie Wonder totally went off the boil in the 1980s. The lists and bombastic prefixes I hurl around like a hot spud are open to change—that’s the nature of the obsessive mind, right? But this stays constant: ‘The Outsiders’ is my favourite movie of all time, and ‘Stay Gold’ is the record I’d want played at my funeral. It’s not the most cerebral of Coppola’s output—it’s a children’s (young adults?) film to some degree—but it’s just perfect. I’ll take it over ‘Apocalypse Now’, the first two Puzo adaptations and ‘The Conversation’—’Tetro’ was a beautiful piece of filmmaking, but the melodrama and stagey dialogue couldn’t contend with the timelessness of Greaser/Socs warfare. And yes, “When I stepped out into the bright sunlight…” still has me in tears. This film is prone to make me act a fool.

Stephen Burum’s cinematography elevates the proceedings from teen angst to something infinitely more widescreen and Coppola’s occasional heavy-handed stumbles are disguised in this instance by the simplicity of the narrative and great central performances. Seeing as I never caught ‘Over the Edge’ when I was very young, this was an introduction to the presence of Matt Dillon (it’s all about the magazine sweep near the film’s conclusion) and the extent of C. Thomas Howell and Ralph Macchio’s range. Even Emilio Estevez’s ‘Transformers’ style switch from clan clown to battle-ready stance with a few flicks of a switchblade is seared into my pysche. Over-stylized? Undoubtedly, but this isn’t a subtle movie—it’s a grand affair that overlays a 1950s wrong-side-of-the-tracks b-flick with a 1930s big studio grandeur. That’s why the extended cut from 2005 jettisoning Carmine Coppola’s orchestral score was a poor decision. That version’s fine for the uninitiated, and the restored footage is largely excellent, but to see the ending altered felt like a tweak too far. Dallas’s brutal exit and the Johnny voiceover have long been cues to grieve and the studio fucked with my formula.

In terms of apparel, ‘The Outsiders’ lays down the rules—if you’re cool, it’s Chucks, double-denim and black t-shirts. Metallers sporting denim vests have known all along that it’s a strong look when it’s executed right. If you’re square, it was pastel pants and a sweater round the neck. Motherfuck a preppy. Those lightweight garments looked even more wretched after a rumble in the rain. That was drummed into my psyche at an early age and there’s still a great deal of validity in those onscreen divisions. The rich dressed like pricks and the poor looked effortlessly cool. Is there a more beautiful musical bookend than Stevie’s paean to wide-eyed innocence? No. Please—feel free to prove me wrong. So why the heck has it never had a UK DVD release? Sweden got a version briefly but we’re not deemed worthy. In fact, skip the DVD— few films warrant the hi-res glory of Blu-ray more than Francis’s definitive work. They could even put the deeply patchy 1990 14-episode follow-up TV series from Coppola and S.E. Hinton in there too. While they’re at it, can we have a very special edition of ‘The Wanderers’ too?

While I was raised on the painted artwork that reflects the director’s grand intentions, lifting the lead characters to somewhere almost fantastical before they’re brought back down to earth with the bump of a falling church roof, I’ve become acquainted with the simpler portrait shot and clean fonts used in most of the posters and DVD art. The lesser-seen Italian art above (often cropped) for their version, which seems to translate as ‘Boys of 56th Street’ looks closer to ‘Class of 1984′ than the sensitive portrayal it actually is. They even put Johnny Cade into some adidas Nizzas for no real reason. The German poster seems to show a completely different cast, Thailand got heavy on the romance, while France’s goes heavy on the violence angle, ensuring some audience disappointment for those expecting bloodshed. One of the Japanese efforts is fantastic—check Francis’s face in that ‘O’…

R.I.P. Darrel “Darry” Curtis.

