I was 22 and I was a lone traveler driving a Dodge Caravan that had survived 14 years on this earth before it encountered me. That day I was with a guy I’d met on Santa Monica Boulevard a week or two before. He’d made “The Whip” the permanent home of his surf board just a few days after I’d asked him for a light.
That day we were doing what we’d done every day since we’d met: getting McDonald’s breakfast then looking for where the waves were at. We’d driven all the way from Venice Beach (where “it’s never more than, like, half high man”) to Ventura in search of a break.
After meeting up with a couple of his friends in an Arby’s parking lot we decided to try our luck at Malibu. It was already 10am and the chances of getting a decent surf in were diminishing, so we settled on Zuma Beach at Point Dume.
The cliffs above the beach were brimming with huge mansions packaged in elaborate gardens and tall walls and a lined with signs threatening a tow which they could clearly afford.
We settled on a spot a few blocks from the beach. The boys slipped into their wet suits and we started to walk to the cliffs above the beach.
David (who had just come out of jail), Austin (who, unbeknownst to him, was on his way back to jail) and David’s cousin lead the way with boards in hand whilst the cousin’s girlfriend and I trailed behind.
We’d only cornered one block when we spotted a golf buggy with a long board strapped to the back heading our way.
“Yo, man, isn’t that Anthony Kiedis?” the cousin asked.
“Nawwww man…” Austin replied, flicking his floppy blond mop and sucking his teeth (one of his more endearing mannerisms).
The buggy got close and one by one we realised: It WAS Anthony Kiedis.
Trying to be “low key”, we looked at him with smiles and half nods.
But when he got right in front of us he stopped the buggy.
“Hey guys…” Kiedis said with a wide smiled composed of the most Hollywood teeth I’d ever seen.
We said hi back before he went on, “… didn’t you guys hear?! The beach is CLOSED!”
Before we could utter any substantial replies he laughed, “Nah! I’m just playin!” and with a wave he zipped off on his buggy down the road.
Zuma Beach is pretty rocky. That afternoon Austin spent an hour looking for a custom fin that had got caught in the rocks and ripped off, whilst David nursed a cut foot and a dented board.
So, either Anthony Kiedis is a great surfer, or he has a stockpile of boards awaiting a good thrashing back at his pad. Or both.
Either way, he was pretty cool guy.
*After this happened we met his neighbor on the beach. Rich white lady with a dog that needed an electric collar to stop it attacking sea lions. She said people came out the front of his house sometimes.
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