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: http://www.allposters.co.uk 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: http://www.rogerdean.com
Prog Rock and Fantasy Artists: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Fantasy_artists
Rodney Matthews: http://www.rodneymatthews.com
& Prog Rock: http://www.progarchives.com