O’MAHONEY MONDAYS: RICK GRIFFIN

Illustration by Rick Griffin

In 1959, you were pigeon-holed as either a ho-dad or surfer at my school. The dress code for surfers was a J.C. Penney’s Towncraft white t-shirt, Levi’s, Jack Purcell kicks, and, oh yeah, blonde hair: natural or bottle. Our resident school newspaper cartoonist, at the time, was Rick Griffin, who later became the heaviest icon rock poster artist of his time. Rick is credited with the first skate and surf cartoon hero “MURPHY.” Here is Murph switch clay wheel cruisin’ and advertising for the Challengers surf band (their debut album “Surfbeat”was the largest selling surf band album of all time). The worst thing about these early innocent icons is they couldn’t take a punch. – WORDS BY JAMES O’MAHONEY

 

For more surf/skate history and talk story, stop by the Santa Barbara Surfing Museum in downtown Santa Barbara, California. http://www.sbsurfingmuseum.com/index.html

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