.....but was it ever a surf company?
Interesting - good find BB.
Was there a connection to surfing? Did they sponsor events or surfers? Did they use surfing imagery? Not that I remember.
Yeah they did (and still do) sponsor surfers. Stu's got a much better memory of this kinda thing than me, but I recall Shaun Munro, Matt Hoy, Luke Stedman, Luke Cheadle, Dayyan Neve on the team at some point. They also sponsored the Drug Aware Pro in Margs in 2011/12.
They had a great stable of surfers. They sent Herro and a few others to a secret island in the West Pacific called Spider Island in Tracks. That's where Herro did his famous cutty.
Not to mention the video Lucifer Rising that had pumping Nusa Tengarra to the sounds of Wagner and Regurgitator. Awesome movie.
Off the top of my head they sponsored Ces Wilson, Col Bernasconi, and drummer for the Whitlams and D.I.G, and Shark Island maniac, Terepai Richmond. That's in addition to those surfers Ben mentioned above. Events? They sponsored a Sydney Big Wave event, planned for Wedding Cake Island from memory but didn't run due to not meeting the size threshold, and they also ran a comp at Merimbula Bar (can't remember the name of that one).
Were they a 'surf' brand? I dunno, Mambo weren't so easily pegged. The 'youth brand' tag - however broad that is - seemed to fit them better. They sponsored mid-80s Hoodoo Gurus tours, the Ramones '89 tour (still got the poster to that one, 5 foot by 3 foot in classic Mambo art), and an early-90s PIL tour. They held irreverent art shows, and of course they had their resident artists - Reg Mombassa, Jeff Raglus, Paul McNeil et al.
Reading this now it seems Mambo was ahead of its time; think about RVCA's 'artists residency' plus so many other modern labels reaching beyond surf competitions as a means to marketing. Mambo did it all with a wicked sense of humour.
As a sidenote: Kate Jennings, sister to Mambo founder, Dare Jennings, wrote a great essay about the movie 'Wake In Fright' and how the themes of the movie presented themselves in her country childhood.
Interesting piece about a great film. Dunno if I'd agree with her film list re: spirit capturing, but you get that.
As for Mambo & surfing & surfers & artists, what about SA's own G. Wedd? He ticked all them boxes.
Yeah, those strange pieces of Mid Coast surfing lore transcribed to the wider world via t-shirt...loons crapping on deli counters etc etc...interspersed with tales from more infamous types like Bunker Spreckels & Wayne Lynch & Midget etc etc
Funny shit (as it were)
Eh uncle Stu can put a piccie up of the Ramones poster.
My poster is in storage but it's the same as this one:
ShatB: Forgot all about Gerry. His art fits/fitted/fat Mambo's raison d'etre to a fucking T. 'Scuse the French.
BB: I remember your Mambo inquisition from Realsurf days. It got me thinking about surf company credos back then and it's still worth thinking about now, however I don't agree that Mambo cashed in on surfing as I think they contributed just as much to the culture.
"Particularly nasty weather" was an infamously funny T-Shirt. "New Zealand meat workers were the first to venture behind the beef curtain..." You couldn't get away with stuff like that today. I must have been new to surfing around then, but it seemed that this new subculture had a wicked sense of humour, and was right out there in society's face without society really realising what it meant. Still laughing, 25 years later...
As I've aged I share his love of postwar beach shacks, too.
cheers for the aside on the movie 'wake in fright' stu.i still remember it vividly,one of the all time great australian movies and up there on the disturbometer with 'blue velvet'but about thirty years ahead of it.there's an aussie band by the name of the scrubhornets who do a song called 'the killing business' which has a close parallel with the movie.i had to chase it down thru 2nd. hand record shops coz i think it's out of print but it might be on you tube.interested in yours or anyone elses opinion