This is the first installment of a series I’d like to do where I basically pick someone or something that I love and induct them into the Hall of Parm. By joining these ranks, they will be protected by myself (djchickenparm) online and in all facets of life. No slander shall come to them without a swift berating from myself. This is an elite group: one of prestige, honor, class, integrity, charisma, influence, and glory. I will detail their credibility for entering said club, and grant them the status they will most likely never even know they have. So who will be the first person to have a lifetime membership? None other than acclaimed singer-songwriter, activist, philanthropist, and over-all chillest dude on the planet: Jack Johnson.
Jacky J started off dreaming of being a professional surfer. I know what you’re thinking “we get it dude we all watched Rocket Power too, never gonna happen”. Well the difference between you and Jack is that this man grew up in Hawaii, absolutely shredding the gnarliest swells, and you couldn’t even figure out how to Ripstik. At seventeen he became the youngest person ever to be invited to the Pipeline Masters (not exactly sure what that is but it sounds cool as hell). He even played a surfer in the 1994 film Endless Summer. He was a professional surfer, living out every young white boy’s dreams, until tragedy struck.
Johnson had a serious surfing injury occur that led him to get almost 150 stitches in his head. Now most people would be devastated, their future looked bright in this profession but now they’re being set back by uncontrollable factors. What did Jack do? He said F*** it! I’m gonna make MOVIES ABOUT SURFING. He went to USC Santa Barbara and graduated with a film degree. Meanwhile, in college, he realized he could have a real shot at making it in the music industry.
My guy started a band and they opened up for acts like Sublime and Dave Matthews Band in California, EVER HEARD OF EM? Only 2 of the most legendary and iconic music groups from the past 2 decades, nbd. He was also continuing to make films. He made 4 surfing films in the few years since graduating USC and he also starred in and made the soundtrack for all of them. This is what caught people’s attention and led to him having the wildly successful music career he has today.
He’s got several albums and singles that have gotten wildly popular. His album Inbetween Dreams, probably one of the best albums to come out during my lifetime, was on the billboard charts in 2005 when it came out and just absolutely boomeranged and got back on the charts in 2013 somehow. His music is timeless. He did the soundtrack for the Curious George movie and made some of the most feel good music the world has ever seen. (see below)
Now, being an iconic surfer chill dude you’d think he’d be an easy target to make fun of. A guy like that probably isn’t much of a joker, he’s too mellow to make fun or laugh. WRONG. One of the most underrated SNL skits of the 2000’s (imho) was The Mellow Show with Jack Johnson. Where Andy Samberg played an over exaggerated JJ with Bill Hader being Dave Matthews, Dave Matthews being Ozzy Osborne and Joseph Gordon Levitt being Jason Mraz. It was that weird Lonely Island style of humor that 25% of people find absolutely hysterical and 75% of people don’t get.
So what does Jack do seeing himself get clowned on? He decides he wants to be in on the joke. Doesn’t get mad, doesn’t even “take the high road”, he thinks it’s hysterical and calls up the Lonely Island to make this unbelievable music video.
It’s not all jokes though. One thing Jack takes extremely seriously is environmentalism. He created the Johnson Ohana Foundation which is a non-profit determined to create sustainable change through environmental, art, and musical education. (If that isn’t the chillest charity on the planet idk what is). He also created the Kokua Festival which raises money for environmental efforts and even recorded a bomb album with Dave Matthews, Ziggy Marley, Eddie Vedder and more and donated all the profits.
What’s Jack up to now? He’s living peacefully on the North Shore of Hawaii with his wife of 18 years who he met in college, his 3 children, and his avocado farm. This guy is the most genuinely mellow, generous, peaceful dudes and he was a huge part of my formative years. I remember listening to the live version of “Angel/Better Together” at night in high school and just crying at the beauty of simple true love.
This man is a treasure, and I think he gets love but not nearly as much love as he should. You don’t see posters of his on college dorm rooms, but they should be everywhere. I love this guy and everything he stands for. That is why he is the inaugural member, of the Hall of Parm.