i recently learned of a los angeles heir named bunker spreckels who lived a brief life of extravagance. bunker, the handsome heir of spreckels sugar and the stepson of clark gable, established himself as a world class surfer at the age of fifteen. the hippie heir spent his best years jet-setting to the most coveted beaches, surfing on acid, and making films with the likes of kenneth anger (anger's spreckel doc will be released soon) before evolving into a pompous playboy. to his defense, bunker's ideologies seemed advanced for his time; just before his death, he was working on a film based off an alter ego he created for the paparazzi. bunker died of "natural causes" at the ripe age of 27, just after this revealing and self-aware interview with his close buddy cj stecyk (whose name you may recognize as the author of DogTown and Z-Boys). here are some quotes from the interview and images of bunker that i liked. read the interview in it’s entirety here.
on his family:
What future did your family envision for you? They wanted me to be a banker, I believe. International banker. Or an ambassador. Some sort of diplomatic job. That type of thing. I wanted to go through military school and then get into the air force academy or just go right into the air force. I wanted to go to Vietnam to fly missions. Those were my plans, but I got sidetracked. How so? By the lifestyle that I started to lead in Hollywood. The fringe American youth lifestyle activities, and surfing, and fucking off. I got caught up in that whole Sixties culture-shock thing and sort of dropped out from society by spending all my time surfing and making car models. My plans to go into the air force fell through. All of a sudden I didn't want to go to Vietnam and kill anybody or even go over there at all. I wanted to go surfing instead, so that's what I went and did. What was your life like then? I was living on the Gable ranch. It was pretty exciting because I had a job and made a few dollars here and there doing this and that. I had a girlfriend who was Miss Teen California at the time. They gave her a fur coat and $5,000 and a free car. Between her bankroll and mine, we both made out pretty good. We went on expensive dates and took little trips and that sort of thing.
on his trust:
When did you actually get the money ? When I turned 21, I went to the bank and I picked up my money. In cash? That's right. What'd you do with it? Spent it. Spent it? Spent it and made investments. How did you get the money out of the bank? Armoured car. Where'd you take it? To my secret cave.
What do you use that for? It's just a place I have that nobody knows where it is, where I keep certain objects, art treasures, things I don't want people to see. Plus, it's where I can go do things that I don't want people to know that I'm doing. It's just a secret place that I have here on the earth where I can go and be alone. I've got all my things of value hidden there, and everything is arranged very neatly. It's like, you know, the Batcave or something.
on pop culture:
Why do you surf? What are you trying to get out of it? Good health and pleasure. Something beautiful to look at, something beautiful to think about in a society that's pretty rat-fucked. Something that you can still do that's just beautiful, aesthetic.
What was the most outstanding moment in your surfing career? One time a porpoise pushed a wave over on me at Jeffreys Bay [near Port Elizabeth in South Africa]. That was pretty interesting. He made it break? Yeah, he made a tube. He swam in going the opposite way as I was coming down the line. The board I had made was 7ft 4in long and I was halfway around a corner when I saw this form swim into the lip going the other way. When I got right up to where I was going to hit the lip, I noticed it was a porpoise. He pushed the whole wave over right on me. It just ledged me. I stood up and fell off the tail because I was so excited.