We found the June/July issue of Malibu magazine in a stack in the office last night. It’s been lying around for a week or so, we’d guess. We pick up the free glossy when we’re in Cross Creek or heading back from the pier after a good morning fishing. It’s usually an expensively-produced throway, known for the usual celebrity photo spreads and light interviews, real estate porn and restaurant reviews.
This month’s issue is different. It may be the finest example of a local magazine ever produced— and in this case, you can’t tell a book by its cover.
Behind the artsy black and white photo of a band called Simon Dawes is a collection of articles and photo essays that captures a town, a place, a legend and a myth better than any magazine issue we’ve ever encountered since the heyday of Mad.
Starting with a “Letter from the Creative Director,” romanticizing the mix of homeless, scary bums, millionaire celebrities and paparazzi (captured with more ironic artfulness in the excellent social comedy movie, Cloud 9) in a manner that's a little too hip and self-satisfied, each page opens a new door to a famed community.
Highlights: A photo essay on the history of surfing that drags you under and doesn’t let go; a wrapup of the local “Malibu Sound” bands, all rich kids with famous daddies like Lou Adler and Bruce Jenner, sporting early-Seventies long hair and influenced by neighbor Kate Hudson’s Almost Famous movie as much as by Skynyrd and the Allmans (and a tragic fallen hero); and a story by Clementine Carter about a bizarre hidden canyon eatery called This Old Place that stopped serving salads because of fears of contamination and three-bean salad because folks made fun of it.
By the end of this magazine, through the articles, photos and ads, you have lived in Malibu and walked on its disputed beaches. The good and the bad. From Pamela Anderson to surfing realtors to vacant millionaire latchkey kids. It’s extraordinary. Expect awards.
If you live on the other side of the world, let alone outside that LA beachzone, we don’t know how you’ll get a copy. Try their website.