The kids came over last night with Bill Glenn and Grandma Betty for Tacos de Bell (or, as Deena calls them, "Tacos de Bobby"). Lots of laughs all around. By the way, when Deena and Tommy and I were on our recent Mexican Food road trip to southern Arizona and northern Sonora, I got to listen to a whole bunch of their music. Here's the ride we got thanks to Deena and her road warrior benefits:
It's a Buick Enclave CXL. Great ride and a great sound system. Here's a smattering of the groups Tommy and Deena played on the sound system (while I sat in the back and said "Who's this?" over and over): The Pixies, Tapes 'N' Tapes, White Stripes, The Stooges, Blind Pilot, Fugazi, Death From Above 1979 (yes, that's the name of a group), The Hold Steady, Broken Social Scene, Animal Collective, Quasimoto, Nirvana, The Stones ("Can't You Hear Me knockin'?"). I think I knew maybe three of these groups. Very interesting musical journey to say the least
And here's the two music maniacs in the middle of Obregon Street in Nogales:
In addition to the bad recession (Frank McGuire of Mill Avenue fame came in my office last week and told me there used to be about 75 curio shops on the street and now there's less than 30), the street was torn up as they put in underground utilities, which didn't help biz either.
100 Covers: From Oblivion to Ahora
As we close in on the final year of our 100 cover march from January 2000 to ahora (today) we have to stop and take a look at the progress of our annual Source Book, which first appeared in 2007 with this year's model (below) the third:
These special issues have revolutionized our business by giving a much needed source for all things Western. Our newest issue goes out the door this week and it is the best yet. If you want to know the best purveyors in the Western field, whether they be saddle makers, knives, specialized clothing, saloons, hotels, music, pottery, hats or guns, you need the 2010 Source Book.
Meanwhile, our January issue of this year featured one of my Border Rider paintings:
The original painting was bought by Eric Weider. If that name sounds familiar it's because he is the publisher of Wild West magazine.
Robert Ray thought our March issue was a little too close to the previous issue in terms of subject matter (a horseback rider on the border) and he may be right. It's still an excellent cover though and the cover story by our friend Leon Metz is absolutely tops.
For our Seventh Annual Travel Issue we had a cover that no one liked. At the last minute, Meghan Saar pulled out this POV photo taken on a wagon train ride, and Dan the Man made it ride:
If you've read this blog for the past year, you know the angst that went into the Alamo cover:
Not as bad as I feared, but not as good as I had hoped it would be. In June we utilized a photo by Marcie Shaw of Steve Shaw and crew traversing the Little Big Horn hills on their annual Great American Tour Trail Ride of the Custer Battlefield. Unfortunately, the sky was blank and it just didn't fly, so I went home and pulled out a couple cloud photos and Robert Ray and Dan Harshberger did their Photoshop magic to make this a very dynamic cover:
For our Kids and history cover in July we had an excellent photo of our cover boy but the background was a little bit too midwestern looking (green and trees), so, once again I brought in some of my sunset photos and Robert Ray and Dan the Man composited the two images until it worked:
Our staff photographer John Beckett shot this time lapse photo of expert gun spinner Joey Dillon. Dan Harshberger took one of the guns from a different image with Joey flipping a pistol over this shoulder, and dropped it in here to make it look like Joey has three hands:
Excellent gun spinning effects! For our vaquero cover with Lee Anderson, we went through more versions of this cover than any we have ever created. I think Dan H. said he did two dozen versions of this. Once again, the original photo was too green (the desert was lush at the time) so we struggled with making it look older, and yes, to capture some amber glow:
For our 100th cover, we went back to the Billy well and utilized one of the dozen Billy paintings I created for the art opening of Capturing Billy the Kid Country at the Overland Gallery in Scottsdale last month:
What a run of covers! All the twists and turns seem bizarre in retrospect, but there is a consistency in style and a dogged persistence that pervades the whole effort. I am very proud of our crew who make this happen each and every single issue. Congrats to all of you!
"Any one can face a crisis; it is this day-to-day living that wears you out."