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Broken [Radio Vers.]
by 12 Stones
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Heard by 47,213 since Apr 5 '05
Last spun 7 months ago
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Jack Johnson
Feb 2002

Professional surfer, cinematographer and singer-songwriter it-boy Jack Johnson is in the radio.wazee spotlight this week with his song "Flake." Influenced by poet-musicians like Ben Harper, Paul Simon, G-Love and Elliot Smith, "Flake" is from his Universal Records debut "Brushfire Fairytales."

Jack Hody Johnson was born the youngest of the three Johnson boys on May 18, 1975. The family lived in the town of Hauula on the east side of the Hawaiian island of Oahu, and all the Johnson brothers grew up surfing practically from the time they could walk. Jack cut his teeth one of the world's most respected, feared and photographed waves: Pipeline. With guys like Tom Curren and Kelly Slater surfing his local break and his own performances unknowingly turning up in magazines and movies, the pro world became inevitable for Jack to avoid. However, Jack preferred spending time on the guitar and his first band, Limber Chicken. He didnít neglect his surfing, though--Jack made the finals of the Pipe trials at 17, becoming the youngest invitee for the world's most prestigious surfing event. His high-profile performances were enough to earn him a pro contract with Quiksilver before leaving high school.

Older brothers Trent and Petey had both gone to college in California, at UCLA and USC, respectively, and Jack thought he might do the same. After a bad surfing accident at the Pipeline left 17-year-old Jack with 100 stitches in his face, a skull fracture and without his front teeth, college was definitely in the cards. Jack entered the University of California at Santa Barbara the following fall, starting out as a mathematics major. He quickly realized that making movies was much more fun than studying statistics, and transferred to the film department. Jack and some friends also formed Soil, a popular party band on the local scene, and before long, he was writing all of Soil's lyrics. Meanwhile, Taylor Steele and Chris Malloy, whom Jack befriended years before in Hawaii, recruited his cinematography services for the surf film "All For One." That's when Jack was introduced to Emmett Malloy, Chris's cousin, an aspiring film editor and creative director with access to state-of-the-art equipment. Jackís first crowds as a solo artist were literally captive audiences on the surf tours he was shooting. Word spread like wildfire within surfing circles, and Jack's bootlegs became must-haves for everyone on tour.

The critically-acclaimed surf film "Thicker Than Water" spotlighted Jack as a talented cinematographer as well as a burgeoning singer/songwriter, and before it was even released, Jack was introduced to fellow surfer Garrett Dutton (G-Love). After a jam session, G-Love was so impressed with Jack's song "Rodeo Clowns," he asked him to come in and record it. The song made G-Loveís album (1999ís "Philadelphonic") and immediately hit the radio waves. For the next few months, Emmett Malloy, acting as Jack's manager, fielded calls from every major record label. Donít think that Jack Johnson the surfer has been totally replaced by Jack Johnson the rock star, though. "[Surfing] will always be there," he says. "[It] balances me out. Nothing else I do sets me straight, mentally and physically, like it can."

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