Our Legacy co-founder, Jockum Hallin, traces the West Coast music that helped shape him, past and present
I’ve spent a lot of time in California over the past few years, I have nothing but love for it. Some of my dearest friends are based there, the food is healthy and the weather is a blessing for a Swedish Northerner like myself. I surf, I actually do like spending time in cars, and I even went there to get married a few years ago, under a palm tree in Palm Springs in the Mojave Desert. There are also some of the best retailers in the world in California, as Our Legacy accounts. What’s stayed with me more subtly than these things is Californian music. It’s shaped and influenced me through many phases of my 34 years, and here, I give you some of those milestones.
At seven years old, I had Appetite for Destruction playing, a blonde little boy trying to figure out how to tie a bandana, rip my jeans without devastating my mother and how to get my Spanish six-string swapped for something electric, preferably from Gibson…
Legally too young for Doggystyle in 1993, the whole ‘Compton Long Beach G-Funk later turned 2Pac’ movement got me hooked on the completely legal drug called fonts. ‘Old English’ didn’t mean 40 oz of malt liquor to me, rather the characteristic font used on all West Coast hip hop merch.
By ’95, my California dreamin’ was not of coastal breezes but of the inland heat. Orange County Hardcore, especially Ignite’s soulful fast riffs on Call On My Brothers, had me dying my hair a yellow surfer-blonde and wearing nothing but Vans and shorts as I’d dig through Revelation Records’ back catalogue searching for Uniform Choice’s Screaming for a Change and Inside Out’s No Spiritual Surrender.
It’s funny how fast things turn around; when I discovered Scream Dracula, Scream! and RFTC, wearing shorts and blonde locks no longer seemed an option. In San Diego, Rocket from the Crypt were the law, and dyed black, slicked-back rock ’n’ roll hair was the cut for the crew. I still return to these two records when I need a boost of energy and drive.
Moving from past to present, California and Los Angeles in particular keep on reinventing themselves in many fields. LA aesthetics are influential again, the LA craft movement is on its toes, and even the LA rapper is back in the form of Kendrick and Frank Ocean. My last inspirational record is however and old comeback: after decades of heavy drug use, Fleetwood Mac’s founder Peter Green moved to LA in 1978, fell in love, got married and released In the Skies. It’s a beautiful semi-instrumental album from a once-lost blues hero that, judging from the record, finds hope and himself in the land and skies of California.
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