HAZED

After prison films, college campus films are another of my peculiar preoccupations. It’s doubly odd to think of the rich jerks being sartorial inspirations. I favour the slobs. I still think the current brace of bellends in bow ties look like a simpleton’s imaginary friend and I’m still with Two-Bit Matthews on the state of trousers (“Hey check out their pants!”) these days. Still, I feel bad for you folk that spent big on ‘Take Ivy’, only to see a reprint turn up with English translation for next-to-nothing with an inexplicable K-Swiss endorsement…yes, the same K-Swiss that was founded a year after the book was published. You’re probably feeling like Carl Carlson did with the Stonecutters, “Well, it was a real nice secret organization we had once…” Shit happens.

Half of the biggest whiners are Ivy new-jacks anyhow, and the Film Noir Buff folk got there a long time before you did. I’ve been watching a few documentaries about the darker side of college life in the States too…honestly, the whole fraternity culture is baffling. Can’t you guys just form informal groups and get shitfaced? Does it have to be steeped in ritualistic twattery? Todd Phillips and Andrew Gurland’s ‘Frat House’ and Billy Corben’s ‘A Question of Consent’ don’t depict youths in elegant clothes wandering from lecture to lecture in a refined fashion. None of that Ivy stuff here—just braying cretins in reversed baseball headwear hi-fiving and acting the tit. It’s curious to imagine that the attire of college students was aspirational. Things have changed, as to be compared to a contemporary student is sartorial slander.

I’d like to see ‘Take Former-Polytechnic’ depicting the hungover, clipboard wielding sports science students of Hertfordshire shuffling around in G-Star t-shirts with scarves, bootcut jeans and flip-flops. Even in an institution like Oxford, I’m reliably informed that the levels of atrocious brands like Jack Wills are extensive. It’s odd to think that folk don’t actually dress like Ryan O’Neal in ‘Love Story’, Wendell Burton in ‘The Sterile Cuckoo’ or Art Garfunkel and Jack Nicholson in ‘Carnal Knowledge’s early scenes (incidentally, Jack’s “Answer me, you ball-busting, castrating, son of a cunt bitch! Is this an ultimatum or not?” line includes Hollywood’s first use of the C’ word). It looks like date-rape chic overrides the aspirational look of learned elegance in the real world’s campuses.

Those documentaries also had me digging for some hazing gone wrong b-flicks. There’s been some well-documented deaths from campus initiations—particularly in the mid to late ’70s—and in 1977, two films emerged on the topic. ‘Fraternity Row’ is set during Hell Week at a wealthy college in the 1950s. It’s surprisingly low-key, and if you’re some kind of apparel nerd, the wardrobe throughout might be of some interest. I was a little disturbed at the lack of visible breasts, ‘Louie Louie’ on the soundtrack, or general debauchery, but it you’re in the mood, it runs through some curious rituals pretty effectively. Even though it’s far from star-studded, it makes me yearn for a time when Paramount would afford the most budget of films with superb poster art like the above, but its flop status meant that it stays in non-VHS and DVD limbo. Maybe K-Swiss might show up with some sponsorship moolah.

‘The Hazing’ is also known as ‘The Curious Case of the Campus Corpse’ and is actually a half-decent b-movie based around a bad situation, hapless planning and a twist at the end that you wouldn’t see coming if I hadn’t told you there was one. Now you’ll probably just work it out. It’s all based around a hazing accident, but whereas ‘Fraternity Row’ ends on a moral note with a tragedy, this one pretty much commences with one after an excess of unnecessary near-nakedness. Both flicks really did disappear into limbo, barely amassing a cult following—more like an enthusiastic gathering, indicating that folk liked their university movies to be a little more anarchic, or at least heavy on some bloodshed.

DIGRESSIONS

Nike, your Terra line confuses me. It has done for a long time. So we know that the Terra T/C unleashed Phylon in the early ’80s and remains inexplicable un-retroed in the VNTG line, and Japan got the TERRA Rainbow. Conventional nerd lore tells us that the Terra ACG from 1991 was the only ACG Terra design, and that Terra would be reborn as a non-ACG off road running line circa. 1996 with classics like the Outback, Sertig and Ketchikan. However—people tend to forget 1992’s ACG Terra Mac or 1996’s ACG branded Terra Tor, looking a lot like the Nike Air Terra designs that would follow. Perhaps it was the Tor that passed over the Terra torch.

