Sunday, January 31, 2010

Anon Anon Anon

A picnic beside the Superbank last century. BYO china teapot, cups and card table. Left to right: Nana Brine, Hughie, Aggie, Frank & Aunty Clair - Greenmount 1949. Photographer: Anonymous.

Anonymous surfer with a hint of post-Mark Richards wounded gull arm movement scraping the wall at Tea Tree while I tread water with a 35mm film camera.
Somebody else's Nana outside a pub across the road from the interstate train station. Continuing our anonymous thread while up north a cyclone fizzles out then reforms like a high tide monster backwash sending it's spray over a million square miles of Brinetopia. 
Astute observers may have noticed a new link to John Maloof's site dedicated to the late Vivian Maier, a possibly French born resident of Chicago who passed away in 2009 leaving over 100000 medium format black and white negatives of Chicago street scenes of the 1950s and 1960s. According to the blog, she was virtually anonymous in her hometown. Maloof is resurrecting her work and organising the processing of another 15000 images probably from the 1970s. 

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Most Heroes Are Anonymous

Got this shot of Point Cartright taken in 1965 from a friend. Photographer: Anonymous
Same spot. Water level. Tip of the keyboard to this charger at The Platform. Most heroes are anonymous.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

26 January = Australia Day

I can vividly remember the day my dad, Hughie passed away. I had put some new fins on a board and surfed some nice glassy waves out the front of where he lived. It was stinking hot with no wind. It was Australia Day. So, to honour him and the early part of his life he spent as a sailor defending my freedom, I thought that I would start today's blog with one of his old Kodachromes, taken from a boat.
It's the Sydney Opera House at Bennelong Point taken on his old german camera in winter 1967. It's an Australian icon - beautiful sails set against a beautiful harbour, known around the world. The guy who designed it, Jorn Utzon was not an Australian. He was from Denmark. Kinda ironic - we've got an iconic national symbol designed by a Dane for the purpose of Italian song (opera), situated on a spot named after a local Aboriginal leader who went to England in 1793 to meet the King of England. The old shot reflects the multicultural undercurrent of Australian society.

After 1967 everything changed. Aboriginal people like Bennelong finally got the right to vote, and some of the lands they had lived on before white settlement. Women got equal wages to men and were allowed to drink in public bars. The "White Australia" immigration policy ended. The moon was visited thanks in small part to our radio telescope dish at Parkes. Surfboards got shorter (then longer) and went from one fin to two, three, four and then to none and back to one. Australian cinema resurrected itself with movies like Mad Max, Picnic At Hanging Rock, The Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith, The Cars That Ate Paris, The Last Wave, Gallipoli. Aussie bands like the Easybeats, the Masters Apprentices, Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs, The Saints, The Angels, The Church, The Triffids, The Go-Betweens, Midnight Oil and good old AC/DC would let the world know that we know how to rock n party.

So today we remember the folks like my dad that made this such a great place and reflect on what we all can do to improve it.  You can believe whatever you like, ride whatever you like, worship whomever you like. And that's what I like about Australia.  It doesn't have a single culture. I believe it's a great place BECAUSE it's so multi-cultural. Whether it's American surfers like George Greenough or Rusty Miller up Byron way or Danish architects or Italian builders or Indian food chefs - it's all Australian now. It's all part of the big cultural melting pot of influences we live amongst.

The Aussie flag has the Southern Cross constellation on it. And a lot of Aussies claim it proudly and tattoo it to themselves. There's a great yarn of a local trawlerman whose boat sank in big seas off Moreton  Island and found his way to land using the  Southern Cross and the Two Pointers constellation to show him south. But the Southern Cross is not OUR exclusive constellation. The Ancient Greeks wrote about it. The Italian cartographer Amerigo Vespucci mapped it on a voyage to South America in 1501. Arab sailors had their own names for it. In Maori culture it is the anchor. In Tonga a duck.

