Most would consider Andrew Reynolds performance in Birdhouse’s The End (1998) to be his graduation from Willy’s friend into an elite realm of professional skateboarding. This metamorphosis was presented rather completely the following year in the Baker Bootleg video, condensing Andrews growth from fuzzy headed Florida grom into the proto-ringmaster of the band of degenerates who would soon take over skateboarding. Baker Bootleg’s Hi-8 B-Roll of all the motion picture filmed Birdhouse stunts seemed to make those monumental tricks all the more real… the Boss had arrived.
But those of us paying close attention during this era had already witnessed Andrew’s undeniable proclamation of manhood. Tucked neatly away twenty minutes into a Best of 411 volume from 1997 lies nearly three minutes of golden Reynold footage. No music, no embarrassing spoken intro, no filler, no drunken orangutans, just Boss trick after Boss trick.
Even to this day, it is very rare to come across a skate part without music. Outside of Tim Dowling’s Listen video, I can hardly think of any (coincidentally enough, Andrew Reynolds in Bake & Destroy comes to mind). Without a driving rhythm or narrative of a song, the tricks and lines attack relentlessly. Heavy trick after heavy trick bludgeon the viewer providing only the slightest breathing room with a stylish line or a broken board.
It’s understandable that this part would be forgotten quickly, even in an era of repeated rewatchings of every skate video released. 411s, while popular, tended to only be on topic until the next issue came out. Except for the slow motion intro tricks (and even then), a 411 part rarely got the shine of a board company release. The “Best of” even less so.
The potential impact of Andrew Reynolds’ Profile in Best of 411 Vol. 4 can be revisited by watching the entire video, or even browsing a few different parts. In a video full of present and future legends (Marc Johnson, Daewon, Rodney, Jerry Hsu, etc.), Reynolds’ part is truly unique, memorable, and only dated by the low quality of the magnetic video tape. Future business partner and pre-identity crisis Jim Greco also has an incredible part in this tape that predates his Misled Youth reveal, but see how the song and overall “411-ness” of the whole thing lower what should have been Greco’s big debut into just another 411 Wheels of Fortune for the pile.
Why more skaters and skate video makers don’t choose to make an edit here and there without music is beyond me.