And getting a paragraph reflected in a pool of water is the new blogging. Odd to see something you wrote in these circumstances, but props to Stephen, Arc’teryx and team Firmament for putting this presentation together. I like Veilance jackets a lot.

Must-see TV nowadays is the done thing. You could blackout under the pressure of watching drug, sex and crime-related US imports where people do bad things, or simply act sophisticated. That teetering pile of boxsets is probably mocking how out-of-touch you are each time you pass it, like some shiny, less-bloody ‘Telltale Heart’. It’s not easy to keep up with what you’re supposed to be watching, and a fair amount of “edgy” television reeks of desperation. However—if you like John Cassavetes, jazz, awesome guest stars, effortless cool and old NYC, you should buy the boxset of forgotten pianist turned PI show ‘Johnny Staccato’. It’s as lightweight as much of the TV of 1959 and 1960 was, yet it’s hugely entertaining too, with John seemingly calling in favour after favour and making it fall in line with his characteristic quest for authenticity. It’s on sale now, and you can add it to that stack of things you’ll get round to watching when the flu comes-a-calling this winter…

SHUT THE FUCK UP ABOUT 1993

Please shut the fuck up about 1993. I just went through some TDK C90 tape compilations I made 17 years ago. Everyone claims that rap’s downfall is the preoccupation with material objects. Try telling that to Busy Bee in ‘Wild Style’. You’re the problem. Not Soulja Boy, not Kanye West—you.  Boom-bap pensioners keep trying to tell me that rap pretty much rolled over and ceased to be in 1995. It was—according to the paunchy souls in faded tracksuits—better, because it had drums, samples and other such things, and rappers would say things like, “banging more heads than Metallica“. The truth is, that from 1991 onwards, style biting was rife. If you gave up at the turn of the decade, I’m not mad at you.

But that hallowed year that is 1993 sounds a bit murky, Ah yes, that golden year of letdowns like Hoodratz’s ‘Sneeke Muthafukaz’, Das EFX’s ‘Straight Up Sewaside’ and Red Fox’s ‘As a Matter of Fox’…wow. Happy days. Admittedly there were plenty of classics that year (‘…36 Chambers’ being a standout —’Enta Da Stage’ hasn’t aged as well) but there were also more Pete Rock and DJ Muggs imitations, more cash-in blunt talk, grimee bald bullshit and a whole lot of nonsense. Atlantic and Universal are unlikely to take punts on people chatting about “stunts” and “the bozack” nowadays—is that a bad thing? Assuming that an album’s tracklist should still put a ‘Z’ on skills, require distortive bass and wacky one-liners is naïve. Like I said, pre-’91, I appreciate the preoccupation, but hip-hop never died off. At all. Please don’t fire a list of albums of the era my way to prove me wrong either—I don’t care.

Revisionist 1992 history will tell you that Roughhouse Survivors, Zhigge and School of Hard Knocks albums are classics. This is incorrect—they only had decent singles. The same altered history pushes some mediocre LPs from 1993 to similar status. For instance,  Da Youngsta’s ‘The Aftermath’ was far superior than Mobb Deep’s ‘Juvenile Hell’ yet it frequently gets overlooked. The majority of left coast releases that year have aged better—Spice 1’s ‘187 He Wrote’, Snoop’s ‘Doggystyle’ and Too Short’s ‘Get In Where You Fit In’ really stand out. But going back through the tapes, the majority just has the same bitten basslines, semi-speedy flows and some jazz horns. Again and again and again.

