Sunday, September 30, 2007

Logo #64: GISM

Designed by GISM mainman Sakevi Yokoyama in 1985. Yokoyama, in a recent e-mail: "AK-47 T-SHIRTS FIRST USED IN 1985 MAY 30TH AT NAKANO PUBLIC HALL." Right! Just as SPK stood for SepPuKu, Surgical Penis Klinik, Socialistisches Patienten Kollektiv and System Planning Korporation, GISM had many bombs in its arsenal of acronyms: General Imperialism Social Murder, Gnostic Idiosyncrasy Sonic Militant, and God In the Schizoid Mind. This video footage from 1982 leaves a clue as to how wild and free their initial appearances were. Sakevi is in the beret and the studded leather jacket; he steals the microphone from the late Edo Akemi, lead singer of the band Jagatara. The fight rolls on as the mostly oblivious band just keeps playing. More fun: one press account, corroborated to this reporter by artist and composer John Duncan, maintains that Sakevi attacked a salaryman (white-collar worker) on a Tokyo commuter train for staring at him by using a can of hairspray and a lighter as a makeshift flamethrower.

It's curious how many people, even in this postmodernist day and/or age, make apologies for the quality of, say, their film footage. If any lesson was learned from the House of Sex, it would be Malcolm McLaren's truism, "Don't play, don't give the game away." You'd be surprised how many creative people argue away the power of their art by apologizing for anything from objectively imperceptible flaws to practically invisible mistakes. A corollary to the McLaren Edict is that of Pee-Wee Herman: "I meant to do that." GISM's smash hit "Nuclear Armed Hogs" can be heard here. After guitarist Randy Uchida died at the age of 45 on February 10, 2001 of cancer, the band effectively dissolved, with Yokoyama immersing himself in more art and design. At least Uchida wasn't around to see all the bad stuff happen that autumn - but he'd had a good full life, and there was nothing left about which to be sorry.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Logo #63: Hanatarash

Designed by Yamatsuka Eye in 1985, this logo appeared on the "ハナタラシ" LP, the debut album for this Japanese junk and electronics unit. A focused effort, its titles include the vaguely Yiddish-sounding "Ultra Cocker", the ballad "Domination In Spunked Cock," and the always inspirational "Cock E.S.P". Their latest, the longform "Hanatarash 5: We Are 0:00" CD, came out in May on Japanese label 3D System to criminally little fanfare. Hanatarash means "snot-nosed", a phrase that inspired busy British composer Michael Gillham, whose extortionately extensive MySpace page covering the band is from whence this vividly lime-green cover comes. Using a construction backhoe, Eye-san once demolished part of the venue in which Hanatarash played. This is what that looked like, and here is how they sound. More rock and punk than any endless loop of "Yeah yeah yeah" or the posturing of lyrics and fashion, Hanatarash are to music what John Wesley Hardin was to the Old West: so mean he once shot a man just for snorin'!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Logo #62: Broken Bones

Thrash crust punk band Broken Bones' logo was designed by founding members Darren “Baz” Burgess and Tony “Bones” Roberts in 1983. Much of the band's life is inextricably linked to that of Discharge, the logo of which was covered earlier this month here.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Logo #61: Gong

Gong's ubiquitous gnome, drawn by Gong showman and founder Daevid Allen in 1962, appears as the focal point of a trilogy of albums (expanded to a quinary by 2000): "Flying Teapot" and "Angel's Egg" (both 1973), and "You" (1974). The English progressive band - where "progressive" means all possible positive perceptions of the word - has effectively been alive since 1965, the year in which Allen had a vision in which his entire future was laid out as a plain before him (winning lottery numbers notwithstanding). This illustration was taken from a brilliant history of the EMS line of synthesizers, found here. As rock band logos go, it's a whimsical mix of folk art and the methodology of mythologies both personal and traditional.

I saw Gong perform in the late '90s in Los Angeles at the defunct Billboard Live venue - a club which broadcast the concerts live to a huge video screen on the front of the building. It turned into the Key Club, and sits in the spot on which Bill Gazzarri's (June 16, 1924 - March 13, 1991) club once stood. Same kind of band ethos in that particular block or three of Sunset Boulevard, though - not much has changed from the days of "The Decline of Western Civilization, Part II." This was during the version of the band in which Pierre Moerlen (October 23, 1952 - May 3, 2005) played drums - and just when you think eminently flipped-out, well-traveled musicians have seen it all, no stranger a look on their faces was had than when I asked the members of Gong to sign my, erm, gong. It just seems such an obvious thing to ask. The following day, I had an enlightening conversation with Gong founder Daevid Allen, who detailed at great length how deeply Virgin Records founder Richard Branson hated their guts. Oh, we talked about everything from here to the ends of the cosmos but that really stuck out for some reason - possibly because Richard Branson seems so serene amidst his billions.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Logo #60: Nitzer Ebb

