Bones Brigade: An Autobiography

  • Rodney Mullen
  • Mike Mcgill
  • Tommy Guerrero
  • Tony Hawk
  • Steve Caballero
  • Lance Mountain

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Stacy Peralta, Distinguished Speaker Series at UCSB. Filmed on 2/7/2017
In 1984, Stacy inadvertently created the action sports video. His intention was to produce an inexpensive promotional video that skate shop owners could play in their stores to promote Powell Peralta. No one anticipated that the VCR revolution would cause these videos to become cult classics, while establishing Tony Hawk, Steve Caballero, Mike McGill, Lance Mountain, Tommy Guerrero and Rodney Mullen as international stars. Read More
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About The Movie

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Bones Brigade:
An Autobiography

In 1978, a mechanical engineer who had developed new skateboard products teamed up with one of the most popular skaters of the era. George Powell and Stacy Peralta created Powell Peralta and immediately began retooling how skateboard products were made and marketed.

George, who had started developing products in his garage and kitchen oven, went on to invent innovative equipment such as double radial Bones wheels, named for their unique whiteness, and trend setting skateboard decks. Stacy recruited the skaters and handled marketing along with his longtime creative cohort Craig Stecyk III. Rejecting the expected action shot marketing, they used their young team to create esoteric images conveying the culture's sarcasm and disenfranchised dark humor. While spitballing about his stable of skaters, Stacy commented that he never wanted to call them a "team," a label that invited all kinds of jock baggage. Craig shrugged and simply said, "Bones Brigade."

Powell Peralta reinterpreted a military motif, warping it with pioneering skateboard graphics more suited to biker gang tats than decks. As great a skater as Stacy was, his scouting skills surpassed any celebrated onboard skills. By 1984, Tony Hawk, Rodney Mullen, Steve Caballero, Lance Mountain, Tommy Guerrero and Mike McGill compiled the most competitively dominant skateboard team in history. On top of winning large, cheap plastic trophies, Tony Hawk and Rodney Mullen—two 13-year-olds initially ridiculed by their peers—created new ways to skate and pioneered modern technical skating.

Disgruntled at the way the skate mags played favorites, Stacy weaponized consumer VCRs by directing The Bones Brigade Video Show in 1983. The low-budget amateur skateboard video was the first of its kind and sold a surprising 30,000 copies (including Betamax!).

At the time, skating needed all the help it could get. The 1970s "fad" that swept the country after the invention of the urethane wheel had deflated embarrassingly by 1981. Remaining participants' social status ranked below the chess club. Powell Peralta averaged an anemic 500 monthly board sales and Tony Hawk once received a royalty check for 85¢. To increase brand awareness and grow skateboarding, Stacy produced and created a new Bones Brigade video every year, showcasing his crew's varied personalities and invented maneuvers. The videos routinely featured riders crawling out of sewers, skating abandoned pools and back alleys, bombing desolate hills—essentially shredded an apocalyptic world hidden to most non-skaters.

By the mid-'80s...

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Bones Brigade Skate Deck Reissues

McGill Complete!

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One classic Mike McGill
complete skateboard
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Rodney Mullen!

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    Testimonials

    “in the time frame of finding your way in this world, the choice of to blend in or not was your options both paths had their strife and neither had appeal, coming of age in the Bones Brigrade presented a new path, stay true to your passions, the rest will fall in place, and a happier life will be liv...”

    — Paul “Paulie” Overby

    “The Bones Brigade documentary is truly a phenomenal one. Initially, because it had the word 'documentary', I thought that it would be pretty dull to be honest. However, it not only turned out to be one of the most inspirational videos I've ever watched in my close to 17 years of living, but also one...”

    — Jason “jasonlam_” Lam

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