The time has come for the truth to be told, and the waves to liberated from the Pepsi
the iron grip of the locals only crowd. Fred Reiss
is a passionate surfer, surf music fan,
stand-up comic, commercial insultant to corporate America, and a writer with neopoetic ink in his
pen. His book is nothing if not visual. The images he evokes are those of the feelings, not just the
physical environ. You can't read Fred's words without understanding his soul, or his soles for that
matter. Fred's mission is to undo the Beach Movie view of the surf culture, and simultaneously release
the self-deeded ownership of the waves held by the insiders at Malibu. He has raised the ire of the
life-long industry insiders, and poked fun at Annette in the process.
This is the first surf novel, well at least the first which isn't simply pulp fiction like Mel
's "Surfing Samurai Robots
", J. X. Williams
' "The Sex Surfers
or Elsie Lee
's adaptation of "Muscle Beach Party
". The obvious differences
between these fish wrap fantasies and "Gidget Must Die
" are the use of words with
more than two syllables, imagery not limited to the minimal and filmy nature of bikini yardage, and
a sense of purpose by the author. Linguistics versus linguini.
Fred's ability to offend Malibu insiders while slaughtering their celluloid demon is all you need
to know. There is not only irony in the wave clan's who-are-you-to-write-about-us attitude towards
Fred', but also in their jealousy of his ability to slay with the pen the dragon they have been unable
to shake off with 30 years in inbreeding and cultural exclusionism.
Fred's book is a great read. It oozes fun, silliness, poetic weaving, self amused deflation, light
hearted love of life, seriously passionate purpose, fun with language manipulation, and an untangling
simplicity. "Gidget Must Die
" is a metaphor for Fred; a more interesting person you
will never meet.
Threading through it all is a message: All sacred cows require slaughtering. Not having an ox for
others to gore is freedom. No one can take from you what you freely share. So, lighten up guys. Strength
is demonstrated with laughing at one's self, not displaying insecurity at others laughing at you.
They can only laugh at you when you are not laughing. Surfing is less a sport than a life giving experience
shared with intense passion by all who partake. It is practiced by doctors and bums, scientists and
garbage men. There are as many views on the waves as their are surfers. Fred is passionate about surfing.
His life energy is fueled by the wave power, just like yours. He's philosophical and funny...and he's
one of you. We should all be so lucky as to harness the waves of a clean clear sea that Fred loves
as his own life.
I understand the simultaneous need we all share for recognition, which is always coupled with the
need to be left alone. It's the fundamental paradox of humanity. We all revel in the accolades of
our respected peers and mentors, but shun the attention of the shallow & the hangers-on. Sincerity
over wanna-be flattery. I struggle every day with the conflict between the rising acceptance and popularity
of surf music I've worked so hard for over the last 13 years to achieve, and the loss of a unique
tightly knit fraternity that such success ultimately can bring. The key is not taking myself too seriously,
and knowing that this too will pass. In the mean time, be stoked with the ride, and just ignore the
meaningless ones. If you react, they keep coming. If you don't, they move on to the next victim. That'll
be $5 for the psycho session.