By Corky Carroll
I always love writing stories about positive stuff, history’s of legendary surfers or colorful people from my past, cool events, new revolutionary equipment and all those kind of cool things. I hate it when somebody croaks, or I have to report on some not fun and not positive kinda deal. Well, today it’s one of those sort of half this and half that adventures. A couple of important local talents that are having a hard time with health issues, that is the bad part, and people coming to their aid with great fundraising events that we will all want to take part in, which is the good part.
Starting off with all-star surf guitarist Paul Johnson. Where do I start with Paul? This dude is up there with Dick Dale on the Mount Rushmore of Surf Guitarists. He was a member of the famous surf band, the “Belairs,” and wrote their monster instrumental hit “Mr. Moto,” in 1961. That song is on the all-time surf music hit list. He has been around Orange County forever and has taken part in more surf music venues than I could possible list here. One of my favorite Paul Johnson moments was at one of the United States Surfing Championships that I competed in at Huntington Beach, not sure of the year but it was probably early 1970’s. On the morning of the finals they had Paul do a surf guitar version of the Star-Spangled Banner. The sun was barely coming up and I think I might have been one of only a few people even on the beach that early, I used to always try to get a quick session in before the contest would start so that I had a feel for the waves on that particular day. I was just coming out of the water when Paul cranked it up. It was truly an amazing version. Jimi Hendrix would have been proud. When he was done I couldn’t help but think that I wish they would have had him do it just before the awards or something, when zillions of people could have heard it and not just me and a couple others. None the less, it was killer.
O.K. to the point, Paul has some bad cancer and the surf music community has come to his aid. There is a MONSTER benefit being held Sunday, Dec 9th at the Gaslamp in Long Beach, 4 to 10P.M. I think every known surf band on the planet are playing along with every member of previous hit bands sitting in. Admission is $20, and all ages are invited. To further help Paul you can go to WWW.GOFUNDME.COM/GET-PAUL-WELL-AND-PROSPERING.
The other dude with a dilemma is our own Huntington Beach surf hero, the one and only Bud Llamas. Anybody who knows anything about surfing in Huntington Beach can tell you that Bud is one of the best to ever fly through that pier, bar none. He was one of the top surfers in the world back in the 70’s and 80’s, is a Hall of Famer, and to this day is one of the top guys you will see out there on a daily basis. His off the lip top turns have been known to be so heavy that kids on the pier get sprayed when he is having one of his “Bud on fire” epic sessions on the south side. But not only is Bud a great surfer but he is an amazing person and a core member of the local surfing family.
Bud needs a new hip. The Huntington Beach surf community is throwing a “Lets help Bud spray the kids on the pier again Christmas Party-Bud Llamas Hip Help” fundraiser at Cruisers Huntington Beach on Friday night, December 21st. The entire local lineup will be there ready to rock to the great Ramsey Brothers Band, and special guests. A super fun way to spend the evening and help out a wonderful Orange County surf legend.
I love it when the tribes come together to help out one of their own who is down and in need of some aid. Medical costs are just absurd these days and unless you can afford some sort of mega gold insurance you are totally in trouble if you have some major problem to deal with. So, a little help from your friends goes a long way.