Features & Images » Feature Story

Naked history

Exposing Whistler’s unclothed past and present

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One night, after a Kiss cover band concert at Tommy Africa's, Johnny and Sal dragged some girls over to Sal's buses parked on Blackcomb. They decided to pull out the gyro sphere and go riding in it and, in the midst of the excitement, Johnny took his clothes off. While his tricks frightened the girls off they inspired Sal who immediately exclaimed: "Let's film this tomorrow!"

Unfortunately for Johnny, the image of him riding through town naked while spinning uncontrollably also caught the attention of the RCMP. They arrested him and sentenced him to a series of expensive psychiatric sessions to find out whether he was a sexual deviant! Sal covered the costs.

The psychiatrist sessions weighed heavily on Johnny's psyche and eventually his friend hooked him up with an entertainment lawyer from L.A. who agreed to cover the case pro bono. As soon as Johnny mentioned the lawyer's name to Crown Council they dropped the charges.

Today, Johnny never thinks of himself as someone who was always naked and he never meant to offend anyone. 

"I was just out there being myself, and sometimes I would get carried away in that sense, I think. I am very bad with peer pressure," he says.

Johnny adds the Olympics are a sad time for him in the Sea to Sky Corridor because he feels like Whistler's free spirit is being pulled out of the valley. He plans to be away in Costa Rica when the big event hits town.

"In a lot of ways, we knew it was coming, but I just hope Whistler doesn't loose all of its flavour," says Johnny. "The Whistler brand to me is a way you feel, not the way you look on the slopes or how many lifts there are."

THE PHOTO THAT GOT ROB BOYD FIRED

While Johnny Thrash was running about wild, another Whistlerite was also pushing the naked boundary.

In 1992, ski hero Rob Boyd's friends approached him to help out with advertising for the Summer of Love party.

Rob agreed, and that summer they took a shot of him riding a motorbike with a bare breasted woman on the back - her hands raised in peace signs. It was a remake of some 1960s Summer of Love memorabilia, and the photo ran on the back of the now defunct alternative magazine the Whistler Answer .

"Nothing much was said, or at least I didn't hear anything," says Rob.

Things changed the next year, though, when his friends approached him again for the party's advertising campaign. This time, they took a shot of Rob butt-naked on a motorcycle, which was sitting on a raft in Alpha Lake, while a nude woman dove into the water. While all of Rob's visible private parts had been air brushed out, there was just enough left to the imagination to stir things up.