On Tour With Jack

March 27 ,2008

I’m on the plane to Adelaide. I wrapped up my own Oz tour 3 days ago and then hitched a ride with the Jack Johnson crew to sit in on 3 shows before I head to LA. We played 2 nights in Melbourne. I sat in with Jack on a number of tunes and it has been great to catch up musically and socially with my boys who I hadn’t seen for almost 3 years! It’s hard to believe how time flies. We didn’t miss a beat.

Because I had no sound check, I rented a car and surfed down by Torquay the last 2 days. The first day was mellow and sunny. I surfed Jan Juc. Yesterday was ominous storm surf with a building swell. I surfed Winky Pop. When I looked out at the swell coming in it reminded me of a big Santa Cruz day I had at 3 mile last year. I was a little tired because this jetlag but I decided to charge it. There was only one other surfer out but 2 other cats paddled out as soon as I reached the line up. I was happy about this as the ocean was burly and unfriendly. I was surfing with an Aussie dude and a surfer from Scotland. The Aussie dude asked me where I was from. I said, “Philly”. He said, “like G. Love?” I saw him play last night in Melbourne with Jack”. I said, “That’s me!” He didn’t hear me cause the wind. Too funny. Anyways, I surfed for awhile and caught a couple good rides. The tide was coming up fast and I knew I had to get in because my time was running out. I caught a last wave in and realized a little late that I was being swept down the coast on a current that felt like white water rafting. The problem was this was a rock cliff and the current was rapidly pushing me away from a place to get out of the water. I tried to stay cool and paddled my ass off and just made the last outcrop of literally the last rock landing. If I missed it I would’ve been screwed. The tide had gotten so high that the ocean was just smashing directly into the cliff. I quickly jumped out onto the sharp volcanic rock and scrambled up a mini-cliff to escape the shore break which was threatening to push me into the cliff. I looked out to sea and saw my two new friends who missed the landing and looked to be in big trouble. They headed back out to sea. I didn’t know whether they would chose to paddle 300 yards against wind and current back to the lineup or float on to the next break which was around the bend. That seemed super sketchy in that storm surf. It was a gnarly day. They started the long, strenuous paddle back to the lineup. They made it but I was not envious. My journey was finished after a 200 yard dash across the rugged volcanic rocks and surging high tide. I was so relieved when I reached the wooden stairwell that I surely thanked the Good Lord Above. Afterward I called Kelly Slater and told him about the ordeal. I said “man I think I almost got swept away to sea today Kelly”. He replied, “That really woulda messed up Jack’s set list tonight”. Too much!

Last night Kelly Slater came to the gig. The eight time world champ had an 8 am heat for the semifinals of the Rip Curl Pro at Bells. I’m hoping he won it! Go Kelly- anyway I’ve landed in Adelaide.

Today I’m just gonna play my guitar!




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