Friday, 28 June 2013

T-Shirt Friday 17 !

... Lost In Space With The Cowboy!
So what 1979 Beach Boys album cover was it that Neon Park designed? Did you have to guess? Or did you already know? Who will win the prestigious green badge of excellence??? Well the answer is: L.A. (Light Album) If you did get it right, then the aforementioned green badge of excellence, will be travelling through cyberspace right directly in to your mailbox! Well done! More importantly though, how will you celebrate? Well... L.A. contains an arrangement of the traditional song 'Shortnin' Bread' by Brian Wilson, so what about a Friday of baking to celebrate? and baking Shortnin' Bread in particular? Or if you don't fancy short bread, you could bake a baguette instead, as they're quite long...

Today's T-Shirt can be found on: 

Sometimes it can be really tricky to decide which T-Shirt should be the next T-Shirt Friday, to showcase... Very occasionally though something happens and it feels like it might be a sign from someone or something... 

...I'd actually been considering and writing about a completely different t-shirt for this weeks T-Shirt Friday tee and then like a bolt out of the blue! A track came onto Spotify, I stopped at two sentences in, to listen... the track was 'Guilt Trip' by Kayne West, it wasn't so much the track, it was the sample that did it, which was that very well known ascending electronic type coda, from Steve Miller Band's 'Fly Like An Eagle'... the planets seemed to be aligning... I contemplated what had just happened for a little bit and told myself to just carry on with what I had been doing... The Kayne West track had come to a close. "Hmmm... Maybe some Planet Rock to get in the mood", I thought, as I clicked on the 'Listen Live' button, the laid back rhythm and drum work of 'The Joker' beamed out of the speakers... now that is a bit weird isn't it?!

So here we go, the universe is telling us something and so with perhaps some divine intervention or maybe just a very strange coincidence... here is the Steve Miller Band T-Shirt Friday story!

For as long as I can remember I've always wanted to see Steve Miller Band, 'The Joker' was re-released famously in 1990 in conjunction with the Hugh Johnson, Levis Advert. I was hooked! It has everything as a track, fantastic lyrics that reference not only Steve Miller's own previous works, but also the 1954 song "Lovey Dovey" by The Clovers. It has a fantastic hook and swagger to it and who can forget the amazing slide guitar wolf whistle! The song also features a neologism with the lyric "pompatus" which has become famous in it's own right (more below on that) The line that always gets me in the song, is the laid back delivery of "I'm a picker, I'm a grinner, I'm a lover and I'm a sinner, playin' my music in the sun" and who wouldn't want to be playing their music in the sun...? Anyway I digress, Suddenly in the very early months of 2012, Steve Miller Band announced that they were playing the Roundhouse in Camden!!! Instantly I booked a ticket, although, unfortunately no one was interested, so just me then... As it got nearer though, it became apparent that it might all become quite difficult as Miss Russell had to go to York on the very same day and needed help taking framed prints of her illustrations, It was a rocky road - with it at one point looking like I wouldn't be able to go, the gig was in jeopardy! But in keeping with the whole theme of this post... the planets aligned and we got back just in time for me to split off to go to the Roundhouse. It was a dream come true, words can't even describe the gig, they played everything, all their hits, plus some really nice obscure stuff too, it was just immense! What was great too was the ease of moving round the venue, at one point I was really close to the band... Sadly like all good things, the concert came to an end, but Steve Miller had rocked us in a way that only he knows how! There were so many good vibes coming from the stage and the music, you could tell as people were leaving that they had been wrapped up in all the warmth, positivity and coolness that Steve and the gang had projected... But then came that ultimate question, the one that greets every fan... normally in the lobby as your leaving the venue... To buy a tee or not to buy a tee, this question is both timeless and has many connotations... Sometimes the tees are cheaper if purchased at the venue, sometimes you can't find the shirts that a band has at a gig anywhere else, as much as you try, goodness knows I have... There is a fine balance to it all, leaving it and purchasing later can sometimes work, but then on the other you're not taking away the memories directly from the gig... It is very difficult and a time consuming thought process often ensues, unfortunately in this case I made a terrible error of judgement and didn't purchase a tee, shock, horror! Just like the reasoning for why this post was written, I should have looked and listened to the signs, I unfortunately shook them off on that occasion though... 