From Simon Granger, designer of the until-now apocryphal crest and sheaves: "The logo was originally drawn manually by myself using Corel Draw in late 1994. The NE initials were initially created using straight forward rectangles then welded together in Corel and 'node edited' to create the circular effect. The lower case type underneath was a font supplied with Corel called Serpentine and is the closest I have got to using a font with serifs (apart from two Barry Adamson sleeves). The Olympic-style leaf element was traced in Corel from a photo of a badge I found on the web, and then flipped and duplicated to form the two crossing over. The initial idea came from Bon (Harris, Nitzer Ebb shouter and percussionist), as he had an idea of using a design that had a look and feel of an classic car type badge. The final overall effect still radiates the typical muscular / military / minimal NE aesthetic but in a more of an emblem rather than just typography. The design was only ever officially used on the inside sleeve of the "Big Hit" album in a small version and a knocked back watermark image behind the lyric sheet - however, I think it is in use on various t-shirts and around the web."

Nitzer Ebb were a British band of pioneers - in the early '80s, along with Front 242, D.A.F. and Stomach Basher - of EBM, the so-called "electronic body music" made up of a relentlessly syncopated series of shouts that affected everything from Parisian haute couture to homely girls in the American heartland looking vaguely interesting because of all the chintzy vinyl, tall stompy boots and pierced-lip sullenness. Apart from that, Nitzer Ebb had a few really compelling pop singles that are great to exercise to and still stand on legs of nostalgia and awkward embarrassment that only a pre-Internet world can still keep hidden.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Logo #59: Angel Witch

New Wave of British Metallers Angel Witch appropriated a logo that was designed by gnostic seer and magickal dealer of vexation Eliphas Lévi in 1855. Drummer Dave Hogg recalls: "Angel Witch was probably the first band to use this particular logo - it started back in 1972. Two good friends of mine - Rick Stanbury (who is still my best pal) and Gary Nash - did the research and design copy. We were still at school, studying for an Art examination, and had to come up with something different so far as layout. I offered them both of my bass drum skins for their project. One of them was reading Dennis Wheatley's "The Devil Rides Out," which is where the Baphomet logo initially appeared. I used this on my drumkit following their exams, when I had a band before meeting up with Angel Witch. Because it was already on my kit, the rest of Angel Witch wanted to use it as a logo for the band, and has stuck ever since." He also attached a history of Baphomet, which is rather exhaustive and deserves to be read in its entirety here.

"Baphomet" allegedly is a corruption or permutation of the name "Muhammad", which - as with the serene grace of the Anticlimactic - reveals the avatar for all things hedonistic to be merely a fabrication of bad press during the Culture Wars. And so it was with Y2K and the anticipated violence at the dawn of the 21st century, and so it was with Jesus' many predicted Second Comings, and so it is with the deliverance and redemption of True Love. True Love lives in the shadow of Hedonism, and is just as easily snuffed out by lack of sunlight as by an apparently benevolent Jesus who sees a dead tree as providing no benefit - not even shade. Nightmares hover over several days, during which an angry X lords it over a mansion with countless rooms, evicting her True Lover from room after room after room even as her parents outside endlessly trudge through knee-high snow, oblivious and silent, never entering, never witnessing the silent curses hurled from a mouth once so terribly beautiful but now twisted in a rictus of some language that might as well be Cornish, or Manx.

After three years, you'd think you'd know someone.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Logo #58: Stray Cats

The downright lowdown, straight from Stray Cats Central: "Slim Jim Phantom's first tattoo in 1980 was the Teddy Boy Stray Cat which he has on his left forearm. Jim and Brian Setzer went the same day to tattoo artist Bob Roberts, and between them they drew up the cat's head design. Brian had just the head tattooed on his arm but Jim wanted a whole body. The cat's head design became the official logo of the Stray Cats. Early copies of the band's debut self-titled album contained bonus stick-on tattoos of the Stray Cats logo. Regarding the "official" name of the logo, the three Stray Cats refer to it as the "Cat's Head"." When the Stray Cats showed up in the early '80s, they were a breath of fresh air after a cultural tank full of the nitrous oxide of New Romantics, New Wave and the New Wave of Brutish Heavy Metal. Strangely, they've been around longer than the '40s and '50s actually lasted; they show no signs of stopping so long as there's still the kind of "Miller Time" that doesn't make it into the commercials.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Logo #57: Cock E.S.P.

