4.22.2011

Guest Post: Michael Sieben

Roger's Internet Shack doodler speaks on some of his favorite flicks.


Somehow the internet put me in contact with Chops (the dude that invented this blog) and he asked me if I'd do a guest post. I'm an avid reader (and fan) of this site so I said, "fart yes" or something equally as stupid. So here's some of my favorite ads from the ages.


This ad still has lingering poster putty remnants on the back of it so I know that without a doubt I had this thing up on my bedroom wall when I was 12-years-old... which would be slightly more embarrassing if this dude hadn't invented the flatground ollie and the kickflip... along with all of this shit. So yeah, I'm actually not embarrassed at all about hanging this up in my bedroom. Well, except for the fact that I tore it out of my little sister's TEEN magazine...


I was so stoked on the Animal Chin propaganda that I xeroxed this ad out of a magazine and taped it to the light post outside of my house. I remember sitting on the curb and just hoping that somebody would notice it as they drove by. Skateboarding culture is powerful. That's easy to forget as an old dude.


This was my first big board. Seeing an ad for my piece of shit skateboard validated it (somewhat) in my brain. I mean, I knew I was rolling on some dookie... but the fact that there was an ad for it in an actual skateboard magazine made me feel a little better about it. Not much better, but a little better.


If you were a kid skating in the late 80's and you weren't a card-carrying member of the Matt Hensley Fan Club then I don't trust you. I sported a clipper cut, Chukka boots, cut-off shorts, big socks, and a wallet chain for a good 2 years because of this dude. I have nothing but tolerance for youthful fashion fads because of my adolescent Hensley code. He really was the best.


I'd stare at these ads forever. A real sign of the times that at one point there were only 18 decks that were recognizable enough (or popular enough) to include in this type of ad. Then just a few years later, there were 36 graphics in the mix. You'd need a microscope to look at an ad like this right now. Each of these boards would have 10 colorways with a different rider's name on it. Progress.


Hands down, Rocco made some of the best ads ever. Case in point.


As a kid, this ad kind of scared me because this dude looked like a grown-ass man that would totally have sex with your older sister and then tell you about it. I love the sentiment though.


One of my favorite skaters doing a trick that I could sort of see myself doing if I was just a little bit better at skateboarding. Tangible. I remember getting my haircut in the early 90's and just hoping that it would look like Lotti's when I checked it in the mirror. It never did. I also love how minimal ads were for a little window in the 90's.


This might be my favorite ad of all times. The fact that they used the phrase "slippery bottoms" in this ad is just so, so awesome. I know it's lame to be the old preachy dude but let's try to not let skateboarding become so jocky that you can't put on a fairy costume now and then and not worry about being blacklisted. When handrails become field goals we all lose. Well... except for the jocks that only skate handrails.


Just looking at this ad gives me the willies. The good willies. God bless you Neil Blender. This ad made me feel like I was in a secret club called skateboarding.


I can't even put into words how awesome this ad was to me as a kid. So amazing. Mike Hill was such a pioneer in the skateboard graphic arena.


I picked two Toy Machine ads but I easily could have included 20. These ads made me want to make a zine or draw a board graphic or basically just get weird(er.) Thanks Ed.


Remember before email? Did companies have a full-time employee answering the phone just to tell kids that they couldn't send them free shit? I love how clean this ad is. I also like that it doesn't even say what it's advertising. You just have to know.


If memory serves me correctly, this is the first enjoi ad. I love that it doesn't give you any clue as to what it's about. It creates this mystery. I guess that's what I like about that old Alien stuff too. You felt like the dudes running the company were into some super weird shit that you didn't know anything about. But you wanted to know about it. I guess those things just inspired me and made me want to be more creative.


Scott Bourne's approach to skateboarding was really refreshing to me and Consolidated was really killing it during this era. They made their company seem like what would happen if your buddies somehow got their shit together and started a company. No elitist shit.


I don't know how old Gonz was when this ad came out but I know he was older than me. And I was already starting to complain about getting old. This ad made me shut up for awhile. No excuses. Just get out there and skate. I'm pretty sure I had started complaining by the time the next magazine came out though.


This isn't really one of my favorite ads but I thought some people might have heard about this ad but not actually seen it, and I wanted to include it for historical significance. This was kind of the end of an era. It got pretty sporty for awhile after this.


I thought I'd close with an ad from a brand new skateboard magazine. If you've skateboarded for a really long time, it's easy to get jaded and become dismissive of all of the ridiculous crap in the skateboard world. So I think it's important to remember that there's always a kid out there that just started skateboarding and is looking at his first skateboard magazine and just scratching his head trying to figure out how that grown man got up in the air like that. Skateboarding is awesome.

Big thanks to Eric (Chops) for letting me post this stuff up. And many thanks to anybody anywhere that's ever given even a little bit of a turd about my meager contribution to this thing we all love. I'm just a nerd in Texas and I really appreciate the fact that I've been given the chance to put my two cents in.

