Skateboarding legend Tony Hawk's Pro Skater video game series (and, for younger writers like this one, the Tony Hawk's Underground series that succeeded it) remains a touchstone for millions who got their first dose of skateboarding culture through its immersive levels and challenges.
Aside from being invariably fun to play though, the Hawk-branded games were also famous for their incredible soundtracks – which contained choice selections of punk, classic rock, metal and hip-hop tunes, from artists both world-famous and obscure.
This was no accident – real-life skateboarding videos have a rich tradition (opens in new tab) of vibrant, musically eclectic soundtracks, and Hawk, a music lover himself, saw to it (opens in new tab) that the games bearing his name reflected that tradition.
All that said though, we couldn't have predicted that the Birdman had vocal pipes to match his tastes. On this new cover of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 soundtrack favorite No Cigar by Millencolin though, Hawk shows himself to be a bit of a Renaissance man, delivering an appropriately spunky, surprisingly flexible rendition of this peppery punk classic.
Backed by fellow former pro skater Steve Caballero – playing an incredible, skateboard-shaped electric guitar – Mikey Hawdon on guitar, former Goldfinger member Darrin Pfeiffer on drums, and Millencolin's Nikola Sarcevic on bass and backing vocals, Hawk and his all-star band really deliver the goods on this cover. You can check it out below.
Hawk, it turns out, had previously honed his vocal chops on a Punk Rock Karaoke cover (opens in new tab) of The Jam's In the City.
He's not the only pro skater to feel the mic call to him, though. Mike Valley – who himself appeared in Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4, and many other subsequent Hawk-branded video games – became the new frontman (opens in new tab) of hardcore punk pioneers Black Flag in 2013, a job he retains to this day.