Admittedly, I miss the days of memorising tape shout-outs but I appreciate that they were just a moment-in-time. Your favourite rappers were being jerked back in ’93 too. I know Kool G Rap was. MySpace solved nearly every milk carton missing rapper case a few years back, but honestly, I don’t feel too many artists who had potential for longevity fell through the gaps Anvil-style. Some passed away, some were incarcerated, but many just fell the fuck off, or rode a gimmick that swiftly derailed. Listen to those unreleased full albums (K.M.D. is a near-isolated example)—much of it was shelved for a reason. My buddies at Diggers With Gratitude have the truffle-pig nose for finding gems, but much that costs plenty of yen on limited edition vinyl that unlocks the vaults doesn’t justify the outlay.

Stop the talk of everything being about guns and clothes. You sound like your own mothers. Lyrically, the very best acts are still out there doing what they do best. The fact of the matter my friends, is that you ceased to dig for gems (made all the easier thanks to the internet). Your chosen sounds are very much alive. Your defeatist, regressive approach kept your favourite artists poor. If rap fans were as loyal as metal fans, the Beatnuts and Mash Out Posse would have Slayer and Iron Maiden style followings, buying each release and filling every gig. But they’re not. They either move on or walk away and pretend the ’00s never happened and that’s a tragedy. If you expect a grimier more uncompromising sound to still be on a major label’s radar, then you’re dumb, but it’s out there elsewhere.

In fact, material’s been out there all along on smaller labels, or self-pressed—harder to find, but If you gave as much of a shit as the effort of the screwface you administer to any contemporary rap, you would’ve made the effort. Chances are that indie street album would’ve put more coffers in your favourite rapper’s pocket than if it had been on RAL. You whiners were given an album from Roc Marciano that’s a classic, but chances are you bigged it up yet right-click-saved it. You’re your own worst enemies. How is it that Killa Sha probably passed without mad money in the bank? Because you spent more time moaning than investigating. At least Rick Ross put Kool G on, Jay’s working with Pete Rock, Just Blaze was shouting out Spoonie Gee on Twitter, Malice from Clipse paid tribute to ‘Love’s Gonna Get’cha’ and Kanye’s working with the godfather, Gil Scott-Heron—because you bleating nostalgia fetishists aren’t helping anyone out.

Me? I got the same goosebumps raised when I first saw Redman’s ‘Time 4 Sum Aksion’ video when I saw the Waka Flocka Flame’ video above. Odd, possibly misunderstood interpretations of Coen Brother flicks? Eyes on bullets? A dancing diamond-encrusted Fozzie Bear? It’s one of the best matches of sound and visuals in years. After all, everyone knows that the four elements of hip-hop are face tattoos, Worldstar Hip Hop, robbing Yung Berg and Tweet-beef. As long as hip-hop baffles, infuriates, alienates and befuddles an older generation, it’s in safe hands. Now you can go off and sulk to the medicore sounds of Rumpletilskinz’ ‘What Is a Rumpletilskinz?’ on your battered Walkman.

STAINS

I watched Joel Schumacher’s adaptation of Nick McDonell’s ‘Twelve’ recently and loathed it. If there’s a teen drama with a hint of grit, I’m fully down, but this was nonsense that hovered between fantasy and realism, before slipping over and choking on its own vomit. It was an unsuccessful experiment, and one that made me appreciate Roger Avary’s ‘The Rules of Attraction’ a great deal more. You’d think dead-eyed rich kids getting up to no good would be a no-brainer, but it frequently misfires on the basis that the entire cast are invariably totally unlikeable. I can’t tolerate the wobbling camera any more either.

