Thursday, December 31, 2009
I was a huge fan of AWA All-Star Wrestling as a kid. Run by legendary Verne Gagne outta Minneapolis, the American Wrestling Assosciation ruled the Midwest in those pre-WWF days with a roster that included greats like Ray "The Crippler" Stevens, Blackjack Lanza, Larry "The Axe" Henning, Mad Dog Vachon, Baron Von Raschke and greatest of 'em all, The Crusher (plus crafty managers like Bobby "The Brain" Heenan and Lord Alfred Hayes). Every week some match would get outta hand and all the rasslers would come running from the back for a giant free-for-all brawl. I tried to capture that feeling of unleashed mayhem in this piece, which in its original form was meant to be the cover for a comp called Blood Red Battle Royal Volume 2. Due to some pointless craziness that was going on in my life at the time I blew the deadline on that project for the first and only time in my professional career. Sorry, Jeff. Anyhow I redrew and revised the original design last year and finished adding the color and tweaking it up this very morning, so here it is to send out 2009 with a bang! Much more to come in 2010 so... Stay tuned for MORE WHETHER YA LIKE IT OR YA DON'T LIKE IT, YA BETTER LEARN TO LOVE IT ACTION!
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
I sometimes do these kinda quickie cut'npaste posters for local shows and while I don't consider them to be "art" exactly, they are fun to look at so what the heck, here are a couple of 'em for your perusal. The first one features The Angry Dragons and The Sweet Nothings, both of whom I've blabbed about here before, and the very cool Ex-Girlfriends, a primitivo all-girl surf-punk trio with super memorable, attitude-laden tunes. This was one of the best all-local shows I've ever been to. The Nobunny show was way outta hand; I'm not gonna even try to describe the craziness that went on that night. I had a great time watching Nobunny blast out a bunch of super catchy high energy bubblepunk. I didn't get to meet Mr. Nobunny at the show but had a chance to talk to him when he was in town with King Khan and BBQ a few weeks back and he's a real nice fella. Yay for Nobunny. Stay tuned for MORE ACTION!
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
This arcane artifact from my early daze was first printed in one of my self-published xerox mags (can't remember which one just now) and later appeared in Roctober. It was also colorized and printed on a mouse pad (?!!) at one point, carefully cropped to eliminate the two swastikas. More weird looking weirdness for weirdos coming soon. Stay tuned for MORE ACTION!
Monday, December 28, 2009
The Droogs were a seminal neo-garage/punk combo outta Los Angeles in the early '70s. They were one of the first '70s bands to look back to '60s garage legends like The Sonics and Shadows Of Knight for inspiration, and their mid-'70s series of DIY 7"ers are considered to be among the earliest examples of proto-punk in LA. This caricature was published along with a career-spanning retrospective article on the band in the one and only issue of my buddy Alan's cool punk mag Do The Pop! The band liked it well enough to reprint it in the insert of their Atomic Garage CD, which I believe was their last ever release. Stay tuned for MORE ACTION!
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Chris Walter played a big part in the Winnipeg punk scene from the early days through the late '80s, playing in The Vacant Lot (one of the first punk combos around these parts) and publishing the best known local 'zine, Pages Of Rage. He moved to Vancouver and got into a heavy drug scene for years before cleaning up his act and reinventing himself as a writer and self-publisher of punky, streetwise books detailing much Bukowski-esque gutter action. I made this poster for the release party of his book Shouts From The Gutter a couple years back, and the show featured some prominent local punk combos and a live reading by CW himself. For anyone interested in the early days of Winnipeg's punk scene I recommend Warm Beer & Wild Times, CW's 2008 bio of local legends Personality Crisis which features a surfeit of arcane info on that intriguing subject amongst other pertinent matters. Stay tuned for MORE ACTION!
