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…