Tag Archives: dave mustaine


I’m far too old to be getting all hyped about things and kicking off if I don’t get it free, yet I still seem to get caught up in the mob mentality over limited edition gear. With the much hated and much-anticipated Nike Air Yeezy 2 in my clutches (cheers, Nike), I feel a curious sense of relief at ownership that I can’t fully explain. I hate the whole “sneakerhead” genre — I hate t-shirts to match footwear, talk of “kicks,” one-dimensional resell-centric babble that never delves beneath surface level and quite a lot of things that start with “Sneaker.” On the flipside, I hate the punishing lengths people will go to prove that they’re a “real” collector or that they aren’t a “sneakerhead” or “hypebeast” (apologies for the abundance of quotation marks — in the real world, I’d be doubly twatty and do them in the air with my forefingers). Almost everybody born in the latter half of the 1970s and early 1980s was keen on classic adidas and Air Jordans — that doesn’t make you the member of some veteran’s squad and engaging in some Pachanga “…these new kids nowadays, man, they got no respect for human life” style talk about young ‘uns just makes you look doubly old and embittered. The whole thing is unnecessary.

Still, I found myself anxious about owning the new Yeezy iteration because I felt that somehow I needed to own it. It looks like Andre Agassi’s shoe as reimagined by HR Giger, but somewhere down the line, the mix of Huarache (in the lining), Tech Challenge, weirdo space Egyptian ‘Stargate’ cues and Bo Jackson created a wave of hype that picked me up and carried me down river. That leather lace disc is no match for the rubberised ‘Y’ of part 1, that smaller fit based on the Air Royal (not my kind of shoe — just as bland shoes like the GTS Canvas never did anything for me twenty years ago), isn’t like the Air Revolution fit of its predecessor, the metal lace tips are awkward and the anonymity of the beige box is like awaiting the second coming and the messiah rocking up in a blue Datsun. But for all that, I’m relieved to have them because I’m a weirdo. The fact it causes such a fuss makes them a form of event footwear, and the angrier they make people simply amps up the appeal — in a world where people want handcrafted brown leather goods that develop a Tumblr-friendly patina, these seem like the anti-everything.

This shoe thing is out of control for me — the minute you’re vowing “just one more time” and repeatedly reneging on that vow, you’re showing some classic addiction symptoms and I am addicted to sports footwear, from plain Rod Laver (Supers only though, not the earlier slimmer versions) to NB 998s through to these monsters. That relentless box stacking is unlikely to ever stop, but the original March drop of these shoes was meant to be a moment of closure for me – the last big score before a birthday that officially rendered me too old to get excited about this kind of thing, but delays sent it over into a new age. At the current rate, I’m destined to be found dead beneath shoeboxes, unseen by neighbours for a fortnight and half eaten by a household pet. But what exactly does a grown up wear nowadays? The kids in their early twenties that aren’t in tracksuits or dressed like flabby rent boys with the scoopneck and TOMS combo seem to be dressing more sensibly than my dad ever did. Once you’ve bought a few pairs of shoes that last a lifetime, caught up in the romance of a handmade brogue’s scope for cobbler-aided immortality, there doesn’t seem enough places to take that addiction if, like me, you’re adverse to laceless creations, whereas sports footwear just gets goofier and more over-the-top. Still, I think the Yeezy 2 release represents the end of an era for me — the realisation that I’m becoming that old person trying to maintain a youthful state through big shoes (anyone else remember Jonathan King wearing Reebok’s The Pump in late 1989?). Time to wind it down a little, cease with the thirst for hype and make way for the next generation. Until the Yeezy 3 turns up, that is.

Looking at my fixation with big shoes, I can attribute it to three factors: 1. Being denied shoes over £17 in 1987 because my feet were still growing, and eying up some (what I believe to be) Team Delta Forces, leading to a silent vow to own everything one day, 2. Public Enemy and the Beastie Boys in Metro Attitudes and Conductors, and 3. Metal’s frequently unexplored love of shoes as extreme as the speed of the music. Talk Audio Two all you like Dave Mustaine and Nick Menza may be the only people to ever make the Air Pressure look good. In fact, Dave wore the Tech Challenge II (on which the Yeezy 2 is based) with skinny jeans the first time round. Incidentally, I was late to the greatness of Harald Oimoen and Brian Lew’s ‘Murder in the Front Row’ though — a truly incredible tome, with some of the best Bay Area thrash imagery ever amassed in one place. For Testament showing off their matching demonic ink alone, it’s worth having on the bookshelf.