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Friday, December 25, 2009
Here's some rock'n'roll style Xmas cheer for you all. I made this sleeve a few years back for German hepcat Carsten Blastof, who put out this cool comp LP on his Three Kings Records label. Johnny Ramone died while I was working on the back cover art so I put in a little tribute to him. Season's greetings to all. Stay tuned for MORE ACTION!
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
A blast from the recent past this time... Here's the art for the hip new 7"er by cryptic Greek (almost) all-girl combo The Meanie Geanies. These gals gave been at it for a few years now but have only had a couple of obscure releases prior to this killer which came out a few months back on the happening Fuzz Overdose Records label. Should still be available from all the cool garage oriented mailorder joints if you're curious. I was tryin' for a Johnny Craig type of feel with this one as I am a big fan of his cleancut but horrific work in the Vault Of Horror. Tomorrow I'll have some Xmess themed work to get you in the proper seasonal frame of mind, so... Stay tuned for MORE ACTION!
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Straight outta Norway by way of NYC, The Vikings were a punk rock supergroup featurin' Crazy Stevie Baise of Devils Dogs fame, Morten Henriksen from The Yums Yums and Cosmic Dropouts plus a coupla Turbonegro dudes. Back-to-back KBD classick covers (Savage originally by Aussie maniacs The Fun Things, Just Head by Boston's Nervous Eaters) made this wild waxing an instant party fave. I was a mad ravin' Devil Dogs fanatic in those days (still am as far as that goes) so I was really stoked when my pal Ritchie from Screaming Apple Records asked me to design the sleeve for this 7"er. I thought a wise-ass punk rock parody of Frank Frazetta's iconic Conan painting The Barbarian would be a cool idea for the sleeve, but most people seemed to dig the skull action on the back cover more. The Vikings were just a side project for all these guys but they did have another 7" on Sympathy and an LP on Roto Records outta Spain. More way out weirdness coming at you soon so please don protective headgear when visiting this blog. Stay tuned for MORE ACTION!
Monday, December 21, 2009
Sunday, December 20, 2009
The problem I have with a lotta depictions of Cthulhu is that he just comes out lookin' like some kinda mundane dinosaur-type creature. He is supposed to be a god, dead and bloated in his undersea tomb, not some sort of wannabe-Godzilla knocking over telephone poles. In this piece (my Lovecraft magnum opus to date) I have tried to capture that idea to the best of my ability. More unspeakable horrors tomorrow. Stay tuned for MORE WITH STRANGE EONS EVEN DEATH MAY DIE ACTION!
Saturday, December 19, 2009
A few years back I was doing some inking for a Twilight-Zoneish comic book called Mortal Coils. At the time I was too busy to get into doing any penciling for the title but writer/publisher A. David Lewis graciously asked me to contribute a spot illustration in the letters column of MC #2 so readers could sample a wider range of my talents. I came up with the above thinking that it would suit the rather cryptic atmosphere that Dave was building up in Mortal Coils. I think Dave was a little baffled when he saw it and to tell you the truth, I don't really understand it myself. Whatever is going on in this picture, it sure as heck seems creepy to me. Anyway, Dave asked if I could add something to reflect the fact that this would be appearing in the letters column of the comic, so I went back and put postman's hats on the 3 naked old dead men. This added to the surrealism of the scene (which is always nice), but detracted from the overall creepiness factor, so I am providing you with the previously unseen original version here. More stark ravin' horror coming in tomorrow's post, so... Stay tuned for MORE ACTION!