Cock E.S.P. co-founder Emil Hagstrom: "The current logo - the one on our MySpace and everything - I originally designed in 1999, but I do tinker with it every couple of years, so it's not totally constant. Also, I based part of the design on the original Cock E.S.P. logo designed by my former bandmate P.C. Hammeroids, which was used from 1994-1996." A tireless force for free noise and exhibitionism - from Minneapolis, strangely enough (do they register on Prince's radar?) - if it weren't for Cock E.S.P. and related record labels Freedom From and EF Tapes, there would be no Wolf Eyes, no Andrew WK and his special brand of Old Spice disco, no 21st-century noise scene in southern California and no trace of the occasional dissonance heard in modern indie music. Or, at least, their presence would be that much more stultified and dull. They labored in the occlusion of the Clinton '90s, thriving in the pre-Internet world even while ignored by the press who cover their descendants in glossy scandal sheets like VICE and The Wire. They tour everywhere that will give them a show and are grateful at every sweat-soaked, joyous high performance moment in which I've seen them.

Logo #56: Pop Will Eat Itself

Clint Mansell, former frontman for Pop Will Eat Itself, explains: "It was designed by The Designers Republic (Nb. they of the Aphex Twin "Windowlicker" LP cover) in the early '90s - probably 1991. But it was a based on a design that probably first appeared in 1989. We worked exclusively with TDR and took the view that PWEI was a corporation and therefore our logos would evolve over time, in much the same way any business does (Coca-Cola, Pepsi, McDonald's, etc)." Mansell himself has evolved into one of the leading new wave of film composers, scoring the films of Darren Aronofsky and many lifetimes away from singles like "X Y & Zee." Pop Will Eat Itself re-formed recently but never truly reformed, opting for insidiousness wrapped in a paisley shirt and marinated in Jaeger rather than forced jollity at the expense of interesting times.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Logo #55: Klaus Nomi

Designed by German singer Klaus Nomi (born Klaus Sperber; January 24?, 1944 – August 6, 1983) and artist Page Wood in 1980. Andrew Horn, director of the indispensable Klaus Nomi documentary "The Nomi Song," recalls, "As explained in the movie, Klaus thought it up - based on his silhouette on the wall at the Fiorucci show - and Page Wood made up the actual artwork. I'm not sure exactly when it was first used - maybe the Xenon show?" A fairly flashy but informative site on Nomi's life is here. Angelically amazing in voice, astounding in appearance and literally unforgettable, there will never be another like Klaus Nomi in our lifetimes or the lifetimes of our descendants, world without end, amen.

In slightly unrelated news, I'll be reviewing Stephen Colbert's new book "I Am America (And So Can You!)" for the Los Angeles Times in early October. WHOOOOOSH!

Logo #54: Sopwith Camel

Designed by German collage artist Wilfred Sätty for Sopwith Camel's 1972 LP, "The Miraculous Hump Returns From The Moon." Sätty (April 12, 1939 - January 31, 1982), a contemporary of other San Francisco graphic artists, stands almost unknown today; a brilliant lost artist from those halcyon hippie days. Compare. Contrast. A deeply fascinating memorial site can be found here. This cornerstone (or footnote, depending) of underrated psychedelia was remastered by the band last year; a new album drops in November. But go read up on poor Sätty and cry a little, because in the deathless words of Charles Bukowski, "Somebody said / "Well, shit." / and that's / what it was."

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Logo #53: Discharge

Actually the face of Discharge drummer Terry "Tezz" Roberts, this image appeared in 1977, during the first incarnation of the band, when Tezz was the vocalist. Word from Discharge Central is that, due to "family commitments," Tezz is no longer playing drums, so Dave Bridgewood from Broken Bones (whose logo we will cover a bit later and whose guitarist, Tony "Bones" Roberts, co-founded Discharge) takes over the drumstool. Inspiring scores of punk bands with names beginning with "Dis-" (much as the bands on the SST label in Southern California nicknamed themselves by adding "-o" the ends of their first names), the band also furthered the rhythmic and aesthetic conceit known as "D-Beat," which deals with apocalyptic nuclear visions and a driving beat used as a blueprint by later hardcore bands around the world. As punk band logos go, it's unparalleled in its ability to inspire curiosity - slathered on a thousand crusty denim back-patches, just who is "Anarchy Face," and was he mercilessly teased throughout the playground with taunts of "Anarchy Face! Anarchy Face!"? Well, now you know - and that's one to grow on!

