November 5, 2010

Turns out that our Labor Day weekend visit to meet the Georis brothers and get their autographs for my Endless Summer movie poster has opened the door for the final stop on The Great Incredible Treasure Hunt: a chance to meet Sandals lead guitarist John Blakeley and get his autograph.

(Before I continue, it seems hard to believe that it’s been only a little over three months since this whole idea of getting the autographs of Endless Summer surfer Mike Hynson, and Walter Georis, Gaston Georis, and John Blakeley of The Sandals [whose music provided much of the film’s score] was conjured up in my wacked-out imagination. July seems so long ago, and so much has happened since: my trip to India, my operation and recovery, the continued suburban renewal of our house, the midterm elections – it seems like everything around me has changed. But the experiences of traveling to San Diego to meet Mike Hynson at the surfing convention and that “Georis weekend” in Carmel have been so rewarding and memorable as to seem like a dream. I’m so glad I stepped out of my comfort zone and took the chance to dream big.)

I wasn’t sure the final connection to meet John Blakeley was going to happen. During our lovely chart in his winery’s tasting garden, Walter had mentioned that John had had some health issues so I really didn’t feel the time was right to press him further on it. However, after I posted the YouTube video for The Sandals’ “School’s Out” last week, I got an e-mail from Walter saying thanks, and I figured why not bring up “the Blakeley scenario” once more – I mean, what did I have to lose, right? And sure enough, I received in return the number to John’s recording studio in San Francisco.

It took all the courage I could muster to call and leave a message letting him know who I was and the quest I was on. Hard to believe, then, a few hours later my phone rings and who’s on the other end? None other than John Blakeley. Very nice guy, very down to earth, and passionate about talking music. When I told him I had included some cuts from his later work with The Sandals’ (“Silvertone” is a gem) and Ron Nagle (“Tan Mantis”) on our “Tropical Breezes” mp3 collection, he even offered up some suggestions of other artists I might find interesting. We talked for a good twenty minutes, and I was touched by his willingness to talk music with an absolute stranger. When I brought up the poster he said to give him a week’s notice when I’d be coming up and he’d be happy to make arrangements to meet and sign.

After hanging up the phone, I just shook my head in disbelief. Mike Hynson. Walter Georis. Gaston Georis. And now, John Blakeley. People I would have never dreamed of meeting in person, let alone talk to and share interests in surf culture, surf music, and music in general. And it once again reinforced just how fortunate I am, not only to have the ability to these people – giants in my own little world, really – but, more importantly, to have had the imagination and crazy courage to see this treasure hunt through.

And so if all goes according to plan and God’s willing, the week of the 15th I’ll have a chance to meet in person the lead guitarist on “Theme to The Endless Summer”, John Blakeley (he of the cool blue Fender and even cooler Fender Hawaiian shirt). It’ll be a dream come true and a fitting end to a treasure hunt for the ages.

Pool temp: 66 degrees

Filed in: Treasure Hunt by The Great White Shank at 00:51 | Comment (1)
1 Comment
  1. This is just so freakin’ cool…good for you. Just tickles me to death knowing that the “ask for what you need” thang works sometimes. I have so loved reading the book and watching the videos..thank you.

    Comment by Jana — November 5, 2010 @ 4:27 am

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