Friday, December 18, 2009
I did a bunch of Ramones drawings in the immediate aftermath of Joey's death back in 2001. First was a simple B&W drawing of Joey on a poster for a tribute show featuring some of the local punk combos, then I did a similar cartoon portrait of him in color for the Amp Records compilation CD Life's A Gas! A Tribute To Joey Ramone. Last in the series was a caricature of the whole band for my friend Jari-Pekka Laitio-Ramone's first book of compiled ravings from fanatical Ramones fans, Heaven Must Have Needed A Lead Singer: Fans Remember Joey Ramone. Looking back at all this stuff a few months ago I found that I liked bits and pieces of each but didn't think any of them really worked as a whole so I had a typically hairbrained idea: why not cut out all the bad parts and assemble the remaining bits and pieces together Frankenstein style into my Ultimate Ramones Drawing?!!! As it turned out I probably would have saved a bit of time by just starting from scratch with a new drawing, but that's life, I guess. Anyhow, here's the gruesome result of my unholy late night work down in the laboratory. Stay tuned for MORE TEENAGE DOPE FIEND ACTION!
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
The Hot Live Guys have been rockin' Winnipeg for 10 whole years now. Startin' out as some kind of ska combo (?!!), they mutated early on into the kinda spastic, frenzied garage-infused rawk that they have been blasting forth ever since. They were a mainstay of this town's rock'n'roll party scene throughout its early '00s heyday and beyond. Their track Robbin' A Bank was a hilite of Winnipeg Riot!, the comp CD chronicling Winnipeg's past decade of wild r'n'r and they have 3 of their own CDs and a split 7" on their action-packed resume as well. They are callin' it quits just before Xmas and what you see here is the poster I conjured up to help mark their passing. I dunno if any static medium is well suited to capture the flailing blur of rawk action that is their live show but I tried my best. We are printing 50 jumbo silkscreen copies of this poster which will be on sale at the show so plunder that bank account on your way over to the Albert. Their spankin' new album will also be making it's grand debut at the show and I heard something about T-shirts featuring the image above bein' available as well. It should be quite an evening as the HLG rock themselves outta this world one last time. Stay tuned for MORE ACTION!
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
I just handed in the final artwork for this label design to local craft brewery Half Pints last week and am looking forward to the grand debut of the brew early in 2010. While I was at the brewery I had a chance to sample the mouth-waterin' aroma of $ellout $tout as it ages to perfection in the great old whiskey barrels that will create it's distinctive flavor. I gotta thank Dave and Nicole at Half Pints for giving me a chance to work on this very cool project. There's nothing sadder in this world than unrequited love, so having the brewing industry finally show me some regard is indeed a moment to savor. The party is startin' now! UPDATE: Here's a pic of the actual bottle... what a beautiful thing. Stay tuned for MORE 8.4% ALC/VOL ACTION!
Monday, December 14, 2009
Speaking of The Saints, here's a cute li'l tribute I did to their great song International Robots. This was published back in 2001 in Roctober #30, the issue featuring their invaluable encyclopedic reference guide to robot-themed rock'n'roll. Stay tuned for MORE ACTION!
Sunday, December 13, 2009
The Jolts are from Vancouver and play a real cool punky kinda rock'n'roll. They reminded me a bit of the early Saints when I saw 'em awhile back. Their gig earlier this year at Winnipeg's most underground record store War On Music also featured the great garage rockin' Angry Dragons and up'n'coming locals The Nervous Lugers, who are basically the legendary Squareheads without singer Anthony playin' '77-ish punk'n'roll. I didn't make it to the show but was told that it was a lotta fun. Why wouldn't it be? Stay tuned for MORE ELECTRIFYIN' ACTION!
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Made this T-shirt design last year for a club down in South Carolina. Willy B from The Independents got me the gig and printed the shirts. I'm amazed that it took me this long to come up with the idea of combining Big Daddy Roth-style hot rod mutants with the Mad Max concept of apocalyptic automotive anarchy, but here it is served up on a platter of splatter so dig in. Stay tuned for MORE ALL-OUT AGONIZIN' ACTION!
