Professional muso and local style-meister.....
Local Spot: Anywhere there's waves!
Weapons: 7 boards ranging from a fish to a longboard
Wheels: 70's VW Kombi and a Mazda 323
Graft: Professional musician
Favourite surfer: Kelly Slater
Favourite local surfer: Dylan Stone
Favourite spot: Platboom in the Reserve in Cape Town
Local Crew: ET
Achievements: Managed EP Boy's once or twice in the '80's
Introducing Joe van der Linden...
Take us back to when it all started?
I remember my first wave standing up, at Hermanus, on one of those Styrofoam boards with a red fin. My best friend at the time had a Morey boogie board! We were surf stoked already, emulating our older brothers and the Pinelands crew, which included some good surfers, including Phil Chapman and Jarvi, of Zigzag fame.
What was your first stick?
Well, after the Styrofoam it was a Tich Paul twin fin, with pink fins and red and white checks on the bottom, ah the 80`s!
Who were your crew back in the day?
I started surfing while living in Cape Town still, but moved to PE when I was 13...and became a grommet who hung out at Pipe and Fence. I pretty much hung with all the ou`s at the wall at Pipe, in front of the old Summerstrand Hotel.But Seagull, Waxi, Dodds, Drew, Woudi, Peter,Porky, Dennis, Plankton were some of the main okes.
What sort of kak did you used to get up to?
We used to camp in J-bay just about every holiday, and hang out at the Savoy hotel drinking a coupla beers We would say we were going to camp at the campsite, but then sleep in the bushes right at the point. We were pretty cool kids though, no serious bullshit that we got up to, we just wanted to surf and kiss hot girls if we could!
Are you a born & bred PE boytjie?
No, born in Kokstad in Natal, then Cape Town from 7-13 yrs old, then PE for high school.
Did you ever used to bunk school to surf?
Yeah a couple of times, and they were sweet times indeed! But as a Grey boy you had to have your story straight, cos they were STRICT in those days!
Any grom abuse back in the day – given or received?
Yeah, I had Vaseline rubbed on my wax at an EP trial once. I borrowed a board tho and won the heat!
How’d you rate the surf now vs then?
I reckon its as good now as it ever was, but not the Fence. I used to get better waves there for sure. It did help that I was a lot smaller tho
Any classic surf trips or sessions that stand out?
Some of my best sessions have been at the Fence on glassy evenings just getting sweet little barrels, so clean, fun and at home too!
Have you surfed overseas at all?
I do a bit of kite surfing as well, and I have been twice to Mauritius on gigs where I have taken my kite rig along and had unbelievable experiences just kiting out off the island in that azure water and just being so stoked to be so blessed.
Any scary moments surfing?
I have been circled and chased by raggies around the Natures Valley\Keurbooms area, but it was not too hectic. I have almost drowned twice tho, at Muizenberg! My leash snapped right at the back on a big day. I was only 12 and my suit was a bit baggy for me. I started panicking, but after umpteenth white water over the back of my head, some dude just yanked me up by the scruff of my neck onto his board and caught a wave in with me. I can still see his face clearly in my mind, accompanied by some sort of orchestral music.
I also almost drowned at Rocky Peak (Rockies) once. My leash snapped again, and it was solid, but I naively tried to swim in against the rip and got sucked out into the rocky impact zone. So tiring and panicked I suddenly found myself getting worked by a solid set and dealing with dry reef! I called Waldemar van Wyk to help me and he paddled me in eventually. I found my board on the rocks half way to Main Rights, where I would have ended up!
You’re a professional muso, tell us ‘bout that.
I just decided at about 12 that that was what I was gonna do, cos I love music so much. I felt that the world was in a rat race and I wanted no part of it. Music would give me work that I truly loved, as well as the opportunity to travel, girls, free time in the day to surf…what more could I ask for?
Do you still get to surf much if you have to travel the country to play?
Yeah, I still surf a lot. I am off to Joburg now for a month, so obviously no surf then! And I was just in Europe for a month too, so ja, on and off.
Any groupies/crazy road trip tales?
Ha! Ja lots, but what goes on tour, stays on tour!
Hmm, I can tell you a funny story from tour though. There was this time when I was on tour in Zimbabwe. While playing golf in a town called Triangle, one of the guys decided to ask the caddy, a local Zimbabwean, if he could organise him a bit of the giggly twig.
Well, he gave the caddy some cash and off he headed eager to prove his affirmative response to the illegal request. Time passed, game ended, but no caddy...so it was written off as a bad investment.
Later that night we were busy performing to about 500 farmer types. The sticky midsummer humidity clung to our brows as we baked under the hot coloured glare of the lights, which were attracting a myriad of African flying insects to our outdoor stage.
We noticed a commotion at the back of the crowd. Next thing our caddy, pissed as a coot, comes wobbling up the aisle with a plastic packet bundled in his hand, a euphoric look on his face as he zoned in on, and recognised the guy who had sent him on his mission hours earlier!
He had clearly not been able to resist the shebeen with all that cash in his pocket. But being an honourable man had still fulfilled his duty! Well, unfortunately, he was unceremoniously marched out of the venue for all his valiant effort.
Have you played with any famous muso’s or at famous venues?
I have played with a lot of SA`s top musos: Valiant Swart, Albert Frost, Steve Newman, some of the Freshly Ground crew and lank others. At the Billabong in J-Bay one year I had a sick jam with Donovan Frankenreiter, Kelly, Occy, Tom Curran and Flavio Padaratz, that was a classic night!
Any new albums out?
I have a new CD completed, which people can find out about on facebook at ‘Joe van der Linden, musician’. There’s also the ‘Brothers of Other Mothers’, which is a local band of surfers and the like which can be found on facebook at ‘Brothers of Other Mothers –Africa’.
Oh, and for those with small kids: I also did a kids album which seems to go down pretty well. Any enquiries can go to firstname.lastname@example.org, as well as the facebook thing.
Anything interesting bout you peeps might not know?
I love my old 70`s VW Combi, it`s sitting in my garage in Cape Town waiting for Franki (my son), Shamoo (partner) and me to go and pick her up for a leisurely road trip up the coast!
I am moving back to PE, into a big ol house at the bottom of Brickmakers Kloof, which we are gonna renovate and live the life in. PE is an under rated and classic spot to live, awesome climate, cool surf, mellow people… I think of it a bit like California in the 70`s, uncrowded and beautiful and full of untapped potential.