Logo #52: Death By Stereo

The "skull and crossbolts" logo was designed in 1998 by bassist Paul Miner for the Orange County hardcore unit Death By Stereo, from which he departed to start a second life as a producer and engineeer. Miner: "I originally designed the Death By Stereo logo, and it first appeared on our debut 7" ("Fooled By Your Smile") in 1998. It was a bum-out to see the logo in the "Death Proof," the Quentin Tarantino movie, but they didn't actually use the same logo. I saw a promo poster about one-and-a-half years before it came out, in which they were using the actual logo, and I got pretty fired up. But somewhere along the line they realized there might be some copyright trouble, so they changed it ever-so-slightly...oh well."

Logo #51: Children of God

Dutch ug-core thrummers Children of God - who have one of the simplest and thereby most striking logos in recent memory - sum up their existence like so: "Children of God was born in 2004 in the dead area. They play slow, bold sludgerock. Some bands they like or were influenced by: Melvins, Black Sabbath, Godflesh, Swans, Winter, Kyuss." As rock band logos go, it's enigmatic and imposing and augurs good things for the refreshingly MySpace-less band in the reasonably near future tense. There's another Children of God running around out there but they're nowhere near as fun. They are plenty heavy, though.

In other news, this is the Song of the Moment.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Logo #50: Maurizio Bianchi

Italian avantgardist Maurizio "MB" Bianchi presents us with the fiftieth logo on the big show. First appearing on the "Symphony for a Genocide" record in 1981, it's a runic representation of letters M and B placed in the two divided hemispheres of the brain. Yet no matter how hebephrenic things get, there again is the all-encompassing circle. At some point in the early 1980s, we are told, Bianchi quit experimental music for the much calmer vales of witnessing for Jehovah. Imagine MB showing up with his brothers and sisters on your doorstep before noon to tell you the Good News! Bianchi asserts, "Bear in mind that this is not religious propaganda oriented on a way of sullen proselytism. It is just the pure expression of my hidden, deep inner life. The non-conformity of the Jehovah's Witnesses - or, better, this form of adoration - appealed to me from the beginning. Considering also that it is based just on Godspell, it's devoid of ideologies, philosophies, theologies and the harmful doctrines that almost every religion uses to make its disciples swallow. As Christ (the true leader of the Jehovah's movement) said in a famous sentence "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" [John 8.32]. Thanks to the Bible, I have refused many false traditions. Jehovah's Witnesses do not celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, birthdays or any other holidays (save one: the Memorial of Christ's Death during Passover). They believe these celebrations grew out of ancient false religions. I relieved my past blames committed by ignorance, as I didn't know the truth - and now I feel like a dove flying toward freedom, the real freedom which is the faculty of exercise my free will." The work of Maurizio Bianchi - in its early, completely occluded years - is emotional (despite outwardly cold conceits), depressing (because of the obvious) and completely worth seeking out. "Symphony for a Genocide" has recently been reissued by Hospital Productions and W.M.O./r.

Logo #49: HammerFall

This is Hector. He's a warrior. Not the "shootin' at the walls of heartache" kind of warrior. The other kind. He was designed for Swedish very metal band HammerFall by noted genre illustrator Andreas Marschall in 1997 for their debut album "Glory to the Brave". For their fourth album, "Crimson Thunder," the nameless knight's entire sense of self was momentarily endangered - not by Eddie or Snaggletooth or Chaly, but by a contest by band to come up with a name for the stalwart slayer. A global “Name The Warrior" contest was held to give him a new identity; votes from the Maldives were rejected amid controversial accusations of ballot-stuffing. This existential cliffhanger seemed to please the two-dimensional death-dealer - and so he smiles... knowing that the day of HAMMERFALL is soon at hand! That, and because drawings who don't know what it is to touch can never really be hurt.