Friday, December 11, 2009
Here's a primo example of the kinda wacky weirdness you can get involved in when you're a freelance artisté. Back in 1996 I had done a few T-shirt designs for a guy named Roberto, a just-outta-high-school kid with a real old style hustlin' make-a-buck attitude. Later he asked me to do these illustrations for some kinda acne treatment program he was gonna start peddling. I dunno if he ever actually got this project off the ground; I never saw the printed booklet he was planning and this was the last I heard from him but I certainly enjoyed the thought of being involved in some sort of patent medicine type operation. I do think acne is a worthwhile topic for artistic consideration and have plans to revisit the subject at some point. Stay tuned for MORE ACTION!
Thursday, December 10, 2009
This voodoo vixen was drawn last year for the booklet of the most recent Independents CD, Do It Again. Got some fun new and old stuff on the launchin' pad for later this week so... Stay tuned for MORE ACTION!
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Predating the Aquellos Maravillosos 90 LP sleeve I did for 'em, here's the artwork for Dr. Explosion's swingin' Eres Feo, Chaval 45. This Spanish-language cover of The Downliners Sect classic One Ugly Child was perfectly suited to my style at the time. Boss little record. Stay tuned for MORE ACTION!
Monday, December 7, 2009
The Fiends got going somewhere around 1994 out in fog-shrouded Vancouver, BC. They had the same basic creepy garage sound as combos like The Morlocks and The Gravedigger 5, but added in their own brand of crazed, fuzzed-out intensity to convincingly convey a kinda seething psychosis in sound. They had a couple of LPs, a 10" and several 7"s out in the '90s then went underground for a few years. They were back doing shows again in the past 2 or 3 years but I guess Greg Johnson's death will probably be the end of the line for them as he seemed to be the driving force behind the whole thing. I had done some drawings for Greg's pre-Fiends creepy garage combo The Worst, so I segued naturally into doing stuff for The Fiends. I designed the main Fiends logo that they used throughout their career, a bunch of creepy little spot illos that were used on their In Scareo 10"er and made a drawing based on their song Zombies (Have Feelings Too) which was used on a cassette of demos and unreleased tracks that Greg put out. He also used various monster drawings of mine for Fiends gig posters, including the Frankenstein Edsel drawing I posted a little while back. Above are a batch of logos I made for him back around 1996 or so. I'll dig up some of my other Fiends stuff and post it for you at a later date. Stay tuned for MORE GRAVEDIGGIN' ACTION!
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Al from the Von Zippers/Roto-Flex records put together this 3 day fest of primitivo garage and related forms of trashy rock'n'roll back in 1997. I made it out to Calgary for the show and they paid me for the poster art with free beer all weekend. Hilites were seeing The Spaceshits again a few months after their Winnipeg show, the always cool and creepy Forbidden Dimension, the best Gas Huffer show I ever saw and diggin' The Von Zippers motorvatin' though their own set then backing the totally crazed, sweat-soaked Pokemonojeff Connolly on a batch of Lyres classics. To top it all off, when I walked outta The Night Gallery after the last show there was a guy walkin' across the street stark naked and he asked me what the hell was I lookin' at? Another highlight of this trip was opening the bathroom cabinet in the hotel we were stayin' at and finding a big chunk of human hair under there. Seems like someone needed to change their appearance in a hurry and had just chopped their long hair off in one big hunk and dumped it there. Pretty mysterious. Anyhow the poster was kind of a takeoff on the one my friend TOMB had done for the previous year's show (see page 267 of that jumbo Art Of Modern Rock book for TOMB's wicked effort). This was originally supposed to be printed in full color but the posters ended up being black and white. I recently learned that there were T-shirts made using this artwork as well. I didn't get one. Anyhow, my recreation of the original color version makes its grand debut here. This is the original version of the poster with The Fiends included in the lineup. They weren't able to make the show (The Brewtals from Edmonton filled their spot if I remember rightly), but it's a good chance to remember Fiends singer Greg Johnson who passed away a couple of days back. I have a bunch of Fiends art that I'll post up here later. Stay tuned for MORE ACTION!
