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1960s Dave Aylett Surfer-Singer-Songwriter Part #1

In the 1960s Cottesloe lad Dave ‘Davo’ Aylett led an idyllic life surfing during the day and playing with a band at night time.

Dave was a talented surfer and musician.

From 1967-68 Dave played rhythm guitar and was a singer/song writer in the popular Perth band The Young Blaydes managed by Victor Kailis. Victor was a great manager and dressed them in suits and ties like the Beatles. They had hair to match, with exception of lead vocalist Greg Wynne, he grew an afro!

Dave’s 60s recollections are featured in two parts:

Part #1 Surfing in the 60s

Part #2 Young Blaydes band 1967-68

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Part #1 Surfing in the 60’s

1961 was the year when we surfed at Trigg blue hole, Threepenny reef, Contacio’s, Scarborough’s numerous beach breaks and City Beach groyne.

We would surf City Beach at night time under the groyne light after parties, if we were to luck out with the chicks. From time to time we would get hooked by the fishermen. One time l had to release myself by biting through the fishing line. I had the fish hook in my hand and it tore out. While I bled on the beach the fisherman wanted to fight me for being responsible for the loss of his tackle. The fishermen hated us being there and they would cast over our heads or try to hit us with their sinkers.

Photo: Early 60s City Beach groyne with fishermen & surfers co-existing. Photo Tom Collins.

1960s City Beach groyne surfing - Tom Collins pic NVE00028

Swanbourne (rifle range and nude beach) rarely performed, North Cottesloe (about the same as Swanbourne except for the nude stuff), Peter’s pool, the Slimy, the Cottesloe pylon, Cottesloe groyne and Cove’s right and left breaks.

Isolated

Then came the ISOLATED with only a hand full of guys knowing about it. Richard Hadley and I were surfing the Cove one day and the waves became a bit boring so we decided to take a paddle to Dutch Inn. Surprise, surprise, we came across this great little wave. Well I’m not sure whether we were the first to take off on this nice little break, but hell we were stoked. The tide was just right and it was going off. What a gas!  Well we both worked shifts at that time and it was mid-week and we were the only ones out there, so we agreed not to tell anyone else.

Photo: Early 1960s Dave Aylett surfing Isolated surf break at Cottesloe. Photo courtesy of Dave Aylett.

1961 Isolated Dave Aylett 207127-1

Back then there was a limestone 1.5 metre high wall separating the road Marine Parade from the steep rugged limestone cliff. If you were driving your car along Marine Parade you would NOT see the surf. Different if you drove a truck. But no one I knew drove a truck!

Photo: Early 1960s Dave Aylett surfing Isolated surf break at Cottesloe. Photo courtesy of Dave Aylett.

1961 Isolated Dave Aylett 207127-2

Those days if you were to find a NEW spot you would keep it to yourself for as long as you could. Acquaintances would ask “where are you planning to surf this weekend?” and you found ways of NOT telling by saying, “to a SECRET SURF SPOT” and just to throw them off completely. We would say, “IT’S VERY ISOLATED” which of course was far from true. I don’t know whether we were the first to surf the break in 1961 because others may feel as though they found it. I can only suggest Richard and I would most likely be the first to surf this great little break. We had it to ourselves for more than a month then the word got out and it became crowded. By then the name ISOLATED stuck and became known for this break. The 1.5 metre limestone wall was removed and it became one of the most popular breaks along the coast.

Images: 1967 State Spring Titles held at Isolated surf break Cottesloe.

Top: Male competitors entering the surf & spectators viewing action from limestone cliff. Still images ex City Beach Surf Riders Club Super 8 film.

Bottom: Carol McDonald leaving the surf and female competitors on the beach L-R Jan Stirling, Maureen Farrell & Carol McDonald. Photos courtesy of Carol Putland nee McDonald (dec’d).

1967 Isolated State SpringTitles _photocat

To escape the city crowd I started taking the long drive down south to Yallingup and breaks like Gallows etc. I’d like to find out who found and named all the other spots. It would make a great read and probably generate some controversy.

Lancelin

Victor Kailis and I surfed with Johnny Balgarnie. I think from memory Bob Mayhew, Bruce Woodward, George Goddard, Vic Francis and Ron Allen surfed northern breaks, the best from my memory were South Passage and Edward Island and sometimes a little but well-shaped shore break we called the Rubbish Tip.

I think the best day of surf I can vividly remember was South Passage. It was a long paddle out so Vick whose family is and was big in fisheries invited us aboard one of his fishing boat out to South Passage. Rarely one gets conditions we had. After catching a wave while paddling out it looked as though the reefs were rising in the crystal clear oil like water. Not a bird in the sky or fish action and slightly overcast. When the wave tubed you could hear it gurgle..Magic! We all became champions in our own lunch hour. When we became too tired to continue this dreamlike session, Vick gave a wave to an incoming cray boat, they knew he was there, and we lay on the deck, completely spent. What a day! I slept like a log after the drive home on the rough limestone white dust (I was going to say road) track. Vick spent a long time nose riding. I think hanging five was his specialty. We were friends then, but since he has become so big in business my emails have been answered by his staff and any contact is like getting an audience with the Queen.

Surf Mobiles

My dad ran and owned retail and wholesale butchering interests. The best position I held was tally boning for Globe Meats. That was shift work when the Norwest cattle came down. I made very good money and before I was seventeen I purchased my first car. A 2 door Morris Minor mid 1950s model. I used that until I purchased brand new a 1962 (and a half) VW.

That car got absolutely hammered. I had what they called in those days ‘winter tread’ tyres on the rear and ran them at as low as 10p.s.i. when driving off road. That V-dub could handle any beaches tracks & one time it even floated in Mandurah estuary. We even skurfed behind it when there was no surf. We would use the rope we had to tie the boards on the rack like a ski rope with a bit of stick on the end with the other end tied to the bumper.

That car going to Yallingup with 4 on board & 4 surfboards on the roof taking the old limestone coast road with brick on accelerator (cruise control) would get up on a down-hill run to as much as 65 m.p.h. and we would drink King Browns Emu, Swan all the way. When we arrive at Yallingup Caves House I could drive fine. I just couldn’t walk! How we survived is a miracle. Caves licensee Bill Copley was a great guy. I think he had the patience of any angel putting up with this mob of piss heads. (I did have some photos of those days, but they were victims of my messy divorce). That car lasted me till 1964. In 1964 Rex Cordingley asked me if I would like to drive to Sydney for the First World Surf Championships in Cordingley’s sky blue F.C. panel van with some surfboards on the rack. Rex also asked Peter Utting. We both said yes. What an experience! But’s that’s a story for another day!

Click on this link to view Part #2 Young Blaydes band 1967-68

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