googled06bb313055e587a.html Rock N Roll Rehab for the Control Of Rock and Roll Starring Greg Piper and The Tooners: The Underground Cartoonist

The Underground Cartoonist

     In the early 1970s I was an “underground” cartoonist. Although still in high school I was published regularly in tabloid magazines that were distributed in news racks all over L.A., Hollywood and the Valley. One of my favorite artists was the fantasy illustrator Frank Frazetta. I just recently, three minutes ago, discovered that Frank died May 10, 2010, one day before my father died.
    Star Wars came out in 1977 and most people believe it is responsible for the Sci Fi and Fantasy movies and books that followed but those of us who were there at the time know that Star Wars was born from a fantasy world that already existed. The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings as well as Dune were popular books to the college crowd of the 1960s and Frazetta posters, blow ups of his paperback book cover illustrations, were very popular in the early Seventies. Frazetta and John Petrie were two of my favorites in high school and seemed to compliment, if not inspire, my favorite musical genre of the 1970s, Progressive Rock.
    My friends and I were big into Prog Rock biggies, Yes, as well as Genesis (Steve Hackett era), Gentle Giant, The Strawbs, King Crimson and pre-Prog bands, The Moody Blues, Procol Harum, Pink Floyd and Jethro Tull. One of the things I love about Prog Rock is the marriage of an art style with the sound. Roger Dean’s illustrations for Yes’ album covers being one of the great relationships between an artist and a group of musicians.
    The musical genres that have the best art styles, and by best I mean that the look actually matches the sound, are Prog Rock, Surf Rock, Psychedelic (Acid Rock), Heavy Metal, Punk and New Wave. It’s relatively easy to come up with a pure design for a magazine cover or CD cover when the subject matter is one of those music forms.
    Frank Frazetta helped create the Fantasy (Prog Rock) vibe, although it was later appropriated by Heavy Metal, and a movie like Star Wars, to us Prog Rockers and Fantasy literature fans, was not a ground breaking, paradigm shifting cultural surprise but a logical extension of what we were already into. It was the movie version of the music we’d been listening to since the early Seventies and which itself had evolved from the psychedelic music of the Sixties. Frank Frazetta was a great illustrator, illuminator, of Rock & Roll and he will be missed.

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  1. Thanks! I, too love prog... I've been looking into the connection between rock & F&SF for a study I'm doing. (past & present) Do you have any links you can share...?

  2. Since Prog Rock evolved from Psychedelic I suggest you might check out There was a musical fantasy rock opera written in the late 80s called "The Legend of Wulffangel". Its music was Metal-Prog (Tull-ish) and the songs were signed "Wulff". I have an old address: Guitar Empire, P.O. Box 620391 Woodside, CA 94062. I'll ask my old friend Paul Keller from the Bay Area Prog band Hush to add some Prog links.

  3. Here are some more Prog Rock links: (this site includes my painting of The Court of the Crimson King)

  4. I've been sent a link to from Bay Area Prog Rocker Robert Berry (Hush, 3, Robert Berry Band). Prog Wall seems to be a social networking site specifically for Prog Rockers. Thanks Robert.

  5. Interesting stuff. Back in the 70s when I was trolling the south bay area for good progressive music, I often found myself one of three record stores. Discount Records in what is now the Westfield Valley Fair Shopping Mall had a guy named Ron Sanchez who turned me on to Caravan, Gentle Giant, and Man. Ron always had a good tip or two and I'd occasionally head over to his house to listen to records and drink RC Cola. Then there was the Galactic Zoo in Los Gatos. Greg Stone was the owner and was always in the mood to demo some new releases. He later ended up hosting Stone Trek, a Sunday night strictly progressive playlist on KOME radio. I occasionally bump into Greg at an event here and there. Then there was the old Record Factory on Bascom avenue. I think that's where I bought my first copy of Fragile. Also met a girl there who I went out with a few times. The store was more mainstream than Discount or Galactic Zoo, but more comfortable than Tower or the Wherehouse ( where I would soon end up working for more than 7 years )

    Now it's 2011 and aside from songs written by guitar players, no one is releasing songs with guitar solos in them. What's up with the record producers these days?