Tuesday, March 9, 2010


I didn't know Bob Biniak except for his appearance in the documentary DOGTOWN AND Z BOYS, which my older son Miles turned me and his little brother on to years ago and we were blown away. The film records the emergence of the kind of free style skateboarding created by surfers in the less grandiose section of Santa Monica back in the seventies that led to the sport becoming what it is today.

It's like watching a new art form come into being. An incredible document. The Z Boys crew, named for the Zephyr skate shop that was right around the corner still when I lived in "Dogtown" in the early 1990s, are shown skating as kids and commenting on their exploits and techniques as adults.

Biniak is one of them, a great screen presence and a great athlete. He was only 51 so it's a terrible shame. Here's the NY Times obit.

Ruth Kligman I did know. She was most famous for being in the car with Jackson Pollock (and for being his young lover) that crashed and killed Pollock and a friend of Kligman's but not her in 1956. I knew her more as an artist and star of the downtown art and poetry scenes in the 1970s and '80s and found her still dynamic and seductive and extremely attractive.

She had a quick wit and a jaundiced eye, but was devoted to art and poetry and those who made both, and I was grateful that someone so smart and sexy and celebrated enjoyed my company and appreciated my creative efforts. Here's her NY Times obit.


hetyd4580 said...

Interesting blog. Sorry to see Bob Biniak pass. There is an interesting generational component to his story. The Z-Boys, like the Beastie Boys and Sugar Hill Gang, were part of a generational “missing link” between Baby Boomers and Generation X: the newly identified Generation Jones (born 1954-1965). This component is crucial in understanding the historical context of Biniak and the Z-Boys.

Google Generation Jones, and you’ll see it’s gotten lots of media attention, and many top commentators from many top publications and networks (Washington Post, Time magazine, NBC, Newsweek, ABC, etc.) now specifically use this term. In fact, the Associated Press' annual Trend Report chose the Rise of Generation Jones as the #1 trend of 2009. I found this page helpful because it gives a pretty good overview of recent media interest in GenJones: http://generationjones.com/2009latest.html

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you posted this link for Ruth K. I got to know her a little living in NY. Did you read him autobio? Rather interesting.