I returned home to tell (and bore, I should imagine) a half asleep Miss Russell (it was gone midnight) of the wonders that were the Steve Miller Band at The Roundhouse... "Did you get a t-shirt?" Miss Russell asked as She turned over to go back to sleep, I realised at that point and after a sleepless night, how far wrong I had gone. The gig was in October and Christmas was looming, unbeknown to myself, Miss Russell had secretly told my Mum of my Steve Miller T-Shirt woes and one was ordered, the idea being that my Mum and Dad would give it to me for Christmas... Christmas came and went, my Mum hadn't received the t-shirt. As has happened before... the shirt had been sent from the US side all fine, but had got caught up with the UK customs department... It was out there somewhere in postal space, orbiting and waiting for it's final landing through our letter box, eventually it did turn up, about 3 weeks later, it also turned out to be quite possibly one of the most expensive t-shirts I own! It's actually only around $15.00 from the Steve Miller band website, but the customs costs pushed it way up to astronomical amounts (sorry Mum!).... It is getting it's moneys worth as I hardly ever take it off, other then of course to swap it for another t-shirt! ... You never know, It may well be the 'completley different t-shirt' that I did two sentences on, that you get to hear about next week... Unless of course, divine intervention suggests differently again!

So it's that time again, here is this weeks T-Shirt Friday Quiz Conundrum! : What year was the album 'The Joker' originally released?

More on Steve Miller Band? :
The Album and Song The Joker:

P.S. Steve Miller Band... not to be mixed up with Ed Miller band or David Miller band, they don't rock as hard!

Thursday, 27 June 2013

A Pre-T-Shirt Friday Quiz Conundrum Announcement!

An Award From The T-Shirt Friday Quiz Conundrum!
Are you all set for tomorrows T-Shirt Friday? One thing I can promise you is, that it's not another Prog based tee! Although there are a few more in the collection! 

It's been brought to my attention that perhaps we need some kind of award for the winner of each T-Shirt Friday Quiz Conundrum. As a way to mark the occasion and help you celebrate! My Sister suggested the idea and it's a very good one, So I set about designing an award badge, what do you think? - From now onwards, if you should win the esteemed T-Shirt Friday Quiz conundrum the very 'prestigious' badge, shown below, will be yours! If you like you could add it to your own blog, website or perhaps as a screen saver...? As an added bonus, you don't have to have it in green! Oh no! Once you know you have won this much celebrated award, just pop me an email saying what is your desired colour... Your 'famed' conundrum badge will then arrive in your mailbox the very colour that you have chosen... Hows about that!

See you tomorrow for T-Shirt Friday!

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

The Logo's That Time Forgot

Unused Logo Concepts For Johnson & Johnson

Sometimes you go back through your old archives of work and find the odd thing of interest... 

The below logo ideas, never got any further then that, just ideas, in fact I didn't work on the final project in the end. Sometimes for what ever reason the work you produce just isn't right for the over all concept and look of the company. My initial idea was to have the shape of the house... the house or home is fundamental to all of us in one way or another, it's what our very foundations are built on and that is what I hoped to impart within the logo. The circle ideas are based around a similar idea, although more abstract. 
I explored the home/foundation idea and also worked on typeface based logo concepts too... They are quite sketchy and could do with more development, just rough visuals really. Anyway thought they might be of interest... Incidentally Johnson & Johnson are an e-commerce home-ware company.

