About Big Brother Skateboard Magazine

Big Brother Skateboard Magazine was a groundbreaking and notorious skateboarding publication that left a massive impact on skate culture during the 1990s.

Steve Rocco, the head of World Industries, initiated the creation of Big Brother Skateboard Magazine in 1992. Rocco was increasingly frustrated with other skateboarding magazines like Transworld Skateboarding and Thrasher skate mag. These skateboard magazines were rejecting his ads due to controversial content. Rocco envisioned a magazine that would break free from censorship, expose industry absurdities, and inform skaters about the real happenings in skateboarding. He famously said, “The kids have a right to know.”

Big Brother aimed to be a no-holds-barred publication, providing an unfiltered view of skateboarding and its culture.

Walter Sims and Natas Kaupas, both associated with World Industries, joined the project. Skateboard Deck graphic artists Marc McKee and Sean Cliver also joined the team at Big Brother.

When the debut issue of Big Brother skate magazine arrived, Rocco was shocked, as it looked terrible. A falling out occurred between Rocco and Walter Sims, leading to Sims’ departure. Rocco then hired Jeff Tremaine as the new art/editorial director and brought in zine creator Thomas Schmidt (aka Earl Parker) from Kansas.

Big Brother didn’t shy away from anything. It covered skateboarding but also delved into taboo subjects like sex, drugs, and profanity.

Early articles included how to make a fake ID and the mag would regularly employ odd gimmicks such as printing the magazine in different sizes, packaging it in a cereal box (yes, one of the first issues came in a "Big Brother" cereal box), and including seemingly incongruous items such as trading cards and a cassette tape in the packaging.

Cover Sticker: The first issue bore a sticker that read, “Warning: Test Copy. Due to the fact that no one here had any idea what the hell they were doing, this issue has been declared a total failure. Therefore, we have decided to give it away for free.”

Skate or Die: One cover featured a skater committing suicide because he couldn’t land a trick.. an audacious move.

Jackass Connection: Big Brother brought out 4 skateboard videos: "Shit,"  "Number Two,"  "Boob,"  and "Crap." These eventually spawned the TV show Jackass, which has become a cultural phenomenon we all know and love.

One of the more bizarre episodes of Big Brother Skateboard Magazine's history is when the subscriber list for Big Brother was accidentally swapped with Taboo, one of Larry Flynt's hardcore pornography magazines: Big Brother subscribers were sent issues of Taboo, and vice versa. This incident was parodied on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, in which one of the band members was delivered an issue of Big Brother live on stage, suggesting that he subscribed to Taboo and received it in error.

Big Brother was published by Larry Flynt Publications, the same company behind Hustler magazine. The marriage of a skateboarding magazine and a porn empire was unexpected, but it worked. Larry Flynt’s willingness to push boundaries aligned with Big Brother’s ethos.

The infamous skateboarding magazine ceased publication in 2004 when the magazine was unexpectedly dropped by Larry Flynt publications, leaving behind a legacy of irreverence, controversy, and a unique perspective on skateboarding. Big Brother skate magg played a pivotal role in shaping street skating and skateboarding subculture.

Big Brother Magazine Skateboard Videos:

Big Brother Magazine: Shit Skateboard Video

"pretty crazy stuff, quite insightful to see what jeff, weeman and pontius were doing back then"

"Remember punk then? When it was about saying fuck you to the establishment. It's was glorious"

"Great video, too many great skaters to list. Pleased to see Tom Penny and Kris Markovich there"

"Would be awesome to do this nowadays,......... not reffering to the sk8 tricks."

Big Brother Magazine: Number Two Skateboard Video

"Big Brother was truly one of the best in the game. I could watch this vid for ages."

"I used to have this on VHS and it broke. This was my most favorite skate video aside from Fulfill The Dream"

"The 90s was such a glorious time to be a kid. Fuck it was great."

"That Osiris ad about midway through with DJ Shadow-Building Steam with a Grain of Salt in it..ohhh the memories"

"Absolute quality video, pure nostalgic. One of my favourites besides Zoo York Mixtape. Loved the Vans / Zoo York / Osiris adverts"

"This was the debut of Johnny Knoxville doing crazy shit."

"Forgot Matt Hensley skateboarded before Flogging Molly. Man this video has some names I haven’t thought about in decades."

Working On Big Brother Magazine | Jeff Tremaine via The Nine Club

"Tremaine is a legend. He quietly shaped a generation from behind the lens and curtain. God damn hero"