And here in the Great South Land the Aborigines had various descriptions for it including a possum sitting in a tree and an old fella with lights for his hands and feet stretched across the sky, so that he could watch forever over the tribes he loved. And the tribes could look up to him from the earth and see the stars which were his eyes gazing down on them.

My dream for Autralia is for a cleaner, greener, more peaceful and respectful country where there is a fair go for all, and where we harness synergy - the idea that the whole is more than the sum of it's parts. As it's our diversity that enriches our country.

Monday, January 25, 2010

A Tale of Two Centuries

Tallebudgera - Gold Coast Early 1960's (Photo: Hughie)

DIY skateboards late 1970's (Photo: Gaz D'Arx)

Self portrait a couple of days ago.
Happy Birthday to me.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Cyclone watching

More goofiness out the front of Aunty Clair's place.

And a long way to the north
two cyclones spin their stereophonic vibrations
promising wind and rain and
Australian weather bureau satellite pic - Summer 2010

Friday, January 22, 2010

Hangin 5 With My Cry Baby

One for Seasick Steve Logan and his quest for perfect toes. Get well mate.
Trying to channel the spirit of the Flaming Groovies' Shake Some Action, a song that was played religiously every Friday afternoon on radio 4ZZZ to stir the young turks of Brinetopia into a frenzy of XXXX, mischief and mayhem. Rumour: the Groovies' love child is the Japanese Motors,,,

"Shake some action's what I need
To let me bust out at full speed.
I'm sure that's all you need
To make it all right."

Flaming Groovies Shake Some Action 1976

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Emo(h) Ruo

The Brinecave's pre-developer architecture imbued with all-weather natural stone elegance. On a rock out the front a local grom has painted the words "the future is a present - the past is now". Inside hangs a battered chipboard hi-fi speaker containing a Plessey 12" dual cone wired up to an analogue, mono National radio tuned to 4ZZZ, a pirate radio station run by university students, street urchins, anarchists and acid cassualties. Today they are broadcasting Russell Guy's epic radio play "What's Rangoon to You is Grafton to Me" - a tale of driving all night down the east coast of Australia from night to daylight, from one metropolis to another, from the past to the present.

"Eartha Kitt cooled off while The Low Heeled Boys took the edge off Tweed Heads and the lights of Murwillumbah disappeared into the rear view mirror. I made myself comfortable and a short time later saw Haley's Comet pass three times to the east. Mount Warning flashed a message and pretty soon I was in Rangoon trying to master the art of being powerless and completely stupid. The only way to travel."
Russell Guy What's Rangoon to You is Grafton to Me 1978

The view from the Brinecave's driftwood verandah. On a still day you can feel the unrelenting march of radio waves and if you look hard in the morning you might see the spouts of refugee whales blowing right to left, signalling the arrival of a new sou'easterly swell.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Old Man and the Sea

"A man is never lost at sea."

"Everything about him was old except his eyes 
and they were the same color as the sea 
and were cheerful and undefeated."
Ernest Hemingway The Old Man and the Sea 1952

Sunday, January 17, 2010

R.I.P. Lozza 1956 - 2009

"I've been moved by the wind upon the waters
And the shadows as the leaves are blown
When that old wind moans
On a weary winter Sunday
Like a friend that keeps on knocking on my home"

"I've been moved by the crying of the newborn
The honey sweetness of the air in spring
I've watched the moonlight flood
Across them sleepy hills and valleys
Heard her sadness in her requiem"

"I've been moved watching nature slowly turning
Through the seasons and the patterns that she brings
And as the morniing star proceeds
The breaking of a new day
You'll find the black crow is already on the wing"

"I've been moved watching something that's been suffering
Be it humankind or any living thing
From the fury of the storm
That old parched ground is reborn
And the deserts blooms'd satisfy a king"

"I've been moved by the tireless sea a churning
And them scarlets of an inland dusk
When a close friend has died
I turned away and cried
As they laid 'em down and shovelled in the dust"
I've Been Moved by Kev Carmody

My funny, frustrating, creative, mad, brilliant and sadly departed big brother Lozza, in full Binnagurra mode shooting hi-def video of Moffatt's, his favourite surf spot, where his spirit now soars. Paddle out 18/01/2010 weather permitting,

Kin Kin x Tiggy

Happy birthday to my awesome sister Tiggy.