Logo #48: Coal Chamber

Designed by "alternative metal" band Coal Chamber's guitarist Miguel "Meegs" Rascón in 1996. Meegs: "I designed the logo before the band put out its first record. I drew the logo on a piece of paper with my left hand (to make it seem like a child wrote it), then took it to a tattoo artist and had it tattooed on my right forearm. After this, the band decided that the tattoo should be the logo, and the rest is history!" Short and sweet, just like the logo, which lives in a happy post-nuclear family of uncertain emotions and unclear futures to go along with the ironically tentative present. Glass Pinata (no tilde, oddly) is Rascón's latest band.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Logo #47: Laibach

Ivan Novak, prime mover behind Slovenian arts anthem makers Laibach, discusses their emblem: "The authorship of the Laibach logo is a complex one. First of all, it's taken and synthesized from history; from its various uses and contents. Therefore, the author is collective history / memory. Second - Laibach is a collective by definition and we practice collective authorship. We picked it up and created it in 1980 - we found the image, which initiated our choice of the logo, on the street in Ljubljana: the iron lid of the canals system dated from the first half of the 20th century: the cross, cog-wheel and the name Laibach, (which was the) German historical name for Ljubljana. It was all there." On its resemblance to the Malevich cross: "Malevich is only a small part in the cross. The history of cross is of course much bigger and longer and universally more applicable than the one from Malevich." So it's not simply a detourned Malevich cross? "Of course not. Why should it be? The cross was "imposed" on us as the universal cultural, political, and social symbol, carrying "the big mystery" - a big empty "nothing" which could be filled up by practically anything. References to Malevich go only as much as we believe that the cross - even as a purely abstract, suprematist symbol - can never really be without energy, without the "content" and the meaning in whatever ideological context it appears. Irwin - the NSK group, specializing in icon paintings and art - started to relate their later work ideologically more to Malevich than to Laibach, because with their original relation to Laibach iconography there were constantly described only as the "Nazi artists" - even within the very "tolerant" art world."

Logo #46: Icons of Filth

Led by founder Andrew "Stiggy Smeg" Sewell (August 22, 1962 - October 23, 2004), Icons of Filth were a deeply, righteously angry "anarcho-punk" group of political activists that began life in 1979 as Mock Death. Real death came for Sewell in the form of a heart attack during the early hours of Saturday October 23 after an Icons of Filth action in Hackney, London. It effectively ended the band, but not before two benefit concerts for Sewell's family in London and Los Angeles (where was I!). At least he didn't go out like Alan "Nidge" Miller (January 23, 1958 - February 10, 2007), the lead singer of Blitz - run over by a car as he crossed a road in Texas, MySpace page forever frozen in time. Icons of Filth's logo hints at a biting disdain for the symbols that fueled punk rock in those days when everyone was trying to get a handle on how to exploit the form. The star, the anarchy symbol, and peace sign - all of which offered no substantive, concrete solutions but were merely fetishized as commodities (the belt buckle, the T-shirt, the badge) and remain so today. And the recursive perfidy of leftism is that, were this logo changed to contain the "filthy icons" of Judaism or Islam or Christianity, the band would be pilloried for "intolerance" instead of their apparent desire to escape the symbol as an unthinking magog ruling over countless lives ignorant of their myriad meanings. Designed by the shadowy Squeal in 1983, the logo originally had a... longer arm of the law with... the truncheon... oppressing... what the State perceives as... filthy icons. Okay, never mind - it's a comment on the Good Guys vs. The Man. Peace signs and anarchy symbols for everyone!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Logo #45: The Contractions

A power punk trio from the San Francisco of 1979, The Contractions recently reunited to observe the passing of Dirk Dirksen (August 25, 1937 – November 20, 2006), former operator of avant San Francisco venue Mabuhay Gardens and the "Pope of Punk." I wonder if he's hanging out with Esther Wong (August 13, 1917 - August 14, 2005), former operator of weird Los Angeles club Madame Wong's and the "Godmother of Punk". Contractions apostrophe logo: Mary Kelley, singing guitarist, 1979. I realize that the logo is an excerpt from a larger image. I just contracted it. Contractions bassist and singer Kathy Peck founded H.E.A.R. (Hearing Education and Awareness for Rockers), which helps musicians who didn't think to use earplugs and are now dancing in their heads to the grim soundtrack of tinnitus, forever and ever. She blew her hearing out when The Contractions opened for Duran Duran at the Oakland Coliseum in 1984 - but where's the high end on "Friends of Mine"? I can understand when the girl says YOW! at the end of "Hungry Like The Wolf," but sheesh. The Contractions have one of the best band names ever, and one of the simplest and most effective - if almost satanically underutilized - logos ever. That H.E.A.R. needs and rightly deserves the support of anyone who has ever played music is the most massive understatement since "Water is wet." Currently they're looking for a manager. I'd so totally do it if I weren't already consumed with all my schemes to improve the world. Hey, I paused "Twilight Zone" by Golden Earring just so I could hear what they sounded like. They're good!

