Amped: How Big Air, Big Dollars, and a New Generation Took Sports to the Extreme [NOOK Book]

Overview

Visit david-browne.com
Amped is the first comprehensive account of the history, culture, and business of action sports-skateboarding, snowboarding, BMX, and freestyle motocross. Journalist David Browne interviews more than 100 athletes, pioneers, industry executives, manufacturers, and the adolescent amateurs at the heart of this movement. On his journey, he unravels the eye-opening tale of a flourishing culture that continues to reject old-fashioned stick-and-ball sports in ...
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Amped: How Big Air, Big Dollars, and a New Generation Took Sports to the Extreme

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Overview

Visit david-browne.com
Amped is the first comprehensive account of the history, culture, and business of action sports-skateboarding, snowboarding, BMX, and freestyle motocross. Journalist David Browne interviews more than 100 athletes, pioneers, industry executives, manufacturers, and the adolescent amateurs at the heart of this movement. On his journey, he unravels the eye-opening tale of a flourishing culture that continues to reject old-fashioned stick-and-ball sports in favor of individualistic forms of expression, and that culture's struggle to hold on to its integrity despite the demands of corporate sponsors.
David Browne is the music critic for Entertainment Weekly and author of Dream Brother: The Lives and Music of Jeff and Tim Buckley, which was a finalist for the Ralph J. Gleason Award. A former reporter for the New York Daily News, he has also written for the New York Times, Sports Illustrated, Rolling Stone, and New York, among other publications. He lives in Manhattan.
"A rapid, thrillingly written look at the industry's evolution, one that fully appreciates the dizzying heights as well as the devastating lows that extreme sports have witnessed over the last four decades."-Spin
"A must buy!"-Maxim
"Whether he's hanging out with the pros on the tour bus, checking in with participants at a skate camp or meeting with ESPN executives to discuss the launch of the X Games, the candor Browne elicits from his interview subjects is impressive."-Publishers Weekly
"Well researched and nicely presented, Amped is an engaging look at the history and increasing popularity of action sports."-San Francisco Chronicle
Also available: HC 1-58234-317-9 $24.95
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
These days, top-ranked skateboarders, snowboarders, BMX racers and motocross riders can make millions in product endorsements in addition to their competitive earnings. As the music critic for Entertainment Weekly, Browne has an easy point-of-entry into this subculture through its avid appreciation for punk rock and heavy metal, but his overview approaches the extreme sports scene from a variety of angles. Whether he's hanging out with the pros on the tour bus, checking in with participants at a skate camp or meeting with ESPN executives to discuss the launch of the X Games, the candor he elicits from his interview subjects is impressive. He effectively describes the tension felt by the athletes, who strive toward a punk rock ethos of integrity and credibility as they navigate the increasing commercialization of their sports, but as an author, he hangs back at the sidelines. Though Browne seems fascinated by athletes who shrug off even life-threatening accidents by maintaining "injuries help to keep you focused," his narrative lacks an internal edginess that would ensure its appeal to participants in these sports, and his emphasis on marketing could be an equal turnoff. Older, less hip readers, however, will be able to glean some insight into what their kids and grandkids are up to these days. Agents, Sarah Chalfant and Jin Auh. (Aug.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
America's four major sports (basketball, baseball, football, and hockey) have been institutions since before most of us were alive, so not many people have been around to witness the birth of a big-time sport. Browne, a music critic for Entertainment Weekly magazine, tells the story of how so-called extreme sports like snowboarding, skateboarding, and BMX biking evolved from subculture pastimes into organized, high-stakes, televised events. Browne's subject matter and timing are good, but the book is uneven-filled to the gunwales with technical terms from the sports, names of athletes, producers, and agents. Many of them are undefined or inadequately discussed, although the author does an excellent job of explaining the tricks themselves. It would seem that the book is too advanced for novices and too remedial for those more experienced. Similarly, the book is heavy on anecdote about competitions but short on cohesion and analysis. YAs may like it for its front-row rendering of detail. Optional for public and school libraries.-James Miller, Springfield Coll. Lib., MA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Entertainment Weekly music critic Browne (Dream Brother, 2001) takes an informative look at the uneasy interface of alternative sports and corporate America. Sports like skateboarding, snowboarding, BMX, and freestyle motorcross have defined an ethos that continues to be a refreshing change from traditional team games. They prize individualism and idiosyncrasy, lunacy and skill, rebelliousness and the pushing of limits. Tapping into the four sports named above, Browne grasps a sense of this irascible, unconventional subculture and how it contends with issues of integrity and identity, especially now that it is being commercialized from both within and without. It's not lost on the business world that young Americans have "$250 billion in their collective backpacks to spend each year on cereal, fast food, snacks, and toiletries," and since many of them identify with alternative sports, commercial tie-ins seem natural-to the suits, anyway. But making a buck was antithetical to the pioneering vision of these sports; street cred was what mattered, not the size of your checkbook. While it's hard not to appreciate the fact that a good number of these athletes can now make a living at what they love to do, notes Browne, it comes at the cost: the hard life of traveling to contests, the jealous backstabbing of fellow riders, the striving for sponsorship . . . that is: getting a job. Still, as Browne does a bit of hard traveling along with the athletes, they are getting their kicks (and smashed bones) while trying to keep their newfound public notoriety in perspective. As one member of Tony Hawk's entourage says, "We were just a bunch of retards on a skatepark tour." Very talented retards, though,even when doing stunts that put their sanity in question. No longer outlaws, perhaps, but the author shows enough of these riders remaining wary of selling out to keep their misfit status intact.
Spin
"A rapid, thrillingly written look at the industry's evolution, one that fully appreciates the dizzying heights as well as the devastating lows that extreme sports have witnessed over the last four decades."
Maxim
"A must buy!"
San Francisco Chronicle
"Well researched and nicely presented, Amped is an engaging look at the history and increasing popularity of action sports."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781596917309
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 12/1/2008
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • File size: 854 KB

Meet the Author

David Browne is the music critic for Entertainment Weekly. A former reporter for the New York Daily News, he has crontributed to Rolling Stone, the New York Times, New York magazine, Sports Illustrated, and other publications. He lives and very occasionally skateboards in Manhattan. He is the author of Dream Brother a highly acclaimed book which looked at the lives of Tim and Jeff Buckley.
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Table of Contents

1 Prologue : the awards show 1
2 Pump it up until you can feel it : riding high and low with BMX 23
3 The boys on the skate bus : going big with Tony Hawk's gigantic skatepark tour 57
4 Core-mart : scenes from the world of shoes, videos, gear, and the industry within 97
5 Skatetown and cabin b-boys : going extreme at summer camp 123
6 Eat dirt to the beat : the music-sports connection 154
7 Lights, camera, grind : Madison Avenue's extreme makeover 171
8 Contest as metaphor : braving the pipe, the rail, and the mainstreaming of snowboarding at the U.S. Open 200
9 They got game : ESPN, the X games, and the quest for the gold 232
10 Moto rising : freestyle motocross and the two-wheeled sky kiss 253
11 Epilogue : the awards show, the day after 284
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