Above, on the road between Tiggy's farm and Noosa.
Who said there were no logs at Noosa in the 1980's?
Larkin on left. Shane on right.

A lazy five at the HB Pier.

The birthday girl at Kirra,
shot by Hughie back in the 1960's.
I notice you have ditched the cap now sis!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Playing Chicken with Barnacles

Left to right - Don, me and goofyfooter Gaz a long way today. Hi jinx on the high seas.

25 years later, the next generation of goofyfooters - Tinbeerwah's "Puffer" Dragon playing chicken with the barnacles (and the backwash) at outside Tea Tree.

Friday, January 15, 2010

I miss film grain

He's come along way from the Kin Kin corn paddock to Sunshine Beach and he's not a goofy footer but he's just had a MASSIVE birthday. All the best Corey from the Brine team. You might be needing some water today.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Random x Rant

My preoccupation with goofyfooters continues. All I can tell you about this shot is that it was taken by me with a Nikonos V 35mm film camera in the mid-1980's while treading water, wearing Churchill flippers (fins) at Tea Tree in Noosa Nationl Park around lunchtime. I only ever owned one lens for this camera - a 35mm (F3.5 I think). I would have liked the 28mm but couldn't afford it. Out of this roll of 36, there are probably 3 shots worth keeping. And who is it? Male. Goofyfooter. That's all I know. Some random surfer who was belting the lip.

One of the best live bands we ever saw. I have pictures somewhere in the Brinecave.
According to the good people at Google I have posted 181 pictures counting the two today. There are probably three in there that I have't taken - one my Dad took of Noosa Woods Camping area with his Petri, one of me that Gfg took with my camera and the kiwi skatebowl by Greg Chichester.
It would be foolish of me to say and for you to believe that what I present is "how it was". This is how it was for me, considering a huge range of variables: the numerous fruitless searches for waves that we all experience; the countless dud shots where surfer/wave/light/focus/exposure/framing wasn't good enough. And let's not forget the numerous images lost to fungus or the floods we get in Brinetopia. Or just lost in my many abodes. Or the fact that there are many tales and pictures that one just can't share with the digital super-vortex that is blog land.
So it seems really strange to me to read well known surfers and The Surf Media proclaiming their official History of How It Was. For me it's the random unknown surfers whose shared lore needs to be tapped into. I respect well promoted "legends" and love hearing their yarns, but I don't believe that that was all there was. But don't take my word for it.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Coolum x Pete

Gooftfooter Pete was the first surfer I ever saw on a twin fin in Coolum. One day he gave me a go with the warning "Your life will never be the same." Thanks buddy,

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Kiwi Bertleman

Once upon a time in an Auckland Bowl Kiwi Dean tore it up on his Dogtown lookin deck in the best Larry Bertleman fashion. (Photo: Greg Chichester)
On the other side of the Tasman, a couple of other goofy footers, Coolum Pete (left) and party boy Gaz took more of a DIY approach. This was probably because Gaz's father took to his deck with a circular saw one night after the Pig City constabulory caught us illegally skating down the street. Note: Gaz's home-made Hawaiian!

Monday, January 11, 2010

International Goofy Week

I christen this week, International Goofy Week in honour of my goofy mate, Gazza who shouted the bar all night on the weekend to celebrate a big birthday. Thanks Champ!
One of our floorless (and flawless) camping surfari's when it was OK to drill a hole in your fin to attach a rubber rope. My pintail flyer on the far left. Gaz's orange Jim Pollard adjacent to the foam esky. Classy!

