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Ian MacKaye’s article on DC skateboarding for Thrasher magazine, 1983
04.04.2018
09:04 am
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All photos by Glen E. Friedman
 
A few months ago, I told you about the Cedar Crest Country Club and the importance it played within DC’s skate punk scene. The political climate of the capital in the early eighties inspired a revolution significant of the times, one that would continue to influence underground culture up until present day. And we have Ian Mackaye to thank for much of it.

The origins of skateboarding are rooted in Southern California surf, but many can say its attitude came from DC punk. Bands like Government Issue, Bad Brains, SOA, and of course Minor Threat, brought a much needed edge to the sport, substituting the sunny beaches with grit and concrete. The only issue was, in DC there was nowhere to skate. So, the punks had to improvise. Later in 1986, the ramp at Cedar Crest Country Club opened, a steel halfpipe oasis just an hour outside the city.

In October 1983, Ian MacKaye, founder of Dischord Records and frontman of Minor Threat, Fugazi, Embrace, and Teen Idles, penned a “scene report” for skateboarding magazine, Thrasher. The article, set to describe the skate vibe of the nation’s capital, characterizes Ian not as a hardcore punk legend, but rather as a DC kid who lives to skateboard. The young MacKaye was a member of ragtag boarding crew Team Sahara, along with another punk forefather, Henry Garfield (now known as “Henry Rollins”). Ian’s piece is a nice little snapshot of the spirit of skate culture during the era; his feature goes on to describe the team’s favorite ramps, a legendary wipeout by Rollins, their first empty pool, and an infamous team session at the Annandale halfpipe. Also in the issue is a photo spread of vertical sequences, a story on a Swedish skate camp, competitions in Del Mar and Oceanside, and a music piece on a punk band called The Faction.

Read Ian MacKaye’s article in Thrasher magazine, along with a complete transcript below:
 

 
Much more after the jump…

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Posted by Bennett Kogon
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04.04.2018
09:04 am
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That time Frank Zappa invented ‘The Wave’ in 1969


 
We are currently amid Zappadan, an annual observance that pays tribute to the late Frank Zappa. Beginning on the anniversary of his death of December 4th, the holiest of all Zapptist occasions concludes blissfully on December 21st, the creation date of the almighty. While it would be difficult to list his every achievement and influence over the years, Frank Zappa is best remembered as a rock & roll innovator, a spirited free-thinker, and a cultural mad scientist. Oh, and I guess he invented The Wave?
 
I have always been curious of the origins of The Wave. The popular spectator pastime involves a stadium crowd to lift their arms in succession, thereby creating a pulsating human current that ripples and crashes. A simple Google search of the subject reveals a man named Krazy George Henderson to be its creator. George was a local celebrity and self-proclaimed “professional cheerleader,” who would often show up at sporting events to invigorate the crowd. It was at an Oakland Athletics game on October 15th, 1981 where Krazy George was believed to have orchestrated the very first wave. After years of perfecting his craft, it was here when George’s vision was fully realized. But apparently he wasn’t the only one. Television host Robb Weller claims that he had led the first wave at a University of Washington football game on October 31st, 1981—mere weeks after Krazy George’s first tube had barreled over in Oakland. Regardless of who did it first, it was at the widely-televised 1986 FIFA World Cup that incited the tradition. For that reason, many sports fans refer to the popular activity as the “Mexican Wave.”
 

Krazy George
 
I don’t intend to be brazen with my skepticism of the subject, but The Wave wasn’t created by Weller or Krazy George. It was invented by Frank Zappa. On June 27th 1969, Zappa and the Mothers of Invention performed at the Denver Pop Festival, a psychedelic three-day concert held at the Mile High Stadium in Colorado. Joining the Mothers on the bill were some serious heavy-hitters of the era, including Creedence Clearwater Revival, Big Mama Thornton, Iron Butterfly, Three Dog Night, and the very last performance of the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Hendrix even performed the “Star Spangled Banner” at the Denver Pop Festival, an event that would soon be obscured by the peace & love behemoth that was Woodstock just two months later. Unlike Woodstock, however, unruly attendees and gatecrashers were tear-gassed during Hendrix’s set, causing disturbance to those in the grandstands.
 

