Monday, June 10, 2013

RIP Arturo Vega, Ramones Artistic Director

Look at just about any list of the greatest band logos and you'll find the iconic Ramones logo inspired by the Presidential seal but featuring a bat-wielding eagle and the members' name. Arturo Vega, the band's artistic director who designed that logo, passed at age 65 on June 8.

The Slicing Up Eyeballs obituary quotes Vega from page 39 the Jim Bessman book Ramones: An American Band (ML421.R366 B4 1933):
I saw them as the ultimate all-American band. To me, they reflected the American character in general — an almost childish innocent aggression… I thought, "The Great Seal of the President of the United States" would be perfect for the Ramones, with the eagle holding arrows — to symbolize strength and the aggression that would be used against whomever dares to attack us — and an olive branch, offered to those who want to be friendly. But we decided to change it a little bit. Instead of the olive branch, we had an apple tree branch, since the Ramones were American as apple pie. And since Johnny was such a baseball fanatic, we had the eagle hold a baseball bat instead of the arrows.
Vega is also among the interviewees in Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk edited by Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain (ML3534 .P54 1996).

Need your own inspiration for graphic design? Browse the shelves from NC 1833 to NC 1883.3 for books of great music posters and album cover art.

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