The Mac Meda Collection (Shop our limited edition collaboration with La Jolla's Mac Meda Destruction Company)
The story of the Mac Meda Destruction Company is the stuff of Southern California surf town legend. Led by Jack Macpherson and Bob “Meda” Rakestraw, the “Company” was a crew known for throwing debaucherous beach parties and wreaking havoc around the otherwise tranquil beach town of La Jolla, California. The group found infamy in 1968 in Tom Wolfe’s iconic collection of essays “The Pump House Gang.” Their response? The legendary “Tom Wolfe is a DORK!” graffiti scrawled across the pump house wall.
Hard partying aside, the company worked as an actual demolition crew. They also designed and screen printed their own t-shirts too, pre-dating modern streetwear yet inspired by much of the same energy and attitude that powered many skate and surf brands decades later.
Mac Meda’s original graphics reference a variety of motifs and symbols that embody their place and time. Their most notable design is the mushroom cloud logo, still prominently displayed on stickers around La Jolla and neighboring cities. Graphics also referenced their beloved beach, proudly flaunting “Club Windansea” with a hand grenade printed across the back.
Albert, San Diego Zoo’s notorious silverback gorilla, was referenced prominently on Mac Meda merchandise as well. Rakestraw felt a kindred spirit in Albert, stopping by the zoo weekly to watch the gorilla, and passing out cigars every time Albert had a child. Soon Albert was named the official “president” of Mac Meda, a title that came complete with business cards and listings in local La Jolla and Borrego phone books — a prank that had cops searching for Albert MacMeda for years afterwards.
We don’t claim to even begin grasping all that Mac Meda represented to the people of La Jolla during that time, but we’ve been captivated and inspired by its story for years — a story of community, rich with symbols and secrets, built in the name of having fun. Rowing Blazers is all about the symbols, trappings, myths, and rituals of humanity’s most interesting tribes and subcultures.
The original “official” Mac Meda tees were stenciled in a La Jolla garage nicknamed “The Branding Iron.” The Branding Iron is still around today, screenprinting tees and hoodies for local businesses — and for the Mac Meda Destruction Company. We’re proud to partner with The Branding Iron to release a limited run of t-shirts featuring Mac Meda’s most iconic logos online and in our stores.
The Mac Meda Collection is now available in store and online at rowingblazers.com.