Fuck You Heroes + Fuck You Too: Glen E. Friedman

Fuck You Heroes: Glen E. Friedman

Fuck You Heroes. Photographs 1976-1991
Fuck You Too: The Extras + More Scrapbook.
By Glen E. Friedman
Burning Flag Press
Copyright Date:1993, 1996
Review Date: 1998

If you’re gonna shell out for these books you should spend the extra dough for the hardcover. Not that these are coffee table fodder, it’s just that they’ll probably end up in better condition in a year or so. Let’s not confuse these books with Art as in a capital “A”, but if you’re a fan of skateboarding or action photography you’ll appreciate these books, that is if you’ve got roots. The first book covers ’76 through ’91, and Fuck You Too has all that and a little more recent shots as well. Glen published the first one himself. The success of Fuck You Heroes made Fuck You Too possible. He wanted to include some photos that didn’t make the cut plus new ones that he shot in the mean time. The first one took a couple of years get published due to the fact that the Man didn’t want the word to get out. Seriously, Glen tried the usual channels as well as some of the “art book” houses but was told that there wasn’t enough money to be made because the subject matter was too left of the dial and target market didn’t read books let alone go to book stores. Right! So go tell those bastards off by marching into a bookstore and buying them both today… Actually, buy them straight from the publisher so more money goes to the people responsible. Burning Flag Press, distributed by 2.13.61, PO Box 1910, Los Angeles, Ca, 90078. What do you get with your purchase? You get old school photos of skateboarding, punk rock, and rap from back in the day. The skateboarding shots feature all the legends plus some that aren’t as famous but probably should have been. Some of the 70’s shots are just plain rad. Big airs are always going to be popular and easier to shoot, but there’s something about catching the perfect edger shot that typifies the defining moment theory of photography. Bresson doesn’t have anything on Glen. The 80’s shots are good too, but if you remember Transworld from the 80’s, you’ve seen similar. Not to say that the quality isn’t there, it’s just that the 80’s seem to have given birth to a lot of good photographers. The music shots feature a lot of live punk and staged rap shots. Glen had his finger on the pulse of a lot of the heavies before they were heavy. Look forward to lots of shots of legendary faves like the Beastie Boys, Henry Rolins, and Ice T looking scrawny before they were livin’ large. Public Enemy, the Dead Kennedys, Run DMC… the list goes on. His skateboarding photos are more successful than his music shots, if you must dissect them. The band photos are more interesting on the whole from a historical standpoint. The skateboarding shots also to extent, but they are just more eye-catching.

Fuck You Too: Glen E. Friedman

The intro to Fuck You Too suggests that you shouldn’t even think of buying it without buying the first one. That’s all well and done if you’re wasting your parents money in a state school or you just had a particularly good day pocketing extra money from your service industry job. You could name them on you birthday or christmas list, but your p’s are probably going to come up squeamish when it comes time to fork over the American Express for a book with a title like “Fuck You Too.” Both volumes are worth owning, but I have to say I prefer Fuck You Too to to Fuck You Heroes simply because Fuck You Too has a much greater variety of subjects and a funnier title. Another thing that the second book has over the second is a killer photo of Steve Caballero and Lance Mountain in a mid-air doubles session at Pipeline with Cab laying a big monkey paw on Montain’s helmet. The Vato Rat and checkered vans never looked so good. Ah yes, and they both look like they are about 12 years old. Not to mention an insane Jay Smith layback, a crucial Terry Sullivan edger on a fat 8 wheeler, and an amusing sequence of Henry Rollins progressing from bare 98 pound weakling to musclebound tattooed sideshow freak. The first book does have an index with a short paragraph on each photo that’s missing from the second. Chalk one up for Fuck You Heroes.

Once again, shoot for hardcover if you can afford it. I’ve seen them on shelvess behind glass, for who knows what reason, but I ordered from the publisher and got a signed version for cheaper than I found at a book store. Glen might not agree with my evaluations, but as he explains in the intro, “Fuck You Heros is intended to be taken in the classic ‘conafos’ manner. Although there is no literal translation for this hispanic gang term, it loosely means ‘Such is the nature of things; if you don’t like it, fuck you.'”

Fuck You Heroes: four out of five wheels on a skateboard (huh?) $35.00 hardcover
Fuck You Too: five out of five wheels on a skatebard. Yeah I know… $40.00 hardcover

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