Thursday, 5 December 2013

T-Shirt Friday 22 !

Forever 'waiting' on a t-shirt!
It's been a long time since I rock 'n' rolled... It's been a long time since a T-Shirt Friday! But here it is, it's back! The summer time has gone for another year, dreams of Brian Wilson's golden sand and surf start to re-occur as we begin to move into those long wintry months... so for some stories of fabric and screen printing wonder to warm up your Friday nights, why not snuggle up in your favourite t-shirt (perhaps with a cardie or jumper on over the top) and let t-shirt Friday work it's winter wonderland magic!
Where exactly did we leave off... Ah yes of course... the T-Shirt Friday Quiz Conundrum, which if you remember that far back was... What Californian city do Astra originate from? ... and the answer is San Diego! did you get it right? If so how will you celebrate? perhaps a crusty roll and a nice hot bowl of tomato soup? Actually, talking of tomatoes....

Today's T-Shirt can be found directly here:

Who or what was waiting for Columbus? A ready made globe to prove his theory? Was it the indigenous people, or Indians as he mistakenly called them? or perhaps a Lady Tomato lazing comfortably in a hammock?

...Let's find out... 

You may recall way back in the mists of time the mention within the text of T-Shirt Friday 16, of an elusive tee... well here it finally is...

Little Feat's live album 'Waiting for Columbus' was released in 1977... before we go any further were you at 'The Rainbow Theartre' London, when they played from August 1st-4th 1977? everyone was, weren't they? well those gigs plus shows from 8th-10th of August recorded at the Lisner Auditorium (George Washington University) are all included on the album to make one full set. The album proved to be one of there biggest selling and is cited as one of the greatest live albums ever recorded, along with a few others of course Thin Lizzy's Live and Dangerous being one of them.

Sometime ago now, Eagle Rock Entertainment Ltd in conjunction with Rockpalast and WDR released the DVD 'Little Feat - Skin It Back' or 'Live At Rockpalast' if you're in Germany. I was very lucky to be able to work on the sleeve design for the project. We were given some really great archival material to work with, including some extraordinary photos of Lowell George and the band, taken by photographer Manfred Becker. As often the case with working on these types of projects and with the little bit of knowledge I already had of Little Feat's history I became more and more intrigued by them, the original footage that appears on the DVD had been recorded just a month (July 1977*) before they gave the performances that make up the 'Waiting For Columbus' set, it really is a fantastic document of what was to come... Little Feat are a band you can really get hooked on, I have been a massive fan of the group ever since... which you may have noticed as there have already been two other T-Shirt Friday's covering them!

Along with the incredible recording that is 'Waiting for Columbus' is the thing that makes it stand out on the shelves of those dusty scratchy old second hand vinyl shops where you might be lucky enough to find a copy, the album cover art... once again Neon Park designed and illustrated it, giving his interpretation of what might be waiting for Columbus, which isn't only the lady tomato quietly waiting to be discovered by Columbus, Europeans at that time also might not have ever seen a hammock, Neon Park had created the painting before Little Feat commissioned him for a cover and in fact he had already named it 'Waiting For Columbus', the name was kept for the album.

Just before... (then Miss Russell now Mrs Gibbons) and myself headed off to South America (please see T-Shirt Friday 6, for more detail) it became more then apparent that new clothes would be needed, a trip to South America with a 'Waiting for Columbus' tee seemed to me to be the perfect tie-in! So along with the BöC t-shirt, I ordered away... two weeks passed by, excitedly I waited and then the BöC tee arrived in good time for the upcoming trip! Still no sign however of the WFC tee though... another week went by... an email popped in from Little Feat Merchandising, Hooray! a message to say it's on the way, shaking with excitement I opened the mail... it was quite the opposite, a very nice note to say that there were no XL sizes left and the t-shirt might be discontinued, they did suggest ordering a different t-shirt however, but my head hung low as if it were a giant tomato that was causing my smaller weedy body to collapse under it's sheer weight. Then off we flew leaving behind all those sad memories of a wonderful tomatoey red purchase gone askew.

A year passed by... 

On a whim I made a return to Little Feats website, clicked on the merch button and in amazement fell back off of my chair, it was back! as if by baby bio they had brought back the Waiting for Columbus tee, it was nearing Christmas so hurriedly I added it to my list for Father Christmas, he wears red and he must like tomatoes in the summer months, surely he would understand... Christmas day came and went Father Christmas brought many lovely things but a WFC tee he did not...

Three months passed by...

After the financial crisis that can sometimes be Christmas, it was time again to get ordering, Ah! but this time I decided to take a different tact, Ebay had the tees, this would be the answer, sadly though it wasn't. In a similar vain to going direct to Little Feat, a nice message reply read "Unfortunately we no longer have any XL sizes and this t-shirt is to be discontinued"

Another month passed by... It was time to think outside the ordering box...

Lose weight? Go for a small size, then try stretching it? - wait a minute I'd done that before, it didn't work... hmmm....

Buy some fabric colouring pens and draw my own one...?

Another year has already nearly passed by...

In fact the reality is that it just got left, I still don't own one, like so many other things in life, time moves on, but one day, you never know, the tee may adorn my rotund top half (I didn't lose weight either). 
It is nice to know though that the Waiting for Columbus t-shirt is still out there somewhere 'waiting' to be discovered and just like it's name sake will bring back with it, lots of amazing stories and memories of a very special time in rock history to so many!

* July 1977 also happens to be when Miss Russell now Mrs Gibbons was born!

Well there we are, we are at the end of another T-Shirt Friday but before the final farewell for this week, there is of course the small matter of the T-Shirt Friday Quiz Conundrum, which is: Which famous guitar player and one time member of the Rolling Stones plays on the WFC version of 'A Apolitical Blues'?

More about Little Feat:
More about 'Waiting For Columbus':
Eagle Rock Entertainment Ltd :

Skin It Back DVD:

There is a fantastic new book by Ben Fong-Torres called 'Willin' - The story Of Little Feat':