I woke up on a mattress, on a lawn. The house from the outside looks like something you’d have seen on the news. Trash thrown about, empty beer cans, mattress (and me) on the lawn, a girl looking for her purse in the garden. This is the …Lost house in San Clemente during the mid ’90s. I was brought here by my sisters long-gone ex-boyfriend. I was young. I didn’t know what I had gotten myself into or what I had witnessed the night before, but it would come to be that the occupants and the the things this house produced would tell me things about myself I wouldn’t be able to see for years to come. And it wasn’t until seeing the films that the pieces would start falling in to place.
From the opening waves of Wardo burning a guy and proceeding to flip him the bird. To the screeching sounds of T.S.O.L telling us to indeed “Fuck The Dead.” These films had it all for a brand, and an age in surfing, where rules didn’t apply. It ran wide open, gassing the throttle in the opposite direction of what we were all comfortable with. And Joe Crimo’s pop-shuvits made us feel uncomfortable. And Randall’s rants warning people not to come to San Clemente made us feel uncomfortable. And Chris Orr eating rice off the ground in a drunken haze did so too. But all of it was sick, and documented and exuding the less polished side of surfing with relentless energy and realism. And as much as the industry tried to ignore them, we all knew them. Hell most of us were them. And it all woke up the masses to what was really going wrong.
Watch any and all of these and you’ll know what I’m getting at.
And it’s modern day surfing that has a little something missing from it’s arsenal. It’s watered down weaponry. Because no one has the patience to do this anymore. And no one in the corporate world is ballsy enough to order more of this. They’d rather get more web clips of people falling in shorebreak from @kookoftheday. More post-heat interviews in the Gold Coast sunshine. But the long-term, we’re going to suffer for that. Because instead of Wardo and Randall, we’re getting kooks falling down and Kolohe’s repetitive soundbite.
No one is showing the raw underbelly of a culture that doesn’t bode so well when you’re trying to sell a product. Of any kind. And …Lost encapsulated that behavior. The stuff you wouldn’t want your mom to see, though we all do it at some point. And maybe it shouldn’t be shown, and perhaps it doesn’t want to be seen in this day and age. But that lifestyle is still here and now, and it always will be. You can’t sweep it under a spreadsheet. We still need films that don’t pull back. That are powerful enough to instill change (or at least remind us to run a little wild).
And maybe it was the hair being lit on fire. The 16 years young Wardo part. The nudity. The punk soundtracks. The mischief. The Floridian trade shows. And the mayhem. Maybe it was all of that, that slowed things down back then and served as tempo for time that really never needed to be kept anyway. Maybe it was a train wreck that scarred me for life, for the better. Like a series of photographs shown to someone after an accident, of what they looked like, of who they were. Who I am now is a direct reflection of these films, and will be till the day I die. And when that day comes people will come to my funeral and they will think they knew me, and cry when I’m gone. But they will not know, even in the slightest of ways, the person who woke up on a mattress, on a lawn in San Clemente. —Brady Field