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Searching for Michael Peterson

"Michael Peterson ruled the surf scene throughout the early to mid-1970s with his savage, groundbreaking surfing. An undiagnosed schizophrenic, Michael couldn’t handle the fame his surfing powers attracted, and he retreated into a world of hard drugs, fast cars and shadows. He eventually hit rock bottom after a car chase, which took 35 police cars to stop him. It’s an intoxicating and addictive tale for anyone who has ever felt like a fish out of water..."

Searching for Michael Peterson: Indie Film About Legendary Surfer | Ventvox

Searching for Michael Peterson Trailer from jolyon hoff on Vimeo.

“The story of Michael Peterson makes Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas look like Alice In Wonderland.” Describes Peterson biographer, Sean Doherty.

Director, Jolyon Hoff recalls when he first heard about the surfing enigma,

“As a teenager, my friends and I would drive our cars up the Australian coast to places like Seal Rocks or Angourie or Lennox Head and Byron Bay. The trips were all about growing up – there were girls, drunken nights, experiments with drugs, warm water and beautiful waves. We were after the surf but it was often the other unexpected things that happened along the way that became the highlight of the trip – stories to be endlessly recounted on our next trip.”

Hoff continues, “It was on these trips that I first heard, from the older surfers we met, the stories of Michael Peterson, this mysterious character and incredible surfer. We’d sit around the campfire and they would speak with reverence while we listened in awe. It was like a surfing ghost story in many ways.”

“Years later, I decided to throw the boards on the roof and the cameras in the boot and head out to the point breaks, beaches and carparks to capture all these wild, weird and mysterious stories.”

For five glorious years “MP” led Australia’s charge into the shortboard era and won virtually every event he contested, including three Bells Beach Pros back to back. His brilliant surfing provided the centerpiece for Albert Falzon’s "Morning of the Earth" film in 1972, and MP never looked back. His final tour victory, at the inaugural Stubbies Pro at Burleigh Heads in 1977, is regarded as the high point of the early professional era. Increased erratic behavior and paranoia led to an infamous car chase with police, which landed him in jail. He was later diagnosed with schizophrenia in 1982.

Thirty years on, MP is still vitally interested in the sport and culture of surfing and is a fixture at most Queensland events, enjoying the action with his mother, Joan. He is rightly regarded as an iconic figure in Australian surfing, and Jolyon Hoff’s film, while it pulls no punches, is an intensely moving tribute to the man.

Surfer Magazine ranks Michael as the #16 all-time greatest surfer in the world. Click here to view the article: http://surfermag.com/features/onlineexclusive/number_16_michael_peterson/

SEARCHING FOR MICHAEL PETERSON features original footage of Peterson’s life as well as interviews with his friends and surfing rivals. The 55 minute documentary has already achieved success and stellar reviews...

Adding a special touch to the U.S. tour is Australian singer/songwriter Beau Young (2 x world champion surfer) in concert. Beau retired from professional surfing in 2003 to focus on a fulltime career in music. He has gone on to record 2 albums and performed at many of Australia’s most respected music festivals and toured through Japan and Europe. Beau has an obvious affinity with the film and story of Michael Peterson, being the son of one of the world’s most recognized and famous surfers (and Peterson’s predecessor), Nat Young. This will be Beau’s first official U.S. tour.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

what a shame to be famous for such a horrible
thing. it was likely those damn yankee cigarettes that fried
Michaels' brain. every insane person i have ever met, bob dylan included, in my entire life--
is an an addicted smoker of legal yankee cigarettes

dont gawk, its true. fair warning to any and all!!
and please tell me J Hoff that Peterson will profit from the vid sales of this movie

JD Clark
Somewhere between North Forida and Hawaii

November 21, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yankee Cigarettes huh? More like twisted, gnarled, freaked out people of Kirra & Tweed Heads.
All good, He's cruising and the rabid, Aussie, money induced, sticky fingered, corporate junkie is trying to cash in on him. Let the green leachers make their brutal imprint, real surfer's mock this insanity.
Just leave MP alone, he doesn't need you all. Let him relax, without your greedy, wax covered fingers picking his pocket.
The Brazilian's have more class then to suck him dry, while you Aussie mutants turn his beautiful mind into molten lava.
Brah! Let us island people relax his world, without having you buy your next Noosa condo on MP profits.


Shank in Kailua Beach, Hawaii

February 14, 2010  
Anonymous Kevin Hall said...

Sorry JD, Michael (and family) are NOT getting a cent from the sales of the VID. Tommy Peterson (Michael's brother) signed a release, not realising that all rights and entitlements would be waived. "I blew it!" Tommy later told me, "He (J Hoff) sucker punched me, we get nothin'."
That's true Shank, they make more in a week than Michael did in his whole lifetime. As an Aussie who shared, surfed and traveled with him as a close friend, I am ashamed of the way he was treated by his so called "fellow" Aussies. It is simply not right.
The "Searching for Michael Peterson" documentary is a fair portrayal of his surfing ability (considering the lack of good footage available) with some interesting anecdotes from friends and peers. Worth watching for that at least.

March 29, 2010  

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