Happy New Year peeps. After a much needed break I am super pumped to get back on the Unscene wagon and deliver some really cool projects for 2014. Firstly I want to thank everyone for backing Unscene last year. All the riders, contributors and people who came out to the exhibit and supported the website really made this project worth while.
As most of you know, Unscene is dedicated to documenting and archiving the history of Brisbane Freestyle. What some of you may not know is during this process all the information and contributions come from the riders and industry people who were apart of the scene during this time. All the research that is compiled is verified through multiple reference points whether it be from riders, bike shop owners, competition organisers, newspaper clippings, journals, photographs, video, etc; to ensure maximum historical accuracy. In the past year I have come across a number of inconsistencies regarding Australian Freestyle history which were based on assumption or little supporting evidence. Not everything you read on social media and forums is necessarily true. Unscene aims to provide a resource hub based of factual evidence to support the history of our Freestyle scene.
Unscene is proud to announce the Unscene Archives have grown quite considerably in the past two years with over 60 hours of rider interviews, 2500 photographs, an extensive collection of competition flyers, show dates, magazines & newspaper clippings, footage, clothing, and locally made frames and bike parts. With all this information coming through we have some great projects coming out in 2014.
Firstly, the Brisbane Freestyle Timeline will be up and running in the next couple of months. This is the foundation of the Unscene project and will promise to provide factual insight into the original Freestyle scene of Brisbane. Outside of key dates, the timeline will feature photographs, newspaper clippings, links to videos and other media. Lix Bacskay of Lix BMX has been busy working on the back end of the site setting up the timeline program and upgrading the sites aesthetic. Lixy’s traditional art and design work has been gaining huge interest from international bike companies and industry people. Be sure to keep an eye out for her and coming BMX projects in the near future – you wont be disappointed!
Next (and the big Unscene project for 2014) is the Unscene book. The books sole purpose is to describe and explain how the Freestyle scene in Brisbane started and the journey the riders and community took just prior to Extreme games era. The book sources information from rider interviews, footage, journal entries, photographs and newspaper and magazine clippings. Basic layouts and planning for the book started a week ago with pre-orders available mid year for a late 2014 release.
There are a few other smaller projects currently in the works including a map of the Brisbane Freestyle Teams (from 1979 – 1995) and a directory of all known Australian Freestyle competitions from the first competition to todays events. Also, Unscene shirts and stickers will be available later in the year. More information will available on these in the coming months with a few extra suprises thrown in! Stay tuned…
For those of you who have not had the opportunity to meet Lix, she is a very talanted Brisbane based traditional and graphic artist, web designer and custom BMX builder/rider. Lix possesses the creative ability, and understanding of BMX to assist in the refinement and aesthetic that the Unscene website requires. Lix also hosts Radventure – an all ages BMX ride with the intent to get people outdoors and meet people who love BMX.
Keep an eye out for Lix and Lix BMX – I got a feeling you will be seeing more of her in the BMX scene.
(Image courtesy of Lix BMX)
The Unscene Vimeo page is now up and running. The aim of the page is to become a resource of old Brisbane Freestyle footage from pre-1995. If you have any VHS or Beta footage you would like to contribute please drop me a line and I can have it digitally converted and added to the Vimeo page.
The first batch of video is courtesy of Carmelo Gilbert. The videos listed are the RADSports Freestyle Spectacular, August 1989 and a Beenleigh Competition from 87/88 I am yet to confirm. If you have any information on this comp please leave a comment. Oh, and if you see yourself in any of the video leave a comment with your name and time you are featured in the video. Hopefully we can get text added to the footage at a later date.
Less than two weeks to go and things are looking great for the exhibit.
I will be picking up the remainder of the exhibit items this week and have them cleaned and ready for display.
As I have mentioned in the past the exhibit will be displaying bikes, parts, clothing and other items associated with the Brisbane scene. I have been very fortunate enough to have many of the old riders loan their personal items and even donate some to the Unscene History Archives. I have a number of frames to show including the 1993 S&M Platform Dirtbike, a Revcore Freestyler, the only existing Maxxim Freestyle Prototype, Steve Smiths Haro frame and custom SLA forks (which he rode in Expo ’88); and three of the four Prody frames made by Gavin Hyde of G&J Cycles. There’s a bunch more frames but you will just have to come along and have a look for yourself.
There will also be Just Tricks, Pro Motion and Wheels Entertainment uniforms to show and over 20 original Freestyle shirts all worn by the local riders. These are great too look at, most are very worn, tatty with a few blood stains on them – it doesn’t get much more real than the riders blood itself!