One night we were cruising around Mooloolaba being teenagers and nothing to do during the iron fisted reign of the Bjelkie-Petersen regime, checking out the surf shops, when we saw the keys to Jim Pollard's surf shop still in the door. Of course we rang him up and waited until he picked them up. Our reward, a poster each. I think mine was a crystalline backlit Pipeline. Whatever happened to Jim???

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Summertime = Party Time

Kinda how I feel today - happy and shabby.
The dawn patrol has never been a problem for me as I have always been an early riser. When I was a kid, one of my chores was to meet the baker out in the street with 46 cents for the two loaves of white bread that would feed our family of eight for a day. But today is proving tough. I only got to sleep a few hours ago and some guy up the road sounds like he’s a logger in the old growth Kin Kin scrubs. Obviously another morning person.

Dawn patrol. Big Granite. 1980's
First coffee of the day. I need to post something about the great party we went to last night for my old buddy Gaz. Last century, we skated, sailed, camped, surfed and partied hard together. He was my co-pilot to the original Tannelorn Music Festival, though wasn’t much use keeping me awake on the New England highway on the way home. A take away coffee scalded me as I nodded off at the wheel of the Holden Gemini in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of the night. At least that kept me awake down the steep descent after Cunningham’s Gap.

Apart from sleep deprivation, I have this almighty pain in the finger normally used for giving negative non-verbal advice. Maybe it’s arthritis. As Captain Jimmy said last night at Gaz’s party, “In my mind, I’m still 18, but my body tells me that I’m 60”. He’s still sailing hard after seven Sydney to Hobart’s and quite a few Melbourne to Osaka’s.
Don’t know if Jimmy ever surfed, but Capain Steve, Gaz’s brother used to before their parents built the Swiss Chalet overlooking Point Perry. He got roused on by the well built bouncer last night for drinking his rum and coke outside of the designated drinking area. Steve sails his boat Graffitti like a 45’ surfboard so land boundaries become difficult to conceptualise.
The noisey logger up the road has been joined by a swarm of cicadas reminding me that summertime = party time. Another coffee should do it.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Sex Pistols x Ken Kesey

It's not all hippie music (Ash!) and blues here in the Brinecave. Now and then some old skool punk kicks our ear drums with it's Anti-Everything, do-it-yourself, no-talent-required arrogance. And who better to promote the demise of bland, safe, radio-friendly music and Prog Rock then the Sex Pistols and the their classic 12" vinyl single of 1977 Pretty Vacant.
Buses and music. (It's part of my daily ritual on the 333 to Brineville and back.) And remember the white punk tees with the high contrast monochromatic buses with the destinations "Boredom" and "Nowhere"? Haven't we seen them somewhere before? Hint: Legend authors Ken Kesey, Neal Cassady and Tom Wolfe?

A couple of Sex Pistols era Californian punks, gouging Huntington winter 1978.

Ken Kesey had a 1939 International Harvester school bus with the destination "Further", which he remodeled inside and out for a psychedelic excursion across the country with his Merry Pranksters on board. Beat legend Neal Cassady (featured in Jack Keouac's novel On the Road) was the driver of the famous bus on its original trip to New York for the publication of Kesey's new book, Sometimes a Great Notion
Other Further trips included an anti-Vietnam war rally in 1966 and Woodstock in 1969 (without Kesey). Check out the adventures of the Merry Pranksters on Further in Tom Wolfe's book The Electric Kool Aid Acid Test. Oh and if you don't like punk music, try The Who's 1968 hit Magic Bus.

GfG and I rode our own magic bus. Destination "Honolulu.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Shark Super Highway

" "Sharks? Heavens above!" cried Mrs Ely, now eighty-five. "The sharks used to go past likes troops of soldiers... Outside one of the shops they had the jaws of a twelve foot shark when we were children"...They were said to go right up to the beginnings of the freshwater beyond Cootharaba, to get rid of barnacles. "
The Noosa Story - Nancy Cato, 1979