GRAPHIC WORLD : HUNT EMERSON COMMENTS ON HIS DRAWNINGS
One of the great regrets of my life. I was on my way to see the Ramones in Birmingham – walking towards the venue – and something happened that stopped me and I never saw them.
I love the Ramones because they’re so pure.
I’m in a bookshop, and there’s pile of “On the Road with The Ramones” books. I pick one up and flip it open, and there is my drawing, used as a poster for the Melkweg Club in Amsterdam! Wow! I mean – how cool is that?! Naturally I stole a copy.
Melody Maker was very nervous about Punk, and wished it had never happened. My drawing is ok but a bit clumsy… haha! I’m talkin? You should see it now!
They had this brief disastrous marriage and an awful tour to promote the album. I was given tickets to see them by Melody Maker – the promoters needed to fill the halls for this less-than-sellout tour –so I saw them. Ahem.. well, that’s about as much as I remember about Cher.
My drawing, come to look at it, is a good parody of their album cover. I wonder where the original is
There must have been some story about the Kinks and legal stuff – very un-cartoonable and therefore open to a bit of whimsical landscape. Lawyers in wigs and robes are fun to draw too.
See all that steam punk machinery? That’s because I didn’t have the faintest idea of what computers were.
I saw Devo at Knebworth, an odd experience.
Looking at this – I’m thinking – this ain’t a bad drawing! I wonder where that one is now.
Sometimes the drawings were illustrating current events in the music world. Here, Wayne County (later to be Jayne County, but at this time still in a transition stage) brings the squabbling tribes of punks and teds together, and protects hem fro the intrusive press. Sometimes the story brief is SOO-O-O boring!
ALICE COOPER 1978
Alice Cooper and the Muppets. Nothing more to say really…
My comment at the bottom about not having a TV was true, but was also part of my professional persona at that time of being grumpy and cross.
TOM WAITS 1978
I didn’t know nothing about Tom Waits beyond what the publicity for his album said, and this drawing illustrates that. An exercise in filling space.
PERE UBU 1978
Wow! This is a hell of a drawing!
I had no idea what I was doing with this – I’d listened to some Pere Ubu and hated it, so this was a chance to stretch out and to hell with meaning. And of course, there was a weekly deadline to meet.
IAN DURY 1978
Ah, Ian Dury! One of the best! This drawing doesn’t quite do him right – still early days…
This is a line from one of his songs – Imagine finding one in Your laundry basket.
Not my music. Never was, and I don’t know much about the music.
But the band!!! Oh, we love Ozzy and Tony Iommi and Geezer and Bill here in Birmingham! We’ve got tickets to see The Black Sabbath Ballet – the Royal Ballet in a work based on Sabbath’s music! Big news here in Brum, bab!
I’ve never been a “festival person”, so being sent to Knebworth was hard work for me. And I had to play the “grumpy old git” character in the cartoons… but me and my mate David had a great day out at Melody Maker’s expense.
At that time David and me were running the Arts Lab Press in Birmingham, publishing British underground comix. We had figured on a cute way of making Microcomix – 16 small pages from one sheet of paper. The first one we did was Paper Doll Heroine by the great Suzy Varty (You should interview her!). Suzy’s microcomic was a beautiful work of art – she had cut heart-shapes into one of the pages by hand in each of 1000 copies. David and I were trying to give away copies of Paper Doll Heroine to people at Knebworth, and we were disappointed by the lack of interest!
This is one of the series done for Graphic Communications (if that is the right name. You probably know better than me). So anyway – this drawing is an example of me taking on more than I was capable of doing. This was all pre-digital, so I was doing these posters in full colour paint. I am LOUSY at full colour paint! And they were being done in between deadlines for several magazines… so – some bits of this are good (nice guitar!) and some bits are awful. I was under a lot of pressure, man!
This isn’t bad. There’s a bit of messing about with airbrush and masking there – we had so many tools to try and disguise the fact we didn’t know what we were doing. I like my cartoon of the band. I don’t know why I had to try and be clever with the ghost portraits… Anxiety? Lack of experience?
I had a drink once with Paul Cook and Steve Jones, in London after a TV thing with The Beat. Steve and Paul chatted amiably for a bit and were happy to accept a pint, but didn’t offer to get a round in and who can blame them.