Friday, February 02, 2007

ROCKIN' with "the car 'n art guys from Cloverdale" at the Grand National

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note: click on each image to enlarge.

Larry Erickson (in the striped shirt) and Dan Quarnstrom both hail from the small town of Cloverdale, CA, "the gateway to Mendocino County" north of the Golden Gate Bridge. Larry is now a chief designer at Ford's Strategic Design Group in Detroit; Dan currently is working with Sony on an upcoming animated feature (previously he was the creative director at Rhythm & Hues, one of the country's top computer animation / visual effects houses).

These two guys share an intertwined history. They met while Dan was at Art Center (Hollywood) and when Larry was preparing to go to Art Center. Both were "early scribblers" who have loved hot rods and custom cars all their lives, and Dan's career was hugely inspired by San Francisco's psychedelic music of the late '60s (having been turned on by the lettering on Quicksilver Messenger Service's first LP, then seeing the famous "Joint Show" in 1967 that in one gallery setting featured spectacular, original art by Rick Griffin, Victor Moscoso, Wes Wilson, Stanley Mouse, and Alton Kelley).

Larry, who has had much to do with the redesign of the modern-era Ford Mustang, later collaborated with Billy F Gibbons on CadZZilla (prominently featured over six pages in ROCKIN') and Dan did the two inspired Johnny Reno pieces (the invite is on page 46--the 'flagman', and the poster is on page 59--the 'blown rod').

The Johnny Reno pieces were produced at Hatch Show Print, the country's oldest letterpress print shop. Dan has promised to show me the actual "cuts" (the blocks) used to print the invite and the poster, as he knows I'm a student of printing history, as was my Dad.

It was fun, and an honor as well, to see Larry, a Hall of Fame inductee himself in 2004, show ROCKIN' to prominent attendees at the Grand National's Hall of Fame luncheon such as Dave Boule (shown here with Larry), who's with PCG-Campbell specialty marketing.

We'll hear from both Larry and Dan in future blogs. The beat goes on!

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