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Dogtown: The Legends of the Z-Boys [Hardcover]

C. R. Stecyk III , Glen E. Friedman
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 1 2002 Skate My Friend, Skate
In the early 1970s, the sport of skateboarding had so waned from its popularity in the 1960s that it was virtually non-existent. In the Dogtown area of west Los Angeles, a group of young surfers known as the Zephyr Team (Z-Boys) was experimenting with new and radical moves and styles in the water which they translated to the street. When competition skateboarding returned in 1975, the Z-Boys turned the skating world on its head. . Dogtown The Legend of the Z-Boys is a truly fascinating case study of just how an underground sport ascended on the world. These are the stories and images of a time that not only inspired a generation but changed the face of sport forever. The Legend of the Z-Boys has been described as "The Dogtown text book" and an insightful companion piece to the movie: "DogTown and Z-Boys". . Spanning 1975 – 1985, the first section of the 240 page book includes the best of the "DogTown" articles written by C.R. Stecyk III as they originally appeared in SkateBoarder Magazine. The second half compiles 100’s of never before seen skate images from the archive of Glen E. Friedman - many of which appear in the movie. Both Stecyk and Friedman acted as executive producers and advisors for the award winning film, Dogtown and Z-Boys to be released nationwide simultaneously by Sony Picture Classics in April 2002.

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There was so much aggression... they were more like a street gang than a skate team. -- SkateBoarder Magazine circa 1975

About the Author

GLEN E. FRIEDMAN - Considered the most important photographer of his generation, Glen E. Friedman has been a unique documentarian since the age of 12, and soon thereafter his first published photo appeared in SkateBoarder magazine. Over the past 25 years he has photographed some of the most idealistic, interesting and rebellious cultural icons around, documenting the rise of the hard-core punk rock scene in the late 70's/early 80's with such bands as BLACK FLAG, DEAD KENNEDY's, MINOR THREAT and even producing the 1st album for SUICIDAL TENDENCIES (also from DogTown) and later the rise of rap music in the mid 1980's with groups such as PUBLIC ENEMY, RUN-DMC, and the BEASTIE BOYS. He was one of the first to publicize these groups nationally and many of his photographs are recognized as the subjects' definitive portraits. Glen E. Friedman has compiled images from his 25-year involvement within the rebelious cultures of skateboarding, punk and hip-hop music into two collections, Fuck You Heroes (1994) and Fuck You Too (1996). Selections from these books became the Fuck You All photography exhibit, which has toured internationally since 1997. In 1998 Friedman released The Idealist which showcases Friedman's unique perspective and asthetic. CRAIG STECYK III's role as a painter, photographer, graffiti-artist and journalist, played a pivotal role in spreading the influence of the Z-Boys throughout American youth culture. He has been working professionally in film and video production, as a writer, art director, production designer and photographer, since the late 1960s. In DogTown - The Legend of the Z-Boys, Glen E. Friedman says of Stecyk: "I personally credit this man as the single largest influence on my work. If I could consider anyone a mentor it would be him. Stecyk is a true artist and one of the most creative individuals I have ever encountered. The man is way beyond genius." and "Stecyk often credits me for uncovering and documenting some of the original radical energies of DogTown's skate heyday. But if it weren't for the instigation and inspiration of his articles, which so vividly told the story of our environment [and all included in this volume], I doubt that my life's work would have the influence it does."

