Saint Rocke, Hermosa Beach - Review
Wednesday, July 19th, I was fortunate to attend the Jimmy Miller Memorial Foundation benefit concert at Sainte Rock in Hermosa Beach.
When talking to Stephan Jenkins at the meet and greet the next day in Los Angeles, he asked what I thought of the night before.
I told him I started writing about it as soon as I returned to my hotel. The beginning of this is my immediate feelings after what was an amazing experience.
I just returned to my hotel from the Jimmy Miller Memorial Foundation benefit concert. Wow, it blows my mind what amazingly talented musicians make up Third Eye Blind. Each of them is so talented. The venue held approximately 290 people and there’s a different sound in a small venue and it was mind blowing.
I don’t know how Stephan’s voice doesn’t give out, he gives it 100% during every performance. Brad, as always, is such a fantastic drummer. Kryz was able to display his talent with a long jam during Jumper. Kopp has brought a new sound with his skill on the keys and also some guitar and background vocals. Last by not least, the Buffalo keeps the bass line going with his smooth playing and cool demeanor. Together they create magic. I would be remiss if I didn’t give a shout out to the sound guy for making it all sound great. No easy task in a club like enviornment according to Brad.
So now that I’ve gushed and tried to give respect to their talents, let’s talk about the benefit. Who is Jimmy Miller and what is this Memorial Foundation? Excerpts taken from jimmymillerfoundation.org, “Jimmy was at the inspirational core of South Bay surfing. He was a great surfer with a powerful stroke, love of the tube, and total fluidity on the waves. When he paddled into the lineup at El Porto, Puerto Escondido, or Spot X Beautiful action would follow always accompanied by good vibes. He was a teacher, lifeguard, a dreamer, a traveler, a friend and a worldwide ambassador of fun times and good surf.”
“It all started on the beach one summer when he turned seven.” As Jimmy later wrote in one of his many columns for the Beach Reporter.
Jimmy created a philosophy of genuine, soulful love of the ocean and the waves that he shared with everyone. In 1998, he turned his dream into reality by forming his own surf company, Pure Surfing Experience. He taught surfing to young and old alike, produced popular local contests, and organized CampSurf to run summer day camps for the City of Manhattan Beach and week-long away camps at awesome spots like Jalama.
He developed a style of teaching that he passed on to students and fellow instructors showing the easy flow of motion from catching the wave to springing up to standing on the board. The secret to the unique experience of learning to surf with Jimmy was unbridled enthusiasm and fun combined with respect for the water and the environment. Inherent in his philosophy and mission was the belief that safely enjoying the ocean is good for all of us, physically and mentally.
One of the great joys of his life was taking young hands in his and guiding them into the water for the first time, and keeping them safe while showing them the adventure.
Jimmy is survived by long time residents of Manhattan Beach, his mom and dad Nancy and Jim Miller, and his brother Jeff, Jeff’s wife Alissa, and a world of loving and caring friends. The surf will continue to roll in, kids will continue to learn to surf, 7 year olds will still get their first barrel, young adults will travel and adventure but surfing will never again experience as pure a heart as Jimmy Miller.
In the last few months of his life in the summer of 2004, Jimmy suffered from a severe mental illness that led to his death. Also during the same time, he injured his shoulder and for the first time since his grommet days he was unable to surf and teach. His brother Jeffrey and his friends and PureSurfing colleagues carried on Camp Surf.
His family and friends strongly believe that his sudden inability to surf and enjoy the ocean contributed to his death. “We are dedicated to creating and providing activities and programs to help others with mental and emotional illness benefit regularly from the therapeutic and healing powers of the ocean.”
The Jimmy Miller Memorial Foundation (JMMF) is a non-profit, tax exempt 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to the life and inspiration of Jimmy Miller. The JMMF provides free of charge its unique program of Ocean Therapy to the United States Marine Corps Wounded Warrior Batttalion-West, as well as the Veterans from the West LA Veterans Hospital and youth from several care and shelter facilities for at risk and foster children. The JMMF team consists of professional occupational and psychological therapists, expert surf instructors, experienced water pros and lifeguards, and dedicated volunteers. One of those special volunteers is our own Stephan Jenkins, as a surf instructor. This is a cause that is near and dear to his heart. I hope that everybody reading this will take the time to go to www.jimmymillerfoundation.org and donate or find a way to volunteer.
I’ve already set up a monthly reoccurring donation and hope there comes a time I can find a way to donate my time. I can’t surf and I’m not a psychologist, but there is always something that needs to be done. Their work with troubled children and vets is important to me personally because I am raising my grandson and trying to keep him from being troubled and I come from a family of veterans. When I say that I mean it literally; I’m the only one in my immediate family that did not serve. My father was Coast Guard for 10 years, my mother and brother were in the army and my sister was in the navy. All four of my mother’s brothers served and my cousin is currently active duty in the Navy on the USS Ronald Regan.
The night of the concert, Stephan was giving away JMMF hats signed by him and Brad. After a little lecture about the responsibility that comes with the hat he finally tossed me a hat. Unfortunately the guy behind me snatched it when it bounced on my head. Lucky for me, Liseli had my back and got me a hat. I took the responsibility seriously and I hope the guy that ended up with my hat takes it seriously and donates or volunteers.
Thanks again to Stephan Jenkins and Third Eye Blind for an amazing concert and bringing attention to this great charity.