Lecture? Book It Here


WhatIsWhat 1.0 2003

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this video can sum up the end of the eighties and th ebeginning fo the nineties for me. skating, snowboarding, punk rock, bluegrass, and pittsburgh. the video is of my fiends brian and neil and their band shape of rage. of the many bands they had this was their most time tested.

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so i was 18 years old and the city council was creating a skateboard ban due to pressure from some squirrel hill shopping ladies consternation at some silly kids who would sit around all day anmd scrape her curb. so we thought it would be a good idea to protest the ban

bill shannon, whatiswhat, thisiswhatiswhat, streetdance, urban, dance delight, j

needless to say, given the image above, it did not end up at all how we had planned it. i was arrested. the reason i was arrested is because i was a hard headed kid who did not know that when a cop politely ask you to come over and talk to him and you pretend not to see him he is going to blow his lid and grab you by the neck. so thats what happened. i was trying to play it cool at first but then they started to choke me and bend back my wrists hard. then i just got mad. anyway the city did ban skateboarding and i was fined. the aclu defended our cause as we were in our rights to protest the ban and we got off the fines. the business ladies who called the police sent us a postcard to our apartment goading us on. we laughed at their pettiness. we were kids just trying to skate.

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In the video above  you can see some funny details. at the time i was fully into my retro carving style of skating .. i was wearing one of the first burton snowboard shirts ever to come out that i had gotten form working at shadyskates. the excellent camera work is from brian cummings a local skater and backyard ramp owner. in the image below you see an image of me street skating, 1988.. always stay fresh. my embrace of the flowish style had a lot to do with my inability to compete or keep up with repetitive jumps and big "acid drops" as they were known back i the day.  if you look at the skating footage below you can seehow as a skater back in the day i was not very secure onthe board and always cautious. when i look at my form i can see how tight i was compared to now.

hang ten dude

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This Work, THE END of the EIGHTIES, by Bill Shannon is licensed under a CC BY-NC-SA license.