Thursday, January 11, 2007

London Calling...

Working mainly as a "print" artist (posters, books, albums, DVD's etc...) this is really a new avenue for me. I've been digging other folks' stuff here for a while now and decided it may be time for to plunge into the "Bold World of Blog" myself. I really don't know where to begin here!

In this blog, I hope to show you to the many faces and places I've worked with/for visually throughout the years, and I'll be getting to that ASAP.

Many of you may know me by my graphic work for the man who invented California as we know it... no, not Schwarzenegger, I'm talking about the great Brian Wilson.

I've been doing Brian's tour posters, programs...or programmes for my UK pals, album art & more since 1999. Now I know what Prince meant about that 1999 party...and mine began in the Wiltern Theatre parking lot on October 23rd, when I did my first poster for Brian (below)

It's hard not to be confined to the label "poster artist" and although I'm proud of my work in that field, I wanted to take my art to another level. I had the perfect opportunity to do that for last year for Brian's Pet Sounds 40th Anniversary gigs he did with Al Jardine. I was able to do a 12" 1966 Brian figure, and it came out awsome. My pal Eric Thomas from Robert Kaufman fabrics was huge help in finding me the scaled-down black watch plaid we needed for Brian's '66 pants.

When we got the first prototype figure, Bri's wife Melinda brought one up to show Brian in his music room and said "Who's this Bri?" Brian said "Hey, that's me! I was around 24 years old here!"

The signed limited edition of 300 sold out quickly (I only got one myself!) I think there's still a few of the un-signed edition still available on Brian's site.

ABOVE: I had Bri sign the boxes in a few sessions. He was a real trouper. Here we are after sound check in his dressing room the day before the Nov 1st UCLA gig.

So, back to why I created this page...I've never really had my own showcase or anything resembling a portfolio on the web before, mainly because I've been fortunate enough to be working steadily since I decided to try and make a living at the very thing that pissed off so many of my teachers....drawing on my homework. Not much has changed there, accept now I draw on other people's Rhino records, 20th Century Fox & anyone else who might see fit to have me color their world. I guess the closest thing I've ever had to showing my stuff, would be my old pal Stuart's Poster Planet website. Stuart has been with me since 1999, the very beginning of my poster career...a career kick-started by way of strong suggestion from my own personal Jedi-type art mentor (below)
Dennis Loren.

Dennis and I met in 1997, and began working together in 1998 and in '99 he engouraged me to design my first concert poster. Also via Dennis, I was also able to meet and hang out with many of my graphic artist idols like Stanley Mouse, Lee Conklin, David Singer and an amazing cat who I'm proud to have spent many hours with, brother Gary Grimshaw (I'll do a special feature about Gary in a future post) Gary and his wife Laura are a couple of great souls.

ABOVE: "Rock Art Heaven (on Earth)"
L to R: Gary Houston, Dennis Loren, Gary Grimshaw, Myself, Lee Conklin, Stanley Mouse, Jim Phillips, David Singer, and the late Allen Cohen (publisher of the original San Francisco Oracle)
2002 TRPS (The Rock Poster Society) event in San Francisco.

I also want to give a shout out to Joe Weiss who published my first bunch of posters while I was working at his record store, and the great Marco Almera who told me how to approach concert promoters about even doing a gig didn't work that first time though...nobody at the Wiltern Theatre would give me any info about Brian's people, but thank God that didn't stop me from doin' it anyway!

That said, I'm gonna try and make some visual sense in this page. Bear with me here, I'm not exactly "web-guy" so this should be an interesting undertaking. Until the next post, I leave you with one of my favorite quotes by one of my favorite authors, the legendary Hunter S. Thompson;

"Call on God, but row
away from the rocks!"

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