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Classic Posters Interview With Randy Tuten by Michael Erlewine

Classic Posters Interview With Randy Tuten by Michael Erlewine

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Published by Michael Erlewine
These are articles on concert-music posters and poster collecting from the site ClassicPosters.com founded by award-winning archivist of popular culture Michael Erlewine who founded All-Music Guide, All-Movie Guide, Astrologyland.com and many other popular Internet sites. All articles copyright and written or produced by Michael Erlewine. Do visit ClassicPosters.com in its current incarnation.
These are articles on concert-music posters and poster collecting from the site ClassicPosters.com founded by award-winning archivist of popular culture Michael Erlewine who founded All-Music Guide, All-Movie Guide, Astrologyland.com and many other popular Internet sites. All articles copyright and written or produced by Michael Erlewine. Do visit ClassicPosters.com in its current incarnation.

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Published by: Michael Erlewine on Jan 09, 2011
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Classic Posters Interview with Randy Tuten by Michael Erlewine
 
Classic Posters Interview with RandyTuten by Michael Erlewine
 
Early Times
 May 8, 2001El Grandada, CA(Near Half-Moon Bay, CA)
Randy Tuten, May 2001
 Michael Erlewine: What I really want toknow, and I'm sure you've been asked athousand times, is how did you get intoit, where did you start? Your rep is thatyou have more chops than a lot of theartists. How did you get them?Randy Tuten: Well, how I got startedwas I was just a fan of posters ingeneral.Michael Erlewine: Right. Where did thatcome from and from what age?Randy Tuten: Well, from very early. Iliked movie posters a lot. I wasenthralled by movie posters, and then Istarted to see some art-type posters,and then I started seeing the rock androll posters.Michael Erlewine: What years are wetalking about, I mean roughly.Randy Tuten: We're talking about like,you know, late 50's early 60's. I just I
like posters. In high school I used to …
 Michael Erlewine: And you're from likeL.A. area, right?Randy Tuten: Well, I was born in SanFrancisco. My mother and father moveddown to L.A. in the late 50's.Michael Erlewine: And your birthday iswhat?Randy Tuten: September 28, 1946, inSan Francisco.Michael Erlewine: Ok then. Where didart come into your life? Even beforeposters, I mean were you drawing as akid?Randy Tuten: Well, I was drawing as akid. I used to draw, just kid drawings.Michael Erlewine: Cartoons or?Randy Tuten: I really wouldn't call themcartoons. They were just like, you know,cars, and tanks, and boats, and thatkind of stuff. You know, when you're akid, you start... It's like Crayola drawing,very much like Crayola drawing. Youdraw the sun coming up, with the littlebeams coming out, and trees and birds,
 
Classic Posters Interview with Randy Tuten by Michael Erlewine
 
or you know, a tank battle or whatever itis, battleships, battle or trains, orwhatever,Just kid drawings and that transformed
into… I used to hang out with my
friends, and go to ice skating rinks orroller-skating, or whatever the social
thing was…
And I wouldn't literallypartake in the social aspect or thephysical thing. I would sit around and
draw cartoons of my friends … doing the
thing.Michael Erlewine: And this is what agenow roughly? Is it high school yet or?Randy Tuten: Probably junior highschool, somewhere like that.Michael Erlewine: And in high school,did you keep doing this?Randy Tuten: In high school, I used todecorate people's binders and do cardrawings. Actually, I was doing postersfor friends that ran for political office inhigh school, you know, like classpresident or cheerleaders. They used toall run for the cheerleaders, and thestudent body would vote whomever theyliked in, you know. And so I used to doposters and signs. Actually, in highschool, I was a pretty bad student whenit came to history and math, so my artteacher got me to do those signs for thehistory and math department, which gotme passing grades in those subjects.So I just kept on drawing. And I just keptdoing that. Then I started listening tomusic and started noticing album coversand then, when the San Francisco
scene came along, I started noticing…
 Michael Erlewine: You were in SanFrancisco then?Randy Tuten: Well, I used to come toSan Francisco a lot.Michael Erlewine: You were in L.A.Randy Tuten: I was living in L.A., but Iused to come up to San Francisco. Idon't remember how old I was. You canfigure it out.Michael Erlewine: But you didn't paintcars like Mouse did, and flame jobs?Randy Tuten: Not professionally, but Idid like, for the fun of it. I would do afriends car, but that was later on.Michael Erlewine: Do you know MarkArminski? You probably know Mark.Randy Tuten: I know Mark, yeah.Michael Erlewine: Mark is painting atruck that's in his garage. It's justincredible. It's the, whole thing, I mean
not striping, but the whole thing is…
 Randy Tuten: Yeah, the whole thing.Yeah.Michael Erlewine: How did you getengaged in the 60's thing? What artistswere of interest to you? I mean how didyou get into it?Randy Tuten: Obviously, StanleyMouse, and Alton Kelley, and RickGriffin had probably the most influence.Michael Erlewine: And you met them, Imean early on?Randy Tuten: I didn't meet them early. Imet them later on, but I used to seeRick's stuff in the surfer magazine,cause I surfed in Southern California,when I was down there.Michael Erlewine: Oh really, and whatare some examples of the Rick's stuffthat you personally like? What do youthink is his best stuff? I mean people likethe Aoxomoxoa?
 
Classic Posters Interview with Randy Tuten by Michael Erlewine
 
Rick Griffin's Aoxomoxoa 
 Randy Tuten: Yeah, Aoxomoxoa isbeautiful, but the Aoxomoxoa posterfrom Hawaii is actually better, but youknow always, each to his own. I meanRick actually thought that the JimmyHendrix eyeball was an albatrossaround his neck, cause that's all peopleever wanted to talk about.!P CP005895 " Rick Griffin's HawaiinAoxomoxoa"Michael Erlewine: Yeah, veryrecognizable.Randy Tuten: And so, they'd alwayswant him to paint that or draw that.Michael Erlewine: Right.Randy Tuten: So, he always felt thatwas an albatross around his neck. Butwhat pieces of Rick's did I think? All hisstuff is great. The heart and torch inhand for Big Brother is incredible. I usedto have that art work.Michael Erlewine: Yeah, that'swonderful.Randy Tuten: But I traded it somewherealong the line.Randy Tuten: Yeah, and so those guysinfluenced me, but there were record
cover things that… I mean I like some of 
the R&B boxing poster style stuff too, just the block lettering stuff. I alwaysliked that stuff, so there's a vast array ofposter designs you can apply to things.Michael Erlewine: Did any of the artiststake you under their wing? Whobefriended you, if any?Randy Tuten: Yeah. Nobody befriendedme really.Michael Erlewine: Was there a mentoramong the group?Randy Tuten: No. I mean I had a fewmentors, but they were just all in mymind.Michael Erlewine: (laughs) Ok.Randy Tuten: Certainly no one camealong and helped me.Michael Erlewine: Right, and did youever become friendly, I mean, you met
all of them eventually and ….
 Randy Tuten: Well, I feel like I'm friendswith Stanley Mouse and I was certainlyfriends with Rick Griffin and friends with
Alton Kelley…
 Michael Erlewine: What about WesWilson? Did you meet him? Did you getalong with him?Randy Tuten: I got along with him Ok. Iwas never really a big fan of Wes' work.I liked a lot of his stuff and his bestpieces I think are the Paul ButterfieldBlues Band with the hand on the head.And the Lenny Bruce, I think, is a just areally incredible design and there was
something…oh, the "Sin Dance."
 

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