Skate-Decked! By Les Wiseman
The Bloodied But Unbowed premiere in Vancouver on May 13, was many things to many people. For some it was vindication of a wasted youth, for others a taste of silver-screen stardom. For producer-director Susanne Tabata, it was a comedy of errors.
Last-minute editing on the day of show blended into manning the box office (SOLD-OUT 700-seat show) for Tabata. Later, the movie refused to project and an exasperated Tabata had to resort to emergency measures to get the screen lit. In between, there were prize giveaways for the audience including limited edition Skull Skates Bloodied But Unbowed skateboard decks emblazoned with a smokin’ Bev Davies’ shot of Randy Rampage performing with DOA in 1979 at Rock Against Racism in Chicago. Frustrated at the audience’s inability to find lucky numbers under their seats, emcee Billy Hopeless — former vocalist for The Black Halos and now The Bonitos and narrator of the film — resorted to hurling the decks Frisbee-like through the air.
For photographer Bob Strazicich, the BBU premiere was a celebration of sorts, his late 1970s photographs of The Dishrags were used in the film. Graciously, he had allowed filmmaker Tabata to use the shots. He had driven all the way from Seattle to make the premiere. His seven-year-old daughter Chloe was a budding skater and he thought it would be nice to be able to bring one of those prestigious decks home to her.
Fate smiled on Strazicich, and arcing thru the stratosphere came a board. The catch was not perfect however and the five-pound deck sailed through Strazicich’s arms and clocked him square in the noggin. In the adrenaline shock of the moment, Strazicich stood and waved the all-okay sign to the cheering audience.
Cut to: the Bloodied But Unbowed afterparty at the Morrissey Pub. Surrounded by congratulating punk rockers, Susanne Tabata is exhausted by the efforts at bringing this spectacular document to the screen. Through the melée of reunited scenesters, she sees Bob Strazicich approach. “What did you think of the film?” she asked.
“I didn’t see it,” said Strazicich. “I was at St. Paul’s Emergency getting stitches in my head.”
Tabata cringed, taking in the gauze on the photographer’s forehead. “Omigod....”
“Ten stitches,” he said. “But, Susanne, I’m bloodied, but unbowed....”
All’s well that end well, however, and in the accompanying photo you can see young Chloe Strazicich happily showing off her historical board.