 
Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention played before Iron Butterfly on the first day of the festival. Their set contained a whimsical array of classic Mothers numbers including “Hungry Freaks Daddy,” “The String Quartet,” and “A Pound for a Brown on the Bus.” The last song of the performance was more of an improvisation, wherein Zappa attempts a stunt that he refers to as “Teenage Stereo.” Playing conductor to an audience of 50,000, Zappa calls on successive sections of the crowd to make gestures and odd noises (such as clapping and vomiting sounds) when pointed at. The sound travels throughout the stadium in a metachronal rhythm, thereby demonstrating this new human instrument “in stereo.” What Zappa hadn’t realized, however, was that his playful experiment would eventually become a sports fan phenomena that continues to make “waves” to this day.
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Bennett Kogon
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12.18.2017
11:29 am
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‘You’re the One for Me, Fatty’: Amusing Morrissey-themed skateboard decks
09.25.2017
08:47 am
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“You’re the One for Me, Fatty”
 
Paisley Skates has produced these rather amusing Morrissey-themed skate decks. Each one is done by a different artist including Todd Bratrud, Sean Cliver and Dave Carnie. Every deck is signed on the top by the artist and sells for $70 a pop. I dig the “Vicar in a Tutu” board by Sean Cliver.

Dimensions: 9.25 x 33.125

N: 7.125 / T: 6.875 / WB: 14.75

Click on any image to enlarge for more details.


“Vicar In A Tutu”
 

“Bigmouth Strikes Again”
 
via The World’s Best Ever

Posted by Tara McGinley
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09.25.2017
08:47 am
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‘Jack Johnson,’ 1970 documentary about the first black heavyweight champion, scored by Miles Davis
08.18.2017
09:02 am
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Even people who don’t like Miles Davis’ electric period (!) recognize the greatness of Jack Johnson, one of John McLaughlin’s finest moments, and a record I’d heard dozens of times before I realized it was the score to a movie. Long before
Ken Burns’ Unforgivable Blackness, there was this 1970 documentary by promoter Bill Cayton and fight film collector Jimmy Jacobs.

Jack Johnson was the first black boxer to win the world heavyweight championship. The phrase “great white hope” originates from the terror he struck into the hearts of pale Americans, both by winning the title and enjoying himself in public. His success did not go unpunished. Busted under the Mann Act and sentenced to a year and a day, Johnson skipped bail and fled the country. (In one memorable scene in Jack Johnson, the champ meets Rasputin.)
 

 
In his autobiography, Davis writes that he was boxing in the spring of 1970, when he wrote the soundtrack:

The music was originally meant for Buddy Miles, the drummer, and he didn’t show up to pick it up. When I wrote these tunes I was going up to Gleason’s Gym to train with Bobby McQuillen, who was now calling himself Robert Allah (he had become a Muslim). Anyway, I had that boxer’s movement in mind, that shuffling movement boxers use. They’re almost like dance steps, or like the sound of a train. In fact, it did remind me of being on a train doing eighty miles an hour, how you always hear the same rhythm because of the speed of the wheels touching the tracks, the plop-plop, plop-plop, plop-plop sound of the wheels passing over those splits in the track. That train image was in my head when I thought about a great boxer like Joe Louis or Jack Johnson. When you think of a big heavyweight coming at you it’s like a train.

Then the question in my mind after I got to this was, well, is the music black enough, does it have a black rhythm, can you make the rhythm of the train a black thing, would Jack Johnson dance to that? Because Jack Johnson liked to party, liked to have a good time and dance. One of the tunes on there, called “Yesternow” was named by James Finney, who was my hairdresser—and Jimi Hendrix’s, too. Anyway, the music fit perfectly with that movie. But when the album came out, they buried it. No promotions. I think one of the reasons was because it was music you could dance to. And it had a lot of stuff white rock musicians were playing, so I think they didn’t want a black jazz musician doing that kind of music. Plus, the critics didn’t know what to do with it. So Columbia didn’t promote it.

Watch ‘Jack Johnson’ after the jump…

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Posted by Oliver Hall
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08.18.2017
09:02 am
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Blood and Steel: Punk meets skateboarding at the Cedar Crest Country Club
06.13.2017
09:30 am
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The invention of the polyurethane wheel in 1972 literally reinvented the wheel for the modern skateboard. While Team Zephyr etcetera were tearing up the empty pools of the west coast, it wasn’t for another decade that underground skateboarding began to seep into the cul-de-sacs of suburban America. More than just a surfer fad, skateboarding echoed the defiant self-expression of the nation’s youth subcultures. So it was no surprise then, that the sport often gravitated toward the thriving punk movements of the era. Ever the locale for political discomfort, Washington DC under Reagan was a mecca of punk and hardcore, with bands like Minor Threat and Bad Brains setting the nation’s pulse. Obviously, the skate culture came along with it.

