“If you don’t live it, it won’t come out your horn.” — Charlie Parker, jazz musician
Our sixth issue of What Youth is now on sale in the What Youth shop and at retail stores all over the world. But over the next couple of days we want to give you a glimpse at a few of the things you’ll find inside our sixth printed edition. We’d also like to come right out and say that we’re fully aware that magazines serve a new role in the world. There may be fewer circulating, but we like to think that means better quality, better reads, and sexier coffee tables — and while there are still a lot of us who do enjoy reading stories inside a book — some of you don’t. And that’s cool, too. Which is why we’re here, daily, for everyone. But as we said, these are just glimpses at our quarterly art project. Today, page 1, the intro. But this again, is only a tease. Like lingerie. —Travis
It’s a sobering feeling to be clutching the waist of someone going 80 mph on the back of a motorbike through the tiny, crowded streets of Bali in order to prove your worth. Your commitment poised to earn you an authentic and rare glimpse into a life that’s been lived unhinged since birth.
But that’s what Nate Lawrence and Blake Myers did to prove to Christian Fletcher that we aren’t just here to commentate on his life. To analyze and judge and draw our own conclusions. That we’re here to experience too. Alongside. Participating. Riding shotgun with our own fiery demons.
Nate and Blake’s commitment on the back of that two-stroke Grand Prix bike were validated by the note on the left and earned us rare and intimate access to a life that’s refused to conform or be controlled, preferring to set up camp along the edge.
Hunter S. Thompson claimed: “There is no honest way to explain [the edge] because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over.”< And while we certainly know that’s true, we seem to have found someone who’s managed to straddle it longer than anyone, refusing to fall off or walk away from the precipice. Christian has been ahead of his time for four decades now — and is still laying asphalt that’s yet to be driven on. And he inspired us. He taught us to tread outside of our comfort zone. To feel the burn of uncertainty and danger. And while it hasn’t come without its awkward moments, its uncomfortable stares, reverb and pushback from the masses; it’s reminded us of the feeling that we’ve been looking for all our lives. The urge that haunts us when we’re idle. That tells us something is dying inside. It’s why we surf. Skate. Chase waves. Girls. Bigger waves. Bigger airs. Stranger cultures. New experiences. New lines. All for that strange and invigorating feeling that comes postmortem to doing something new. For that deep breath. For the toast. For the story. This book is a document representing a time spent outside the walls we’re used to. Running alongside people who live differently and inspire us through their commitment. We saw lands we never thought we’d see. And met people who continue to live in that sketchy neighborhood known as the edge. And it turns out we get along with them the best. —What Youth