JFA AND THE GROWTH OF SKATEBOARD CULTURE
A collection of flyers and other material documenting the role JFA (Jodie Foster’s Army) played in the explosion of skateboard culture in the early 1980s. Includes the scarce JFA Song Book (1984) and two advertising pieces for the JFA skateboard produced by Placebo Products.
With roots in the Arizona and Southern California skateboard scenes, JFA was formed in 1981, 19 days after the failed attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan by John Hinckley Jr., an obsessed fan of Jodie Foster. The original lineup of vocalist Brian Brannon, guitarist Don “Redondo” Pendleton, bassist Michael Cornelius, and drummer Mike “Bam-Bam” Sversvold developed a faster, more focused sound that combined the nascent hardcore of Black Flag and The Germs with the twangy guitar that defined The Ventures and Dick Dale. With lyrics and imagery steeped in the lifestyle, JFA appealed to skaters who saw themselves taking surf culture to the streets.
This collection includes eight flyers promoting JFA concerts in Phoenix, Los Angeles, and elsewhere between 1982 and 1986. Notably, there is a flyer for the May 18, 1984 concert with fellow skate punk pioneers The Big Boys at the Stardust Ballroom in Hollywood. Billed as “L.A.’s First All Skate Gig!” and sponsored by Powell & Peralta, Tracker, and other brands, it also included performances by Aggression, Faction, Ill Repute, and Tales of Terror, as well as “demonstrations by top pro & amateur free style skateboarders!”
The flyers are photomechanically reproduced on 8 ½” x 11” sheets of white, pink, or yellow paper, as is the JFA Song Book (eight sheets, stapled). The Placebo Products advertisements appear to be professionally printed, with some light toning to the front panel of one. Overall, the material is clean and bright.
Provenance: Sun City Girls archive. According to Richard Bishop, the Phoenix, Arizona experimental rock band’s guitarist, “Each one was collected before the date of the show and have been in a filing cabinet ever since.”. Item #74721