Keep smiling.
-Sieben

Special thanks to Sieben for taking the time and Dan Watson.

Support this dude: Roger, Thrasher, and the Internet Shack.

33 comments:

chops said...

Really stoked on this. Michael captured pretty much everything in one post that I've been more or less trying to say for over 600 now. Amazing.

And thanks again to Watson

some poser said...

Fuck yeah Sieben!

Anonymous said...

Sieban dont ever stop making skate graphics

A Stone said...

We may or may not be exactly the same age, but I can relate to nearly everything you mentioned about all those ads. Great job.

HEAVY METAL CHUCK said...

some serious good ads. and i think JJ would still have sex with your older sister

J. said...

Sieben shouldn't feel embarrassed about his Hensley worship. It's 2011 and I still sport a clipper cut, Chukka boots, cut-off shorts, big socks, and a wallet chain.

dflip said...

Wow what a great post. That first Word Ad, love it! Also love some of your quotes...

ATM said...

This is easily my favorite guest post. Fuck yeah and high fives to both Chops and Sieben.

r. dahl said...

agreed. best guest post. a team up of the only two dudes i ever bought mail order t shirts from. sick. fuck'n got me a little misty there for a sec. had to look at my roger board for some much needed levity. thanks to both of you for great work.

Keith said...

super good E and Sieben! What a surprise guest post.

Mullen pic is awesome. Solid hair and beam!

I never really saw Nash boards where I lived in Canada. Around 86 when I got my first board, our lower tier options were Loo, Dominion and Variflex. And if you wanted a real pro deck, it was double or triple the price.

I think every kid who skated in 89 had that Hensley ad on their wall!

I, too, studied those damn california cheap skates ads with the fan layout of decks! I don't remember Swiss bearing being that cheap back then!

Stoked on the rest of his great commentary on the other ads. Those real slicks were the shit! PE had a good thing going for a while there. Always been a fan on Alien.

Great way to end the week!

justin said...

That was awesome.

Also congrats on turning three a couple of days late.

Anonymous said...

So thats the Woodstock ad. Flame boy is traumatized

Kris Gurley said...

Michael Sieben and I must have started skating at the exact same time! I'm a grown-ass man but I'm still getting a little misty-eyed thinking about what set-ups I was riding when each of these came out.

clug said...

Just watched 'the man who sold he world' and the story behind the woodstock ad was particularly interesting.

POS said...

Yeah, that guy's pretty cool.

peel said...

As Chops would say: "This shit's bonkers!"

dude said...

that was awesome. jj is so creepy... ask him about his pinnochio tattoo

Jimmy said...

Sieben is the man! Great artist, great writer,100% skater. At 35, I remember almost all of these ads and agree with the choices. Now go skate!

Skately said...

Whoa, talk about a stroll down memory lane, that was awesome!

Remember photocopying that Animal Chin ad and plastering them with a staple gun to every wooden telephone pole in my city. Still have a few leftovers copies in a box somewhere.

Classic line about the Matt Hensley Fan Club. Dude was our cult leader whether he liked it or not.

Huge thanks to you/Roger and Enjoi for keeping skateboarding humorous and fun!

Watson said...

Great post!

Anonymous said...

Great and all but not THAT great. There's plenty of us from that era who didn't forget that stuff. Hardly revolutionary to point out how revolutionary World ads were.

Anonymous said...

amazing post.

to the anonymous comment above: you're a dick.

Croupier said...

When your favorite shit just starts crossing over and blending together. WTF, that's rad!

Shrewgy said...

Sssshhhh, I'm still believing that skateboarding is our secret society!

Jaybird said...

so stoked.I wish i could express my love for all things sk8 like this. i did how ever jock Vallely more then Hensley. & its must suck to live life like anonymous.

Anonymous said...

I always really loved that Woodstock Ad. It rid skateboarding of Simon Woodstock. Thank god for that.

Anonymous said...

Did Rocco post above me?

Loo Ganida said...

Lovin' the Sieben post!
anonymous can just fuck right off!
I mean, why even look at this site if that's your view?

jamesinger said...

great post!!!!!!!

Beerkiller said...

Thank you very much Chops and Sieben.
I got all misty reading this.
Also, wallet chain for life! :D

Greg said...

Damn! That Nash deck was the first board I ever rode, way back in '85. My friend had it, in a hideous neon green... Took us about a month to realize it was a total piece of shit!

Dan Moynihan said...

Awesome! I also had a neon green Executioner as my first board. I loved the culture of mystery and creative weirdness promoted by Alien Workshop, Toy Machine, and even good old Animal Chin. "When handrails become field goals we all lose." Amen.

ppagoda said...

I just used your idea for naming a baby after skateboarding to help name my dog. So I'm going with Sheffey, or Carrol, or McCrank. It's narrowed down to those.