Music Listened to while working on Johnson & Johnson Logo Concepts:
Shinin' On by Grand Funk
Analogue Man by Joe Walsh
Red Octopus by Jefferson Starship
Long Live Rock 'n' Roll by Rainbow
Rize Of The Fenix by Tenacious D
Alice Cooper's Show on Planet Rock... Numerous times!

Monday, 24 June 2013

Stepping On A Business Card

Farnham Family Walking Group Cards
You may remember, although it was some time ago now... in fact, one of the very first posts on this very blog, show cased both designs I had done for Amber Robertson and her walking group, both logo's and posters were created. A little while ago Amber asked if I could put together some ideas for a business card, the idea being that anyone that is thinking of attending one of the walks could easily take away details about the Group and where to go to find out more information. The initial idea that Amber and myself discussed was to keep the card very similar in design to the original poster. The final choice was indeed that concept, meaning that design is kept very recognisable through colour, layout and typeface. 
While doing the project though I thought it would be interesting to explore some other avenues that the layouts could take, below are all of the different ideas...

If you are interested in doing family walks in Farnham, do get in touch with the group, it's very family orientated, great fun for children and toddler and buggy friendly too!

Farnham Family Walking Group:

Music Listened to while working on Farnham Family Walking Group artwork:
13 by Black Sabbath
Bula Quo by Status Quo
Like Clockwork by Queens Of The Stone Age
Keep Moving by Andrew Stockdale
Mirage Rock by Band Of Horses
ELO2 by Elo

Portrait Ideas
Landscape Ideas

Friday, 21 June 2013

T-Shirt Friday 16 !

What Size Are Your Feats?
A line from the first Ghostbusters film, might have been an easier question as all the dialogue in that film is easily quotable, the second film is just as memorable but perhaps lesser known, did you get it though? The answer is: Jell-o! and it's very true... there is indeed always room for Jell-o! It seems really, that there is only one way that you could go on and celebrate after that revelation... Jelly (or Jell-o) and ice cream? or perhaps dream topping...

Today's T-Shirt is available directly from: 

One mans Jelly is another mans Jell-o... At least it is if you happen to be living in the U.S. take a moment and imagine that towering high above you is a giant orange tinged Jell-o mountain... slightly translucent, filled with all sorts of tinned fruit and topped with a snow cap of 'Dream Topping' (or in keeping with the American theme 'Dream whip' ) not so hard to do is it? - Especially when you think about the novelty and programmatic architecture of the diners and motels out there in California it's the kind of vision that really might be there somewhere on the mysterious desert or perhaps 'dessert' landscape. In fact on an amazing holiday with great friends out to Las Vegas, many years ago now, the Jell-o image of which I speak was so firmly planted in my brain that on a trip to the Grand Canyon I'd almost convinced myself that we would see a vast technicolour multi-flavoured Jell-o mould version of the Canyon's, much to my disappointment we viewed a vast amazing non Jell-o, 'rock flavoured' bunch of incredible boulders instead!
In this instance the Jell-o mountain is representing something else though, in a way just as famous but more of an establishment... the Letters 'H.O.L.L.Y.W.O.O.D' are illustrated across it's wobbly surface, Hollywood was the birthplace of Lowell George and the previous description is of the album cover for his Band 'Little Feat's' fifth Album the slightly confusingly titled 1975 'The Last Record Album', Neon Park, the now legendary illustrator and sleeve designer who had designed the cover for Frank Zappa's 'Weaseals Ripped My Flesh' to name just one, gave Little Feat and the world the striking Jell-o mountain cover for 'The Last Record Album', it contains the beautiful Lowell George song 'Long Distance Love' which also happens to be on the 'Little Feat' best of album 'As Time Goes By' which was the first 'Little Feat' album that I came into contact with... I then purchased 
'The Last Record Album, which will always hold a special place, as it is the first Little Feat studio album that I owned...

