Michael Peterson or MP as he was known, was the best surfer in the world for three years in the early seventies.No arguments there!!
Every contest he entered he won.
He was, without a doubt the most dominant force in surfing at the time.
Unfortunately the demons that taunted him made him less than appealing to the power brokers in the fledgling Pro Surfing circuit.
Michael shunned the limelight and was only keen to take the money and run… in return he was shunned by the pro surfung world and elbowed out into pasture.
With the new film called “In search of Michael Peterson ” being released recently the interest in his life and times has resurfaced.
Here at Ocean Artwork we are proud to offer several linited edition prints of MP, taken by legendary surf photographer Marty Tullemans.
These are classic portraits that capture the character of the surfing legend.
For a limited time we are able to offer these prints autographed by the man himself..
You can see the photos below and read Marty’s thoughts and description below each picture.
These are excerpts from a recent interview I did with Marty.
Pro surfers from the early seventies.
“Back then it was all a bit mystical because everybody was on some sort of weird substance and we were all young virginal people just on hamburgers and beer and they (pro surfers) were all right out there west of far east.
It was way different to today..
It was like well; today they’re just like rock and roll stars but back then they were way bigger than that!!
Because they were leaders of a tribe of a cultural revolution…
It was the early seventies and we were doing something that was just like… society couldn’t handle it.
If you surfed you were a rebel..
“What you don’t work 9-5 ?”
What you break the rules? And take time off, play hooky and go surfing?
Your one of those… FERALS!!?
It was like if you were a surfer you were a bit of a rebel, outside of society’s norm.
And to be really good at it! Well….Hey man…..you were a Bad ass!!
The surfing industry It was very crude very primitive back then but there was also a lot of discovery, there was a lot of new ground being broken.
Everybody had their little place and everybody was good at something and everybody respected each other’s individuality where as today everybody’s just paranoid about how good their facebook web site looks.” Marty Tullemans
“This shot was taken at the Pa Bendall memorial.
One morning Michael pulled out the rocket tail or the Christmas tree as Tommy used to call it.
He was having a trip on the job the glasser had done on the little fangs in the rocket tail
It was bit of an iconic shot of Michael because he was the one trying a lot of different things.
A lot of people thought he was way out and different ..But hey! what people don’t realise Michael had the wide point behind the middle of the board..Way before anyone else cottoned on to it.
And because of this he was able to fit in more turns and more agility.
Because the other guys were staying with the old tried and proven school.. MP was breaking new ground and doing different things..because he was experimenting and not scared….and whatever else they disliked about him he had performance streets ahead of the pack because he used his brain and was prepared to be different and be an individual.” Marty Tullemans
“Michael actually asked me to take this photo..
He was the original ‘bad boy’ or as Rabbit called him the “Black knight” of the contest scene.
He was the one putting the hand brake on ‘professional surfing’ moving forward because of his lifestyle image.
There was a professional event on in Hawaii and all the invites were sent out months before and Michael got his the day before the contest started in Hawaii and he received it in Australia.
I used to rent a little dark room next to his surfboard factory in Appel st Kirra.
So he called around and said
‘Marty come and get this photo I want to write a letter to TRACKS’.
So he wrote the letter and they ran the photo.
In the letter he had his grievances about why his invitation was sent by surface mail and not air mail.
In other words it was a polite way for the contest officials to …
aaaah well…. all the boys who were ‘bustin down the door” didn’t want MP at their event, because he was dragging the image of surfing down
because all the mainstream journo’s immediately would go on about all the negative issues around Michael and what he used to bring to the table.
Whereas Michael raised the bar for all of them in terms of performance and they’re claiming they busted down the door??
Hey Fella’s get it right!!
Hey get it in the house !! ha ha
Michael raised the bar and because he raised the bar you guys had something to bust the door down with!!!!” Marty Tullemans