The story of "Bombora"
What is Bombora?
"Bombora" is an aboriginal word for a wave that breaks outside the normal surf line.
It also happens to be the title of the first Australian surf instrumental to go number one on the charts way back in 1963, written and performed by The Atlantics.
It has always been at the top of my favourite surf instrumentals - but little did I realise that one day I would count the writers of that classic (Jim Skiathitis and Peter Hood) as friends.
As I stepped away from thirty years in the advertising world back in 2003, "Bombora" seemed like a great name for a new, smaller, informal company. Besides, it already had its own theme music.
So Bombora was born with the philosophy of "Unexpected. Unforgettable". Just like the wave and the track.
The vague plan was to do a few advertising campaigns, make a little music and maybe even a feature film. No rush - just one step at a time. But also do things that surprised, that people didn't expect.
I have always had an intense love of music, all sorts. And in the back of my mind for years had been the idea of doing some interesting, unusual recording projects. Even if no one else liked (or bought) them, at least I'd have fun doing them.
The first project - Lawson
Thanks to good mate John Schumann, I got my first opportunity to be involved in the creation of a music project when John and I worked together on "Lawson"- John Schumann & The Vagabond Crew. (www.henrylawson.com.au)
Together John and I selected a handful of Henry Lawson poems, John put music to them and we recorded them with an amazing "vagabond crew" of Australian artists including the Pigram Brothers, Rob Hirst, Russell Morris, Mike Rudd, Shane and Marcia Howard and Broderick Smith. I also got to meet and work with Lawson producer Kerryn Tolhurst and engineer Mick Wordley - two outstanding talents and darn good guys.
During that time, Kerryn and I started talking about a more ambitious project - recapturing, recreating, re-recording fifty years of Australian surf music with the original artists. It seemed we both shared a passion for the music and a respect for the artists that had created it.
A year later the conversation turned into reality when we went into the historic Freshwater Surf Life Saving Club on Sydney's north shore to film and record "Delightful Rain: A celebration of Australian surf music". (www.delightfulrain.com.au)
For two weeks in May 2006, some of Australia's finest surf musicians gathered to record material old and new and to celebrate the journey of Australian surf music over almost 50 years. We went back to its origins - a surf club on a beach. You can hear the history in the sound.
The Atlantics, Richard Clapton, Rob Hirst and The Angry Tradesmen, Tamam Shud, GANGgajang, Celibate Rifles, Les Green of The Denvermen, Pete Howe, Dan Rumour & The Drift, Andrew Kidman and Beau Young. What a line-up. And what a wonderful 14 days. And nights.
In October 2006, the limited edition CD/DVD "Delightful Rain" was released. The reviews have been very positive and the sales healthy.
"Delightful Rain" and meeting people in and around surf music and surfing has been the major inspiration for establishing this site - www.bombora.net.au
I discovered there were a lot of surf music tragics out there just like me. And in addition, I not only had a theme song, but now I had my very own recording of "Bombora". It doesn't get much better than that.
Since then I have had the privilege to work with a number of "Rain" artists on other projects.
Bombora has just released "Revenge Of The Surf Guitar" by Martin Cilia of The Atlantics. (www.martincilia.com)
We've just released a live concert CD "Noosa Rain" - recorded at the Noosa Festival Of Surfing in March 2007 with Tamam Shud, Beau Young and The Atlantics.
There's a new CD on its way from Dan Rumour & The Drift.
A single release of Richard Clapton's classic "Blue Bay Blues" performed by Broome's highly acclaimed Pigram Brothers.
A children's album we recorded in India - "Michael Turner & The Peaceful Stars - Days & Dreams" - out soon.
And an enjoyable bluesy, country album "She's On The Other Side" by Dean Thomas, an old advertising friend of mine who also decided music was more enjoyable.
What's ahead for Bombora?
Well, getting this site working well is a major priority.
In the coming year, I hope to add a significant number of surf music CDs from Australian artists and make the site a worthwhile destination.
There's also a couple of recording projects in development, along with a television series and a possible feature film - no surprises it takes place in and around the surfing community.
And from what we've already recorded, I reckon the soundtrack is taken care of.
So there you have it. The story of Bombora - until now.
Almost four years on and I guess that philosophy of "unexpected, unforgettable" best describes the journey.
In launching www.bombora.net.au as "Australia's best surf music site - and more", Bombora takes another step.
Stay tuned and let's see how it all develops.
And remember, "life ain't a dress rehearsal - it's the real deal".