Almost 30 years ago I started skateboarding and listening to punk rock. I’m not sure when I first heard or read the name Jim Muir, but I knew the name of Dogtown, the skateboard company he founded, from shortly after I began skateboarding. Dogtown had pioneered the wide skateboard and was highly respected by all the O.G.’s. In 1984, I also began listening to Suicidal Tendencies, fronted by Jim’s brother Mike, and managed by photographer Glen E. Friedman. I was stoked to discover that Jim and Mike were at the forefront of skateboarding and punk, the two subcultures that changed my life. I have been a Dogtown fan for a long time. I vividly remember the Muir brothers featured together in Thrasher. I rode several Dogtown boards in the 80’s… Scott Oster, Mick Alba, and Eric Dressen. I loved the Dogtown graphics by Wes Humpston and their cross logo. I made a paper-cut stencil Dogtown tee shirt when I was a freshman at art school. At my first Action Sports Retail Trade show in 1995, my booth was right next to Dogtown’s booth and Jim Muir was there. I was too intimidated to say hello, but I hoped he noticed my designs. I later made OBEY tribute graphics to several of my favorite old school skate graphics and the Dogtown Bulldog art was one of the logos I remixed.
Even though I worked on the soundtrack design for the documentary Dogtown and Z-Boys, and we have several friends in common, I did not meet Jim Muir until after he broke his neck surfing in 2009. My friend Glen E. Friedman let me know about Jim’s accident and asked if I’d collaborate with him on a portrait of Jim to raise money for his medical expenses. I was happy to help out a skate icon in need and do another collaboration with Glen. I was very familiar with Glen’s photos of Jim and I knew I could make a cool illustration from the Endless Wave 1977 shot. The prints sold out right away and Jim stopped by my studio to say thanks and hello. I got along with Jim right away and we had a bunch of shared interests in music and art. Jim even mentioned my ASR booth from ’95 and I felt like an idiot for being scared to talk to him. Jim and I kept in touch and one day he let me know that he’d found the actual hand-made board that he was riding in the Friedman shot from ’77. He used it as a template and made some new boards the same way he made them in ’77. He asked if I’d be interested in putting the art I’d made based on Glen’s photo on a run of the boards. Of course, I loved the idea of having the boards come full circle after 36 years! Jim did an amazing job selecting the wood, building the shapes, airbrushing, hand screening, and lacquering the boards. The boards are all signed by Jim, Glen, and me. I’m very proud to be part of this project and grateful to Jim for his hard work.
On March 09, 2009 I broke my neck surfing at Westwards Zuma Beach. Shortly thereafter the Skate and Art communities began to organize a benefit for me. Glen E. Friedman called to say that Shepard Fairey was going to create a limited edition poster stylizing one of Glen’s photographs of me. The image was a Frontside Air at the Endless Wave Skate Park in Oxnard, CA in 1977. When the posters came out I framed one and hung it in my office. While looking at the poster one day I began to reminisce about the significance of the board I was riding. I thought to myself that Shepard’s artwork would fit nicely on that board shape.
Starting in 1976 these boards were handmade by Wes Humpston and me. Wes would illustrate the boards with Marks-a-Lot pens making each board a unique art piece. The board from Glen’s photo was one of the last handmade boards I rode. The shape evolved into the original Jim Muir “Red Dog Design” production board when Dogtown Skateboards debuted in 1978. The original 1978 “Red Dog Design” shape and graphic are still available today.
About a year and a half ago I made a sample run of 14 handmade replica “1977” backyard pool boards. I showed the boards to Shepard and suggested that he resize the poster art to the shape of the “1977” board for collaboration. Shepard agreed and I made a sample run of the 14 boards with the screen printed first generation art. When we showed Glen the work samples he added his input and Shepard finalized the second generation art which I then screen printed on this limited edition collaboration. During the production of the 14 artist samples, the “1977” board I rode in Glen’s photo resurfaced and was given the name “The Lost Board”.
Here are the details of the collaboration run. All the boards are handmade, true to detail of the 1977 “Lost Board”, silk screened and finished by me. All of the boards are signed and numbered by Shepard Fairey, Glen E. Friedman, and me.
-Jim “Red Dog” Muir
Here is the breakdown:
On November 21st at 10am PST, a Limited Release of 75 Natural Maple Boards (Edition of 90) and 75 Custom Airbrushed Color Fade Boards (Edition of 90) will be on sale at OBEYGIANT.com. All boards are HANDMADE, SHAPED, and SCREEN PRINTED by Jim Muir. Signed and Numbered by Shepard Fairey, Glen E. Friedman, and Jim “Red Dog” Muir.
Natural Maple Boards – $175 each
Custom Airbrushed Color Fade Maple Boards – $250 each