THE ICE MAN COMETH. RALPH FATELLO February 4th, 2023.
Photo by Brian Nevins
That’s me after seriously suffering from Frost Nip on my fingers. Frost nip is less severe than Frost Bite but still a bitch to deal with. Both Brian and I got stung by the cold. I had to retreat twice back to my vehicle to warm up my hands. I was shooting stills with my NIKON and using my iPhone to shoot video. The problem was, I could use my thick winter gloves to shoot stills, but when I went to shoot video on my iPhone, I had to take my glove off to hit the record button. And in that short window? I got zapped by the biting cold. And once your digits (fingers) get cold, it's hard to get them back. Hence the two rapid retreats back to my vehicle. I was literally running back to my JEEP.
But not before getting some of the wildest natural
snow and ice formations on the beach. I mean look at this stuff, it's truly amazing to see this up close. There are times when I feel like I'm on another planet.
And of course what I came here for this day. The frozen Mini waves.
This mini wave below is all slush. I call them Slurpies.
I shot as many as I could before I couldn't take the pain any more.
Trust me, I tried to suck it up and continue shooting, but the pain in my hands was just too much. I had to leave the water's edge to get back in front of my heaters on the dashboard of my JEEP. I managed to get warm enough to try it again. The video (-8 BELOW) at the top pf this page is from that shoot. If the visuals in that edit don't look cold then I have failed as a videographer. Because it was as cold as it ever gets.
Watch the video and look at the galleries. Mine and Brian Nevins gallery.
The fascination with these Arctic Blasts has pretty much gone viral. Everyone has a cell phone and everyone wants to see it and document it. Though that's not entirely true. There are a handful of people who live on the seacoast that are so jaded about seeing sea smoke, that they can't help but post disparaging remarks about those of us who do document it.
I guess it's true, you can't please every one. I know of a few who can't help but be negative about it. I actually chuckle at their posts. They're really pretty funny.
Even though I know that most of them would never get up off the couch to step out into the elements and see it for themselves. I think if they ever saw it up close and personal, they'd change their tune. But facebook is full of negative individuals who bitch and complain about everything and everyone. And that's never going to change. But for me personally? I'm going to go down into the belly of the beast during every snow storm, ice storm, arctic blast, hurricane, and wild Nor'easter for as long as I shall live and breathe. I'm going down.
Now for something a little bit warmer.
With the recent passing of Jeff Beck last month, my wife reminded me of our encounter with a Jeff Beck incident on Oahu's North Shore in Hawaii back in 1985. Here's the short story I posted on Facebook this past week about that encounter. This is a true story, and this story will be in my book.
JEFF BECK! JEFF BECK! JEFF BECK!
The winter of 1985, on Oahu’s, North Shore. I was there for two reasons. First and foremost, to surf. I had been coming to Oahu almost every winter since the late 70’s. But secondly, I was there with my then girlfriend Cory, to shoot a video for the MTV basement tapes for my band SEMPER FI. Back in the 80’s, MTV came up with a program called the BASEMENT Tapes. It was essentially for the millions of unsigned bands to make a video and get it played on their Sunday night program hosted by Martha Quinn.
It was all a loosely veiled contest format.
The bands that submitted their tapes, would have their fans call in and vote for their song/video. Much like the days when WBCN 104.1 FM in Boston would do every week on the Local Countdown on Friday’s with Ken Shelton. The band with the most votes would win. It had nothing to do with the song, or in the case of MTV, the video. Pretty simple logic.
The band with the most votes would win.
Anyway, Cory and I were there with my trusty old and reliable GAF Super 8mm movie camera. I liked the grainy look of Super 8 mm movies. I shot most of my old surf movies on that camera in the 60’s right up to the late 90’s. I always thought there was a bit of hipness, and a cool factor, using that old camera. Needless to say, I was working on a shoestring budget. I had made a video for my friend, Johnny Angel’s band, The BLACKJACKS “Dreaming of Saturday Again” using that same camera. They got a ton of airplay on V66 with that tape. Again, using the grainy, but warm Super 8mm film, as opposed to the stark and cheap video quality of the 80’s. And my crew? Well, my crew consisted of me and Cory.
I told you it was low budget.
