I’ve received many books about skateboarding over the years, and they usually don’t make much of an impact on me. This one that came mysteriously in the mail a couple weeks ago was at the ‘great book’ end of the spectrum. John O’Malley has put to print his matter of fact, and sometimes gritty recollections of the time when skateboarding went out on its own.
The tales and writing style, at first, gave me some pause and got me wondering if I could make it through. It’s a bit rugged and stream of consciousness in formatting. But something really clicked on for me in about chapter 2 or 3 and I could not put the damn thing down. I read it late into the night on back to back nights after work and it was done. I really got to love this guy and his tales. There is so much historical information, illuminated with fantastic supporting photos (from Warren Bolster, Tracker, Bahne, Jim Goodrich, and many more) about the existence of skateboarding as it is today that I think its a must read for anyone with deep skateboarding roots. It’s stories will enlighten even a skateboarder who is not hardcore. It would probably even translate beyond just skateboarders…
“One crazy year on the California coast–in 1975 a hippie skunkworks, bred in garages and shacks, launched the modern skater movement. Strap in for a wild ride replete with two car chases, two plane crashes, a massive truck bomb, Colombian narcos, the Mafia, senior White House staff, a gypsy fortuneteller, three straight-up miracles, Jacques Cousteau, big piles of cocaine and naked hippie chicks. Author John O’Malley was in the thick of it all, and he retraces the trip that starts with a bang and races to a melt-in-your-mouth ending.”
At the time I published this review, the book is not yet available, It’s set to be released on April 22, 2019 (about 2 weeks) and you can get on the pre-order list on Amazon here.
I hope you check it out! I learned a ton and it fired me up to learn more,