Hydrogen Jukebox 1990

Back in early 1990 i was commissioned to design a collectible poster for the world premiere of Hydrogen Jukebox at the 1990 Spoleto Festival USA.  This piece is a chamber opera featuring the music of Philip Glass and the work of beat poet Allen Ginsberg. Its name is taken from a phrase coined by Ginsberg, from his poem Howl. anyway, i designed the poster, pictured here, one color, offset lithography on a heavy uncoated stock. i was very proud of this poster and it was also the first piece i had published in the Communication Arts Design Annual. very prestigious. very proud. well, since i had designed this poster and worked a lot with the Spoleto Festival, i was able to secure 4 tickets to the performance, as well as the after party. going to the after party is big deal because we knew allen ginsberg, as well as philip glass. robin, my wife, and i were definitely going and we decided to take our good friends the fettuccine brothers with us. At that point in time, Sean Sullivan and Steve langley were the fettucine brothers — hilarious comedians who happened to juggle and who loved allen ginsberg — in the literary sense — as we all did. Sean and steve have been our friends for along time and we knew the 4 of us would have a blast. So we went to the premiere then the after party. we met ginsberg — surreal. and philip glass — surreal. and we met stephen colbert, well at least sean did, but we didn’t realize it until this little video went viral where stephen colbert talks about when he met his wife — at the Hydrogen Jukebox afterparty!. i do remember going back to the house after the party and all of us laughing about over hearing the guy who mentioned — as we were walking by or waiting in the food line — that he liked chuck sullivan, a nc poet. sean, of course, breaks in and says, “chuck sullivan? thats my father.” he gives stephen chucks address and the rest is history we knew nothing about. we thought that was hilarious and completely random. so when this video hit the airwaves, not only did it bring back great memories of past spoletos, but blew us away. so through a friend(evies sister maddy) i was able to get a poster to stephen and evie — they did not have one. and they were very gracious and thankful. i think the sneezed a blessing on all of us. right on.


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