I scrolled through the doldrums of Instagram, and I saw that What Youth was offering free tickets to the premiere of their long anticipated film, Cluster. I entered their contest. I wrote them an email. I had to go. The premiere was in Downtown Los Angeles. I live 10 minutes away in Echo Park. How could I not go to this fucking premiere?
They got back to me. They said they didn’t have tickets. I said fuck. I texted my friend Jordy Corden. He’s the guy who introduced me to What Youth on a Thursday night in Santa Cruz when he told me to come over to see some sick surf video. I wasn’t wearing a shirt. I didn’t wear shirts a lot when I lived in Santa Cruz. Whatever I came over to see that night wasn’t a mind melting, catastrophic changing of the winds in who I would become as a person, but it still stuck with me. I began going to What Youth for a fix of inspiration. Eventually, I got my hands on a few issues, and the next thing you know I became a full fledged fan.
Jordy graduated college and landed at a fancy Hollywood film production office as an assistant. I called him to tell him about the premiere. I told him they didn’t have any tickets. He said fuck. He came up with an idea. He wrote an email using his work email address, suggesting his Hollywood power. He sent me the email to edit.
I told him to use the word “fuck” because it was, and is, important to be fearlessly yourself in these type of situations, even if you’re deceiving someone. We say fuck, so he added a fuck and got us four tickets to the premiere.
What happened that night was beyond legendary. Brendan Gibbens wore a turtleneck. Anthony Keidis sat behind us, and his mustache looked great. Kai Neville made the best surf film I have ever seen. We whooped and hollered and laughed and spilled beers on ourselves and on strange kids who whooped and hollered and laughed in their own cadences. Every minute of the experience was invigorating. When I got home with my girlfriend, we didn’t feel like we did something wrong. We knew we were supposed to be there. We are both creative people and seeing Cluster was one of those reminders that we, the weirdos, need to hear from other weirdos from time to time to tell us to say fuck and to reach out to take what is supposed to be ours and to create whatever it is that we create without any fucking hesitation. —Jeff Alper