Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Today one of the Flaming Lips came into the shop. Pretty exciting stuff. Back in my pre-intern days I wondered what it would be like if someone came into the shop to pick up their posters, place an order, or just visit, and it turned out to be a celebrity. Would people make a big deal out of it? I don't know who I imagined coming in really, but someone should right? I mean we are a famous print shop, we make posters for famous people, and we are right next to one of the most famous venues in the history of music.
At Hatch we have 3 presses. The "mid-press" is also the celebrity press. It has autographs of all the famous people who have made their way through the shop. It's kind of cool, but I can't really read or recognize a lot of the names on it. Right above that is an autographed Weezer poster that was designed by Hatch Show Print.
There is a superstition at the shop where if you play a certain musicians music all day while they are supposed to be in town to play a show, then they will stop by. For example: Tegan and Sara played here a few weeks ago, right around the corner from Hatch at the Ryman Auditorium. So all day we listened to nothing but Tegan and Sara. They didn't come in, but if the myth was true, then they would have. The reason has something to do with how embarrassing it is to be caught jamming out to a band when the real band is in front of you. The awkwardness, and unlikeliness of the situation, makes it more likely to happen. We tried the same thing for Vampire Weekend a week later, but we only had one of their albums at the shop. We listened to it once, and no one showed up.
That isn't to say that we never get the famous visitors. In the two months that I have been there, we have seen our fair share of famous-type people. Designer Stanly Hainsworth came by before giving a lecture at nearby University, the director of the documentary "Helvetica" Gary Hustwit stopped by, the Bassist (I think) for the Flaming Lips, some people from American Routes, and I think maybe some soap opera people have stopped by.
As fun as it is to see people like that stop by and have access to those bragging rights, Jim's philosophy is sort of different when it comes to celebrity. In essence, it is about all the posters on the walls that are for people who have had their time come and go, or the people who never got their time. For every one poster of Johnny Cash, there are 20 posters of people nobody knows. This is supposed to keep you humble and grounded. A common saying around Hatch is that "It's just a poster."
That is great advice, but in the two months I have been here, very little of the magic has worn off. I still feel like I have become a part of the history you see in books, read about in magazines, and listen to on the radio. I have made posters for annual events, indie bands, and even 40th birthday parties, but I have contributed to something larger than myself, and more personal and less corporate than the retail world. So while I agree that I am just and intern, and it is just a poster, I am going to enjoy my few remaining days soaking in the specialness of this opportunity that I have been given.