Obey Clothing x Big Boys Collab

July 29, 2011

I first became familiar with the Austin TX band The Big Boys in 1984 when I purchased Thrasher’s Skate Rock Vol. 1. The album had several punk bands which had skateboarders as members, including the Drunk Injuns, the Faction, JFA, and the Big Boys. At the age of 14, not only were skateboarding and punk my two biggest passions, but their D.I.Y. creativity, rebellion, and independence were crucial in shaping my value system. I loved the Big Boys music, and I also thought their logo, a clever fusion of an anarchy logo and skateboard, was the most succinct and iconic merging of the two things I cared MOST about imaginable. I eventually met Tim Kerr, the Big Boys’ guitarist, at an art show I was DJ’ing, and I threw on a Big Boys song to show my respect and appreciation. We kept in touch by email for a while, but had not been in contact lately, though I’ve followed Tim’s art and music from a distance.  A bit of an awkward situation came up recently when the the Street Machine skate shop in Copenhagen created a collaboration with Obey Clothing for my upcoming Copenhagen art show…

Knowing my roots in skateboarding and punk rock, as well as my acquaintance with Tim Kerr from the Big Boys, they designed a limited skateboard deck and tee shirt which used a re-drawn version of the Big Boys anarchy/skate logo… problem being that the assumption was made that the image was used with permission. It wasn’t cleared, but the small product run had already been made. A bit embarrassed, I called Tim to explain the situation. He was super understanding and said it was cool for the collaboration to proceed as long as he got a couple boards and tees and I explained the situation to people. Thank you for being so understanding Tim. We are all fans and meant the project as a tribute to the influence skateboarding and punk have had upon us. The Big Boys were an important part of that 80’s scene, but Tim has done quite a lot since. Check out more on Tim’s projects at the links below.
-Shepard Fairey

Tim Kerr Mix Tape 1

Tim Kerr Mix Tape 2