There will be some video on display of early competition footage and locally made Freestyle videos including Brisbane’s first Freestyle video Sex, Drugs and Rock n Rolls, the Prody series (Clint Millar made videos pre-Colony days…) and some of the Drain Kids videos by Lucas Comino.
The text and photographs will be supported with a few QR Codes so if you don’t have a scanner on your phone be sure to download one! I am trying to keep all the text simple so whether you are a rider or someone off the street you will learn a lot about some of Brisbane’s unknown BMX history.
There will be quite a bit of info on the local competitions and trophies to display also. The comps became a great way to meet other riders and form this little unique family us riders had back then.
I still have quite a bit to do until the opening day. The project has become much more extensive than I originally anticipated but all I can say is if you love BMX and want to learn more about the roots of Brissy Freestyle this show is a must for you.
Finally, please share this post with everyone you know. The exhibit is free and is only open to the public for 2 days.
I will be available all weekend at the exhibit so feel free to introduce yourself and say hi.
Jugglers Art Space
103 Brunswick Street,
Brisbane, QLD, 4006
Opening Hours: Saturday 26th October – 10:00AM-4:00PM Sunday 27th October – 10:00AM-4:00PM
Things have been super busy here around the Unscene homestead. Six weeks to go until the exhibit kicks off and the countdown is on!
First up the promotional posters and postcards came back from the printers a few weeks ago and they look real nice! In the coming weeks I’m hoping to do a promo drop around bike shops and other fine establishments. If you would like to put up a poster and leave some postcards around your workplace or your favourite hang out, shoot me an email at email@example.com and we can work something out.
The frame and clothing fixtures have been bought and the exhibit layout is going to plan. Glynn Hicks at Hicks Sign Co has started printing the first batch of text and photography boards. I really cant wait to see how these turn out! I have done the majority of interviews for the year with the exception of a few last minute ones. I am really happy with the information I have complied for the exhibit so far. The interview process will resume again in 2014 and that will really start to add finer details to the timeline. You wouldn’t believe how everything that happened in Brisbane during that era is all linked to one another! All that extra detail will be included in the first edition of the timeline and ultimately the Unscene book that will begin next year!
The exhibit opening times have been set:
Saturday 26th October – 10:00AM-4:00PM Sunday 27th October – 10:00AM-4:00PM
For those of you who want to ride their bikes to the exhibit, bicycle parking will be located in the back courtyard of Jugglers Art Space. Please bring a lock if you choose to ride – the well being and safety of your bike is in your hands and Unscene or Jugglers will not be held liable if your bike gets stolen. I hear there will be a few group rides happening over the weekend which I think is a great idea!
Finally, don’t forget to like the Unscene Instagram and Facebook accounts. Its a little difficult to post things on the website everyday and there are cool little bits on FB and
Instagram that may not see otherwise!
A few months back Anthony Brown donated some pictures to the Unscene project. As it happens we came across some dated photographs of a Street ride that happened 20 years ago today. There was a mixed bag of 15 riders who came along that day and here are some pictures and insights as to what went down.
The session started at the usual time 11 o’clock and the usual place at George Street McDonalds. The phrase ’11 o’clock George Street McDonalds’ was a term well known to most Brisbane Street riders back in the early ’90’s. 320 George Street was a great location where everyone could meet up and have some fast breakfast without the busyness of the mall crowds. A two dollar shop next door was popular to buy extra batteries for Walkmans and bootleg cassette tapes to listen to while out riding. It was also diagonal to ‘the playroom’ – a marble ledge which was often the first place of call on our daily mission. More often than not you could just roll up to the spot on a Sunday and expect to meet someone to go ride.
After the McDonalds closed, it turned into a posh watering hole for legal eagles and more recently a topless bar for gentlemen. Classy.
Sometimes the riders would venture out of the CBD and explore surrounding areas for new places to ride. This West End bank to fence in Mollison Street was found during one of those rides and became an occasional alternative to city riding. The property was a vacant block of land next to a factory guarded with a mesh fence and with a dirt lip it made for an ideal bank to fence ride. The road was pretty quiet 20 years ago which allowed for an easy run up. Today the same vacant land still resides but is fenced off and unrideable. The popular West End precinct has made places like Mollison Street a busy road now littered with cars and regular traffic.
