March 12, 2014

Live Like Seed

Randy Appleby (a.k.a. Seed) from Seaside Park, NJ passed away on March 9, 2014. He was at once a minor league legend and major league dreamer. I’m pretty sure he is exactly who Steve Jobs was talking about when he made his famous speech.

I remember following Seed’s budding surfing career as a wide-eyed grommet. By the mid 80s, he had already made a name for himself in the Eastern Surfing Association. Every month I would scour through new editions of Surfer Magazine looking at contest results, hoping to see his name among the rest of the Jersey legends. At age 16 and only 2 years my senior, he was already an inspiration.



Contest results from the golden era of Jersey Surfing


I also remember being impressed at how sharp, intellectual and deep he was, even way back then. Sometimes he wove cool stories; sometimes he fired off political tirades. He talked a mile a minute and was entertaining to a fault. If Seed was fired up, and if he ever caught your ear, you needed to take a seat – you were in for some stories. But he always kept it 100% real and backed up everything he said.

Beneath the antics, the rants and mayhem, Seed was an innovator. In the mid 90s he talked to me (and everybody else) about this flex tail invention – promising to revolutionize surfboard shaping. He explained it with such focus that I was practically ready to invest. But in that moment, he immediately switched gears to rave about the “Pimps and Hoes” party he was orchestrating.


Seed’s logo, delivered to me, hand-cut on rubylith in the mid 90s



Fast forward two years. Phone rings. I answer.

“I’m bringing it back!”
“I’m bringing it back!”
“Who’s this?”
“Dude. It’s Seed.”
“Hey. What’s up?”
“I’m bringing it back!”
“Bringing WHAT back?”

The Pseudo: a Seaside-legendary, anti-establishment surf contest run by Randy. And although the Pseudo was all in the name of fun, it was no joke to him.

“I need shirts, I need hats, I need banners, I need posters, and I want to do a run of Local 24, shirts too.”



Seed’s Pseudo Surf Contest SickX Edition


When the Pseudo was on, my phone didn’t stop ringing for months. Seed was dedicated and passionate about his creation and the results were insane. He threw a hell of a party. And when the Pseudo was over, he was right back to work – shaping surfboards, running for political office, and selling real estate.

Seed and I worked on so many design, graphics, web and printing projects over the years, that I got to see a different side of him than the kid I knew from way back when. I didn’t grow up with him. Didn’t go to school or room with him. But we talked a lot, worked together a lot. The more I got to know him, the more I grew to appreciate what a rare and unique creature he was.



An unpublished work of Dr. Who a.k.a. Seed


Seed had chinks in his armor. He had his share of blunders. He was human, after all. Not long ago, he called from his new home. Apparently his ex-wife locked him out of his house and he had been sleeping in foam dust – in his shaping room – in an industrial park. Sounds brutal, yet somehow he had the ambition to throw another Pseudo and bring people together once again to celebrate.

I know Seed had friends up and down the coast, across the country and beyond. He was wild and eccentric, but he was good people, and he made a big impression on just about everybody. He was unforgettable, and he had a heart of gold.

Jamil Kuri walked up to me at the last Pseudo and pointed out Randy’s mother, Judy. She was walking around handing out free pizza slices to everyone there. Jamil preached.


R.I.P. Seed – With Chris Marzulli and Greg Kuri


“That’s a good woman. That woman loves her son. She stands by him through thick and thin, because she loves him.”

He was right. A good woman raised a good son – a son who left a beautiful mark on the world, and who will be sorely missed.

“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.”  – Steve Jobs

That was Seed.

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