Growing up, in my circle of skater friends, if you were good maybe one day you’d make the Bones Brigade. If you sucked, like me, MAYBE you could make the Nash team. Such was the life of kids in the 80s pretending to have a shot at a career in skateboarding — the real goal of which was to get sponsored so you could get a free Powell-Peralta Ripper deck or something.
Our goals were small compared to that of the larger-than-life members of the Bones Brigade who we regularly read about in the pages of Thrasher. Like Don Mattingly or Joe Montana, Tony Hawk, Lance Mountain, Tommy Guerrero and the rest of the Bones Brigade were our heroes. They were kids, not much older than us, traveling the world, doing what they loved. They had cool haircuts, defied logic and gravity with their constant barrage of inventive new tricks and were no doubt the most envied kids in their high schools. I wanted in SO badly.
Sadly, like millions of other kids, I never made the Bones Brigade.
Years later, the intrigue of the Bones Brigade is still enormous and their cultural impact can’t be understated. Not only were they revolutionaries in the sport of skateboarding, but they were pioneers in film-making (Stacy Peralta and his team were doing Youtube-esque films decades ago) and the link from the Bones Brigade to the alternative and counter-culture explosion of the early 1990s is pretty direct.
The terrific new documentary “Bones Brigade, An Autobiography,” sheds light not only on these subjects, but dives deep into what the Bones Brigade meant to the big six — Rodney Mullen, Tony Hawk, Lance Mountain, Tommy Guerrero, Steve Caballero and Mike McGill. It’s a fascinating look back on the transformation of the sport of skateboarding and the transformation of these kids into adults and how becoming massively popular, anti-heroes informed their lives as grown-ups.
Mastermind, coach and mentor of the Bones Brigade and skate legend himself, Stacy Peralta, took some time to talk with Atomic Comet about the film, the team and what it means all these years later.