Bones Brigade: An Autobiography

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

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About The Movie

Bones Brigade Poster

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!

The Mike McGill!
One classic Mike McGill
complete skateboard
  • Limited quantity available.

Hawk Complete!

The Tony Hawk!
One classic Tony Hawk
complete skateboard
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Mullen Complete!

The Rodney Mullen!
One classic Rodney Mullen
complete skateboard
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Hawk Complete!

The Tony Hawk!
One classic Tony Hawk
complete skateboard
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Rodney Mullen!

The Rodney Mullen!
One classic Rodney Mullen
reissue skate deck
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Rodney Mullen!

The Rodney Mullen!
One classic Rodney Mullen
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Rodney Mullen!

The Rodney Mullen!
One classic Rodney Mullen
reissue skate deck
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    Testimonials

    “Great film. I was one of those kids in the Midwest who lived through the pictures of these guys in magazines. I identified with Lance the most, but never had a good understanding why until I saw this film. Lance is the everyday skater. He has limits to his abilities, but his passion to ride is why...”

    — Richard “Mo”

    “From 9 kids to a hole country following the Bones Brigade.
    I remember the 1st time my friend Juan came back from the US with a video ( Beta or VHS cant remember ) and 9 of us we sit down on the floor and for the 1st time in our life we looked up to some one, and that some one was across the country...”

    — Dante “Gonzo” Gallegos

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