Illustration: Holly Monger
MICKEY MIKI MIKLOS SANDOR DORA DA CAT WAS BAD BEFORE BAD WAS GOOD.
He was out there, at Malibu, in the swingin’ 1950s and 1960s dancing around on his board like he was on speeeeed.
He hated living at the beach, once saying, “Living at the beach isn’t the answer. Guys who live at the beach get waterlogged. I’m there for the waves and nothing else.” And maybe that is because he was born behind the iron curtain in Budapest, Hungary. But he was the best at surfing and no one surfed like him.
His family moved to America (I like to be in Am-er-i-ca. o.K. by me in Am-er-i-ca. Everything free in Am-er-i-ca. For a small fee in AM- ER-I-CA!) when he was a young boy and his father taught him to surf. His stepfather taught him too and his stepfather was named Gard.
Mickey became an icon. He was a dark prankster. A moviestar alongside Annette Funicello. A ne’erdowell. And the people loved him for it but he did not love the people, saying of Malibu, “It’s all kooks of all colors, fags, finks, ego heroes, Amen groupies and football-punchy Valley swingers.”
Shortboards came on the scene in the late 1960s and Mickey was no longer the ego hero that he once was and so he started doing check and credit card fraud and got in trouble and left America (Immigrant goes to Am-er-i- ca. Many hellos in Am-er-i-ca. Nobody knows in Am-er-i-ca. Puerto Rico’s in AM-ER-I-CA!) He spent the next thirty years cruising around France, South Africa, Argentina, Brazil, Namibia, Angola and Australia.
He eventually came back to America (AM-ER-I-CA!) and was put in jail but Surfer magazine paid him $10,000 to write an article. $10,000! I want!
Mickey died in 2002 in Montecito, California of pancreatic cancer and the The Times of London said, “He was the West Coast archetype and antihero…the siren voice of a nonconformist surfing lifestyle.”
Amen, groupies. – Chas Smith