The posters for the Cubberley Sessions (also known as Palo Alto Soundcheck) were conceived of a series by Lane Wurster and Chris Eselgroth, the two-man art department for Mammoth Records in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, which eventually was sold by Jay Faires to Disney / Hollywood Records for $20 million, in a move that in essence laid off Lane and Chris, even as Lane was Jay’s original employee, creating flyers — not as nice as these — for Jay when Jay was not a media mogul but just a Dartmouth dropout putting on all ages shows.
Even when Lane and Chris became unavailable and too busy (for example, designing a Grammy-nominated album cover for Squirrel Nut Zippers) to continue working for Earthwise via fax and shipping, Jonathan from Bill Graham Presents preserved the original concept — slightly retro, two-color duotones, and we soldiered on for a while.
If the Cubberley Sessions comprised 150 shows, there were about 75 posters. It still has me in a quandary whether to sell them, store them or destroy them — I pay a storage fee each and every month for them, as I have for about 100 months (before that they were in my parents’ garage, the over-runs).
The design concept here was “something Mirvy”. Actually some people do not like this poster at all. Who wants to see a crying young person? Why is this person, apparently, in military fatigue? What is a Bimbo Toolshed?
I think Mirv’s actual name is Mark. I know that his sideman or partner in crime (?) is named Brian Kehoe. I think their music is or way kinda surfy and humorous? They are or were friends of Les Claypool of Primus, who had an imprint at Mammoth called Prawn Song. I think Mirv or Mark is a South Bay native, as opposed to Les Claypool being East Bay, and a high school classmate of Kirk Hammett if you can imagine that. I do not know Les Claypool — if I stood three feet from him one night at Slim’s I doubt I was introduced. It is true that I wrote a grafitto in pencil on the wall of my bedroom, of my parent’s house actually: PRIMUS. I used to fantasize that that was how I would know I had arrived, when Primus played a free show or benefit, not at Cubberley but maybe at Rinconada or Mitchell Park. Anyways, MIRV is not Primus — I’m sure they hate it when people fixate on that connection.
Prawnsong also, by the way, published The Up and Down Sessions, which included a performance by Don Cherry, which means a lot more to a lot of people than Les Claypool.
This whole trip is making me want to quote Ozymandish or whatever it is called, about monuments crumbling in the sand and the impermanence of all this. It is also wanting me to quote my neologism, a ELA (eighteen letter acronym) by Groucho Marx about rhubarbs and applesauce.
The other funny thing about this poster is that it says this show is $6 but for $10 total you can come back the next night and watch Cake. I don’t think anyone beside me and my four or five-member crew (especially David Womack, stage manager) actually saw both shows.
I would also say that I would have benefitted letting Lane Wurster or Jonathan pick more of the found-images instead of insisting on doing it myself so many times.
Jumping around a wee bit: I just viewed what I had taped a few days ago, David Letterman interviewing Seth Gordon, who was Alice Cooper’s manager and the subject of a film by Mike Myers called “Supermensch” I think. Maybe I will see that today even.
If anyone wants a free copy of this MIRV poster, just ask. (This offer will expire in 7 days, or June 29, 2014). The original run was about 500, but a lot of them got posted by a sub-contractor on telephone poles in San Jose and lost to the graffiti abatement squad there (rightly) hours later. Speaking of Oxymandish or whoever.