Saturday, December 5, 2009
I drew the cover for this compilation CD back in 2001 for a short-lived label called Suckerpunch Records. It's a fun comp with some well known pop punk combos like The Eyeliners, The Groovie Ghoulies, Teen Idols, The McRackins and The Manges plus a whole bunch of lesser-knowns rockin' in the same style. Joey Ramone died while I was working on this so I included a little tribute to him. Sadly it was not the last Ramones memorial to appear in one of my drawings. More on that later. Stay tuned for MORE ACTION!
Friday, December 4, 2009
I used a pseudonym for the sleeve of this compilation of '70s punk rock obscurities since the guy who put it out had not gone through all the proper channels to legally reissue the songs. Since he is now dead, I suppose there's no harm in my admitting authorship of this piece. I was a huge fan of these Killed By Death-inspired punk reissue comps at the time and was really stoked to get to design a sleeve for this one, which includes a couple of great tracks from the Lowlife 7" (Winnipeg's one-and-only '70s punk waxing). The guy who put this out was paranoid about being tracked down if my artwork was recognized so I made a concerted effort to work in a different style, inking entirely in scratchy pen lines rather than my usual classy brushwork and topping the whole thing off with copious amounts of toothbrush spatter, a technique which I had never used previously. This came out on Anarchy International Productions in 1996, supposedly a limited edition of 500 LP copies though I suspect more than that were actually made. A second volume came out later but he just ripped off the artwork from a Pebbles compilation for the sleeve on that one. Stay tuned for MORE ACTION!
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Hot off those proverbial presses, here's thee cover art for the latest issue of Lost In Tyme, a boss garage rock 'zine published by my pal Periklis over in Greece. The mag does a great job in covering new garage combos, focusing more on bands with melodic '60s roots rather than the noisy punky brand of modern garage rock (or that trendy Strokes-type faux-garage malarky), and this issue comes with an 18 song CD featuring all the bands listed on the cover. Look up the Lost In Tyme profile over on MySpace to see about orderin' a copy. Stay tuned for MORE ACTION!
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Quickie poster for a show featuring some of the top local punk combos back around the turn of the century. This was the golden era of craziness at our beloved gutter bar the Royal Albert. I think this was the show where my glasses got broken during the Martian Graverobbers set when stagedivin' maniac Mladen kicked me in the face. Fun times. Stay tuned for MORE ACTION!
Monday, November 30, 2009
Here are a couple more selections from the stack of illustrations I did a few months back for Flying Saucer Rock'N'Roll, the forthcoming compilation volume of wild interviews with undeservedly little-known rockers from the pages of Roctober magazine (see Billy Lee Riley post way down below for another taste from the same combination plate). First up is Sam The Sham, one of my all-time fave rockers with deep Tex-Mex musical roots and the all-important sense of style that made early rock'n'roll so great. Also on tap today is my drawing of The Good Rats, who have an interesting '70s rock story even though their music is mostly not to my taste. I'll post more of these soon, hopefully with some updated info about when the book will be hitting the street. Stay tuned for MORE ACTION!
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Saturday, November 28, 2009
I drew this one last year for the debut 45 of this jangly '60s garage outfit from Portland, Oregon. My buddy Periklis ished this hot wax on his cool Lost In Tyme label over in Greece and word is that he's workin' on a full length LP by The Garage Gods even as we speak. I'm lookin' forward to hearing it. These guys have found their own sound within the parameters of the mid-'60s garage style; good songs and distinctive vocals in a sorta Arthur Lee-ish style make 'em stand out from the crowd. The cover art was inspired by all one zillion Flintstones reruns I sat through in my impressionable youth. More stuff comin' soon. Stay tuned for MORE ACTION!
Friday, November 27, 2009
Okay, I know I posted the artwork for the new Rowdymen CD back in the early daze of this blog, but inasmuch as I did some last minute revisions on the image before handing in the final version, and then used that new and improved version to put together this snazzy poster for the CD release party, maybe you all will be so kind as to excuse any redundancy. Looks like this will be a fun show, with local all-girl teen powerpoppers The Paps opening the festivities. Stay tuned for MORE HI-OCTANE ACTION!
