7 Questions for Jim Lindberg Not on Pennywise or Punk Rock Dad But Surfrider (OK, All Three)

Photo by flickr user Gio-S.p.o.t.s.
Randy Bradbury (left) and Jim Lindberg perform at 2006 Pennywise show.
You know Jim Lindberg as a founder and lead singer of Pennywise (on and off and back on again) as well as the Black Pacific, the author of Punk Rock Dad and the main subject of the spin-off documentary The Other F Word. You know him less as a member of the international Surfrider Foundation's Board of Directors, which the 48-year-old joined in January. That association has produced a Nov. 15 benefit show for the San Clemente-based ocean-and beach-access protecting nonprofit at a small club in Lindberg's hometown of Hermosa Beach.

We'll leave it to the longhairs in the Weekly's tripping music department to cover Lindberg's sonic contributions. We here on the no nonsense newsy Navel Gazing side chatted hum up about his clean-ocean contributions, although it's clear his career, activism and fatherhood are intertwined.

1. What does a Surfrider board member do?

[Chuckles] More than you think. I'd been involved with Surfrider a long time before becoming a member of the board. I've always been concerned about the ocean and stuff, and I think it took them awhile to ask me to be on the board. The biggest requirement is attending quarterly board meetings, where we advise the staff of Surfrider and consult with them on various projects. It involves all facets of how they run and work. This year, there is really an interesting group of people on the board, and we've got a lot done. Like this benefit. I think them asking me to be on the board was to just try to get more musicians, entertainers and actors involved. I thought this benefit would be a good idea to start.

2. So you don't mind them using you?

[Laughs] Not at all, I kind of knew that was part of the territory. The South Bay of LA has so many issues concerning us as people who love the beach and ocean. I was always part of their soundtracks for Surfrider [Writer's note: the M.O.M. albums], and I've done PSAs as well and other benefit concerts. There is a lot going on in Hermosa Beach. That's why [benefit venue] Saint Rocke got involved. It's a full-time job getting ready for this thing.

3. But does organizing a, for lack of a better word, charity show bring more fulfillment than organizing one that's just about making money for the band?

Yeah, because I know it's a good cause, a cause that I care about. But it's still a lot of work. Basically. we're trying to get a lot of people who want to see Pennywise into a 300-seat place. We probably should have done this at a bigger place. But it's great to do this in my hometown, Hermosa Beach. There are a lot of locals and businesses that want to help out, like Vans, which started out here in the South Bay, Volkswagen, and a lot of great surf companies. We'll have an auction; we hired a professional auctioneer to auction off trips to Cabo, wetsuits, one-of-a-kind artwork. We're kind of trying to get auction items at all different levels. It takes a lot of work, it's not always easy, but the ocean keeps you motivated.

4. As a famous punk rock dad, fatherhood must have played a part in why you are doing this, to leave behind a clean ocean for your kids?

Yeah, exactly. Plus, being someone who grew up here, the water was extremely polluted. Some if not most of LA is surrounded by environmental polluters. The Hyperion sewer treatment plant during big storms used to dump raw sewage into the ocean, which was terrible for sea life. Now, there are a lot of protections that have been enacted, so the water is a lot better. I want to keep it that way.

This is not some abstract concept here in the South Bay; it's a huge issue because we have a company that wants to drill for oil in Hermosa Beach, one of most popular beach cities on the coast. It's a very contentious issue. We're raising money to fight an incredible battle. Surfrider has had some great victories, like Trestles, where they defeated the toll roads, and with beach access. Once I saw what was going on in my hometown with some very self-serving interests, I had to get involved. I want the ocean to be clean for several years to come. It's extremely important to protect it against people who are only in it for a buck.

But what I like about Surfrider is they are very thoughtful and try to take a stance where they are very understanding to the pressures people are under. They are not one of those entities that just can't see the other [side's] point of view. I totally believe in the leadership of Jim Moriarty [Surfrider's chief executive officer]. He's a surfer and an activist, but he's also a businessman. He and the entire staff: I've been impressed by them and everyone on the board.

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