We found ourselves at the O2 Indigo, my good friend Dave and myself that is... It was August 18th 2010 and we settled ourselves in for a night of music, although we weren't really sure what to expect... After 1979 and Lowell George's untimely death, Little Feat had ceased to be a band until they re-formed in 1987, (although members of the band had played together in 1981 etc) in a way we were living in nostalgia land... The first footage I'd ever seen of 'Little Feat' was the (now famous) appearance that they made on The Old Grey Whistle Test in 1975, the episode was re-shown on BBC4 and I'd stayed up especially to watch it and listen to Bob Harris whisper about them... I was then lucky enough to work on the Live At Rockpalast DVD for Eagle Rock Entertainment Ltd. 
Each supping away at our 'traditional' gig beers, the house lights went down... we moved forward in anticipation, so that we could get a better view over the balcony that we were inhabiting, the band came on stage to a massive applause, then a silence as the guitars were strapped on and bang the first piano notes of Paul Barrere and Craig Fuller's 'Hate To Loose Your Lovin' from the first 1988 Little Feat album without Lowell, filled the air...

Neon Park named his artwork ' Waiting For Columbus' straight after he had designed and painted it, it's another in a long line of brilliant covers that he created which adorn Little Feat's albums, in this case though the character of the ("Lana Turner") 'Hot' Tomato that is waiting to be found by Columbus, has transcended beyond the classic album cover, to have a life of her own... Little Feat even went on to name their own record label 'Hot Tomato Records' and She can be seen sitting at the top of there official website, Neon Park's 'Hot' Tomato lady image has become ingrained like spilt ketchup on Little Feat's mythological carpet.
'Waiting For Columbus' was the first live album that 'Little Feat' released, it collects many fantastic shows that were played throughout a couple of months in 1977, including the now legendary, Rainbow Theatre gigs in London (August 1st to 4th) were you there? It is considered to be one of the greatest ever live albums, and contains extended versions of many of there greatest songs, (with added horn sections by The Tower Of Power), the album also includes versions of 'All That You Dream' and 'Mercenary Territory' from 'The Last Record Album'.

We had a couple of 'tradtional' gig beers that night... As Little Feat played through there incredible repertoire of songs. Any doubts we may have had were completely unfounded... they were on fire! with superb versions of 'Spanish Moon' and 'Dixie Chicken'  they weaved in and out of songs creating amazing jams of tracks like 'Fat Man In The bath Tub' segueing into Bob Marley's 'Get Up Stand Up' then pulling back out of that groove and back into 'Fat Man In The Bath Tub's' coda again. The dream whip on the top of the Hollywood jell-o though was an amazing version of Lowell's 'Willin'' that had a section of 'Don't Bogart That Joint' in the middle which some how then magically returned back into the final verse of 'Willin'' without there even being a noticeable change, all done acoustically, pure brilliant musicianship! Half way through I'd said to Dave that I would have to get a t-shirt as a marker of the great night that we were having. 
There was almost an emptiness as the band left the stage... it felt to us like they could have played for another 2 hours and they still wouldn't have got through all the legendary songs that they 'could' have played... All the way through the gig, in the back of my mind I'd been thinking about which t-shirt I'd like, we had seen people wearing a very nice blue version with the Neon Park cover for the 1988 'Let it Roll' album but in the end it was actually Dave that picked out the t-shirt that I finally got, the logo on the front of it caught our eye, but it was only after I bought it and we turned it over that the t-shirt revealed it's full wonder, as you can see below, it has the classic Neon Park 'Hot' Tomato lady on the back!

...That's the thing about tees from gigs, they hold all the great memories, the wonder of seeing the band and being with great friends, within their very fabric - every time I put the t-shirt on... I'm transported back in time to that night... It's 'A Long Distance Love'...

Well here we are again... it's time for the T-Shirt Friday Quiz Conundrum! Which is: what was the name of the 1979 Beach Boys album that Neon Park designed the cover for?

