Saturday, February 19, 2011

TMBG Shirt #8: Giant Bugs

They Might Be Giant Insects on this week's shirt. Towering over the cityscape are a trio of  titanic arthropods, with the band name splashed across the top in blood red. That's right, kids. It's a monster movie of a t-shirt!
Diabolically depicted by monstrosity authority Steve Blickenstaff, he describes his TMBG shirt experience thusly: "I met John Flansburgh at the 9:30 Club in Washington, DC back in the mid 90s when my friend Joe McGinty was playing keyboards in Mono Puff (Flansburgh's side project/band). John was familiar with the "Bad Music For Bad People" album cover artwork that I had done for the band The Cramps, and he asked me if I would be interested in designing a T-Shirt for TMBG. I remember we talked over some ideas via phone and fax. I sent him a page of rough design sketches and we decided that I would work up the giant insect theme. As a bonus I was also asked to design the back of the T-shirt as well which continued with the giant insect theme and featured several giant ants, one chewing on a telephone. I've always been a fan of old science fiction and horror movies so designing the T-shirt was a real treat for me. Not to mention that I'm also a huge fan of TMBG!"
A crowd of people have gathered in awe of these menacing monstrosities, and wouldn't you know it, John & John have made it out! Among the silhouettes, on the far right are our guys sporting their guitar and accordion. Perhaps They came out to serenade our benevolent insect overlords. Or.. maybe the bugs are here for a TMBG show! Steve told me that he included them at Flansburgh's request, adding that in all these years, I am the first to point it out to him. Fortuitously, I only just discovered this amazing T-Shirt Easter Egg while preparing this blog entry.
As Steve mentions, the giant bug theme continues on the back with some colossal ants, crawling around the telephone wires in the background and chomping on an old-fashioned rotary telephone in the foreground. Appropriately, we also have the Dial-A-Song number. I also have the original, off-white version of this shirt, though "Bugs on Grey", pictured above is the one still available in the TMBG Merch Store.
Just recently, this new version was introduced. For those of us who are all about the telephone-chomping ants, it features a more sensible font with the design from the back on the front minus the DAS ad, and nothing on the back. You can also purchase "Bugs on White" at the TMBG Merch Store.

MP3 of the Week:
The Infamous Countdown
Here's the original version of the "Countdown" introduction recording that was used by the Johns just before They took the stage. Recorded on 6/20/88 at Tipitina's in New Orleans, LA.

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