Great Moments In Hawk History
To say that the line-up for this seasonâ€™s Big Day Out is impressive would be a complete understatement. Kanye West, Soundgarden, Kasabian are headlining the 20th anniversary edition of the festival, with Noel Gallagher, Hilltop Hoods, Parkway Drive, Odd Future and the Jezabels also confirmed to appear, along with many others.
But the Big Day Outâ€™s secret weapon in 2012 is undoubtedly Tony Hawk and his Vert Jam team. Seeing Hawk perform nine McTwists in a row in 1996 while Rage Against The Machine played in the background has gone down as one of the great moments in the festivalâ€™s two-decade history, and it looks like heâ€™s set to do it all again.
What Hawk and his Vert Jam comrades have in store this time around is anyoneâ€™s guess. But for those who have come late to this particular party, Scene have put together a timeline of Hawkâ€™s achievements so far. Grab an energy drink, and let us learn you something.
May, 1968: Anthony Hawk is born in San Diego, California, to retired US Navy officer, Frank Hawk, and his wife and part-time business teacher, Nancy. Hawkâ€™s a restless, unfocused youngster, later describing himself as a "hyperactive demon childâ€.
Summer, 1977: Steve Hawk, on a whim, buys his younger brother a blue fibreglass hand-me-down skateboard. Hawk reportedly rides to the end of his driveway, only to ask his brother, â€œHow do I turn?â€ Hawkâ€™s father, not a believer in walking before running apparently, soon constructs a skate ramp in the familyâ€™s backyard. Hawk begins to practice up to six hours a day in the now defunct Oasis Skatepark.
1980: At just 12 years of age, Hawk bags his first sponsorship deal with the legendary Dogtown Skateboards.
1982: Hawk goes professional, and in the same year hooks up George Powell and Stacy Peraltaâ€™s Bones Brigade skate team. He is soon dominating competitions and by 1984 is considered one of the top skateboarders in the world.
1983: Hawk masters the McTwist, a trick involving one-and-a-half rotations on a skateboard with a flip in the middle. He uses the stunt to place first at the St Petersburg Pro Am that year.
1985: Masters the 720 â€“ two full mid-air spins â€“ while training in Sweden.
1986: Tony Hawk graduates from high school, having already achieved an annual income greater than that of his teachers. He buys his first house. Rumours that Suicidal Tendencies used it in their â€˜Possessed To Skateâ€™ video have never been confirmed.
1989: Hawk appears alongside Christian Slater in skateboarding-inspired Hollywood picture, â€˜Gleaming The Cubeâ€™. The film bombs. Hawkâ€™s career survives; I guess Slaterâ€™s does too, if thatâ€™s how you define survival.
1991: The bottom falls out of the skateboard industry, and Hawk suffers like many other pros. His income shrinks drastically, and Hawk has to survive on a $5-a-day Taco Bell allowance. Whether his allowance permitted him to eat at any other family restaurants remains unclear.
1992: With interest in vert skating at an all time low, Hawk collaborates with good friend Per Welinder to establish a new street-aimed skate brand, Birdhouse Projects (later Birdhouse Skateboards), Birdhouse being a reference to Hawk's last name. With the market overloaded with inventory, the company makes a shaky start.
February, 1994: With Birdhouse on life support, Hawk takes what he thinks is a parting shot at his pro skating career by producing the infamous â€˜Titanicâ€™ â€“ intended to be his last signature-model skateboard. Within 18 months things for both Hawk and his company will be very different.
Summer, 1995: ESPN debut the Extreme Games (now the X Games) on Rhode Island. Hawk gets lucky and receives an invite, and capitalises on his luck by placing first in the vert competition and second in the street event. Skateboardingâ€™s back on the map, and Hawk is suddenly being stopped for autographs in airports and restaurants across the USA.
July, 1999: The world catches its breath as Tony Hawk becomes the first skateboarder to nail a 900 in competition. He successfully lands the trick, two-and-a-half in-air revolutions, on his eleventh attempt. Itâ€™s the last trick on his wish list.
