Art On My Back 

Never Records logo

I’m heading into London for a preview of the new Tate Modern wing. I’m wearing a jacket which Arturo Vega and Ted Riederer screen printed for me. Carole and I watched the production process.

The logo was designed by Vega in support of the 2011 Merge Festival, which I was fortunate to play a small part in. I recorded a song onto vinyl, titled Human Resource, which became part of the festival.

Arturo Vega is now dead, and his excellent visual design work lives on. Keira has a t shirt he printed, so does Neil Usher, who cowrote the song, and I have the original test pressing of this logo.

Hey Ho – Let’s Go. R.I.P. Arturo Vega

The Ramones Logo

Arturo Vega: 1948 – 2013

Arturo Vega has died, aged 65. Pretty much everyone with even a passing interest in punk knows of Arturo Vega’s work. He was the man who designed the iconic Ramones logo, and many of their album covers. As much as The Ramones were at the vanguard of full on live and loud three chord punk, so too was the logo, representative of the US presidential seal, with the American Eagle sporting an apple branch and a baseball bat.

In 2011, Carole, Keira and I, along with a few others were fortunate to spend a morning with Arturo Vega watching him work. He was screen printing a design of his for the art installation Never Records, which in turn was part of the Better Bankside festival that year. Only around 20 or so items were printed by him with the Never Records logo. Keira and I each have one and so too does Neil Usher, who at the time I thought would appreciate a t shirt as a gift.

Arturo Vega
Me and Arturo – him looking cool, me looking geeked


Keira's Never Records T Shirt
Keira’s Never Records T Shirt

This is not one of those cringing ‘What can HR learn from Vega’s artistic approach?’ or ‘How can HR be more like The Ramones?’ type posts. It’s simply an acknowledgment of the death of an artist.  I’ll leave you with – what else but The Ramones kicking the ass out of Blitzkrieg Bop at The Rainbow Theatre in 1977, with ‘that logo’ as the backdrop. Hey ho, let’s go.