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost as good as having my old Skateboarders... Jan. 3 2004
Finally, collected in one hardback book are all of the "Dogtown" articles from the mid 70's Skateboarder magazine. What a treat!
In their original incarnation, these articles (especially the single page "Who's Hot!")festooned the walls of my bedroom. Even if the originals hadn't disappeared over the years, most probably never survived the pillaging of their contents; thus, a hardback reprint is a treasure! But the real surprise is how well these articles were written.
Your average 13 year old skate nut is hardly a literary critic. So, I didn't really expect the articles themselves to still hold up nearly 30 years down the road. SURPRISE! They are extremely well-written, in a very adult voice. I'm amazed so many of us read these as young teens, they are really quite sophisticated. Whether Stecyk is writing as "John Smythe" or himself, his voice is intelligent and never descends to the "whoa, dude rad!" depths unless quoting a specific skater. The skaters themselves sound quite self-aware, and each has a distinctive attitude that comes thru, even in the first articles. Stacy Peralta is the proto-typical laid back SoCal surfer guy, into peace & inner-growth. Tony Alva is always & forever the rock star, fully into the babes & bling bling being thrown his way, but never losing sight of skating. Jay Adams is the unpredictable, mischievious imp, while Bob Biniack is thuggish & Wentzle Ruml is devil-may-care & funny.
Friedman's photos are awesome of course, & the color seperations & printing quality lavished on these photos is really impressive. This could have easily been a throw-away done for nostalgia or to cash in on the resurgence of "old school" skating, but instead someone took the time to do it right. The cover alone is a masterpiece of photo-reproduction. "The Legend of the Z-Boys" is a major bargain at this price.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Look at it, read it, Love it! April 25 2002
By A Customer
Just got it! it's amazing, I couldn't be more stoked. I was prompted to write this review because a previous reviewer said this would have been better if it had more previously unpublished photos, but this person obviously does not own all of the original Skateboarder mags like I do, or did not even read the introduction to the book! One of the greatest things about THIS book is that it DOES contain over 100 NEVER BEFORE SEEN Glen E. Friedman images as well as all of the original articles C.R. Stecyk wrote for Skateboarder. Anyone who knows about this stuff will be overwhelmed with all the new material, and blown away by the quality of the old material, and how it's laid out in this new book. If you're an old fan, or a newcomer because you just got turned on to the Z-BOYS by the movie, you will love this book. The quality of the photos in the book are far superior to how they look in the movie. You're going to love this book if you get it. Did I mention how incredibly inspiring this whole thing is?
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5.0 out of 5 stars Days of the Dogs March 29 2002
Another cult classic from the illustrious Glen E Friedman. Friedman's exploits are world famous and his influence is undeniable. The idea for this book is yet another example of his publishing genius. To combine the works of his enormously intelligent mentor and inspiration C.R. Stecyk III, with his own private archives of photos from the Dogtown era, proves once again that Friedman stays consistently ahead of the curve. And for the record, Craig Stecyk III should be recognized once and for all as the ultimate authority on everything cool. No one could have written about skateboarding the way Stecyk did and the fact that he shared it with the world makes us all luckier than we may ever realize.
Radical moments in skateboarding history that changed the world all wrapped up in a beautiful black binding. This book is a potent collection of Stecyk's photos and articles about the Z Boys and Dogtown from 1975-1979. Along with Friedman's powerful photos, it's a brilliant brew of magic. For nostalgia junkies, skateboarders, and of course everyone that sees the Dogtown and Z Boys movie, each turn of the page is an orgasmic experience. Mad Dog, Red Dog, Bull Dog, Bullet, J-Boy, P.C., Baby Paul, . . . Dogtown - The Legend of the Z Boys is the quintessential encyclopedia of the skate history of Dogtown and the infamous Z Boys in the late 70s.
"Pushing the old boundaries establishes new 'limits'. In actuality, the only limiting factor is that of your imagination. You can go as far as you want to take it, or perhaps more aptly as far as it takes you. After you leave the realm of traditional preconceptions, you enter the area of endless freedom. There exists no right or wrong, rules are unheard of, and the course is uncharted." - C.R. STECYK III
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5.0 out of 5 stars AWESOME- PERFECT- AMAZING - COOL! March 18 2002
By A Customer
Friedman and Stecyk went all the way on this one. After seeing it at a film festival I thought the movie was amazing, but this book just took it all the way over the top. For sure, the only two people who could have done it, did it! Now I know more than ever why all these guys are living legends. Stecyk's original stories from the 70's and all of those previously un-released Friedman images from the 70's (100+ pages of them) are even more than I expected. The whole thing is nothing less than cool, inspirational and beautiful. This small format but thick book is amazing, it really does feel like a textbook on Dogtown that everyone who loves the movie or culture will have to own. I can't believe Friedman was so young when he shot those pictures! Stecyk's words will inspire, excite, and really entertain anyone who reads them, he's an awesome writer.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books I own
As a former skateboarder, I naturally wanted to go and see the movie and ended up buying the book shortly thereafter. Read more
Published on April 23 2006 by Hannah
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Companion To The Movie...
Glen Friedman is one of the pioneers of skateboarding. Of all the famous pictures you've run across through the years, of skating in the 70's and 80's, he probably took most of... Read more
Published on Jan. 30 2003 by Nemo
4.0 out of 5 stars ********
I bought this book a couple of months ago and I constantly find myself going back to look at it. The pictures keep me in awe and the articles are fascinating. Read more
Published on Nov. 28 2002 by "youthxofxthexnation"
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth Buying
I think the Z-Boys were very lucky to have Glen Friedman and Craig Stecyk around during their moment in the sun. Read more
Published on Sept. 9 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars DOG DAYS
Published on April 23 2002 by Matthew J. Scott
5.0 out of 5 stars The Begining of the Revolution
First off, the physical quality of this book is impressive. The binding, cover, and pages are extremely well done. This is a solid coffee table book. Read more
Published on April 17 2002 by D. Cameron
5.0 out of 5 stars Paper Magazine - May 2002
Due to severe droughts throughout California in the mid-1970s, swimming pools emptied out across Los Angeles and the Zephy-Boys changed skateboarding and art in America... Read more
Published on April 14 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Vanity Fair Article
Celebrating L.A. Skate Greats
A nostalgic new documentary by one of the original Z-Boys, this insolent crew from the slummy beaches of Venice and lower Santa... Read more
Published on April 3 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars The Bible!
This book has hardly left my side and I plan on keeping it that way! This incredible 'jewel' should not only be in every skaters collection but deserves a much wider audience. Read more
Published on March 30 2002 by Mr. S. J. Church
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