I was a complete pussy when I was I kid. I’m still a pussy now, but when I was a kid I was such a pussy. I was frightened of anything corruptible– especially drugs and heavy metal. It was drummed into my head early on that any and all drugs lead directly to heroin addiction (and I watched Christiane F. when I was seven, so heroin has never been an option for me), and I was terrified of heavy metal because it would allow the devil to take possession of my soul and I would be his puppet. I actually thought that, and here’s why.
In primary (elementary) school we had a priest who’d come by once a week to teach us about Jesus and God and all that baloney. I unequivocally believed everything he said, so when he brought a reel-to-reel tape player to class and showed us what back-masking was, I freaked. First he played Queen’s ‘Another One Bite the Dust’ backwards: ‘It’s fun to smoke marijuana… It’s fun to smoke marijuana.’ Then the ending of ‘Darling Nikki’ from Prince’s Purple Rain: ‘Hello, how are you? I’m fine because I know that the lord is coming soon, coming, coming soon…’ Someone put their hand up and asked why the coming of the Lord was such a bad thing. The priest went into a red-faced tirade and said that Prince announcing the return of the Lord was tantamount to announcing he was the Son of God, and that was blasphemous and therefor Satanic. Prince was the Devil’s puppet and he was recruiting other puppets to do his master’s bidding.
I can’t remember when I got over my church-bred paranoia, but I did, and eventually got on with listening to Slayer, sniffing glue, and spraypainting pentagrams on gravestones. Happy ending.
Agents Provocateurs. 100 Subversive Skateboard Graphics is a book that would have turned me white when I was kid: drugs, racism, sex, sacrilege, political unrest, violence–this 224 page, perfect-bound, Hardcover, 8″ x 10″ tome has it all. Author Seb Carayol has carefully selected the most subversive and offensive graphics in the history of skateboarding, and provided background stories and interviews with the creators. It’s a really amazing book, and a reminder that skating is about having fun and upsetting people.