(Above: Across the road from the vacant land sat these old flats. To keep up with high density living, the flats were knocked down and new apartments were built in the late 1990’s. Left to right. Ross Lavender, David Hines, Red, Dame & Fakie watching Sjon Wakeham about to hit the fence. Photo courtesy of Anthony Brown.)
(Above: Michael Canfield taking pictures of Clint Millar riding the fence. On a side note this was one of the first times Clint sessioned the city on his Prody frame. More information on Prody at the Exhibit. Photo courtesy of Anthony Brown.)
(Above: This is what the bank to fence looks like now.)
Southbank Parklands opened 20th June 1992. It was an exciting extension to the old Expo ’88 site which expanded Brisbane’s cultural, educational and recreational precinct. This in turn provided new places for riders to explore, session and learn how protective security was of its new parklands. Still, it didn’t stop anyone from trying and if you were moved on you simply rode another part of the parklands until they moved you on from there. On this particular day we rode the stairs and water features and the ledges along the promenade before they gave us the boot.
(Above Top: Left to right – Todd Neville & Conrad Gibbs watch Brad ‘B.T.’ MacDonald hop one of the water features. Above Bottom: The backside from one of Anthony Brown’s photographs. Courtesy of Anthony Brown.)
(Above: Gotta love a man in uniform. Not long after this photo we moved over to Kangaroo Point. Courtesy of Anthony Brown.)
The Unscene exhibit promotional posters and postcards came back from the printers late last week and have started doing the rounds.
Lots of things have been going on with Unscene recently so thought I would share some of what’s been going on.
Firstly, all the sponsors are now locked for the Exhibit. Colony BMX is our major sponsor, followed by Hicks Sign Co, Vans, Jugglers Art Space and Robertos Custom Powder. Matt O’Sullivan over at Waxlyric has sent through the finalised artwork for the promotional material and it looks awesome. Matty is a Brisbane Flatlander from the 90s who has become a successful and highly experienced designer and photographer. It’s awesome to have guys like Matt and the Unscene sponsors helping out on this project, it really shows the love these guys have for BMX and our local history!
The photography backdrop and lighting arrived a few weeks back and my wife and I have been playing around photographing all the items which will be on display at the Exhibit. The purpose behind this is to document any locally bought and owned items from the ’85-’95 period and add it to the archives to help retain their historical significance.
The interviewing process has started up again. Recently I caught up with Todd Neville and Jeff Copwick. These guys had a lot to say about riding on the outskirts on Brisbane, how they came to meet other riders, and session new spots around Brisbane. I also interviewed Crossley Cycles owner Richard Crossley. Crossleys is Brisbane’s oldest BMX-only store and has been home to many riders for a long, long time. This week I am meeting with Gavin Hyde from the old G&J Cycles store in Capalaba. For those of you who don’t know, Gavin built quite a few local custom Freestyle frames including the Prody frames, Fakie’s Pygmie and other custom jobs and alterations. You can learn more about these great people at the Exhibit this October.
Unscene now has an instagram hashtag #unscenehistory. There are some great behind-the-scene pics and this will be another place to check in on Unscene updates that you won’t necessarily see on the website or Facebook.
Last but not least, in 2014 I will be starting a new page on the Unscene website listing competition results from many of the Freestyle comps from all over Australia. This page should be a great reference tool about the comps, the riders who attended, and generally the evolution of the sport side of Freestyle. If you have any old trophies, magazine clippings or any other info you think may be suitable please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tomorrow marks another great day out thanks to Pushies Galore.
Pushies Galore is a group of people that organise interesting bike events. This group consists of co-organisers Richard Butler and Gavin Bannerman, along with a team of helpers and enthusiasts.
At its core, Pushies Galore celebrates things done with integrity, quality, honesty and a sense of fun. This flows through all aspects of the Pushies Galore: the events, the vendors, the show ‘n’ shine bikes, the website.
If you come to Pushies Galore in July, you will see bikes lovingly put together, drink coffee made with care and enjoy a day that is for all cyclists. Likewise, through Pushies Galore’s online presence, we aim to show you glorious bikes, new insights and the latest updates.
The last few years have been super successful and tomorrow plans to be even bigger.
Here’s a bit of a rundown for the day:
There will be a stack of bikes on display across all cycling styles along with a BMX build-off which should be pretty interesting to see.
Unscene sponsor Robertos Custom Powder will be there promoting their services and Prosixtyfive will have a stack of awesome gear for sale. I will have an Unscene stall with Vans gear for sale to raise funds for the Exhibit so be sure to stop by and have a chat.
Hope to see you all there!