2011 is going to be some kind of Dunk anniversary year. Remember when you went crazy for them in the late ’90s? The late 2002 official UK drops? The eventual ubiquity? I love the shoe because in a roundabout way (my current employer was built on the sale of imported Dunks—think Foot Action and Footwork—before they became easy-to-find) they’re the reason I work with sports footwear and in 2005 they seemed to peak as the definitive totem of hype culture. Then they tailspinned into themed tedium. There was a celebratory year in 2008 that didn’t make a lot of sense too. The solution is to go back to the essence (the TZ reissue of some beautiful concept Japan lows) and in the case of the SB division, to rebuild the Dunk for the new year. I think I might just care about this shoe all over again because I’m easily swayed on the footwear front.

It’s the shoe’s ability to work with bold colours, working in duos of neutral and eye-bleeding shades with what seemed to be limitless makeups that made them so darned appealing. Except there were actually limitations, so everyone became mildly preoccupied with Air Max 1s instead. Whereas you’ve only got to look at films, record sleeves or photos from the mid ’80s with eyes peeled to spot a Jordan 1 (the Dunk’s fancier, more hardwearing cousin), the Dunk is a little more elusive. Still, when they’re spotted, they tend to crop up in some pretty interesting places. If the appearance of the Iowa/Goldenrods on the cover of the Mix Crew’s obscure (and only release) ‘Black Leather,’ dating back to 1987 and twinned with some kind of Bermuda short leggings, plus tassled leathers, doesn’t ring a bell, how about the pair of St. Johns variations at the pajama party in Spike’s 1988 film, ‘School Daze’? Or the same colourway on Dave Mustaine (an oft-overlooked Nikehead) for the ‘Wake Up Dead’ video from 1987? Incidentally, I’ve never seen a rapper or producer pull off the Dunk like Large Professor did with the reissues on the ‘1st Class’ back cover in 2002.

Even stranger, I’m sure Jack Nicholson wears the Iowa lows as Daryl Van Horne in 1987’s ‘The Witches of Eastwick’—I’m not so dedicated to research that I’m willing to pick up a Blu-ray of a film that I’m not especially enamoured with, but I took a few bad quality grabs around the tennis match scene. Why? Because I’m still a bit fucking weird. Still, it’s interesting to see the Nike Dunk go full circle.

Sometimes a product isn’t reassuringly expensive. It’s just way overpriced, but you still need it in your life. If you’re a printhead with an interest in old, well-made clothes, you’re probably aware that the sun rises in the east as far as information goes, but a Japanese magazine habit could end up costing you as much as an addiction to good quality yayo. It’s that serious. But once you’ve laid down thirty pounds on an issue of Mono, you’ve broken the seal. There isn’t anything in English language to match what the Japanese magazines offer…sure, there’s words, but it’s just padding. Magazines like ‘Free & Easy’ are a trove of information, but we just have to appreciate the pretty pictures, yet those alone outweigh any local publication. Still, after baulking at the deranged import pricetag (which wouldn’t have come cheap if you’d paid in Yen either) for ‘Free & Easy’ editor in chief Minoro Onazato’s ‘My Rugged 211’ book, it’s a very interesting collection. Is it worth the money? That’s open to debate. But if you’ve wanted a translated version of Minoro’s publication, this might be as close as it gets.

Once you’ve got over the irritation of a lack of card cover, the title sticker peeling off the binding, the occasional translation typo (was Dustin Hoffman in ‘Graduation’?) and climatised to the fact you paid big money for what’s pretty much an RRL retrospective, it’s easy to appreciate the contents. You won’t get this content anywhere else, just because the author has some very particular tastes. Some was pre-distressed and some has been worn (Alden Cordovan chukkas are creased works of art), but there’s a story to each piece. Onazato frequently uses the word “rugged” and likes items like the Traction Production round glasses because he can, “…transform into another person like Le Corbusier” when he wears them. You think you know about vintage…your inaugural browse of ‘My Rugged 211’ will remind you that you know nothing. Some Thom Browne and Margiela slips into the selections here, adding to the tough-to-pigeonhole notion of “Unfashionable Fashion,” but it’s just great gear.

Toro Kogure’s photography catches the personality of each piece and ultimately, it’s worth the post purchase jitters. Just make the usual excuses to yourself—there’s t-shirts that cost this much…some people drink this amount away in a night…a lot of work goes into a book…the content’s unique…you won’t buy any more this month. Let those justifications drift around inside your cranium and blindly buy it. It’s a shame that the documentation of one man’s individual approach will lead to a spate of copyists, spotlights on the previously unspoilt and heavy price hikes, but that’s just the way it is when it comes to any quasi reference guide targeted at a cultish audience with too much pocket-money.