More on Little Feat? - Do have a look at T-Shirt Friday 4!
Mark Brend's book : 'Rock and Roll Doctor' is excellent! :
More on Little Feat?:
More on Neon Park?:
More on Little Feat's legendary London Rainbow gig?:

The Old Grey Whistle Test footage:

P.S. Another time I'll recount to you story of the 'elusive' 'Waiting For Columbus' tee... but that's another T-Shirt Friday story....

Thursday, 13 June 2013

T-Shirt Friday 15 !

Who you gonna call?
So did you get last weeks rather tricky T-Shirt Friday Quiz Conundrum? To find the answer you have to delve back into Roger Dean's history a bit... The 'Retreat Pod' chair was featured in Stanley Kubrick's masterpiece 'A Clockwork Orange'. Roger Dean also did some design work for the upstairs of 'Ronnie Scott's', creating a "landscape of seating" in his earlier day's. He still continues to design architecture and interiors, chairs, furniture, as well as create album covers and computer games, amazing stuff! 
It's Friday! so some T-Shirt Friday Quiz Conundrum celebrations are necessary (As is now traditional) how will you celebrate? You could celebrate by having a weekend of watching all of Stanley Kubrick's incredible back catalogue of films? or you could have a chocolate orange in honour of 'A Clockwork Orange'? Maybe while reading the original classic book by Anthony Burgess? any way what ever you decide, have yourself a fantastic weekend... but before you do... here is T-Shirt Friday 15 !

Today's T-Shirt was available from: although it was a couple of years ago that we purchased them, they may have mysteriously disappeared in a ghostly type way now...

Over the years we have tried many different types of quiz. We began by doing pub quiz's in and around the Walthamstow and Wood Street Area, 'The Plough Inn' was a very popular and memorable venue, although it now may not be there any more? We even moved our 'game' out to the little village of Hatfield Broad Oak near Chelmsford, when they started running a music trivia pub quiz there... it's questionable how much we went for the quiz or for the free bangers, mash and beans! We then decided to change tact and went for the rather more high brow BFI film quiz, it's a real masterminds type of quiz and it fried our brains... So after much thought and realising that film was a good subject for our team, my Sister and Brother-In-Law suggested that we go to the film quiz at Stratford (East) Picturehouse...

Our quest for the goblet of multiple multiplex questions and the long winding path of general knowledge had finally ended (it would seem) and we settled in to our new found cinematic surroundings, it's a very enjoyable hour or two of answering general questions about film and cinema, one that I whole heartily recommend, every so often they have a theme a night on a particular subject or around a particular event, they often have a drawing competition too! The sweet celluloid drenched summer nights of film quizzing went by and we found ourselves in October! More specifically though with an announcement that the next quiz would be a Halloween themed one and more importantly, that we should dress up in seasonal attire! Blimey! We spent the following week leading up to the big Halloween night, thinking about what we should dress up as, but not actually doing much about it... then as often in life, something quite unexpected came along and this time it was in the shape of a shop... a shop shaped in the way of Primark! Our fears were of course, that the other teams would make huge efforts... taking into account that they had also announced that there would be a prize for the best dressed team! Primark had much to offer and so it was that we chose the below Ghostbusters 2 T-Shirts. We did discuss the idea of making proton packs from cornflake packets, in fact, even making a marshmallow man out of a bag of marshmallows we had purchased from Sainsbury's... but time, as often does, eluded us and before we knew it... the night of the Halloween film quiz was upon us! Timidly we walked into the room, worried that the other teams had gone full blown Dracula, Nightmare On Elm Street and Friday The 13th on us and there we were Miss Russell, my Sister and myself in our Primark Ghostbuster 2 t-shirts! (my Brother-In-Law really didn't want to wear his tee) With a bag of marshmallows and a rather cool but very small, ghost hanging mobile, that my Sister had got... Our fears though were washed away in minutes, like the 'elevator - ocean of blood' scene in 'The Shining'... As most teams had made just about as much effort as us and in some cases even less... one guy was just wearing a Freddy Krueger (from 'Nightmare On Elm Street') knife glove, having not even attempted to put on any make up or even wear a red and black striped jumper... Ahh the relief, we felt good, "We're the best, We're the beautiful, we're the only Ghostbusters" well we were at least on that night, no one else had thought of Primark Ghostbusters 2 Tee's!
It was a great night, we had loads of eerie fun answering the spooky film questions, until they announced the drawing competition!!! We were each given an outline of a pumpkin and asked to do something with it, we each reached for the supplied selection of crayons and coloured pencils, created our designs and worriedly handed them in, to be judged at the end of the quiz. We didn't do so well at the quiz, which wasn't really surprising as we often varied from doing 'not bad' to 'pretty rubbish', the other teams slimed us! Then came the blood splatting, nail biting finale...
They held up the runner up of the drawing competition... then the 2nd runner up... and then... the overall winner... a 'MasterChef' type, long atmospheric, intense pause followed, then... a pumpkin outline made into the Ghostbusters symbol was held up! ... We cheered and roared, Harriet Russell (professional illustrator) had won the Stratford Picturehouse, Halloween film quiz drawing competition! Ectoplasmic!

