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Showing posts with label Throwbacks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Throwbacks. Show all posts

Bel Air Bay Club Jetty, 1939.

In the late 1930s, Santa Monica teenager Don James roamed the California coastline with a band of friends and their 90-pound wooden surfboards. They slept in lifeguard huts and lived off of abalone scooped from the ocean, and avocados and oranges pilfered from nearby farms. They did it all in the name of surfing, which had recently landed in their home state.

James had seen Tom Blake’s surf photographs in National Geographic, and at the age of 16, he began taking his own with his dad’s Kodak Brownie—the first camera marketed and accessible to non-professionals. The black-and-white photos he made in the 1930s, ’40s, and ’50s show his friends riding waves in tandem and replenishing themselves after a long day in the water by catching lobsters, strumming on ukuleles, and lounging under palms.

He became one of the first to chronicle the culture developing around surfing as it spread south from Malibu to Santa Monica and San Onofre. By the 1960s, when the sport broke into the mainstream, James remained one of its most celebrated documentarians. Surfer Magazine tapped James and younger photographers like Ron Stoner to shoot the exploding California surf community. He updated his craft as the technology changed, too, eventually capturing teeming surf contests and crowded beaches in color.

Ralph Kiewit, Jack Quigg, Dick Reed and Roger Bohning, Malibu 1939.

During the post Gidget era his talents appeared in commercials and on posters, Don James has been described as "The Premier Photographer of Surfing".

Don's beloved best-seller book is finally back in print, Surfing San Onofre to Point Dume: 1936-1942 , tells the story of the heady and innocent years of Santa Monica's nascent surf scene just prior to America's entry into World War II. Beautifully designed, this intimate, album-sized collection of photographs, printed in rich duotones and evocative color, captures the optimism and experimentation, the styles, the flirtatiousness and the freedoms taken--all from an insider's point of view. They were made by the young Don James, a teenager who documented the scene with his father's old Kodak folding camera when he wasn't up on a longboard himself. Out in the surf, down on the sand, aboard somebody's boat, dancing around a campfire, back-flipping off the lifeguard stand, collecting lobster, drinking at the bar and generally wearing as little as possible, here are the regulars of the southern California beach scene, un-self-conscious and perpetually glamorous, alongside loving portraits of the beach and the ocean themselves.

"It was a balmy Sunday and the news about the Japanese attack upon Pearl Harbor was coming in over the radio. We were paying $60 a month for rent, which was split three ways, and life was good. Suddenly everything had changed. We all knew we were going off to war." For the half-decade preceding World War II, photographer Don James and his cronies lived in the balmy Eden of the southern California coastline, surfing from San Onofre north to Point Dume. "Surfing is life all the rest is details," someone once philosophized. In Don James's six-year diary of life in paradise, surfing is indeed life, but the beauty is in the details. James's sun-drenched remembrance of a paradise lost introduces us to a cast of golden children that Bruce Weber might well envy, and leaves us with at least one mystery: What ever became of Jack Power? According to Surfing San Onofre to Point Dume , "One day he walked down the beach and was never seen nor heard of again." Where did Jack Power go? Into the sunset, no doubt. Where the details hide.
Imagine surfing a perfect blue wave on a 90-pound redwood longboard, off a deserted beach of sparkling white sand. Surfing San Onofre to Point Dume takes us back to the halcyon days of pre-war California, when the earliest American surfers were busy inventing beach culture. Meet these tussle-haired free spirits who camped on the deserted beaches of Southern California, had lobster bakes and luaus with local Hollywood girls, and surfed at a time when nobody knew what surfing was. The beautiful and nostalgic photographs that surfer Don James took of himself and his friends capture the lost Eden of the California surf dream in all its glory and innocence.





