Monty Webber’s Random Rogues...
By Col Bernasconi | 04 October 2012
There's a story in this boys (L), and the book's cover (R).
If Monty Webber met Monty Webber he’d star in his own literary expeditions. The thing about writers like Monty is they seem to draw the most interesting of characters out of hiding. In life, like in his writing, kaleidoscopic personalities are drawn to Monty simply because he is of their kind – a living-breathing planet of wonder the rest of us simply orbit. Like boring weather satellites we move closer in the hope of being entertained – and further away when the seas of change turn a little too wild for our beige interiors.
Such is the life of a big personality.
I first got to know Monty (and his brothers) at a time when I was most impressionable. I was all of 14 when Monty, his older brother Greg and younger brothers Will and Ben came to town. That town was Avalon Beach. And to this day I can’t recall another time in that small towns history when an influx of one family had such an effect.
These Bondi boys were shapers, surfers, sculptors, storytellers, sex educators, party animals and more.
Still surfing the point.
One day, while Will was cooking up his own brand of surfboard wax in a garage not much bigger than a pantry, I wandered into their stratosphere. A house, not far from North Avalon surf, littered with boards and people in such a way you felt sure you were right where "it" was happening. I hadn’t seen Morning Of The Earth yet (that I can remember), but looking back now – they were living that dream.
Nervously I milled around until Mont threw me a bone in the shape of one of Greg’s latest creations. A board that was like nothing I’d ever laid eyes on! On the bottom a big concave ran into a rounded tail and on top the deck rolled dome-like, offering a generous thickness in the middle but still a low rail. “Take it for a spin,” I can almost hear him saying now. And so I did.
It was an amazing board. Long story short – on returning, I asked if I could buy said board only to be told that it was in fact a prototype too fresh for public consumption. And “Greg, would kill me if he knew I'd let you ride it!” Monty said absolving himself of all responsibility. I’m glad I didn’t break that board as it was an important step in Greg’s future success.
But I’m also glad Monty lent it to me and more importantly, let me into their world – for a bit.
Reading Monty’s stories you too will feel happy to be a passenger on his ride.
I’ll leave you with an out take from one of my favourites, “Wankers of Avalon”
'Wankers of Avalon'
BACK in the late 90s there was this guy from Newport nicknamed "Tickets" – and he was the biggest wanker anyone had ever met. He got his nickname from the fact that he had "tickets on himself". This meant he thought he was a winner, which to the disbelief of all the Newport boys, came true in the most unbelievable way.
He was actually quite delusional and used to sit down in the beer garden of the Newport Arms Hotel posturing and squinting like he was some top model or actor just trying to have a peaceful drink without anyone recognising him. He once tried to chat up my girlfriend by acting as if she had spotted him and he said, "Oh oh … busted … I was hoping no-one would recognise me!" When she said she had no idea who he was he said, "I can't believe it … wow, it's so refreshing meeting someone who doesn't know all about me already". By the time he was up singing karaoke and interacting with the audience like they were his long lost fan base, no one could get him off. He was even smiling and putting his hand on his heart and pointing to people he had never met like they were old friends.
Once during a manic episode, he hired out Avalon Surf Club and sent out invitations to all the girls he had ever been with. Dozens of girls arrived wondering what "A Night to Remember" was all about. After sitting through a eulogy- like PowerPoint display he had created of his whole life, most of them walked out before he came onstage and sang the Willie Nelson and Julio Iglesias number 'To All the Girls I've Loved Before'.
I don't know what he expected to happen, but it was like he never thought that far in advance and just loved whatever attention he could get. Talk about bringing new meaning to the term Attention Deficit Disorder. This guy was an Attention Seeking Missile.
There were so many signs that he was in fact mentally ill that I am surprised it got to the point it did. We should have realised that it was more than just odd or funny when he started having this Che Guevara-like artwork of himself glassed onto his boards like logos, and even paying to have the billboards in Mona Vale display shots of himself supposedly modelling.
He also went mad creating all these references to himself online so he would show up on Google, and even created all these fake Facebook friends who would comment on his wall what a "Beautiful man" or "Legend" he was. One supposed 'girl' even told a story about how he had saved her life by single-handedly taking on a street gang in Avalon. Maybe this explains why he fell in with the Avalon crew, and ended up moving into a house with a few of them.
Thus started, the group referred to themselves as "Zeitgeist", which basically means "the spirit of the time" in German. There were four of them in that place – which they boasted was known in the art world as "ze bunker" and each of them was just as vain and narcissistic as the next.
They all made up complementary nicknames for themselves and each other. There was 'The Dark Man' who saw himself as the new white hope of the Australian surfboard graffiti art movement; 'Shotgun', who aspired to starting the next ksubi fashion label and, in a Freudian manner, called his fashion label 'tsudo'. There was 'Heir Bunny', who formed a dress up/Nazi punk band and wore swastikas everywhere he went, which was only ever the cafes of Avalon, and understandably upset many of the Jewish residents in the area. Then Tickets, who renamed himself 'Makhyba', which he enjoyed telling people was, "The name the Aboriginals gave me… meaning 'the loved one', like how the Africans call Mandela 'Madiba'." I actually asked an Aboriginal guy what it really meant and he said "Arsehole… you know from Khyber Passhole".
There was of course, nothing lovable, or even vaguely original about any of them, except their extraordinary self- obsession. But when they all pooled their energies and formed a surf/fashion mag called 'Cunt' they finally got the attention they were all seeking.
After deciding between them that "heat got more attention than light" they went about putting together a series of articles that were designed to create controversy. Between defamatory 'exposes' about things like lesbianism on the women's world surfing tour - which was titled "Whose Chewin' on Who?" - they would have these fashion shoots with pre-pubescent girls, who appeared naked, with very old male surfers, who looked uncannily like a couple of the guys who owned the major surf wear labels.
When 'Cunt' was taken off the shelves due to lack of advertising, and 'tsudo' folded after they lost all their money on a whole winter range that were meant to be worn inside- out and back to front, the group splintered, and this is when Tickets began to spin badly out of control...
For the rest of this tale and more buy Monty's book NOW!
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