It just goes to show... when the chips are down, who you gonna call? ... Miss Russell!
... and Primark!

Well it's that time again... it's the T-Shirt Friday Quiz Conundrum, which this week is
based on a quote from Ghostbusters 2:  What is there always room for?

P.S. It's now gone full circle... we have gone back to doing pub quiz's again!

More information on Stratford Picture House and the quiz:
The BFI film quiz (watch out though it's high brow):
Ghostbusters & Ghostbusters 2:

Ghostbusters or perhaps Quizbusters! - Just for one day!
The Happy Halloween Team! minus the Brother-In-Law
Oh dear!

Monday, 10 June 2013

Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Year Of The Horse - Side 1

Don't Spook The Horse!
My great friend and colleague James McAllister, Creative Director at Karmablue Studios: very kindly asked if I would be interested in working on a re-design of the DVD artwork for the Neil Young and Crazy Horse release 'Year Of The Horse' I jumped at the chance! 
Often I'll work up a number of ideas before choosing the ones that go off to the client and sometimes the client will want to make changes or may decide that we need to take the artwork in a different direction. Which can mean that you tend to amass many unused visuals or variations, the below cover ideas won't be used, but just thought you might like to see them...

The aim that I wanted with these ideas was to to keep traditional Neil Young elements, such as his hand written titles that have appeared on his albums (e.g. from the Tonight's The Night album and incorporating elements from the original 'Year Of The Horse' album artwork) but to try to give the whole thing quite a cinematic look... We actually ended up going in a totally different direction in the end...

Music Listened to while working on Neil Young, Year Of The Horse DVD artwork:
Manassas by Manassas, Stephen Stills - A forgotten Stephen Stills masterpiece
If I Could Only Remember My Name by David Crosby - Just beautiful...
Year Of The Horse by Neil Young & Crazy Horse
Tonight's The Night by Neil Young, "Goodbye Waterface"
The Hissing Of Summer Lawns by Joni Mitchell
Cry Softly Lonely One by Roy Orbison

Friday, 7 June 2013

T-Shirt Friday 14 !

Reprise - The Return Of The Giant Prog Rock Monster (Pt 2) 
Recapitulation, Movements 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8...
King Crimson were founded in 1968, the debut line-up of Fripp, Giles, Lake, McDonald and Sinfield, created the album 'In The Court Of The Crimson King' which was one of the most influential albums at the time of it's release and still is now. The sound on that album was not that dissimilar to that of The Moody Blues and their use of the Mellotron. Although '21st Century Schizoid Man' has a much heavier feel, which King Crimson would continue to experiment with throughout their career and on one of my personal favourite albums of theirs 'Larks Tongues In Aspic'... Any way... Yes that's right you'll be wanting to know the answer to last weeks T-Shirt Friday Quiz Conundrum... the answer is: The Devil, well done Misaki, absolutely correct! I recommend celebrating on Sunday by adding (appropriately) Devil's On Horse Back's to your Sunday lunch... or if you're feeling like you have a halo around your head you could opt for Angels On Horse Backs instead....

