Searching For Michael Peterson

6 10 2009

mpdoc-poster2

During the early and mid ’70s Michael Peterson was the best surfer in Australia. He was an Australian champion in 1972 and 1974 and gained fame for his legendary tube ridding skills and lanky yet stylish surfing. He was a Gold Coast legend and was about to become a world-wide surf star.

Peterson was known for smoking massive amounts of marijuana before and after sessions. This was the ’70s on the Gold Coast, so this doesn’t come as any big surprise. But Peterson’s fast living eventually took its toll and culminated during a police chase in 1983 that attracted national news coverage akin to surfing’s version of O.J. Simpson’s wild Bronco ride…without the murder and with more drugs. Eventually, he was caught, but not before Australian police sent 35 patrol cars after him. Sadly, he never surfed again.

In Sean Doherty’s biography, MP: The Life of Michael Peterson, he writes about Peterson’s heroin addiction, a major contributor his demise, and his struggles with undiagnosed schizophrenia.

The following is a trailer from Searching for Michael Peterson, an independent documentary by Jolyon Hoff that premieres in San Francisco tomorrow and plays throughout California this month. Visit www.searchingformichaelpeterson.com.au for tour dates or to buy the DVD.

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22 responses

6 10 2009
Jeff

Man, if this dude was a musician, this would totally be the template formula for a VH1 Behind the Music: Rise – Fame – Drugs – Jail.

6 10 2009
Jay

Drugs, surfing and high speed police chases. Where do I sign up?

7 10 2009
Bimbo B. White

I named my first born child after Peterson’s famous cutback. I’m happy to announce “Cutty Peterson White” was born after in the wee hours on Monday morning. He weighed in at 8 pounds 6 ounces. Interestingly enough, its reported that Peterson carried that exact amount of weed on him at all times. I did have a backup plan. If It were a girl, I would have named her Fate.

7 10 2009
Blasphemy Rottmouth

lol @ the Marlboro umbrella. Those were the days.

And here we see two legendary surfing cowboys, Joe Camel and Bull Durham, about to duke it out in some tasty North Shore waves.

“Come to Marlboro country, come to where the flavor is.”

“I’d walk a mile for a Camel.”

7 10 2009
The Nug

I’m pretty sure the above photo was taken right before the Stubbies final in 1977. I don’t know who took it. Maybe someone can help me here (Tim?). Peterson went on to wax MR in the final.

7 10 2009
James

Yes…1977 Stubbies contest, and he smoked a joint in the carpark right before the final with MR.

7 10 2009
Mike

That’s Burleigh Blasphemy…..

7 10 2009
Sherwin

@Mike,

You mean to tell us that isn’t really Joe Camel and Bull Durham too?

My world has been crushed.

8 10 2009
Mike

Flatter than a fall day in Europe here, so I popped onto an old, dead blog to find dave the mailman holding court with a bagel…… trying to breath life into a dead dog that has been abandoned. Or not.

Apology retracted DM.

9 10 2009
Dave Mailman

Ahhh, there’s the old Mike we know and love!
Yes, a few of us are still nostalgic for the glory days of old on PostSurf…
Always nice to hear from you Mike! I still hope we do meet in person one day. I’d be interested to meet the man behind the mask, so to speak. Hope your next surf is a good one. It’s flat here too. Don’t let it get to you!
Cheers,
DM 😉

9 10 2009
Mike

Good Morning DM……

Flatter than yesterday…. or a normal day at Mundaka.

Ok, Davo, how can they run this entire contest with only afternoon low tides? Didn’t someone check a tide chart before booking this event? Are there no winds there to worry about? Seems ambitious to consider running an entire contest when the venue has such small windows and those exist during sea breeze arvo’s. Or do they have Europes only offshore tradewind?

We had smokin tubes earlier this week, so you call off the suicide intervention, but we need a winter bad…. the indians(me) are getting restless. Three shitty consecutive winters probably translates to acerbic comments, a sociological study in progress. Please end this inhumane experiment…..

9 10 2009
Dave Mailman

Hey Mike!

Good luck with your experiment. Funny. I’ve been taking part in the same study. I haven’t surf since 3 days before the Pro France started! Had a few holes of golf to take the edge off though.