The only problem was, in DC there was nowhere to skate. The short-lived scene saw a demise in the mid 80s, with the closing of the city’s only parks and backyard ramps. That was, until the Cedar Crest Country Club. Located in the middle of a forest in Centreville, Virginia, the half-pipe was built in March 1986 on the property of a golf club. The property owner’s son was given free-reign on expenses, resulting in the construction of a ramp like none other. Besides its behemoth-like qualities, the most notable feature of the ramp was its steel bottom, which ensured maximum speed and higher air time. There was nothing else in the country like it at the time, and it was free to ride if you could make the hour trek outside of the District.
 

Tony Hawk skates Cedar Crest
 
Before long, people from all over the world were dropping in at CCCC. Some of the world’s greatest skaters, like Tony Hawk and Bucky Lasek, all came out to skate. Camping was allowed, and people started showing up for the punk shows they had on the ramp. Bad Brains played, along with Government Issue, GWAR, and Scream (with a young Dave Grohl on drums). Fugazi was scheduled to play CCCC for one of their earliest shows, but the cops broke it up during the opener’s set (evening skating resumed, however).
 

 

 
Continues after the jump…

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Posted by Bennett Kogon
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06.13.2017
09:30 am
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Before Marilyn Monroe & Jayne Mansfield, the dangerous curves of Betty Brosmer ruled the world
06.06.2017
09:32 am
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Model Betty Brosmer.
 
Like many models Los Angeles-born beauty queen, Betty Brosmer, got her start early, with her first photographs appearing in the Sears & Roebuck catalog in 1948 when she was just thirteen. A year later Brosmer visited New York City with her aunt and had the opportunity to pose for more photographs, one of which made its way to electronics company Emerson who used the photo in published advertisements in magazines across the country.

While she was still a teenager Brosmer received requests from two rather influential pinup artists—Earl Moran, who famously captured some of the earliest images of Marilyn Monroe (while she was still known as Norma Jean), and a man whose name is synonymous with the word pinup, Peruvian artist Alberto Vargas. That high-profile work would prompt Brosmer to make the move to New York City. While attending high school in Manhattan Brosmer would continue modeling, and her photographs would appear in numerous magazines as well as on the covers of sexy pulp novels. The young model was pursued by Playboy magazine, which ended up in a sitting for a shoot in Beverly Hills. But not in the nude as the magazine had hoped. The final photos were ultimately rejected by Playboy and I’m sure many of you will be disappointed to learn that Brosmer never did any nude photography during her long career, as she feared the images would be hurtful to her family, not because she thought it was dishonorable.

Although Marilyn Monroe is the most recognizable blonde bombshell of the time, it was Brosmer’s fair hair, face, and impossible eighteen-inch waist that made her the highest paid model of the 50s, and her image helped pave the way for both Monroe and Jayne Mansfield. In 1961 Brosmer married bodybuilder Joe Weider, the founder of the Mr. Olympia competition and mentor to former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, a seven-time Mr. Olympia title holder. After that, Brosmer would drop her last name for Joe’s and subsequently end her modeling career. Betty would then go on to co-author a book with Weider in 1981 The Weider Book of Bodybuilding for Women as well as becoming a long-time contributor to Muscle and Fitness magazine, and an associate editor of the popular women’s fitness magazine, SHAPE. I’ve posted images of Betty (who still looks fantastic at the age of 82 by the way), below that must be seen to be believed.
 

 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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06.06.2017
09:32 am
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Big hair, big muscles, totally 80s: Glorious images & footage of the lady wrestlers of ‘GLOW’
05.26.2017
11:59 am
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A few of the girls of ‘GLOW’ back in the 80s.
 
Next month, on June 23rd Netflix is launching the highly anticipated series based on the gonzo television series Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling or GLOW that got its start in Las Vegas back in 1986. I can’t lie—I’m one of those people who can hardly wait to binge-watch the series because I was a huge fan of the original TV series as well as the early days of the World Wrestling Federation (or the WWF) that dominated the television airwaves during the 80s.

If just the mere mention of GLOW makes you think you smell the heavy fragrance of Aqua Net while feeling terribly nostalgic for the gift that was bad television programming from the 80s, you are not alone. The decade was jam-packed with awesome and strange shows like Night Flight, The Young Ones, and Pee-wee’s Playhouse just to name a few. That was back when you could solve all your problems just by watching the tube while under the influence of Budweiser (tallboy, of course), and a $2 joint. Sure, I could easily reproduce that very same cheap buzz I just described but it just wouldn’t be the same now, would it? Getting back to GLOW, if you recall anything about the show you recall how purely campy it was, especially when the girls tried their hand at performing comedy skits. Then there was the cultivation of the right image for the fictional characters the women played on the show. For instance, there was Queen Kong (aka Dee Booher who also played “Matilda The Hun” on GLOW) who looked like a mashup of Divine and Fred Flintstone, and the blonde duo of Brandi Mae and Malibu looked like castoffs from another show that was still on the air during the 80s, Hee-Haw.