A stretch of Santa Monica Beach that was once a gathering place for black Angelenos could find a spot on the National Register of Historic Places. That's the goal of black heritage activists who are gearing up for their next step in the drive to designate the 55-acre site near the end of Pico Boulevard once derogatorily known as “The Inkwell.” By Jorge Casuso
From left: Grace Williams, Albert Williams, Mary Mingleton, Willie Williams (no relation) in the segregated section of Santa Monica beach known as the Ink Well ca. 1926 (Shades of L.A. Collection, Los Angeles Public Library)


A stretch of Santa Monica Beach that was once a gathering place for black Angelenos could find a spot on the National Register of Historic Places.

That's the goal of black heritage activists who are gearing up for their next step in the drive to designate the 55-acre site near the end of Pico Boulevard once derogatorily known as “The Inkwell.”

On May 8, California’s State Historical Resources Commission will review the nomination at its quarterly meeting in Palm Springs, activists said.

The Bay Street Beach Historic District, according to a draft of the National Register application, is "a rare example of an African American seaside recreation and leisure site as well as a community cultural focusing point."

Alison R. Jefferson, a prominent black historian who is co-sponsoring the application, said the designation makes "the history of the African American experience in the region more visible."

She is urging supporters to help by writing letters backing the nomination that are due on Tuesday, April 23. For instructions click here .

The designation -- which "aligns with the goals" of the California Coastal Commission’s landmark environmental justice policy adopted in March -- provides "a little more symbolic equity and social justice for all," Jefferson said,

The nomination's co-sponsor, Sea of Clouds, a nonprofit that focuses on preserving coastal places, says "The Inkwell" represents a part of the Jim Crow era that should not be forgotten.

“As much as beach recreation and sport are indelible parts of California’s identity, so too must be its history of exclusion in these public spaces," said Michael Blum, the organization's executive director.

"A National Register listing will work in service of the personal stories, remembrances, and connections to the Bay Street beach area, as it sits within a changing city, coastline, and climate.”

The Bay Street Beach Historic District became an extension of Santa Monica's black community and a destination for blacks living in Los Angeles shortly after the turn of the 20th Century.

The "period of significance" begins in 1908 when the Phillips Chapel Colored Methodist Episcopal Church building was purchased from the Santa Monica School District and relocated to the corner of Fourth and Bay Streets, according to the application.

The church became "an anchor for local African American spiritual and community life," the application said.

Soon, the beach just four blocks away became a haven for black beachgoers, who "faced exclusion, harassment, even violence" in other coastal areas.

The period ends in 1965 with the passage of the federal Voting Rights Act (VRA), which along with the Civil Rights Act of 1964, ended "an era of de jure discrimination and segregation," the application said.

If the Bay Street Beach Historic District makes it on to the National Register, it would join an estimated 8 percent of the 93,000 properties and 1.4 million individual resources that represent women and minorities

The designation would help to better represent "the breadth of the American story," Jefferson said.


The Malibu surfer who Sean Penn based his "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" character on has no idea he was the inspiration for Jeff Spicoli.


Boardriders Malibu and Vintage Surfboard Collector Club are hosting the Topanga Surf Swap. Mark your calendars on February 9 - 7am to 2 pm, for some epic vibes! Whether your looking to buy, sell or trade, there will be boards and gear for everyone!

Boardriders Malibu
18820 Pacific Coast Hwy
Malibu, Ca 80265
310 - 359 - 8274


Check out photos from the last event: Topanga Vintage Surf Swap


Venice Beach Photographer Josh "Bagel" Klassman will be one of the featured artists at the next Midnite Bazaar.

Bagel will be showing off pieces from his huge collection of photos he took as a surfer/skater growing up in Venice:



Some of his works will also be for sale at his booth.


Here's video that just got uploaded about the past Venice Surf-A-Thons.


Venice, CA is tiny beach town that has had a HUGE impact on underground youth culture. This place has given the world some unreal illustrators, and one of them goes by the name of RIC CLAYTON or RxCx for short. He is a true OG Suicidal Boy and the band’s go-to artist for most of their early flyers. Seeing the rad shit Ric drew for each show was just as important as the line up. He was a genius at turning their lyrics into illustrations that still resonate with youth culture today.

