Listen: The Ballad Of Clayton Looby // Dog Trumpet
Last year, after hundreds of hours finding, scanning, and remastering old surf footage, Jolyon Hoff began releasing it under the guise of The Surf Film Archive.
His original ambition was a website where the digital footage could live for perpetuity - YouTube for old surf footage.
Art begets art, however, and Jolyon has since edited select pieces into a new film 'That Was Then, This Is Now', used the footage as backdrop while the band Headland played live over the top, and now Dog Trumpet have dipped into the vault and made a new music video from the rescued footage.
The collaboration was a classic 'friend of a friend' situation - someone who knew the band, knew someone who knew Jolyon - ending with Dog Trumpet accessing the archive for imagery to the single 'The Ballad Of Clayton Looby'.
"Clayton Looby was a free-spirited larrikin in my year; an obsessive surfer and ratbag. The song references his unconventional pirate life following the surf, sailing, riding motorbikes, living in Bali and spending a couple of years in a Japanese jail. He died a couple of years ago and this song is a salute to his memory and his life,” says guitarist Peter O'Doherty.
Unbeknownst to the members of Dog Trumpet, The Surf Film Archive owe a great debt to Clayton Looby. You see, many years ago, while Clayton was still alive, he was in the back rooms at Spectrum Films, Sydney, and some dusty cans of film caught his eye. Those cans held old Bob Evans footage, plus offcuts from Albe Falzon's 'Morning Of The Earth'.
The former was joyfully scanned by Jolyon and added to the Archive, the latter was reunited with Albe who released it as reMOTE, playing it during The Morning Of The Earth's recent 50th anniversary tour.
So Clayton spared it from landfill, Jolyon scanned it and made it public, where it was seen by Dog Trumpet, who by coincidence used it for a song about Clayton.
"Art begats art" > that's my lived experience and consequently a precious value. Great work boys!
Cracking tune and a walk down memory lane. Beautiful.
Really enjoyed this one, banger of a tune, thanks boys..
Clayton sounds like he loved a good time and had an eventful life. Epic
That was awesome!
That was soothing !!!!
Music + Footage + Memories = Brilliant
that guitar sound!
That was coool.
The senic shot with the red beeetle looked like Mauritius.
I could be wrong.
Great Ballard Peter! I have a picture Id like to share of 'Contraband celebrated' Clayton Looby at Nth Avalon. Is there a download button on the comment page, cant find it?
Doherty bros putting music to classic surfing footage what a treat. Dog Trumpet well worth a listen gotta love that reg/pete groove. More begat pls
Surf guitar gods. Love it. Looks like bits of waves from all over the place. The only one I recognise just by the shape of it and with the cleanest lip line, it has to be Greenmount
Totally cool, an entire decade squashed into 5 minutes. Unfortunately the thought of those old singles has my reignited my PTSD. Off to have a Bex and good lie down.
I didn't realize Clay was no longer with us
I only met him once - but it was a lasting impression
His father was best mates with my dad. I met Clay when I was 14 and I a frothing suburban grom who had broken his board, he was a freckled, sunburnt and crusted surfer of the 1970's
At the urging of his dad Clay Looby turned up at our house with his home-made single fin swallow tail he had shaped and sold it for the token amount of $30.
It was a pointy Green weapon with a hand drawn cactus decal, I felt I had arrived as a surfer believing the board would carry some of the almost mystical powers of the free-living Clay
Later I would listen to the tales my father relayed of Clays adventures/misadventures. I didn't share the fatherly concerns, just the wide-eyed admiration of a grom getting a glimpse of the possibilities of the world
That add is a classic, soooo '70's. Put a smile on my face. Love the subtle slide guitar playing and the organ, I watched it twice.
Hey Saltman that ad is an ode to the 70's. God bless him.
Yep and The ad was classic Clay apparently
Doubt that he changed much
That's a bit of alright...thanx for sharing the goodvibes Stu.
I met Clayton once, not long after he "liberated" those old cans of Evans' movies and got the impression he felt he'd done it for the sake of the whole surf community so they could again see the light of day, as they were in danger of being lost, degraded or caught up in some lengthy family squabble. I didn't know much about his wider story but it's lovely to see it all come together in this clip and music. What a life. Surfing is full of characters like this that no WSL content will ever come close to matching for sheer intrigue and the essence of surf culture.
Ahhh, makes me wanna do an old fashion road trip, call past Nimbin and get some "herbal tea" on the way, then clear road all the way to wherever.
I'm not a young fella by any stretch but the gratuitous love this clip is receiving does make me curious as to the age of the average SN punter
I made it through maybe half
I do love that newspaper ad though. What a classic. These days his poor mum would probably be robbed
Clayton, dubbed 'The whirlwind' Checking the surf at Nth Avalon carpark. Sitting on the bonnet of a car. Always attentive and interested, sharing a cheeky gesture no doubt with his good mate Brett Evans (Bobs son)
As a 14 year old he talked me into selling him my 8ft Farrelly gun for $50.00. Never to be seen again. Geez I wish I had that now!
Then in our 20's he borrowed a 60's made long board from me, a beautiful 9.0 light blue in colour in perfect condition. That board had been gifted to me by nice old gentleman who lived next door to the house I was working on. It wasn't long before he trashed it on Nth Avalon rocks and then it just vanished, never to be seen again. He needed corralling into place but it would be no use and nobody would be bothered or dare try. He was just off and about with his unfettered enthusiasm for life, no matter where it took him (or temporarily held him). And no doubt he had used his life to the fullest advantage. He was a very gifted artist, great doodler, and I wonder if he ever applied himself to that in his later years. I'm pretty sure his uncle is Keith Looby who won the Archibald in 1984.
I love those characters from the 70s
He even has an eccentric name like another crazy guy from that era Bunker Spreckles
Old school classic
Free and ready to live. Beautiful times restored and remembered. The healthy glow of times gone by shines on. Sometimes you got to push your luck. And put the music on.
Cheers blackers for those dog trumpet extras in the tunes forum.
Time too rewatch the complete Winters Tales
Those Great Ocean Road curves, not to mention the lyrics, take me back to steering the Kombi from the passenger seat while the pilot punches another Larry Lungfucker cone. Ah, the days.
haha. Done a few kilometres from the passenger seat in my time.
Clayton would be sitting back on cloud 9 loving that tribute, he was a classic as was the saying Have a scoob with Loob.