VIDEO VAULT: MICHAEL DAVIDSON
06 August 2013 • 1954 Views
Big City 2
When it comes to modern street skating in this country, it is hard to find any pioneers more influential than the one and only Michael Davidson. It is totally fitting that Davo took out curtains in Big City 2. The mid to late 90’s Big City series was masterminded by Christian West and Andrew Currie and showcased much of the most progressive Aussie city skating of the time. The CLS lads initially filmed for a section in Big City 2 but one arvo, just before the final edit was made Davo received a call on his landline from Westy. He had a surprise for him. Davo went around to Christian’s house and was shown this full part that had been edited, to his surprise the final part of the video was to be a Michael Davidson section! Looking back it is a vital corner piece in the vast jigsaw puzzle that is Australian skateboarding. As with Mark Gonzales until Video Days dropped, no one had reaslly seen a full section of Davo until the Big City 2 tapes hit the shops. It was only then that people could have a proper testament to his shredding at home.
To set the East Coast flavoursome vibe, the part is set to Pain I Feel by Brooklyn’s ‘Blahzay Blahzay’. During the era that this section was filmed, Davo was living in King Cross. This meant that he had a tonne of classic terrain at his doorstep. Many of these spots have long since been capped or in many cases have been completely removed. You will see glimpses of North Sydney’s ‘White Marble’, ‘New York’ in The Rocks, a freshly renovated Sydney Museum and the serene backdrops of the Hyde Park lake. Michael was one of the first to really step to the burlier obstacles in Syd-town, but this part is not as hammer-filled as a Davo part that could have been shot during any other window. That’s not to say he doesn’t get gnar (effortlessly 50/50ing wall rails and the like). This is more a documentation of fluid, stylish street skating done… wait for it… yep old school-styles: in the actual streets. We lost count of the lines in there that featured not a single push. Don’t even think he takes a push until about three lines into the video part. Many of these meandrous, hill-based street lines are also accentuated with premium flatground of Davo’s initially chosen stance: goofy. Sick chopper-bladed 360 flips (‘it’s all in the back foot’), properly boned kickflips and snapped and folded backside flips (one of which he lands locked in a blue steel moment with the camera). Aside from being considered a burl-father and one of, if not THE mini ramp champ of the country, Davo was also one of the pioneers of switch down under. This can also be seen throughout this part with perfect switch flips and switch heels over rubbish cans and a squeaky-clean switch backside flip down five stairs in a line. He can also been seen jumping on ledges backwards with switch front tails, sw 5-0 shuvs and switch nose grinds. Watch the part (below). The forefather lays down a blueprint for awesome.
Since Davo is fresh back on our isle after a decade plus Japanese-hiatus we hit up his new-age pager and got in touch in regards to his section in BC2. Aside from insisting that he “only had five tricks in the part, all arranged differently” (which is a complete lie). He let us know how the city differed from then to now: “Difference was that there were spots: an abundance of them. I just loved the city, all of it. But I guess we spent the most time at Hydge (Hyde Park). There were benches and bins back then. Can’t be beaten on a summer day. Sometimes the pond would be empty too. We spent heaps of time at Martin Pl too but there was a very strict no filming policy for the Pit.” And what about influences, who were his influences during that time? “Internationally: any of the guys on the world teams (bar a few e.g. Kasper) or Girl and Chocolate. Locally: obviously the CLS guys. We were racing each other whole time. All the SYDCBD kids. And Ben Harriss: if you were skating ledges in the 90s then you were constantly chasing Harriss.”