We were shooting some B roll footage for the song MARIA. I wrote that song the summer of 1983, after touring through South America with VINNY. At the time, my then bass player, had fallen in love with a woman named Maria, and he wanted to get off the tour, and stay in Bogotá and marry her. I of course was dead against this. I finally convinced him to finish the tour and then, if he still felt this strongly about her, to come back, marry her, and live happily ever after. He agreed and we finished the tour. Thank God. *My bass player never went back. But the song became a local hit, thanks to David Robinson’s great production and his solid Linn Drum playing.
Anyway, back to the shoot. I was wearing some baggy like black pajamas. Much like what the Vietnamese wore. And I had no top. Yup, I was bare chested. In fact, I had little to no hair on my chest. Weird, because today I not only have hair on my chest, but also on my back and shoulders. Equally weird.
It’s important to know that every time I went to Hawaii, I would dye my hair black. Why? Because I wanted to blend in with the locals while out in the water. I had seen too many beat downs by the local Hui on the white “Haole Boys” just for having blonde hair and white skin. I figured if I dyed my hair, and got a little color in the local tanning booths back home before coming over, I could catch my waves and not be hassled. Laugh all you want, but it worked. The only times it didn’t work is when my “haole” friends paddled over to me, and started yakking at me out in the line-up. I’d be like “Get the hell the way from me. Don’t be sitting on me out here.” Those white Haole boys never got it. So there we were. Me standing on the side of a cliff, with the waves crashing below us. I’m bare chested holding my back-up black Stratocaster. Cory is in her bathing suit looking through the lens of the movie camera that’s on a tripod. She’s shooting me, as I stand on the cliff, with the wind blowing my hair back, and I’m pretending (acting) to be playing my guitar. I’m sure I looked like a freaking tool. Singing to Maria. Ugh.
But hey, it’s the 80’s and every band was making videos.
We have a boom box with a cassette player. The song Maria is playing so I can get a feel for the tempo etc. and lip sync to the lyrics. It was as bare bones low budge as you can get. I am standing about 30 yards from Cory, who is standing by the edge of the road. Suddenly a bus goes by and screeches to a halt. The doors open and a bunch of young teenage Japanese tourists coming running off the bus. They all have cameras with them. Real cameras with straps around their necks. They go running up to Cory all excited and making a fuss. I just stop what I’m doing and wait for them to get back on the bus. But they are not moving. They are all pointing to me and saying something.
I can see Cory shaking her head “No”. But they are way too excited.
And then I heard it. Someone yelling “Jeff Beck! Jeff Beck!” Then, I hear more yelling. “Jeff Beck! Jeff Beck!” Suddenly they are all yelling “JEFF BECK! JEFF BECK!” I turn to look around just to make sure that the real Jeff Beck didn’t somehow end up on the side of this cliff with me. I look at Cory shaking my head. But the teens are in a frenzy. “Jeff Beck! Jeff Beck!” I now realize that I have to go and tell them the truth. I walk towards them and they are getting louder and more excited.
I’m hearing high pitched girl like screams. I am shaking my head “No” but they are not getting it. I walk up to Cory who is now laughing and trying to talk to me “They think you’re Jeff Beck.” I am now laughing “I can see that baby.” I look at these young teens who are now snapping pics of me at an alarming rate. “I am not Jeff Beck. I’m not Jeff Beck.” I say shaking my head no. But they are not hearing it. I feel hands on my bare arms now.
“Look, I’m not Jeff Beck.” I plead with them as I point to myself. “I’m a nobody from Boston. I’m a schmuck.” Cory is now laughing hysterically. And I start laughing along with her. We’re both laughing as they take photo after photo of both of us. Then, one of them wants to get their photo taken with me. Or rather, Jeff Beck. At this time, it’s a moot point to argue with them. So, I give in and pose with them separately, and with groups. They are all so excited. Cory and I are just laughing hysterically out loud. Hell, I may have even signed a few autographs. I looked at Cory “Do I sign my name or Jeff Beck?” She just laughed even louder. Finally the tour bus driver yells at them to get back on the bus. He looks at me with a look of “who the hell are you?” I shake my head. “I know, can you believe this?” We wave goodbye as the bus takes off.
Cory and I are still laughing as they rumble off. I see a few of them at the back window taking more photos and waving frantically. I shake my head as I give them a final salute.
