Sex, Drugs and Rock'n'Rolls Video Night!
Author: Ross Lavender Date Posted:5 July 2018
In today’s world of instantaneous web edits, high-quality video productions, and smartphone clips; documenting BMX in Australia has never been easier. The technology to make a BMX video is easily accessible, it’s easy to use and there are multiple platforms to get your finished product out to the world within seconds. If you were to go back 25 or 30 years, simply making your own video was an absolute mission and that’s without trying to get it out to the masses.
With so many of Australian early BMX videos unavailable to today’s audience, Unscene History has teamed up with LUX BMX to host some regular video nights to screen a selection of Australian BMX videos from the past four decades.
First up we have a real treat:
SEX DRUGS AND ROCK n ROLLS (1993)
In 1993, Wynnum rider Bobby Herbohn created one of Brisbane’s first fully edited BMX videos – Sex Drugs and Rock n Rolls (SDRR). During 1992 Bobby started filming the local comps and riding sessions with his close friends. These sessions included some members of Brick on a String Posse (BOASP) – Clint Millar (Colony BMX), Michael Canfield (Drain Kids), Fakie (Session ‘zine), Red and Bobby Herbohn - a group of teenage riders from Brisbane’s bayside. With the help of Bobby’s housemate, Fakie – they spent months editing footage, crafting quirky titles and overlaying a solid soundtrack.
SDRR is an honest insight into Australian freestyle of the early 90s. It was an interesting time to be on a bike. The BMX recession had hit Australia and many riders had faded away (though the dedicated were still hanging in there) and the scene shed its neon skin as freestyle moved towards the underground. The shedding of skin was mostly influenced by the first wave of street riders who carried this new style of riding and attitude from the late 80s into the new era of 90s freestyle.
This style of street riding was unlike what it is today. It was without direction or consciousness and it just wanted to revolt against whatever freestyle or BMX was doing at the time. The culture of street ultimately turned freestyle on its head. Although the tricks are primitive by today’s standards, the aesthetic and attitude was raw and honest and it the backbone needed to keep freestyle alive. While todays view on the ‘old school’ BMX era paints a broad, glossy and almost tacky picture of 80s freestyle, SDRR captures the real soul of what early 90s freestyle was about.
But this video is not all about street. Where most riders today focus on one style of riding, SDRR shows that many riders rode a number of riding styles. A great example of this is Clint Millar’s (Colony BMX) section. Most people today relate Clint to his incredible mini ramp skills, but back in the late 80s and early 90s Clint was an up and coming flatlander, climbing the flatland competition ladder with his ridiculously consistent and technical flatland combos. In SDRR we see Clint rides more street and flatland than ramp, which I think will be a refreshing to anyone more familiar to his riding today.
SDRR also features all round sections from Michael Canfield (Drain Kids) and the man behind SDRR, Bobby Herbohn. To gain a deeper understanding of Michael and Bobby’s riding is to go back further into their riding roots to what I consider the real ‘Prody’ era. Michael, Bobby, and Clint went to high school together in the late 80’s and spent almost every waking moment riding in their own mini scene - riding everything they could find, doing shows, building ramps, and ultimately becoming mainstays in the freestyle community. It was those three that coined the term ‘Prody’, a word that has since gained an international following thanks to Colony BMX’s staple frame of the same name. Many of the older riders will know about the Prody videos made my Clint throughout the mid and late 90s and the original mid-90s Prody frames; but SDRR is actually the very first project under the “Prody Productions” banner.
When SDRR was completed, the only VHS tape made was shared amongst friends and never really reached the broader BMX community. Not long after the video was made the Drain Kids got hold of the tape and it has since been said SDRR was as part of their early riding inspiration. As the 90s kicked on, the SDRR VHS tape disappeared until it was found in Red’s possession back in 2013. Around that same time Bobby pulled out the original footage and master tapes. The SDRR VHS is now safely stored in the Unscene Archives.
“Sex, Drugs and Rock n Rolls” kicks off on 20th July, 7PM at LUXBMX in West End. So whether you’re young or old, interested in BMX, or bored on a Friday night, come down and hang out with some of the crew and check out some early 90s BMX goodness.