SUNSHINE REBELS tells the story of a clan of inner-city teenagers who in the 1970's came together in New York City's Central Park and in the process left an indelible stamp on world culture through startling innovations in street art, alternative music and extreme sports.
A coming-of-age story set at the nadir of New York City history, and in the world's most infamous park - abandoned and crumbling amid the city's collapsed economy - The Parkies reveals a unique and colorful 1970's subculture. The documentary highlights the lives of the intriguing figures who lived communally, intensely, at times ferally, in the shadowy grounds of Central Park's Naumburg Bandshell, the heart of a broken and reeling Gotham City.
Amid the social and economic maladies of 1970's New York, Central Park became fertile ground for young people needing a place to grow and express themselves. What developed was a close-knit family that came together to play, to experiment and create, to push and ultimately burst boundaries.
The Parkies' contribution to world culture is significant. Wild Style graffiti was born at the Bandshell, with legendary graffiti clubs Rolling Thunder Writers and The Rebels. Members of the original ZOO YORK ("Dogtown East") skateboard team were Parkies. Bandshell musicians tried and tested new, emerging music, and many went on to play with celebrated bands such as the B52s and Stray Cats, Tito Puente and others. Billy Squire also came out of the Bandshell. And three members of the Parkie clan were world-champion freestyle Frisbee players, people like Kerry Kollmar, who changed the sport forever when he invented the "nail-delay" and "tapping".
Some of the Parkies became legends . . .
Some moved on . . .
Some died . . .
This is their story.