A new book has just been released about Ric and his art: Welcome to Venice RxCx , available now on Amazon


The new book Welcome to Venice RxCx published by Kill Your Idols gives you an in-depth look into Ric’s influence on SoCal underground culture. Straight up, he is one of the most influential punk artists to come out of the 80’s.


Another thing that really made him stand out from other illustrators of the day were the button down shirts that he drew on. If you were a Venice/Mar Vista/Santa Monica local who was down with Suicidal Tendencies, you would get in touch with Ric, hit him with $15 or maybe less – I’m not sure – come back in a week or so, and he would hand you a one of a kind Suicidal shirt (this was before silk screening shirts became the norm). For some people, seeing a bunch of dudes rocking these shirts with blue bandanas struck fear in their hearts. These shirts become famous because they were featured on the cover of Suicidal Tendencies’ debut album. The new book features a rad photo essay of RxC’s hand drawn button down shirts, compiled by the man himself.


His black and white illustrations for thrash punk band Suicidal Tendencies are instantly recognizable around the world. Clayton was in the mix just as punk and metal cross-pollinated in the early 80s, but he also stood at the crossroads of the Dogtown skating scene and cholo culture in Los Angeles. Impossibly, Clayton embodied and portrayed all of these movements simultaneously in his artwork. In Welcome to Venice you'll enjoy a generous serving of this riveting artist's output, including fliers and album artwork for Venice bands such as Neighborhood Watch, Excel, Against, Beowlf, No Mercy and naturally, Suicidal Tendencies.
Allen Sarlo, Venice Breakwater, December 1985


Photographer Josh "Bagel" Klassman has finally created a website to share his huge collection of photos he took as a surfer/skater growing up in Venice:

The majority of my photos that you will see on here were shot from the mid 1980'z to the mid 1990'z. That era was an extremely volatile, gritty, dangerous, violent, chaotic, crazy, unruly, insane, and radical on many levels, and for me being 14 to 25 years old during that time it was all a beautiful disaster and very fun to say the least, I loved every second of it. Oh ya, and let's not forget all of that beautiful graffiti, the more the better, graffiti art, tagging, gangster style, murals, stories, political, statements, every style of graffiti covered the streets and it made for an incredible esthetic. My photos are an insiders perspective, I was a part of all you see, it was my every day life. I was a participant documenting my world...


Head over to Josh "Bagel" Klassman Photography and check out vintage photos of how Venice used to be.

Follow Bagel on Instagram too at @jbk_photos

.     
Jay Adams



Check out this raw video footage from the archives of Venice Skatepark and Venice Surf-A-Thon founder Ger-I Lewis.

Gotcha feeling nostalgic? Check out Ger-I's book, 1978: Crashed Memories




Mickey Dora and Johnny Fain may be among the contestants in this digitized home video from about 1966.



From "The Living Curl" (1965,2008), a surf film by Jamie Budge



One California Day is a 2007 documentary film about surfing shot in six coastal regions in California. Directed by Mark Jeremias and Jason Baffa, the film looks at the experience of California surfing.



The Brothers Marshall representing First Point Malibu in Jack McCoy's documentary A Deeper Shade Of Blue

Watch the full film on Amazon: A Deeper Shade Of Blue



20 years ago, Venice pro Rick Massie was interviewed by a Socal surf/skate/snowboard/music magazine called KOR Magazine. KOR was one of those free mags that you found at most southern California surf and skate shops back in the late '90s. The mag has been dead for long time, but we found issue #3 in our storage. And while looking for stuff to post for Throwback Thursdays, the interview with a local Venice pro seems ideal, so here's the interview and photos from the 1-page spread:

Sean Planck So how did you get into surfing?
Rick Massie When I was (young). I used to just hang out down by the beach, because that's what all the Mexicans used to do (laughs). A couple of friends of my sisters and brothers used to surf, just messing around, so I tried it out, picked it up,and never gave it up. I just want to keep surfing.
SP How old were you?
RM Eleven.
SP That was in Venice, right?
RM Right
SP I was reading the write up the LA Times did on you. They portrayed you as kind of a "bad boy" of surfing. What's up with that?
RM I guess because I'm kind of an outcast in the surfing world. Nobody is like me. Nobody grew up with the lifestyle I did. People don't look at me as a surfer. Like when I go to a club or something, people I meet are like "You Surf!?"


