The Player: The wild, brief life of a surfing legend and international playboy.
The tale of Bunker Spreckels (1949–1977) reads like a pitch for a movie to rival Boogie Nights: The stepson of Clark Gable is a privileged Los Angeles party boy who is heir to a multimillion dollar fortune; passionate about surfing, martial arts, guns, and women, he lives the life of a debauched international jet-setter before succumbing to his excesses at the tender age of 27. Thirty years later, photographer Art Brewer and writer/photojournalist C. R. Stecyk III (of Dogtown and Z–Boys fame) have come together to make this book, which traces the meteoric rise and dramatic fall of Bunker Spreckels. Brewer was a close friend of Spreckels and his personal photographer throughout the last decade of his life, traveling with him from Hawaii to Los Angeles to South Africa. His images of Spreckels, both on the waves and on land, chronicle Spreckels’s metamorphosis from hippie surfer to international playboy, while Stecyk’s extensive taped interview of Spreckels, completed just three months before his death, provides a rare first-person perspective on his decadent life.
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