about the Vertical Pillows,
my work with them
and how it connects to my current work with CANDY BAND.
|When I moved from Kent, Ohio, to Detroit, Michigan, in the summer of 1984, I began looking for local bands and a scene in which I could continue "playing my game"--creating and distributing my small pins and novelty packets. I quickly found an appealing band, a loud hard-rock band of four young Detroit women called "Vertical Pillows," and I began to work with them.
Over a two year period I created and distributed more than half a dozen promotional novelty packets for The Vertical Pillows. "Distribution" consisted of me handing these packets to their fans at their gigs and by the band members handing them out (or mailing them) to friends, fans, family, and the occasional journalist or rock writer.
At some point after the Vertical Pillows broke up, I created a portfolio book of my work for them. I created a display for each packet or handout by sealing a packet and its contents in a notebook-sized page of seal-a-meal plastic. [This was my seal-a-meal period...I was making a lot of pins and other objects using seal-a-meal plastic during this time. It was relatively cheap, easy to find, and easy to work with (using an iron), and flexible. Sort of a punky and flawed poor man's laminating plastic.] This website reproduces the pages from this portfolio.
One of the best things to come out of this work with Vertical Pillows has been a long-term friendship with Paula Boufford/Messner. After the Vertical Pillows, Paula lead several other Detroit area rock bands, including the Motor Dolls. Paula increasingly faded out of the Detroit rock scene as she became a mother of two young daughters. Paula has recently come roaring back with a whole new brilliant idea that has allowed her to have an active, successful and loud (always loud!) rock band that is extremely popular with young kids and their parents: Candy Band. A great hard/punk rock band of four suburban Detroit mothers (9 young kids between them!) that plays hard/punk versions of nursery rhymes, kid TV and movie music themes, and originals. They play for school assemblies at Catholic schools, libraries, girl scout jamborees, adult bars and festivals (liked Lollapalooza 2005 and the W2005 arped Tour) and just about every summer festival around here wants them. This band is so good, so fun, so smart, and so broadly appealing that it brought me back out of "retirement" to start actively working with rock bands, again (doing buttons, backdrops, and websites--check out the Candy Band's fabulous daily diary blog, I think it's one of the best things I ever been involved with.
©2005 Allen Bukoff