Later after we finished the shoot, I started laughing again. “What’s so funny?” Cory asked.“Oh I’m thinking of those kids going back to Japan and getting their pictures developed, and then showing their friends and family pictures of them with Jeff Beck. When someone, who really knows who Jeff Beck is, and what he looks like, will look at them and say. “I’m sorry, I don’t know who that guy is, but I do know, that’s NOT Jeff Beck.”
Or maybe, they don’t say anything, and let them believe they actually met Jeff Beck. And now that Beck is no longer with us, I wonder if they dug up those old pics from Hawaii in the winter of '85 to remember that time they met Jeff Beck, and his pretty girlfriend. Too funny. It made Cory and I smile just thinking about it. Rest In Peace Jeff Beck.
P.S. We lost the MTV Basement tapes contest. I think we came in 3rd. But, we got our video played on MTV. All 5 minutes worth. Click on the image above to watch the MARIA video on YOUTUBE.
“SURFING, SEA SMOKE, and MTV HEALS ALL WOUNDS.”
THE GOAT HAS RETIRED. THIS TIME FOR GOOD.
Now I have already written about Tom Brady the first time he retired, so there's no need to rehash what I had already written. I took a screen shot the second he said the words "I'm retiring." He was pretty choked up about it. And like I said, I had already written about him. He was and will forever be the GOAT.
I really hope he
signs that One Day contract with the Patriots so he can retire as a Patriot. Because lets be real. He was with New England for 20 years. He was only in Tampa Bay for 3. He should retire as a Patriot. That's where he belongs.
*Note Tom Brady has more Super Bowl wins than all 32 teams in the NFL. That's insane!
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 4th, 2023 US FIGHTER PLANES SHOOT DOWN CHINESE SPY BALLOON OVER THE ATLANTIC OFF THE COAST OF SOUTH CAROLINA.
You'd have to be living under a rock not to hear about this. Biden ordered US fighter jets to shoot down the Chinese Spy Balloon. And as a result a million funny memes have hit social media. Here's a sample
of a couple.
These are funny. This is some of the good stuff about social media. There's some hilarious individuals out there who make up some of the funniest memes.
This is some funny shit. Come on. This is funny. Ha ha.
THE NEW 2023 RPOTW CALENDARS ARE AVAILABLE!
Featuring pics from every month from last year's Blog.
Email me directly at email@example.com or pick one up
at CINNAMON RAINBOWS in North Hampton, NH
I'M NOT GONNA PULL ANY PUNCHES HERE. I WANT THE EAGLES TO BEAT THE CHIEFS IN SUPER BOWL 57.
Look at it this way. I am so over Mahomey. Besides, I have good friends who are EAGLES fans. Plus, I saw a giant Bald eagle the other day fly over my head. I took it as a positive sign.
FLY EAGLES FLY!
The NEW HAMPSHIRE SURF DOCUMENTARY.
A documentary that has been 58 years in the making. Hear from Local Legends Surfers from all over New England talk about New Hampshire. Coming the Summer of 2023
You all must have guessed that Ole Khaliddy would have had to have something to do with the Chinese Spy balloon this week. Though if you look closely at this graphic, the Sheik looks more like a big Ole nasty, itchy, and sometimes painful hemorrhoid. I just hope he wasn't hurt in the shoot-down. I mean it landed in the water right? Once again, you're welcome my friends.
And so my friends, please take advantage of this weekly photo shop of the mastermind who planned 9-11 and resulted in the deaths of 3,000 innocent civilians by KSM (Khalid Sheik Mohammed). *Note to self -must pick up a case of Chinese Food Cartons at Home Depot this week.
REST IN PEACE Pat Curren 1932-2023
REST IN PEACE Patricia "PATCHES" Holmes
HAPPY VALENTINES DAY February 14th, 2023
Heal quickly Gary Ritchie who took ONE STEP BEYOND!
Please keep local Surfer Norm Murphy in your thoughts and prayers. SURFING HEALS ALL WOUNDS!
Please Keep local surfer Bill M. in your thoughts and prayers.
Support ALL The photographers who contribute to
Ralph's Pic Of The Week every week for the last 18 years.
** BUY a HIGH RES Photo
from any of the weeks on RPOTW.
my friends... Surfing Heals All Wounds.
Pray for Surf. Pray for Peace. Surf For Fun.