Beyond the recent documentary of the same name, the words "Echo Beach
" conjure up an entire era of surf history and culture in our collective memory here in Southern California (seelast week's blog posting
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). A group of innovative, extra-rebellious local surfers rose to global prominence not only for their new level of athleticism in the sport of surfing, but also for their (then) whacked-out contributions to style, fashion, business, culture and the arts. Neon colors, new styles, and a general loudness pervaded the Echo Beach scene, along with the usual cornucopia of drugs, girls and parties that always abounds in any surf scene worth its salt.
An aggressive surfing style began to change the way people rode waves. And the surf clothing industry exploded into the multi billion-dollar powerhouse we see today. As the filmmakers have said, "photographers, surfers, surfboard shapers and clothing companies all came together to create this movement...on a hundred yard stretch of sand...known as Echo Beach."
This thursday at the Standard Hotel in L.A. will host an opening reception for an event called the "Echo Beach Retrospective 1978-1982: Surf Culture Art Exhibition."
Although the event is being held in part to showcase the Standard's new Quiksilver-swimsuit-and-boardshort-dispensing vending machines, there will also be some meaningful appearances by veterans, collectors, artists and fans of the Echo Beach era. The film Echo Beach will be projected onto a downtown building across from the hotel. Artists and collectors will display an impressive selection of boards, clothes, art and more from this revolutionary, neon-colored surf scene. This is for sure worth checking out, especially for those (most of us) who saw Echo Beach and, frankly, were left wanting to know a whole lot more about the era.