| It's no secret what this is about. My bio.
My long story short. The Who, What and Where and Why about who Ralph is.
Some of you already know, some want to know, some could care less. But
seeing how most websites have an about page, well I figure I should let
those who want to know...know. So this is who I am and how I got here.
Meanwhile, send the pics
started surfing in 1964. So what does that make me 100 years old? Pretty
close. Put it this way, my life is clearly on the down side of the Big
first real surfboard was a 8' 3" KEOKI pop-out. Red with a single
stringer. I got it the Summer of 1965. The Black and White photo in
the collage above (right) is the only memory I have of it. I loved that
board. I can still remember my first ride on that board. I can still
recall the sound of that board casting over the water and the sound
it made. The water hitting off the bottom and the rails. God I was hooked
on surfing. And I loved that Red Keoki. In fact, I wish I still had
it. I don't know where it ended up. I know I traded it in for a 9' 6"
Royal Hawaiian. A board that I hated. In fact, I hate it to this day.
The only reason I traded my Red Keoki for it, was because my friends,
convinced me that I needed a bigger board. Well, I got a bigger board
with the Royal Hawaiian, but it was an absolute piece of crap. Zero
Rocker. It had no life. I hated that board. I was miserable for having
traded my original board for this piece of junk.
I ended up being part of the first group of American Surfers to ever surf in Nova Scotia in 1971. Jeff Crawford, Bruz Bowden and myself. That was also the first time I made a Surf Movie. I shot it on Super 8mm Movie film. My father was a photographer. He developed his own film. Mostly Black and white. He also had several movie cameras. I used his cameras. It was the start of my movie making career. I started shooting surfing from that moment on. Every swell I would shoot and surf. That same year I traveled to Mexico and shot footage there as well. I moved to Hampton in those early 70's. I met and hung out with several friends who I still surf with today. Kevin Grondin, Allen Bigbee and many more. It was also when I met Joe Somogyi. He was something special. He was a Vietnam Veteran who served in the ARMY Rangers. He was a bona fide War Hero. He named a lot of the breaks, we surf today. We became best friends in that short time I knew him. He died in 1978 from exposure to Agent Orange. I still miss him today. I paddled out in his memory at the 2007 Vietnam Veterans Memorial Surf Paddle for all the 'Nam Vets in San Diego. It was an amazing event.
I went to Art School in Boston, and ended up playing in several bands. One of my band's (VINNY), was a popular band that played the RAT in the 70's. We opened for the POLICE in 1978 at the RAT. I also played with many other bands during that time. During this time, I also traveled around the Globe in search of surf. One of my travel's took us to the Caribbean in 1979. In 1983, my band toured through South American and Central America. And that is a story for another time. It was also during the late 70's and early 80's, when I started to go to Hawaii each winter. The North Shore of Oahu. We surfed the North Shore each winter for many years. The whole time I was surfing and shooting. Still shooting, using film on both stills and Movies. One year, Kevin, Lenny and myself got chased out of the water by a 15' Tiger Shark. That was fun.
I also had a dog that surfed. Caley. She loved to surf. She lived to be 16 years old.
It was during that time, in the mid 70's, when I became Vince Shazam. I had created this character of myself, and used it where ever I went. I was handful for sure. Many of my friends who knew me back then, will testify to that. Just ask guys like Jacko, Crop, Stevie, Zap, Johnny and a million others. I was fit to be tied half the time I was out surfing or holding court at 10th Street. I was anti everything.
Surfer Magazine would print my letters from all over the world. It was a crazy time for sure. Captain Vince Shazam and his Loyal Shamzamdos from Shazamland. Of course I was still playing music. I did record an album with the Cars Drummer David Robinson producing. It was called Olas De Sexo. It was on EAT Records which became Ryko Disc. I also did a couple of videos, one of which appeared on MTV. My last show with the VINNY band was at The RAT in 1984, and we opened for the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. It was their first gig in Boston. I went on to play in a band called Semper Fi. That band opened for ELP at the Meadowlands in NY in front 25,000 people. Then I had a band called the Nor'easters. A blues Rock band. We played with members of the Rolling Stones, The Allman Brothers, and acts like Robin Trower and a host of others. That band never officially broke up. So technically, we're still a band. We play about once or twice a year.
Currently, I am playing with BIG HANDSOME DADDY, a 3pc blues/rock band, and RALPH FATELLO and The Tenth Street Blues Band.
met my wife in 1983 after touring through South America. We got married
and have three children. They all love the beach and surfing. My son
Mackey V is a way better surfer than I ever thought about being at his
age. I have traveled with my family, surfing all over the Globe. But
our home is here in New Hampshire. I started making more and more movies,
and in 1985, came up with the name SURF FREE OR DIE. That's been my
business for making Surf Movies. I also did a beach report on WBCN in
1993 as Captain Vince Shazam with the Beat on the Beach for BCN. Of
course, the video world finally found it's way into my life. And I started
getting serious about my movies. To date, I have several Movies on Movie
film (That I will eventually release) and 16 DVD full length movies.
With 3 in the can. In the year 1992, I started a beach party for Surf
Families called "Surf Family Robinson". It has grown each
year with new parents and new Surf Groms. All of the original kids have
out grown it, but some come back and help out each year.
Heals All Wounds. Pray for Surf. Pray for Peace. Surf For Fun.
Click on Thumbnail images above of Ralph Surfing through the ages for larger images