sent to boarding school aged 7 / taught to box aged 7 by the nuns / buggered off out of a bathroom window after 2 years / educated at waverley college, terminated early and without a ticket (a few problems with the brothers – nothing life-threatening) / continued the walk to life at hawkesbury river and tallangatta outward bound / buried 5 students and 2 instructors who drowned in the hume weir in winter / met the duke of edinburgh at a boat handover – strange fucker him / travelled south and west with the itnerant fruitpickers / travelled north to noosa with a mate who had a spare seat in his car, that’s Mick / drove past lennox without looking / met bob cooper, bob mctavish and russell hughes at Noosa / 1963 – grounded in byron with no money and only queenslanders as friends / didn’t buy any cheap land at wategos / found work and the meaning of life at walkers slaughterhouse / bagged a back seat in Jimmy Keevers’s red merc / lusted after wendy and denice / envied keith paul’s cool riding / saw Tallows firing just the once, breaking like a rivermouth down the beach
1964 – got on a ship and sailed away forever / landed in the uk in winter, found the poms a little moody, the girls though were a different matter completely / challenged a pom to put me in hospital in a street fight and never saw the bottle from behind / did europe in the back of a car with two canadians who didn’t talk to me / found that portugal had a few waves / found tangier was full of english strange and quality kif and extremely cheap rooms and the whiff of burroughs and kerouac was still strong / got off a ferry at gibraltar / stayed a year, took certain liberties / just avoided being belted by UK marines on leave from Biafra / found out that many morrocan men are ‘ hands on ‘ friends / got on a ship and went to the US forever / bought a wreck in nj and went to mexico via florida along some very strange roads / met a black lady in phoenix who thought australians ate aboriginals / found waves in mexico / had our boards tossed off a cliff and shat upon in baja / figured yanks for utter hometown dimwits / washed up in a vancouver motel in winter with $54 and two books by steinbeck / sat in a train for four days from vancouver to quebec with a bloke who looked like bob dylan / flew back to gibraltar for the dark haired girl / introduced bob dylan as ambient music in a couple of Arab nightclubs / brought her home to bondi / worked in enough Sydney pubs to learn how to duck a fight and land a punch / two daughters joined us after a while and they still insist on their supremacy / washed cars / wired up old river mansions / worked in bars – nightclubs – building sites – slaughterhouses – hotels – farms – orchards – car-yards – game boats – nightclubs – river boats – offices – /
potted surfing history: bondi in the 50’s / byron in the 60’s/ northern beaches in the 70’s to ’10 / back of byron today – friend of some better side of human nature.
header shot is of b’joe head some long time ago – stretch, northcote and one or two others attending. I was under the overhang just waiting for this thing,