Sunday, December 10, 2006
ROCKIN' at Lucasfilm with art director Troy Alders
Troy Alders and I made some major bones at Winterland Productions (later to become Sony Signatures, and still later Signatures Network). These companies were--and, in the case of Signatures Network, still is--the largest rock merchandising companies in the world. He was one of the top "art guys," and I was one of the top "sales guys." Frankie Vacanti, whom you met in an earlier blog, was one of top "production guys."
Pretty much every major rock and country band or "name musician" found its way to Winterland and its successors: Springsteen, Madonna, Streisand, Grateful Dead, Lennon, the Beatles, New Kids, Led Zeppelin, KISS, Ozzy, Garth, Reba . . . you name it, we dreamed up the merch, got it approved, took it out on tour, put it in all of America's retail stores, or licensed it out. It was a great, great ride, and the stories Troy and I could tell you, well, hairraising doesn't even come close.
Troy's now one of the art directors for filmmaker George Lucas, actually top art guy in the Licensing Department. Most recently Troy did the impossible, creating comprehensive style guides from (and for) a myriad of Star Wars products. Most impressive!
I stopped by Troy's office at Lucasfilm's new complex at The Presidio in San Francisco--that spectacular post-Army post acreage overlooking the Bay and the Golden Gate. There, Troy took me around, showing me hundreds of enormous, magnificently framed movie posters such as this done for an Elvis flick. Then, Troy purchased a copy of ROCKIN' and one each of the US first edition of ART OF MODERN ROCK (for use with the students he teaches) and the French first edition of AMR (as a treat for himself).
Troy asked me to specially thank--and cite--Brent Rector, ROCKIN's book designer, for "magnificent work, simply magnificent." And so I have.