How Matt Got the Ring and Craig got the Finger or You Can if you Think you Can’t!
A few months back, my old boy got cancer of the gut closet. A total bummer for him, for me and for my family, but mostly him cause he was the one who had to go under the knife. Yussir, that morphine sure do work! Please, sir, may I have another!
But, he cool now, with chemo nailing that growth before it can get its fangs into a prime organ. What got my pops through cancer was The Power of Negative Thinking. When the diagnosis came in, he took my mum out to a café and explained about all his bank accounts, all the bills, where the money is, was etc. He did everything but dig the hole and jump in to wait for the reaps to wield his scythe. And, y’know what? It worked! If you have super low expectations, you can only be positively surprised. If y’think everything’ll be awesome, only one way shit can go – down.
This issue, I was super positive our cover idea (actually Steve Baccon’s) of Craig Anderson getting tubed, under a folded piece of paper, in a studio, with a camera affixed to the back of the tube, would be the coolest thing ever. No one would know what it was! Was it a water shot! It’d be surrealism at its best. And, instead of costing twenty gees like a chopper or a pool or five for the damn magazine frame, all it cost was $800 for the studio. Steve spoke of spotlights illuminating areas of the tube; I spoke of being able to clearly identify Craig’s stance, the way he held his board. All would be revealed! And, Steve is one of the best in the biz. Agencies fly him to London to shoot. Flip through his book and you’ll see Pele, Cate Blanchett and Nicole Kidman. Failure wasn’t a word neither of us could identify.
In the studio, it looked crook as hell. A bent bit of paper and our favourite surfer in the whole world (apart from Kolohe, Mitch etc) crouching on a finless surfboard. Craig had driven two hours from Newcastle for this and all he got for his trouble was a metaphorical dick in the ass.
“Looking good, eh, I’ll just clip a few shots together,” said Baccon, swooping on Photoshop and constructing a comical two-piece photo. That was what his words said, his sad eyes said: “This looks shithouse. I am so sorry!”
I had to go, I’d organised a play date such was my hyper-confidence, but suggested we try a bit of tarp surfing. Steve called me three hours later. “We nailed it!” he said. The tremor of his voice, however, whispered, “We got something vaguely publishable, maybe.” The photos did look better, but however you sliced it, however you cut the biscuit, it was still a man crouching on a finless surfboard in a photo studio.
In the end, it was a photo of Hawaiian Matt Meola kick-starting the trick revolution that nailed page one. As they say, Matt got the goldmine; Craig got the shaft. Think low and your expectations will always be fulfilled.