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
This image was originally drawn for French garagesters The Sidewalk Stroll back in 1995 and was used on the cover of their debut LP Monobooster. There were a couple of little things I didn't like about the drawing in its original form so when Sal from Electric Frankenstein asked me to do a couple of quick posters for EF shows in Alberta I decided it would be a good opportunity to make a definitive revised version of this piece. This is one of a handful of drawings I made in the mid-'90s using DuoShade paper, specially treated art paper with 2 hidden patterns of shading that can be made visible by painting on a chemical solution. This technique was widely used by comic book artists in the '50s and '60s, especially in the Warren horror comics and all those hot rod comic mags like CarToons, so it seemed to add a fitting retro touch to an image like this. I'll post up the companion poster for EF's Calgary show tomorrow. Stay tuned for MORE ACTION!
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
(Continued from yesterday's post...) So I sent all the artwork for the Horace Pinker/NRA split 7" over to France. A couple of days later I get a phone call from FedEx asking me what they should do with my package. It seems that when they took it to Philippe's address there was no building, just a big hole in the ground. I had mailed stuff to that address before so this news was rather baffling. Later that week I got the whole story behind this Twilight-Zoneish turn of events. A leaking gas line had exploded and demolished the whole building the same day that I sent the package out. Philippe survived the conflagration but it seemed to spell the end of Erase-Yer-Head Records and the 7" never came out. Even more annoyingly, all the artwork disappeared under mysterious circumstances, which is why you won't be seeing the 2 paintings I made for this project here in the Rubber Room. Luckily I had the foresight to make photocopies of the black and white drawings before sending them out, so herewith they are presented to the omnivorous eye of the panting public (that's you, buddy!) for the first time ever. Stay tuned for MORE ACTION!
Monday, November 23, 2009
Back in the mid-'90s I did a few drawings for a French 'zine and record label entrepreneur named Philippe. He started out in the Garage Punk scene and switched over to hardcore and industrial noise after awhile. In that phase he had a label called Erase-Yer-Head Records which had kind of a neat concept. Their output was exclusively split 7"ers, each with a well known American or Japanese aggro-noise combo on one side and a less-known Euro band playing in a similar style on the flip. Each one came in a gatefold sleeve with full color artwork inside and out and an insert with 4 additional pages of black and white art by the same artist. All the artists for the noisy industrial style releases were contributors to Le Dernier Cri, a French avant garde comix magazine with a heavy Raw influence. I was asked to provide the art for a punk rock spinoff from the main series featuring pop punkers Horace Pinker from the USA and NRA from Holland, so I dutifully whipped up a couple of acrylic paintings and 4 B&W illustrations, two of which you may see atop this very stack of type. As this was an "art for art's sake" type of enterprise I let myself go a bit as far as the style and subject matter were concerned. I was pushing the deadline by the time I got everything done so I sent it over to France via FedEx. A couple days after sending it out I received the most baffling telephone call I've gotten yet in my career in the arts... More on that in tomorrow's post. Stay tuned for MORE ACTION!
Sunday, November 22, 2009
If you are wondering. most of the imagery on this blog comes from my subconscious mind in as unmitigated a form as possible. The point of art, I think, is to rummage around in one's own head until something of potential interest emerges, and then turn it loose in the world and wait to see what may result. From that perspective, my explanation of what this drawing is about would be no more worthy than yours, so I shall offer none. This piece was first used as a flyer for a show by local space rawkers The Breath Grenades. Later my friend Willem from Swamp-Room Records in Germany became enamored of this drawing and used it several times, including a colorized version that graced the cover of a split 7" by Mandra Gora Lightshow Society and Cherry Overdrive back in 2005. Here you may peruse it in it's original monochromatic incarnation. Stay tuned for MORE ACTION!