“Swim Through The Darkness”
- Artist Brian Walsby
Release # BFLD104
Limited to 300
As far as music related mags go, the magazine UGLY THINGS has been a longstanding favorite of mine. Spearheaded by Mike Stax, the magazine spends a lot of time unearthing (mainly) forgotten old sixties and seventies music from all over the world. A lot of what I have read about in Mike’s magazine over the years ended up being new discoveries for me (as far as awesome music goes). I owe UGLY THINGS a lot.
One of my recent discoveries was an epic story he wrote a few years ago about a L.A. based songwriter/singer named Craig Smith. Craig grew up in the Valley and was a songwriter who co-formed the short lived (but Monkee Michael Nesmith-sponsored and really great) band the Penny Arkade. He also wrote songs that were covered by the Monkees, Andy Williams, and Glen Campbell. After a spiritual voyage had gone wrong for him on the “Hippie Trail” (towards the end of the sixties), Craig came back a changed person with a new persona: Maitreya Kali, who self-released two extremely bizarre records in the early seventies, and eventually met a sad fate decades later. It was a fascinating, sad, and moving story and I was hooked right away. After seeking out some of his music, I discovered that he was indeed super talented, no matter if it was stuff he did as Craig or stuff he did as Maitreya. It was all really good stuff that few people have heard, which is the most important thing in the aftermath of his sad story. None of it would have mattered if Craig’s music wasn’t so good.
The story Mike Stax wrote about Craig Smith eventually was expanded into a book put out last year by Process Media/Feral House entitled SWIM THROUGH THE DARKNESS. I totally recommend this riveting book. It was in fact, this book and my discovery of the music of the now deceased Craig Smith that turned me into a fan and caused me to draw this, and to reach out with it to Mike. Mike dug it and suggested maybe it might make a good shirt one day, which seemed like a great idea.
So here it is. We hope you like it, and obviously the shirt is totally tied into Mike’s book about Craig. So much so that it would be somehow wrong to not offer up where you can get this terrific book. You just might come back here and pick up a shirt after you read it! And the other good news is that some of Craig’s music is looking at finally being officially released in the future. So it all ties in somehow. -Brian Walsby
LIMITED TO 300. Ladies’ shirts are printed on Bella Favorite Ts. The Ladies’ sizes run small!