How do you wanna remember Davo? As the losing party in an alleged late-night fight or as the sneering, Billy Idol-esque preternatural talent that electrified surf fans?
Five nights ago, the Narrabeen surf prodigy Chris Davidson died after an alleged one-punch attack outside a bar in rural east coast Australia,
Davidson, forty-five, was allegedly punched in the face by Grant “Grub” Coleman outside the South West Rocks Country Club at around eleven pm on Saturday, September 24.
Davo fell, hit his head on the pavement, lights out. Sources close to BeachGrit allege the pair had a run-in at the bar and that Coleman was allegedly thrown out by the club’s security.
Paramedics treated Davo at the scene and he was taken to Kempsey Hospital but pronounced dead a short time later.
Kelly Slater, who famously lost to Davo in two consecutive heats at Bells Beach in 1996, wrote “Lost another soldier yesterday. One of the most naturally talented surfers I ever knew.”
So how do you wanna remember Davo? As the losing party in an alleged late-night fight or as the sneering, Billy Idol-esque preternatural talent that electrified surf fans and, in the instance of his role in Vaughan Blakey’s 2003 masterpiece Doped Youth, as the scene-stealing Kingswood Black.
The movie, which was a giveaway with Waves magazine in September that year, follows the travails of a band called Doped Youth, starring Ozzie Wright, Vaughan Blakey, Dean Morrison, James Catto, Luke Stedman and, on drums, Chris Davidson.
The group is desperate to win Battle of the Bands but must defeat five-time winner Groovy Avalon, played to perfection by the then three-time world champ Kelly Slater.
When I asked director and writer Vaughan about Davo and the film earlier today he said, “We needed to shoot one last scene for the movie and we couldn’t find him anywhere. After an hour or calling and driving around Narrabeen looking for him we found him at the pub. The light was fading, everyone was back at the house getting nervous about missing flights and here’s Davo in the front bar of the Sands drinking schooners. I said, ‘Mate, we need ya back at the house for the final shot of the movie.’ He says, ‘Yeah, no worries. I’ll finish this, have one more and then come over after that. Anyway, he never showed up. Everyone went home and we shot him the next day. Last scene of the movie. Sitting there on the drums nodding after the gig with a big shit-eating grin like he’d nailed it. But then Ronnie and Kelly come on and announce that Doped Youth lose.”