It was impossible to miss Landon McNamara this winter on the North Shore. There wasn’t a tree that was safe from his album release flyer and Landon was inviting everyone to the party. That party just happened to be the Surfer the Bar 5th year anniversary at Turtle Bay and it was a blow-out.
Landon varies between being sweet and soft spoken when asked about himself to boisterous and frothy when he talks about surfing and his music. It was the frothy side that was the face of the all-out social media assault that would propel his debut album, A Dollar Short & A Minute Late to the top of the Hawaiian Radio charts, and later, to number 1 on iTunes. Salesmanship aside, it’s good music. Landon translates the joys and frustrations of living a small island life into a collection of memorable, singable tracks.
Landon and his brother Makai grew up on the North Shore. They are the next generation in a family of heavy surf specialists; father Liam is a rather infamous for his bravado and aggressive style at Rocky Point and Pipeline. Uncle Garrett, equally notorious, is known as one of the most confidant big wave riders in the world. Landon tells of being pushed into Pipe at 13 by his dad in a recent interview. He’s kept charging since then. This year his rides ranged from sick barrels at Cloudbreak to one of the most cringeworthy wipeouts of the season at Pe’ahi. He’s also an invitee for the Eddie Aikau competition; an honor and a testament to his deep water abilities.
Music and surfing have always gone hand in hand. After a long day in the water, a cold drink, a guitar and a few friends are the making of a great evening. There are a few who have made more of a career out of it than others. Tom Curren is currently touring with a few musicians, Makua Rothman plays regularly at North Shore night spots and Landon need only look down the shore a few houses to find inspiration in Jack Johnson’s musical career. Landon cites Jack as one of his inspirations, along with Bob Marley and Jimi Hendrix. Bob and Jimi are perfect representations of those dual personalities of Landon’s; soulful and fierce… and timeless. A Dollar Short & A Minute Late is one of those albums that will still be in your playlist decades from now.
Landon is profiled on Soul Surfers: