Tracks was bigger in size, irreverent and cheaper but made of matt newspaper and in black and white. Occasionally there would be the odd duo tone blue and white or brown and white surf shot of somebody like Ted Spencer or MP at some exotic break amongst the articles on macrobiotic diets, Captain Goodvibes Cartoons and interviews with long haired surfers from the counter-culture like Terry Fitzgerald, Nat Young or a cheeky young scamp called Rabbit. Surfing World was glossy, colour and more expensive.
Photo: Steve Core or Peter Simons or ?
Then one arvo on the way home from school I happened to see Richo (Terry Richardson) beaming at me from the newsagent magazine rack just along from the balsa areoplane kits and the Egyptian Pyramid cardboard project kits. I wasn't even a goofy footer and I thought that this shot was magic. A perfect left hand barrel in the Australian bush. After that Tracks was never quite the same for me, even though they published and paid me for several stories and photos of our Sunshine Coast spots.
Maybe it was the end of the hippie dream and the Morning of the Earth era and the beginning of the high energy era of punk and twin fins. Maybe it was just the stunning "wow" factor of the colour glossies that the SW guys like Hugh McLeod, Peter Simons, Bruce Channon and Peter Crawford (RIP) produced.
And that shot of Richo that started it - who took it? Was it Steve Core (as his website suggests) or Peter Simons (as another site suggests) or somebody else. I have put the bite on both Steve Core and Bruce Channon (former editor of SW). Watch this space for the replies.