Every Wednesday, #OnTheGrind brings you something wild, weird and wonderful to get you over hump day.
Whether they admit it or not, skateboarders — and all action sports practitioners, for that matter – have an affinity for pain. It can be cathartic, masochistic, or just plain brutal – with no real reasons or answers. One thing is clear though, just as sure as gravity, it’s always there waiting to pull us down. And that’s just reflective of life, the unremorseful punisher, uplifter, and straight up molder of character. You either accept it or you don’t, but you will inevitably have to face it. I just think that skaters have a better understanding and solace with pain than average folks. Pain invigorates. It instigates. It obliterates.
This week’s subject is Tennessee-born performer Bill Shannon, a man that knows pain firsthand. Born with a degenerative hip condition, the “crutch master” has used his pain to forge a totally unparalleled form of expression and dance, which he combines with a skateboard, ironically enough. Here’s some classic New York City footage (circa mid ’90s) of Bill flowing his way through the streets in the most rebellious and artful way he knows how, set to the music of Autechre’s “Rae” – proof that weird is good and often more inspiring than any cruel fate life can wage on us.
OG skate heads (or nerds) should also note the impromptu dance performance at the infamous Brooklyn Banks at the end of the video.