The Half-Century Files: Memories of Bells

A semi-regular peek into the archives of Jeff Divine.

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“Mark Richards on a Ben Aipa board, 1976 Bells Beach Contest. What a beautiful place. The mail was still being delivered by horse and buggy. When I first arrived in town they asked me, ‘Are you here to rage or what?’ Those were the days when drunkenness was just part of the program. I stayed in a great architectural house with Jack McCoy, Rico De Souza, Rory Russell, and a large supporting cast. Rip Curl actually had a rubber fetishist working for them. One day the workers found him pleasuring himself amongst the new rubber delivery—which was soon to be cut and made into wetsuits. He showed up at the house looking for me after the Aussie humorists at Rip Curl told him that the mag wanted to interview him. I think I laughed.” —Jeff Divine

Fifty years ago, TSJ’s photo editor Jeff Divine picked up a Pentax H1a and began shooting the surf landscape and its denizens, creating images that in many cases have now become iconic. In this semi-regular series, we’ll blow the dust off a half-century’s worth of slide-sheets and dig around for the under-seen shots, always with an eye for compositions that offer riffs on time, place, and the backstory to his body of work.