Twenty years ago, punk music and skate culture aligned perfectly in the form of a video game titled "Tony Hawk's Pro Skater." The 1999 game, which allowed players to control famous skateboarders and their respective bag of tricks in various modes, became a massive mainstream hit and spawned a hugely successful franchise.
The original title though, according to a 2018 Vice article, gave "skateboarders their sport's first legitimately enjoyable game," and its soundtrack -- which featured Bad Religion, Dead Kennedys, Goldfinger and the Vandals (and now iconic in its own right) -- ushered in a new wave of discovery and appreciation for underground music.
It's only fitting then that on Sunday, June 9, "Tony Hawk's Pro Skater" will receive a 20th anniversary celebration at the Observatory North Park with none other than one of its soundtrack heavy-hitters, Bad Religion. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Tony Hawk Foundation and support the nonprofit's mission to enrich the lives of youth through the creation of skateparks and skateboarding programs.
"I can’t believe it’s been 20 years since the first 'THPS' game was released," Tony Hawk said in a recent press release. "The series has included many iconic bands and skaters over the years, so it’s a great time to celebrate the success and impact it has had over the last two decades. Having Bad Religion headline the show is a huge honor and raising funds for the Tony Hawk Foundation will be the ultimate goal of this unique event. We also have plenty of surprises in the works."
On tap to open the show is Australia's own Birdman: or the Unexpected Virtue of a Tony Hawk Pro Skater Cover Band -- a group that covers selections from the game series' soundtracks. Also on deck for the June 9 party will be a raffle with unique items up for grabs, hands-on "THPS" gameplay stations, and appearances by some of the game's original skaters.
It seems like Hawk, a longtime Encinitas resident who was born in Carlsbad, has been a busy bee: The legendary skater/philanthropist choreographed a new musical titled "Slam," which received a May run at La Jolla Playhouse; and signed on as one of the primary backers of the much-buzzed-about Wonderfront Music & Arts Festival, which is set to take over the San Diego waterfront in November (we're still awaiting word on an actual lineup).
While tickets are currently sold out for the June 9 show, we're holding out hope that a select few will be made available at the door.