All for a Few Perfect Waves: The Audacious Life and Legend by David Rensin

By David Rensin

There'll by no means be one other surfer like Miki 'Da Cat' Dora. For two decades the speeding and enigmatic darkish prince of California browsing ruled the Malibu waves and his peers' imaginations, blazing a path that will motivate generations to come back. but if the game exploded into the mainstream and browsing replaced for ever, Dora's paradise used to be misplaced. Outraged at gridlocked swells and a scene that had grown ever extra commodified, Dora finally fled Malibu, looking empty waves - and anonymity - past the USA. He'd additionally run afoul of the legislation, and he led the professionals on a seven-year chase around the world. but, Dora might by no means quit looking for the spirit of the Malibu he'd misplaced. anyplace he made his domestic - New Zealand, South Africa, France - he personified the insurgent middle of browsing and have become a legend in his personal time. This superb biography, according to interviews with greater than 300 those who knew Dora, eventually uncovers the reality approximately surfing's such a lot seductive and complex icon.

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Sample text

So I thought I’d go wake him up, make him play some! I went up to his room. He was lying there with corn pads on his toes, and I woke him up, and he says, ‘Oh, really! Well wait. ’ He just loved to play. And he just jumped into his clothes right quick and came downstairs and started to blowing. Man! ’ He loved the give-and-take of a jam session, where he could take turns with other players, test himself and swap musical ideas. A jam session was a mixture of social event, competitive examination and educational experience, and it was strictly for insiders.

He seems to have taken up with a white woman called Bess Cooper, by whom he had a daughter, named Beverly. No documents survive, but an interview with Beverly, then aged fifty-four, was featured in the Minneapolis Star & Tribune of 25 August 1985. In it, she says that her mother, Bess, died soon after giving birth to her and that she had been brought up by foster parents. She recalls her father with great affection, and claims that he kept in 2 the territory 19 touch with her until the end of his life, visited her whenever he could, bought her a piano, and even took her on tour with him occasionally.

Simon, reviewing a live broadcast from the Grand Terrace for Metronome magazine, was particularly trenchant: ‘If you think the sax section sounds out of tune, catch the brass! And if you think the brass by itself is out of tune, catch the intonation of the band as a whole!! ’8 By dint of much rehearsal, and with the help of a pile of arrangements generously lent by Horace Henderson, Fletcher’s brother, matters gradually improved, but some problems were endemic. Musicians who had scarcely been earning a living wage could not afford new instruments, nor could they pay for the professional maintenance of those they had.

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