I discovered both BMX and punk at about the same time; independent of each other, but quickly realizing their histories were interwoven.
And although I began riding alone, I soon found other riders in Tampa Bay who were not only into BMX, but who were also into punk.
This was 1990; right after the AFA died out and at a time when Neo-Nazi Skinheads ran off any touring band that took the risky plunge of heading past Atlanta and into the Florida Peninsula.
Through the early 90's as Floridians, we were stuck down here with two options; get out OR create our own bands and our own BMX scenes here in the swamp.
And although most of us got a sample of the former, the latter was a slow percolation for the many who hung on.
It started with the inception of Skatepark of Tampa and The Brothel (built out of a punk ethos in 1993), and in the late 90's, Central Skatepark, Mission, and ending finally with Mesh Skatepark in the aughts. Most of these skateparks hustled as venues on the side to keep their doors open, playing host to touring bands where a heavy amount of those openers were made up of both local skaters and BMXers.
These parks were/are the nests of our evolving riding scenes, and the DIY music that we saw live (and for some of us, created), became the soundtrack to when we rode.
In January of 2020, I brought part of our crew back down to Tampa for the third Profile Neighborhood Crawl. Over the past year, my hometown has seen a DIY renaissance with a cache of freshly built backyard set-ups and do-it-yourself street spots, all within the backdrop of our communities having stepped up to advocate for a plethora of new public skateparks.
And as a monument to our local scene, Skatepark of Tampa is going into it's twenty-seventh year, not only a life-long supporter of BMX, but as a continuous host to the music scene.
This muli-media feature is a celebration of where Tampa Bay has come from, it's roots in both punk and bmx, and to what it has become.
The included playlist are those local bands that made (and still make) an impact on us; some of them grew a following that reached well beyond our scene here in town.
Being proud of what has occurred here in Tampa Bay is an understatement; I was stoked to share it with our crew and with you.
We hope you enjoy the ride...