My personal favorites were always the girls who were decked out like the wrestling version of former Warlock vocalist Doro Pesch, who painted their faces like King Diamond, with glitter or Halloween spray-on hair color on their heads. There were a few that took on that style during the good-old-days of GLOW, following in the footsteps of season one stars Spike and Chainsaw Wilinsky, “The Heavy Metal Sisters.” There was also seemingly no need for political correctness on GLOW and often girls would portray a character that was based on their actual or perceived ethnicity. “Palestina” (Janeen Jewett) was supposed to be some sort of Middle Eastern terrorist with a penchant for wrestling and Latino stuntwoman Erica Marr was dubbed “Spanish Red.” One of the show’s more popular attractions was Samoan wrestler “Mt Fuji” (Emily Dole), who was descended from actual Samoan royalty. Back in 1976 while she was still in high school Dole nearly made it to the Olympics, thanks to her shot putting skills. And it would seem that having the ability to hurl heavy, metal balls long distances also translated to being able to twirl a girl over her head before tossing her out of the ring. GLOW was good times.
 

A group shot of the girls of GLOW.
 
Don’t get me wrong here, despite its high levels of soap opera silliness, the girls of GLOW were mostly tough women who worked out hard, lifted weights and liked to show their guns off like Hulk Hogan. Some were even stuntwomen (like Erica Marr) who were trying to break into Hollywood by pretending to break their opponents’ bones in the ring. The concept of doing a show featuring female wrestlers following a scripted storyline was the genius idea of David McLane. McLane got his start working with Dick the Bruiser—the former 260-pound NFL star who started his three-decade-long wrestling career in the 1950s. McLane would quickly excel as a promoter and later as a blow-by-blow commentator for the WWA (World Wrestling Association). Now here’s where things get a little bizarre—McLane would reach out to Jackie Stallone, you know, Sly’s mom, who was running a ladies-only gymnasium in Las Vegas called Barbarella’s. He pitched his show to Stallone who in turn gave him access to the girls who frequented her gym. The pair then enlisted the talent of Italian producer, director, and screenwriter (who was also briefly married to Jayne Mansfield before she died), Matt Climber, and GLOW was born.

The show itself was shot in a ballroom at what used to be the Riviera in Las Vegas before it was demolished last year, and if there’s a more appropriate setting for a wrestling match featuring gorgeous half-dressed women, I don’t know what would be. The girls of GLOW lived in Vegas and when they were out in public the ladies were required to stay in character. Split into two classes, the “good girls” and the “bad girls” the wrestlers were not allowed to fraternize with members not in their designated groups and would be fined if they did. Many of the girls lived full-time at the Rivera which the management of GLOW paid for and received $300 bucks a week and free tickets to the hotel’s buffet for their work on the show. If all this has gotten you chomping at the bit in anticipation of the new series then I’d suggest you check out the fantastic 2012 documentary GLOW: The Story Of The Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling. I don’t want to give anything away about that but my eyes leaked a little when some of the former cast members were reunited, many of whom hadn’t seen or spoken to each other for two-plus decades. I’ve posted some great vintage shots of the girls of GLOW below as well as some footage from the original show, including the infamous “GLOW Rap” that opened season one. I also threw up the trailer for upcoming series of GLOW on Netflix in case you haven’t seen it yet.

If this trip down memory lane doesn’t make you smile, your lips might be broken. You should probably have that checked out. Some of the photos are slightly NSFW.
 

Dee Booher as “Matilda the Hun.” Booher has fallen on hard times and is currently trying to raise some much needed cash for medical expenses. Help out if you can here.
 

Spike and Chainsaw Wilinsky aka “The Heavy Metal Sisters.”
 
;
 
Much more after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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05.26.2017
11:59 am
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Skate decks with photos of Björk, Beastie Boys, Sonic Youth & more taken by Spike Jonze


The Björk skateboard deck from Girl. Part of a new series featuring photographs taken by Spike Jonze. Available here.
 
So far there are five different skate deck designs that are a part of a Photos by Spike collaboration between skateboard company Girl and director Spike Jonze. The boards feature the beyond cool shot of Björk (seen above) taken by Jonze, and another that pays homage to the Beastie Boys who appear in character as seen in the 1994 “Sabotage” video (directed by Jonze) that is forever burnt into our collective consciousness.