As for Mundaka, they were a breath away from canning it, then last year they got surf and decided to keep on keepin’ on. Just for the record, I don’t defend Mundaka as a Tour stop at this time of year, as it is a roll of the dice. It would be best as a Specialty event in January or February, or even better as 1 of 4 grand slams with only the Top 16 and points towards the Title, but I digress.

As for this year, they’ve got 39 heats (and the break between the semis and final). With 30 minute heats they need 20 hours. 12 hours if they use dual heat format (semis don’t overlap+break+final). It’s light enough to run heats from 8am to 7pm give or take 30 minutes each way. Possibility for surf tomorrow, Monday (maybe Tuesday), and Friday looks good. Tides are small swing tomorrow, medium midweek and pretty major on Friday. They can probably get in 4-5 hours tomorrow, 3 hours on Monday, and 6-8 hours on Friday. Those are optimistic times. Worst case scenario, cut them in half and they’re in the shit. I bet Snips wishes it had been consistent enough to run Dual Heats on Day 1. As for the wind, S/SE/E are the best directions, but even howling on-shore doesn’t affect it too much as long as there’s a bit of swell. If I were a betting man, I’d say they still end up doing at least 8 heats at Sopelana, but I sure as hell hope I’m wrong!
Pray for surf!

I put the links for the Mundaka surf/wind and tide below if you want to crunch the numbers to take your mind off the flat spell at home.

http://windguru.com/fr/index.php?sc=48688
http://www.tablademareas.com/guipuzcoa

9 10 2009
Dave Mailman

Almost forgot! Should be some official news from ASP tomorrow as concerning decisions taken at the Board Meeting… Drum roll please!

9 10 2009
Dave Mailman

This link provides some proof that Mundaka does break more often in September than there are recorded sightings of the Loch Ness monster…

http://www.surfinglife.com.au/worldtour/home/2096-asls-world-tour-euro-correspondent-loses-the-news

11 10 2009
Dave Mailman

For the latest from Mundaka… err, Sopelana, just click on this link for quite a few words from Freddy P.

http://insurfnews.com/?p=1146

11 10 2009
Mike

At least that video tells it as it is, Dave. Candor is refreshing.

The “historic” meeting reveals what? 13 fewer guys, more money ( didn’t reveal how much) and a restructuring of ASP management.

It reads like the sheep were pacified by incremental “changes” while the Elepahnt in the Room snores away.

I’ve written the template for a new tour Dave, pass it along. This tour is as relevant as it’s replacement venue for Minidaka. Change is the only inevitablility in life, embrace that dynamic ASP. The clothiers will acquiesce to keep their marketing campaigns, don’t worry about them.

11 10 2009
Dave Mailman

Mike,

I agree that they could have implemented a few more changes while they were at it. There are still many more things in the works. Will they all come to fruition? Probably not. Will things continue to improve thanks to what has been implemented? Probably yes.

Anyway, I would love to pass along your template for a new tour. Excuse my memory lapse, but if you’ve already put it out there in one of your comments, please let me know which one? Otherwise, maybe Nug can act as an intermediary. Nug, would you mind passing my e-mail along to Mike, since I would rather not print it here for all to see. Mike, I trust your discretion. I get enough abuse on these comment boards, and I don’t need an in-box full of it too!

Thanks.

DM

11 10 2009
Mike

Dave this can be forwarded to me…. http://www.yieldqwest.co.nz/index.php?pr=contact, by the managing director.

11 10 2009
Dave Mailman

Mike,

Done. Look forward to hearing from you. I will pass all info to Brodie and the other relevant people on the inside. Thanks in advance!

Best,

Dave

11 10 2009
Dave Mailman

For anyone interested in Ian Cairns’ take on the ASP, click here:

http://www.surfline.com/surf-news/open-letter-to-the-asp–on-the-eve-of-historic-board-meeting-ian-cairns-offers-advice-to-the-asp_31201/

Agree with it or not, he’s gives a very lengthy take on the current situation and what he thinks needs to be done. Nothing really new, but interesting to see what a founding father thinks three decades on…

12 10 2009
Blasphemy Rottmouth

I fucked a loaf of wheat bread once.

13 10 2009
Dave Mailman

Blas,

Is there anything you haven’t had sex with, or fantasized about having sex with?
And when is your next blog entry coming out?

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