Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Who Shot Richo?

When I was a juvenile (and I know some would argue that I haven't left that world), there were two magazines made by surfers for surfers here in Brinetopia - Tracks and Surfing World.
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.
At school we would argue the point over a lot of important issues like who was your favourite Beatle - John, Paul, George or Ringo? Or whether the Beatles were better than the Stones? (We were yet to discover The Who or The Kinks and punk had not been invented).
When our school principal tried to ban the reading of Tracks, then the line was drawn in the sand. Tracks was Lennon and SW was McCartney. Tracks was the Stones and SW was the Beatles. So it was settled, we would cut out Captain Goodvibes and other "bad taste" Tracks pictures and stick them to the underside of the hinged wooden lids of our desks so that when we lifted them to get out our school books, the rest of the crew could get a giggle while the maths teacher continued with the hypothetical drone of "let x equal the unknown quantity".
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.

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