Today's T-Shirt was available from: sadly they don't seem to stock it any more, but they do have a very impressive Roger Dean Yes logo T-Shirt as an alternative...

Sometimes a T-Shirt can be all about making a statement...

In 1971 an album was released called 'Fragile' the three albums that had gone before it, had all carried very striking covers but this one marked a stylistic change that would have an impact on everything else that the band Yes would ever release. Fragile's cover was designed by Roger Dean. The next album that Yes released would contain one of Roger Deans most famous designs... released on Atlantic Records in September 1972 'Close To The Edge' is a 'Yes' masterpiece and is often cited as one of the greatest progressive rock albums of all time. On it's cover was (what has become to be known as) the Yes 'bubble' logo, it's an example of a timeless design that is instantly recognisable, presenting a bond between both the musical and visual sides of Yes, Dean went on to design many, many album covers and many more for Yes. In 1974, he put together the artwork for their album 'Relayer' which was the next Yes album that I heard back in 1994, after borrowing 'Talk' from Hale End Library and one that I still absolutely love today...

Going even further back, in fact while still at school my interest in art and design began to grow, a group of us joined the school magazine production team. As I think is often the case, our first take on illustration and design was through drawing cartoons and hand drawing lettering for the magazine. I would spend hours in WH Smith at Stratford East Shopping Centre, looking through books about airbrushing, animation and graphic design. There was one book that captivated me so much so that I ended up buying it, the book was called 'In Search Of Forever' by Rodney Matthews. I was so enthralled by his work and the fantastical worlds that he created that I began to start drawing my own fantasy characters and typography... While clearing out my room at my parents recently we found my final year CDT project which for no rhyme or reason (all be it in a crude and naive way) pastiches Rodney Matthews work, it just seems like I styled it like that because of the phase I was going through at the time! Later I discovered the work of the aforementioned Roger Dean, Patrick Woodroffe, Chris Achilleos, Boris Vallejo, Arthur Rackham and many more, they still inspire me today... 
Like 'In Search Of Forever' the cover for the Yes album 'Relayer' mesmerises me, every time I see it, there is a whole story going on, just in that one cover, before you even get into the music, it's a beautiful piece of work with an amazingly subtle colour palette... It's all about the detail that Dean puts in... you know that there is a snake in the artwork but it isn't until you turn the cover over and unfold the wrap-around, that the full story / the snake, is unleashed! (Sorry, hope that isn't a spoiler if you haven't seen the artwork before?)

The more you go along the more you realise that there is nothing wrong with going against the grain and making your own statement. It may well be an age thing but it seems to be that things don't matter as much as they did when you were a teenager... 20 years ago I wouldn't have put on a prog rock t-shirt, even though I loved the music, it just wasn't cool. The funny thing about it is that when I look back at pictures of myself from 20 years ago, I don't look cool anyway and am certainly not wearing fashionable clothing even then! So what the heck... About five years ago I decided that I wanted to find an instant way of telling people that I like unfashionable and uncool music and then the below t-shirt popped up on the browser, it combines everything, the message that I was looking for, coupled with the beautiful Roger Dean artwork from Relayer and the classic Yes logo design (which is continued on the back of the tee as well) all bundled into one piece of epic apparel, I wore it with pride then and still do now, like Roger Deans classic Yes logo bonding their music and visual style together - the t-shirt is bonded to me... well until it has to go in the wash of course...

It's a Roger Dean centric question for this weeks T-Shirt Friday Quiz Conundrum and it is: Roger Dean is also known for designing chairs and seating, what film was his 'Retreat Pod' chair featured in?

More on Roger Dean:
Prog Rock and Fantasy Artists:
Rodney Matthews:
& Prog Rock: