According to The Quiksilver Story, a book by former Tracks editor Phil Jarratt, Barbara Green came up with the name for the iconic board short brand in 1970. She’d read a definition of the word quicksilver which matched the personality of her boyfriend (and later husband) Alan Green who founded the Quiksilver company.
The name was also inspired by a favourite album of Alan and Barbara by San Francisco psychedelic rock band Quicksilver Messenger Service.
On page 47 of the The Quiksilver Story, there is a copy of an advert from the November 1974 issue of Breakway. The caption reads “first print advertisement” In fact, Quiksilver took the inside back cover of the April 1974 issue, advertising their sheepskin jackets and ugg boots.
Their first board short advertisement in Breakway was a quarter page featuring the ‘mountain and wave’ logo with the title ‘NUMERO UNO’ in the August 1974 issue. On the opposite page is a cartoon by Paul Harris titled Cruisinon. Harris’s creative mentor was the Californian artist, Rick Griffin, and much of his drawing style and inspiration for his Breakway cartoons came unashamedly from Griffin’s work. As homage, Harris drew a portrait of Griffin in the top right of the Cruisinon cartoon. Interestingly, the portrait’s eyes appear to be looking across at the Quiksilver board short advertisement. Artwork for the Quicksliver Messenger Service album that was sitting on Green’s turntable in 1970 was designed by Rick Griffin, who, as well as designing the masthead for Rolling Stone magazine, started the Murphy cartoon strip for Surfer magazine in 1961. Did Barbara Green also get a subliminal message when she came up with Quiksilver’s brand name?