August, 1999: â€˜Tony Hawk Pro Skaterâ€™ debuts on the Sony PlayStation. The game features a loose interpretation of physics to create over-the-top skating gameplay, the player choosing a pro and completing goals on a series of levels. One of the biggest sports game franchises in history ensues.
December, 1999: With an ever growing number of business commitments and his wish list of tricks fulfilled, Tony Hawk retires from competitive boarding, aged just 31. But he continues to skate, learning new tricks and doing innumerable public demonstrations.
August, 2000: Hawk releases his biography, â€˜Hawk: Occupation â€“ Skateboarderâ€™, through Harper Entertainment. It receives an average of five stars on Amazon, with one reviewer noting that the book is â€˜ausomeâ€™ and â€˜definetly exitingâ€™.
September, 2001: Hawk cleans up on â€˜Celebrity Who Wants To Be A Millionaireâ€™. Host Regis Philbin continually ridicules Charles Barkley. Philbin obviously doesnâ€™t know that Charles never, ever forgets.
October, 2001: â€˜Tony Hawkâ€™s Pro Skater 3â€™ is released for a range of gaming systems and becomes the most critically acclaimed title in the popular series. Playable characters include Bam Margera, Bucky Lasek and the lead character â€“ character? â€“ out of â€˜Doomâ€™.
2002: The Tony Hawk Foundation is established to support programmes focused on the creation of public skateboard parks. The work rate of the foundation explodes and to date has helped open 387 skate parks across the United States. Hawk also kicks off Boom Boom HuckJam, a touring exhibition featuring freestyle motocross, skateboarding, and BMX. To top off a busy year, Hawk has a small role in â€˜XXXâ€™, the Vin Diesel film which one US critic goes on to describe as â€˜unrelentingly stupidâ€™.
2008: Hawk debuts Tony Hawkâ€™s Halfpipe, a skate-inspired water ride at Six Flags theme park. Later that year he wins the Favorite Male Athlete award at the Nickelodeonâ€™s Kidâ€™s Choice Awards.
2011: Hawk establishes the Tony Hawk Vert Jam, travelling around America with some of the worldâ€™s best pro skaters, including Kevin Staab, Mitchie Brusco, Sandro Dias, Neal Hendrix, Elliott Sloan, and Jesse Fritsch. Minds are blown, as they will be when the team hits Big Day Out in January.
TONY HAWK GLOSSARY
Are you a gentleman interested in skateboarding, but not sure how to break into the scene? Or maybe a lady who just wants to get close to the devilishly handsome Mr Hawk come Big Day Out 2012? Well, weâ€™ve compiled this quick glossary so you know your tricks from your trucks. Get some air.
Bones Brigade â€“ Pop cultureâ€™s most iconic skateboard team, so named for their preference for Powell Peralta white urethane wheels.
McTwist â€“ One-and-a-half rotations on a skateboard with a flip in the middle.
720 â€“ Two full mid-air spins on a skateboard.
Birdhouse â€“ Hawkâ€™s skateboard and apparel company, which he started with Per Welinder.
Skate Wave â€“ The debacle that almost crippled the Tony Hawk Foundation barely a year into its operation. Donâ€™t mention this to Hawk. Heâ€™ll probably get angry.
900 â€“ The last trick on Hawkâ€™s to-do list. Involves completing two-and-a-half on-board, in-air revolutions.
Animal Chin â€“ The mythical character at the centre of the 1987 skate film, â€˜The Search For Animal Chinâ€™. In more recent times, the name has applied to the ramp the Bones Brigade find at the end of the film. Many wonder what became of it.
Boom Boom Huckjam â€“ Hawkâ€™s iconic exhibition featuring motocross, skateboarding and BMX. Complete mayhem.
Police Academy 4 â€“ Hawk was in this.
THE BIG DAY OUT TAKES OVER THE GOLD COAST PARKLANDS JANUARY 22. bigdayout.com