I want beauty on my screen, even if it’s in the ugliest setting—I enjoyed seeing Coppola unleash the visual pyrotechnics again on the melodramatic ‘Tetro’, even if critics claiming it’s his best since 1979 omit the mighty ‘Rumble Fish’ (on which ‘Tetro’ bears many similarities) and ‘The Outsiders’. ‘Animal Kingdom’ made Melbourne’s underworld look pretty without compromising on the intensity. Accessible equipment doesn’t need to eliminate the art of cinematography. Twin a lo-fi look—albeit one with a digital sheen—with Larry Clark-lite sex and narcotics, and you’re in trouble. Larry Clark’s knack for composure means he can create a memorable shot in the gnarliest of circumstances too, and true-to-form, he’s stirring up a controversy in Paris right now as under-18s are getting denied entrance to his new exhibition, if they’re actually older than some of the exhibited subjects. I’m keen to see how Larry’s interpretation of Neil Jordan’s ‘Mona Lisa’ turns out.

That, plus Verbal and Yoon’s Runaways cover version (I recommend ‘The Runaways’ to anyone who’s interested in that era—it surpasses ‘What We Do Is Secret’ in the band biopic stakes) got me thinking about the golden age of teen flicks (I claim that 1979-1981 was a pretty good vintage) once again. I’ve discussed it here before, extolling the virtues of ‘Over the Edge’, ‘Times Square’, ‘Ladies and Gentlemen. the Fabulous Stains’, ‘Pixote’ and ‘Christiane F.’ but my lack of a scanner stopped me from upping what I think is the finest love letter to a cult movie ever written—Sarah Jacobson’s ‘1997 Grand Royal article on ‘…the Fabulous Stains’, entitled ‘Why They Didn’t Put Out’.

Sarah championed Riot Grrrrl on movies as both a journalist and filmmaker. Sadly, she passed away in 2004, but her dedication to an barely released 1981 movie that attempted to capture the new wave of feminist rock with a touch of Runaways and Go-Go’s in the plot, plus heavy testosterone in the form of a curious supergroup made of Pistols and Clash members with Ray Winstone as the vocalist. Sarah directed a nice little documentary about the movie too, effectively enlightening a snowballing cult audience who may well have been disappointed by the actual execution of the film. It’s a noble effort, well performed (witness Winstone thump Fee Waybill of the Tubes in the face for real), but for all the ladies and excess makeup, it’s heavy-handed in the extreme.

After years of hunts for copies of a friend’s VHS copy of a friend’s copy of a copy from a convention of a brother’s friend’s copy from New Wave Theater back in the ’80s, Rhino putting it out on DVD a few years back felt curiously anticlimactic. The lack of this documentary as an extra due to rights issues was sad, and the Grand Royal piece should have been included too in a Criterion style. Worse still, Sarah Jacobson’s absence to appreciate the fruits of her cheerleading made this long-overdue package’s arrival bittersweet. The story behind the film is a lot better than the film itself, and the article’s soundbite-heavy approach makes it a necessary read if you’ve got a passing interest in the film or any of the subcultures it sucks up in its attempts to channel a rebel zeitgeist.

Because I don’t eff with Tumblr, because they’re mostly excuses for posers to demonstrate how much of a pseudo-intellectual idiot they are and how quick their right-click forefinger is on Google Images is, like chucking extra images down here. Two of my favourite Nike-related images this time. This Friedman Bad Brains shot (used on the ‘Omega Sessions’ release) taken in 1980 is legendary for more than Darryl Jenifer’s Dr. Know’s (Thanks for the correction Nick) footwear. For years I thought they were Blazers, but is that malnourished swoosh not that of the legendary Franchise? And loosely tied into this talk of Riot Grrrl, the homie Sharmadean’s opening of Bleach a hair salon inside the WAH! space used Courtney and Lil’ Kim on the one-year anniversary and launch flyer, Kimberley looked cool on the cover of ‘Hardcore’, but her Air Max 95s look in the 1995 press shot for Junior M.A.F.I.A. is crazy underrated.

In the scanned piece above, boy genius Ben Fogelnest (of Squirt TV fame) shouts out ‘Thurston Moore’s Rap Damage’ that short film gets triple props beyond the Sonic Youth affiliations for having the legendary Maurice Menares guest star. Those who’ve met him can testify that he’s a very funny man. He was equally amusing in 1991.