Break out your fluoro boardshorts and big boards. MAD WAX is back!
For anyone under the age of 40, MAD WAX was a surf film from Quiksilver which came out in the eighties. The film featured current big wave surfer Ross Clarke-Jones and a host of hot surfers at the time including world champ Tom Carroll, Gary Elkerton and Richard Cram. The soundtrack as a cracker with Quiksilver ‘house’ band GANGagang providing all the music.
There wasn’t much to the plot and the acting wasn’t quite Academy Award standard. The charm was in the simple story line and the fantastic surfing which took place in Australia, Hawaii, France and the relatively unknown Tahiti at the time.
The story goes something like this. Ross Clarke-Jones is a young surfer who loves nothing more then catching waves. He has to wash windows to make money and his life is in a rut until he comes across a book which tells you how to make your own magical surf wax. A few bunsen burners, some wax all poured into what looked like his Mum’s wok and before you know it Ross was waxing up his board and repeating the immortal line: “I wanna go to Pipeline” and like MAGIC he is transplanted to that surf spot.
Sure it’s corny, but the surfing is pretty good and the soundtrack by GANGagang really keeps the film humming along.
I was given the opportunity to screen MAD WAX along the Surf Coast during the Easter of 1988 after its World Premiere at the Enmore Theatre in Sydney. We played to packed houses everywhere. A mate of mine had the fortune (or misfortune) to dress up in a large orange triangular costume designed to represent a block of wax which was used to promote the film.
Our highlight was a special night at the Torquay Football Club. We had a full audience, Peter was bouncing around outside the clubrooms looking like a big orange bock of wax and everyone had a great time.
Afterwards a few people came up to me and whispered: “Did you see Sasha?” “Sasha who?” I replied. “You know Sasha Stallone… Rocky’s ex… she was in the audience tonight.” Bummer… I was too busy making sure the film went well and missed out on a chance to see/meet Rocky’s ex-wife.
Mad Wax is returning to the big screen in early 2019 with GANGagang and a special short tour. If you are in south-east Queensland in the later part of January check out MAD WAX and GANGagang live together again for what should be a memorable series of shows (and don’t forget the fluoro boardshorts and sleeveless T-shirts!
Written by John Foss.