Tuesday, August 12, 2008

From The Archives Vol. II

"Before you turn around, you've spent maybe 20, 25, 30 thousand dollars on a movie."
-- Jack Horner

The Colonel (this one, not the one from the aforementioned film) has been on a bit of an 80's kick lately. But I think it's time to move into the 90's, when pink went black and surf movies went straight to video.

Okay, that's not entirely true.

Surf FILMS turned into VIDEOS as early as, well, the early 80's. We talked about Off The Wall II the other day and that was one of the first straight-t0-video surf flicks, and that was all the way back in 1984.

But I mean, really, how many people were actually buying surf movies in the 80's? I just pulled out some old issues of Surfing from 1986 and there were a few ads for surf movies on videotape, but they ranged in price from $70 (new releases) to $40 (bargain clearance). And those are 1986 dollars. That's over a hundred bucks in 2008 caish for friggin' Son Of The Last Surf Movie.

Kind of a rip.

The first video I remember that a significant number of surfers went out and actually purchased, was Billabong's Filthy Habits...right around '88/'89.

Which bring us to the 90's. For those of you old enough to remember, there was ONE video that really blew open the home video market for surf movies. In 1991 you either owned Kelly Slater In Black & White...or your roommate did.

But it was Taylor Steele, arch-nemesis of Surfer movie critic, Ben Marcus, and the undisputed king of 90's surf porn, who really turned the surf video "industry" into an Industry.

When the Colonel was living at 5010 Saratoga in OB in the spring of 1994, he and his roommates used to watch Momentum II over and over again in an effort to up the stoke level in between bong loads before yet another slop session at Av's.

This was my favorite segment.

So I was pretty stoked a couple of years later when, as an Arts & Entertainment writer for the Daily Aztec, I got the assignment to interview the king of surf porn for a front page article.

I hung around with Steele for a couple of days, went to his house, had lunch at Pipes in Cardiff, lurked at his "office" which was actually an extra room tucked in the back of some screenprinting shop, and even did a photoshoot of him surfing with his good buddy, Rob Machado. Kind of a "the director and his muse share a wave" sort of thing...not a bad bit of creative direction for a 5th year state college kid.

I even pulled in the Ant Man, back when he was still doing fraternity parties for Cal Candids and almost 10 years before he became a staff photographer for Surfer Magazine, to do the shoot.

Hey Rob, try not to be a dick, okay?

That's better. Thanks.

A few weeks later I got to stroll around the SDSU campus and see copies of my front page article strewn about, fluttering across the pavement like newsprint tumbleweeds, and getting stuffed behind and beneath every chair and desk on campus.

It was a proud moment.

The Colonel says, "At ease...but from the beach. And no slo-mo."