Departing the “Fame Train”

All aboard to Mediocreville!!!

All aboard to Mediocreville!!!

After a hard day of trying to understand what in the world is going on at my place of employment; my manager and I skip the old work talk and start to delve into other subjects. It can be the current happenings of old work acquaintances or it can be a subject that we both bond over.

James and I share a commonality that is hard to get. I can imagine in some back office of a Target, maybe the former drummer of Trixter is talking to his co-worker who was in Uriah Heap.

“Remember the tour buses!”

“Sure do! And the women too!”

Then they turn around and begin to dully enter data into their spreadsheets. Their minds drifting from the numerics to a stage set in front of screaming fans and pyrotechnics.

James and I share this relationship.

James was once in a touring band. I have his CD in my collection. His group once played to a cheering audience at the Apollo. He tells me stories of sitting back stage with just about any old school R&B group you can throw out there.

Now we are trying to get some executives to understand that we need to increase our budget.


At some point in my life, my life began to fracture into a dual existence. I felt like people would tire of me and think of me as the classic one-upper. So I just kept my mouth shut. People just knew me as the good surfer guy and that was good enough for me.

So even now I keep my past on the down low. When someone talks about punk music, I just tell them I saw this band or that one. When they talk about surfing; I just tell them I surfed in Hawaii and leave it at that.

I don’t think people can relate to playing pool with T.S.O.L. or sitting in the competitor grand stands at the OP Pro with a World Tour surfer and talking about what board to ride before his heat. Or the president of a company calling you to see the premiere of a movie and lending you dress clothes as you stroll down a red carpet runway.


“Sir, if you have a question about this just let me know and I can help you out”.

My mind goes back in time. Back to when the UPS truck would drop off a box of equipment and free clothes.  Questions!?! I can tell you more about this product than you will ever know, kid!

Then I come back to now. He is just a kid working in a shop. He doesn’t have a clue.

“Just looking”, I say and smile.

So, this is life after the “Fame Train” has dropped you off. Work looms for me. Maybe someone will listen to my ideas and maybe it will be an easy day. I hope this check is bigger than last week.

I drift back to the trip to the Bahamas. Adam and I in a bar drinking with Benny Hill…


About 1stpeaksteve

Welcome to The Side Wedge! The Side Wedge is a product of the journey through life of Steve Zima. Former professional surfer, a writer, surf coach, and hospitality manager. This is a collection of travel tips, motivation, and stories from my past. Finally, I offer surf coaching through The Side Wedge. Please feel free to contact me with questions if you want to improve your performance today! Thanks for reading!
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9 Responses to Departing the “Fame Train”

  1. janstring says:

    Ah Benny Hill… brings back memories of england in the 70’s. what a way to remember our culture!!

    • 1stpeaksteve says:

      He was actually a super friendly guy. What was even more humorous was that he was sporting a shirt that said, “I (heart symbol) Benny Hill”.

      Takes some character to do that!

  2. mulletkiller says:

    It Hurts to fork out $300-$500 for a new suit, $35.00 for an traction deck, or fit my kid with a $60.00 pair of Vans but hey I’m still loyal to those that supported me back in the day.. But your right the kids in the shops don’t have a clue and I’m ok with it…sometimes, most of the times but I’d be lying if I said the fire in my belly wasn’t still there. I just wished my abilities matched the fire Maybe I should be sponsored by Wal-Mart’s Brand – Faded Glory

  3. Jessica says:

    Great great post, Steve. Sorry it’s taken me so long to comment. I really like your description and can relate to feeling like you’re living a dual existence. I feel a little that way with my friends who still live abroad and me… Really want to get back abroad, but now is not the time, and how do I explain that to folks at home? Okay, so maybe that’s kind of a different dual existence than the one you’re talking about, but… I’m glad you and your manager relate. Hope the work situation improves soon… And I love mulletkiller’s response, too!! Too bad I’ve never surfed. I need to!

    • 1stpeaksteve says:

      I started this blog because I read 2 things recently from a friend who wanted to take a break from surfing and worried about losing the free gear and from my cousin who was sad watching the Olympics because she was a good ice skater as a child and stopped. So there are probably millions of us out there. The runner ups to this and the ones who blew out their knees during college.

      Yes, it creates a double life of sorts. Well, I did because I was being a student (if you could call it that) and then leaving school to travel. I did this in the work force too.

      Well, I hope at some point soon, we can rejoin the world of traveling. Some of my old surf tour gang just packed up a big boat and they all took off to the Bahamas for some surfing and fishing. I almost started tearing up because I need to be on the next boat out…or plane…or donkey!

      • Jessica says:

        I know what you mean. I’ve teared up on occasion, too. Facebook is the worst. I’ve got friends all over the world doing all sorts of interesting things. Makes me truly wish I could be everywhere at once!!!

  4. Vic says:

    Great read, Steve!

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