The book comes across as a self-indulgent journey down memory lane with a bunch of friends.
Ever wanted to know what drives your favourite surfer-musicians to wholeheartedly follow their dual passions of surfing and music?
Australian Blues musician Ash Grunwald, Aria nominee for Best Blues and Roots album of 2004, brings you his first book, Surf by Day, Jam by Night. Within these pages, you will hear from the minds of Jack Johnson, Kelly Slater, Steph Gilmore, Dave Rastovich, Pete Murray, Jim Banks, Beau Young, G Love, Jaleesa Vincent, Lee-Ann Curran, Ozzie Wright, Mylee Grace, Mat McHugh, Conner Coffin, Scott Owen and, Neal Purchase Jnr.
You will become acquainted with their life values, their transition from surfing into the music world and, the parallels between the two occupations. Grunwald’s attempt to demonstrate these parallels however, are rather poor. There was a lack a cohesiveness of the author’s message and no real consistency or continued structure in the prose; in addition, there is constant divergence from the intended message.
In short, the interviews and book itself comes across as a self-indulgent journey down memory lane with a bunch of his friends. It feels like he wanted to interview these people for himself rather than for the audience – there was much relaying of unnecessary script in relation to the message that the author was trying to convey. The script would vastly improve with heavy editing – almost as much as half the book – and more coherency.
The final chapter talks about what Grunwald finds inspirational: for example, it talks about the mental fitness required for surfing and how it spills over into other areas of the surfer’s life, such as manifesting one’s dream to become a performer. It notes the commonality of surfer musicians being involved in social enterprise and political agendas, and how important the universal habit of regularly pushing oneself outside one’s comfort zone is, in all aspects of one’s life.
Some of the other similarities that the interviewees discussed were having gratitude, giving back to society, living an environmentally conscious existence, and maintaining an attitude of lifelong learning. You may enjoy this book if you particularly like music and surfing however, you would need to have an interest in the interviewees and their lives. If, for example, it was a podcast, it could simply be a series of interviews without any other goal than allowing the audience to get to know their idol. That could work.
Reviewed by Rebecca Wu
Distributed by: Pantera Press
Released: August 2019