Like last night I was at a Laker game. This guy who gave us the tickets, I think he works for GTE, he was telling my manager "Somebody hit me up to sponsor a Latino surfing contest. I didn't know Latinos surfed!" (Laughs) And I'm standing right there next to him! So my manager says "This is Rick Massie, professional surfer. He's Mexican." The guy says "Wow really? I never knew Mexicans can surf." I mean there are Mexican surfers on the scene, but nobody that grew up in the ghetto. nobody that grew up within the gangs. Not that I'm in a gang, but I've always been around it. But people look at me more as a gang member than a surfer.
SP Do you ever have any trouble with sponsors, being from Venice? Like they don't want that image?
RM Yeah. Nobody wants to push Venice. They don't like L.A. No surf company like L.A. L.A. has a bad rep. With the riots, and the gangs, and the drive-bys. So nobody wants anything to do with L.A., and they don't realize that L.A. is a very marketable place that can sell. But the big companies are looking for that blonde haired, blue eyed surfer from Orange County. And I'm far from that.
SP And who are you riding for now?
RM Right now I ride for these Japanese companies. Airtight, Ocean Gear, and my surfboard sponsor, Scott Anderson. But right now I'm looking to find a sponsor outside of surfing. Something different. Something like Tecate or something that's a Mexican type of thing. Surf companies like to market to themselves with that blonde haired blue eyed image. I'm not that. I'm far from anything like that. I don't want to be something i'm not. I don't want to be fake. I'll always be from Venice. I'll always be Mexican.
SP Where do you like to surf in California?
RM In California? Venice. (laughs) I just like surfing out front, just getting some waves. But really nowhere in particular. I just want to surf wherever there's waves, be with my friends, and have fun. That's one thing I like about Venice. You know everybody. If you don't, they ain't gonna paddle around you. (laughs) But it's cool like that. I like being right next to home, so I can just go home and shower afterwards without driving home.
SP What about the world?
RM My favorite surf spot in the world? I like Mexico. That's where I'm going next month.
SP Whereabouts?
RM Puerto Escondido, in Oaxaca. The waves are really good there. I've been there three times. Every time I've had good waves. I've been a lot of places, but I like Mexico best. I feel at home there. I feel comfortable. I know a lot of people down there. I know the language pretty much, so I feel comfortable down there.
SP How long have you been pro?
RM I turned pro when I was 18, so six years now.
SP Music?
RM Anything, really. From rap to rock. I even like some country. But you won't catch me with no cowboy hat on. (laughs) I got friends that are rap artist, like Kid Frost, and I got friends that are rock like Ponro for Pyros and those guys . It's cool when you know the people, cuz you really get to know the music.
SP Do you snowboard?
RM Yeah. Once in a while. i like it, but it hurts! It's not like falling on water. (laughs)
SP What about skating?
RM Yeah, I do a little skating now and then. I don't skate much anymore. I had a halfpipe in my backyard as a kid.
SP Any closing words of wisdom to up and coming surfers?
RM You can tell these kids everything, and they'll just do what they want. The message I got is be yourself. Don't be fake. There's so many little kids trying to copy pros' styles. Be an original, not an imitator.

For this week's Throwback Thursday, we got Val-Surf's 1988 Winter Catalog. They sent these out in the mail to customers on their mailing list. Here's some high resolution scans of each page.