Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Turning Grey

Turning 35 last week wasn't as painful an experience as I'd previously expected, due in large part to great friends, an amazing dinner party and some really thoughtful gifts.

Here are a select few. 

My favorite of the bunch has to be the vintage mosaic piece that Tony purchased for me at a local antique store. This thing is HUGE—somewhere around 4 feet tall—and the quality of the craftsmanship is really impressive. I just wish our photo could do justice to the variety of shapes (and depths) for each individual tile. We really love this recent addition to our den.

I'd been searching for a copy of the Equals' Diversion single for a while now and was pleased when our friend Mike (thank you!) sent me one for my b-day. I also treated myself to the Creation's Making Time and Liz Brady's Hey O Daddy O 45s. The Finnish owl bank was a Valentine's Day gift from Tony, but it looked good in this spread, so I included it.

Another Valentine's Day gift was a female Zoo Line hippo Tony found buried on eBay. Despite the misleading photo, she arrived with her tail intact. I'm so glad we were able to match up my bull with his new girlfriend!

And, lastly, here's another recent purchase that wasn't necessarily a gift, but he is a hippo. It's a vintage ceramic bank. Unfortunately, no markings or anythingwe just really like him! The mod owl perfume bottle in the background was yet another V-Day gift.

Once again, I would like to thank everyone for all of my gifts and for making this birthday a very special event!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Bird Dance Beat

This past month has found me heatedly pursuing an item, unlike any other in recent memory. I'd originally been introduced to the Worry Bird years ago via Dan Clowes' and Charles Schneider's similarly named tale from Lloyd Llewellyn #5 ...and there was also the later presence of an Atlanta record label that had adopted its name (and label design) after the same "sub-standard yarn."

I didn't really think much of it until a short time after that, while working behind the counter of a record store, when I experienced a tensed incatenation as I leafed through a CD booklet for a (then) recent Trashmen reissue. It was there that the thought balloon popped and I realized that the mascot emblazoned across their drumhead, standing proudly atop a surfboard while strumming its guitar, was none other than the same goddamn bird!

My search for answers resumed a full decade later, after fording Joey Myers' most excellent photostream. Joey had snapped a quick pic of his Worry Bird and the hunt began anew!

An early capture, this forlorn example is a rare piece of 60s Hawaiiana—an ashtray that stores butts in its rear. You really can't help but feel for this guy... Although not quite Zelig-like in its pervasiveness, who was this feathered fellow and who was the sadistic madman responsible for its design???

And here we have the creature that started the craze and set me tilting. A late 50s / early 60s ceramic novelty nodder, possibly created by Napco Ceramics and definitely made in Japan. Both of these have different tags, but the first one's more poignant (and applicable) and reads: "Don't be sad / Don't be blue / 'Cause I'm the bird / Who'll worry for you." Amen.

My apologies to all those who endured and sincere thanks to all who've helped!