I am Bruce Irons! And So Can You!
Fiasco capitalism is the name of the hustle at Stab. We take the money, we spend the money, we borrow some more, we spend some more, it leeches back, we lose, waste, squander and fire the money gun at any problem we face. In six years of dumb fun, we’ve created a unique economic model, so not-for-profit, but totally for fun.
On May 12, in the predatory urban hell of Bondi with its swindling whites and pram-pushing jaspers, talk came around to gimmicks. The counter of money said we needed to mark our product (Stab) with the distinctiveness that launched the title. Once upon a time, he said, we had it all: choppers, wavepools and the ear of world champions.
“I want a striking magazine again,” he said, blowing the air through the gap in his uppers. Thin lips opened and closed over the dazzle of expensively maintained teeth kept in line by invisible retainers.
I thrive on the energy our customers bring in every day and my repost was immediate and possibly genius. We build a giant magazine frame, complete with coverlines but with a cut-out for the cover shot, I proposed. We then affix the cover to a jetski and just as, say, Bruce Irons, is getting barrelled at Ours, we line up the cover in the channel and shoot through it
Within the week the waves had come and Bruce was standing at the arrivals hall at Kingsford Smith, wrapped in the platonic embrace of Koby.Abberton. Nathan Fletcher came too, a hustler at the apex of the performance pyramid. Despite the May barrage of freezing winds, Koby wore a December ensemble.
“Shorts and sandals? What the fuck! You feeling Hawaiian?” said Bruce.
“I’m feeling the spirit,” said Koby.
“How big are the waves?” asked Bruce.
”Maybe 12 feet,” said Koby.
“I got a five-ten, a six-o and a six-one, I’m going to be fine,” said the Hawaiian.
“But the swell’s south, bra,” said Koby, meaning the waves would be very powerful.
“I don’t even know what that means, Koby,” laughed Bruce.
Enter the fiasco aspect of our capitalistic model. While the counter of money paddled out to Cape Solander to prove that the apparently crumbly, but big, burgers were actually tubes as succulent as honeysuckle, Bruce skipped two hours south with Mick Fanning to surf a wave that would be captured by a paparazzi of photographers. Australia’s premier surfing magazine Tracks would later run a photo from the session on the cover with the words, The South Coast Duel: Mick Fanning vs Bruce Irons. Our Bruce!
Meantime, the set designer commissioned to build the cover was hoodwinked by our confusing written instructions. He came back with a metal frame with the word Stab hanging from the top strut on a background of Perspex. Twenty c-clamps secured the operation.
As the swell and Bruce disappeared over the next three days, the cover shoot idea also began to evaporate. Suddenly, the day before Bruce was on a plane to Fiji, our despondent phones lit up. Bruce! We shoot at Maroubra!
In two foot waves and pelting rain, with Koby and Nathan holding the steel frame and with Bill Morris prowling the shoreline with his water camera (running a virtual film speed of 800 ASA to allow for the gloomy light) and wearing a wetsuit that left nil to the imagination, we framed the shots you see today.
To round the meal off, a thousand bucks got us a Bruce Irons profile written by Lewis Samuels, who flew all the way to Kauai for the pleasure of baby Irons’ company the month previous.
Now, go read, y’devils!