All of the decks in the group are quite different looking. Both the Sonic Youth and Nirvana decks utilize black and white photos, while the image of Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs lounging on the bottom of her deck is vibrantly colorful as is the yellow skate deck itself. Jonze’s relationship with Girl goes back to at least 2007 when he co-directed a film on the company, Yeah Right. However, the director’s love of skateboarding goes even further back than that as his very first film, Video Days was about, you guessed it,skateboarding. Each sweet deck will run you about $50. I’ve posted photos of all the decks below for you to see below as well as some footage from Video Days.
 

The Sabotage deck.
 

Sonic Youth.
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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04.10.2017
11:21 am
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Follies on Ice: Showgirls, men in drag, an ice-skating chimpanzee, a robot, and Elvis
03.16.2017
12:51 pm
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A vintage photo of skater Hans Leiter in drag performing in the Ice Capades in 1960.
 
Over the last few weeks for reasons I can’t quite attribute to any one event or reason whatsoever, I’ve been obsessively seeking out photos from vintage ice skating shows such as Holiday on Ice, the Ice Follies, and the Ice Capades. And like pretty much all of the Internet rabbit holes I dig for myself, it produced some pretty great results when it came to the old-school images I found of ice show stars in all kinds of crazy situations over the last sixty or so years.

Despite the fact that I’m from Boston, a true hockey town and lived only a couple of blocks from an ice skating rink, Cherrybomb can’t skate. And I’ve always been envious of people who can. Ice shows were very popular when I was growing up and I attended my fair share as a youth, but they were always of the kiddie variety and while there were ice skating clowns, I do not recall seeing full-on showgirls with feather headdresses or ice-skating jugglers tossing lit torches around on the rink. Perhaps if I had I would have run away with the cool kids in the Ice Capades because both of the previous scenarios still seem way more appealing than an office job.

Ice skating shows date all the way back to the 1930s and the Ice Follies’ performances began in 1936. The Ice Capades made its debut in 1940, and Holiday on Ice got its start a few years later in 1943. The Holiday on Ice show would travel around the world and after getting its start in Ohio, they took the show to Mexico City, South America, Asia, Africa and even Moscow while the Cold War was still in play making the show the very first U.S. entertainment/attraction to perform in the Soviet Union while Nikita Khrushchev looked on.

There was almost nothing these ice shows didn’t do including showcasing male comedians dressed in drag performing skits, and the inclusion of ice skating chimpanzees that performed with the Ice Capades—specifically a little chimp named “Jonny” who was a particular crowd favorite known for not only his ability to skate but for his ice skating stunts like doing cartwheels and jumping over obstacles like Evel Knievel. And if that’s not weird enough for you, at one time the Ice Follies featured a seven-foot, four-inch aluminum and plexiglass ice skating robot named “Commander Robot” in the 1969 version of the show.

Below you’ll find some shots of all three shows, as well as a short video of “Jonny” the chimp and Las Vegas-worthy footage of Holiday on Ice from 1977. Who needs drugs when you have these wild, contact-high inducing photos to look at?
 

Holiday on Ice 1974.
 

Paul Castle the “Mighty Mite” performing in the Ice Capades in 1959.
 

“Jonny” the ice skating monkey and a Holiday on Ice performer taken on the show’s 25th anniversary, 1968.
 
More mirth and mayhem on the ice after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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03.16.2017
12:51 pm
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Rockstars with balls: Bob Marley, Rod Stewart, Elton John, Pink Floyd & more playing soccer


Bob Marley playing football backstage in 1979.
 

I love soccer. That’s all I ever watch. I’ll watch it all day if I can. But I’m too bloody old to play now.

—Lifelong soccer devotee, Geezer Butler of Black Sabbath.

 
I’m posting theses images today because I, and perhaps many of your reading this require a bit of a “mind cleanse” every now and then to blow all the bad shit out of your brain. And what better way to clear your mind of all the gloom and doom currently running amok in the global brain than to lose ourselves for a while looking at pictures of pretty people playing around with soccer balls. Ah, I feel better already.

There’s Robert Plant cavorting around in tiny sports briefs on a soccer field looking not-so-pleased that he was being photographed while doing so. There’s also a shirtless Roger Daltrey, a spandex-clad Rod Stewart, and a straight-up amazing shot of Bob Marley backstage at a show in San Diego in 1979 kicking a soccer ball around. Many other bands like Iron Maiden and Def Leppard actually actively played in amateur football leagues of their own during their time away from their headbanging duties, so I’ve included a few choice images of both bands suited up for gameplay as well.
 

Robert Plant.
 

Roger Daltrey.
 
More rockin’ footballers after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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03.13.2017
09:24 am
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