I’m elbow-deep in EOS housecleaning this week, which, let’s be honest, means fixing shit I didn’t do right the first time. Like posting all these Joints on the actual EOS site, as opposed to just lodging them in your inbox each Sunday. The Joint itself, for that matter, was invented in order to fix a mistake: I began sending these in September 2017, but there should have been a weekly newsletter baked into EOS when the site went up back in 2013.
My learning curve matches my bottom turn: long and slow.
I’ve mentioned this to some of you person-to-person, but it’s worth saying here in public: the Sunday Joint has become my favorite part of the workweek. It’s taken me back to writing, which I haven’t done much of since History of Surfing came out ten years ago. Better still, it’s opened a line of communication to you guys that didn’t previously exist. In fact, the Sunday Joint leads directly to the Monday Crack, in which I get to happily fuck off all other EOS duties and responsibilities in order to pass emails back and forth with whoever has a Joint-related comment or critique.
My job satisfaction matches my Scrabble game: soaring, majestic, unbeatable.
Anyway, we’ve posted maybe 30% of the Joints (big thanks to EOS first-round draft pick Brad Barrett), so you can now type ‘sunday joint’ into the EOS search bar and dive in. Click here for results. Or if you’re looking for a specific Joint rip from the past, try that in the search box and if we’ve already loaded the page it will show up. ‘Bob McTavish,’ for example, brings up this 2018 Joint. The opening photo for all the newly-posted Sunday Joints looks something the two shots you see above.
The bigger housecleaning job involves going through all 800-plus EOS video clips and figuring out which ones are doing the job, which ones can be tossed, and which ones need to be remade. Basically, the first 400 need to be remade, because they’re too short or cropped wrong or exported at the wrong size and blah blah etc etc. Apologies. I was learning on the job. I know you don’t hold those early clips against me, but we’re all gonna be happier when the EOS videos are fully up to snuff, and may I direct your attention to a few deep cuts you may have missed:
“Surfing and Smoking in the Sixties.” Black Lung, by all rights, should have taken that whole generation.
“Surfing Dogs.” Pandemic disease, civil unrest, Depression II, climate change—I’m freaked out too, but this four-year-old clip calmed me away for 90 seconds, and hopefully it’ll do the same for you.
“Surfer’s Knots.” Jeez, it was a freakshow for a while there. Yuck.
Finally, I reloaded a full episode of Malibu U, a short-lived 1967 surf-themed musical variety TV show hosted by a clearly not-very-interested Ricky Nelson. The show was glaringly silly and half-assed, maybe even quarter-assed, but nonetheless booked some platinum hitmakers, including Marvin Gaye, Buffalo Springfield, and most famously the Doors, who lip-synched “Light My Fire” on a blufftop somewhere just north of Malibu. Most of the Doors did, anyway. Jim Morrison no-showed the actual Malibu U beachfront shoot, so Ron Krieger, brother of Doors guitarist Robbie Krieger, put on a blue-and-white T-shirt and pretended to be Morrison, singing with his back to the camera. Somebody then towel-snapped the Lizard King’s princely ass, ’cause the next day, in the same shirt Krieger had worn, Morrison sang “Fire” in closeup for the cameras, and the Malibu U editors mashed the two sessions together to make it look, kinda sorta, like the whole band was together. Watch here. I’ve never been much of a Doors fan, partly because I want at least a hint of humor from my rock and rollers and the Doors fail utterly in this respect (ditto U2, and, I gotta say, Led Zep is on the cusp as well), but here the band goes full Spinal Tap and I just watched this clip again for maybe the sixth time and it still cracks me up, so I’m calling this a win for the band.
Thanks for reading, everybody. Stay well. A lot of the surfing bans have been lifted around the world over the past two or three weeks, and I hope you guys are finding a bit of solace out there during this relentlessly difficult period. See you next week.