Friday, September 14, 2007

Logo #40: Allman Brothers Band

Designed by renowned tattoo artist by Lyle Tuttle in 1970 - and still in use as their overriding motif - this logo was given to all members of the Allman Brothers Band and their roadies. Tuttle, speaking to the Columbus Dispatch: "This guy came in - pressed Levis, turquoise jewelry all over him. I knew he wasn’t some street hippie. It was Gregg (Allman), and I put a coyote on his forearm. Then, Duane (Allman) made everyone in the band and the crew get mushroom tattoos on the sides of their legs. I did that up in their room in the Holiday Inn. It was a party. Everyone was smoking so much it was getting to me, so Duane - he was a nutcase - he screamed at everyone to smoke on the balcony so I could work. He insisted I put one on myself, too. The next year, he died." Ordinarily I am loathe to include the lettering with the logo itself, but here we can contextualize and see the letters as a smaller part of a vast psychotropic feverdream. Somewhat sadly, a modern marriage of cynicism and the shock of the new have reduced to whimsy tattoos of anchors on forearms, hearts with sweethearts named above and below the piercing arrow, and giant naval eagles hovering over the navel. I don't have any tattoos simply because a) I revel my position as the Al Capp of outsider culture (sans severed leg to better illuminate the metaphor, though), b) I'm allergic to pain and I break out in blood, and c) because I like to leave the decorating of subway cars to professionals. Conversely, if you or a friend have a tattoo of Tattoo (HervĂ© Villechaize), we'd love to see it.

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