Konstantin Butz is probably the first person ever who tried to analyze the phenomenon skate punk from an academic point of view. He wrote his doctoral thesis about it, which – in a slightly revised version – became this book, entitled Grinding California (transcript Verlag 2012).
If you expect a coffee table book with loads of photos of skate punk bands, punks on skateboards, show flyers, etc., you will be disappointed. This is an academic book, with lots of words, hardly any pictures, footnotes and theories. If you don´t like that, hands off! If you want to learn more about the Skate Punk subculture and if it was/is even a subculture, you get a very informative and also critical book to read. I´ve just arrived at the middle of it, so I can´t tell you if there´s a happy end … okay, just kidding.
Besides analyzing lots of songs, music videos and skateboard magazines, Konstantin also interviewed the following guys: Steve Alba, Brian Brannon (J.F.A.), Greg Ginn (Black Flag), Fred Hammer, Lance Mountain, Steve Olson and Scott Radinsky.
From the publisher:
Grinding California provides the first academic analysis of the subculture of skate punk at book-length. It establishes highly critical evaluations of the discourses that in- fluenced early skateboarding and punk cultures. Based on an examination of songs, flyers, magazines, and videos, Konstantin Butz revisits American popular cultures of the 1980s and approaches them from a variety of theoretical and methodological angles.
Theoretical recourses to thinkers such as Gilles Deleuze, Félix Guattari, Jean Baudril- lard and Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht are topped off with excerpts from interviews with some of the most influential protagonists of the 1980s skate punk scene.
Konstantin Butz (Dr. phil.) has studied American Studies and Cultural Studies at the University of Bremen and at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. He comple- ted his dissertation as a scholarship holder of the a.r.t.e.s. Research School at the Uni- versity of Cologne in 2011.