Logo #44: Stiff Little Fingers

A note from Stiff Little Fingers about their 1978 logo: "The band's bass player, Ali McMordie, came up with the design. It was originally a spoof on the Tom Robinson Band's "clenched fist" design as on the cover of their first album. SLF were about to tour, supporting the TRB and this was an affectionate jibe in their direction." A nice example of an instantly identifiable logo springing from social phenomenon that - when it started, at least - could in no way be co-opted by The Man. The double-entendre, at the very least, thrust into pop culture consciousness as it was in the ‘70s and ‘80s by the abundance of “jiggle TV” programs like “Three’s Company,” made what would have been borderline obscene a couple of decades earlier gradually something at which to merely titter - the implicit meaning becoming almost as obvious as the spoken word. For more on how language shapes our experience even more than we possibly know, one can do no better than to read Steven Pinker's "The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window Into Human Nature". Recently published, it's deftly adept at simply explaining why we say what we say and thus do what we do.

Logo #43: Bastard Noise

As pioneering California powerviolence ( a strain of radical street-level politics and hardcore punk) unit Man Is The Bastard wound down in 1997 after seven years, co-founder Eric Wood simply ramped up side project Bastard Noise. Fellow wizards conferring and hobnobbing on this front included Amps For Christ's head seer Henry Barnes, and Bill Nelson, longtime art director at Larry Flynt Publications and later of rhythmic miasma merchants Unicorn. Wood: "It was me that found it an anthropological reference guide in the Claremont Library back in 1989 - I merely "flipped" the image around so that there was an "about-face" version to match and the rest fell into place. This exact skull was the first "modern man" skull found by the species of "Mancruel." People rip off this image so much you'd think we were all dead!" A logical progression to all those nights and noises is Trogotronic, their business of making "analog electronics hand-built in the U.S.A.".

Logo #42: Cut Chemist

Designed by Cut Chemist (née Lucas McFadden) and Keith Tamashiro in the year of our supposed space odyssey. Chemistry: "I came up with it as a temporary logo for the "Product Placement" tour with DJ Shadow in 2001. Flyers and posters were going into production that day and I needed an image to represent me. I scribbled it on a piece of paper and gave it to Keith Tamashiro at Soap Design to clean it up. I never thought it would be permanent..." A fairly good Cut Chemist rundown from the end of 2006 can be found here. A simple rebus (scissors cut + chemist calculates), it is what it is and it holds within the image the simple grace of becoming itself.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Logo #41: .calibre

Daniel Mies, frontman for Belgian hardcore outfit .calibre, designed this attractively simple and immediate logo in 2000. Mies: "We developed it to be an anti-logo, designed to supercede multinational logos. It's a graphic interpretation of the barrel of a gun and the bullet in the chamber. By slapping it on top of a logo (preferably by means of a spraypaint can), it emphasizes the oppressive nature of corporate industries, networks and politics. We were just a band trying to convey the obvious - until we split, that is. I guess internal band politics got the best of us. You should check out the logos of huge multinational corporations and how they are often based on the symbolism described in archaic occult teachings. Quite impressive." Ironically - but likely on purpose - their WEA album was called "Killthelogo." From the phoenix-infested ashes comes their latest band, A School For Quiet.

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 (Hervé Villechaize), we'd love to see it.

Logo #39: Cocteau Twins

Consider the lilies: the beskirted girl springs up on a handstand and becomes, forever after, a simulacrum of the calla lily. It's the perfect way to return to the survey, after these few lamentably lame weeks of turmoil and annihilated love. Such was the traumatic drama from the near past tense from your now happily less-tense narrator. Would that I were just another Watcher like UATU, with no personal struggles to report - just writing about rock band logos calmly through the rest of mine days. But even dictionaries are written by individual adult human beings, each with their own foibles and frailities. Some of them may like chocolate milk. Some of them may have killed. One never knows. At any rate! The Cocteau Twins logo was designed in 1982 by Nigel Grierson, formerly one-half of design consortium 23 Envelope (with Vaughan Oliver), the public face of flashy, filigreed record label 4AD. Grierson: "I designed that sleeve and logo. It was a single called "Lullabies," first released in 1982. However, I'm not sure if the logo first appeared on the album "Garlands," which again I designed and which I think may have come out first. I suppose the girl on the This Mortal Coil sleeves was a logo in this sense. She had nothing to do with the music yet was always on the sleeves - she was just someone Ivo (Watts-Russell, 4AD founder) and I both knew and we both admired her looks!"