I presume all of you must have seen Ramones “the presidential seal” eagle logo, here and there, thousand times already. Posters, pins, stickers, flags, video and record sleeves, and of course – shirts! Well, did you ever wonder who made that famous logo? In case you didn’t know – it was the illustrator and the designer Arturo Vega, a long-time Ramones collaborator on their various record sleeves and their merchandise (not just that, he was more like a “fifth-member” of the band, helping them with stage equipment and all).
The logo itself was created because Vega wanted to portrait an “all-American” band with “the presidential seal”, and that’s why he changed the phrase on it which originally says “look out below” to “hey ho, let’s go” from Ramones song “Blitzkrieg Bop” (although on the upper picture we have an original quote). And while originally eagle’s holding an olive branch, Vega changed it to apple branch because of the “all-American” apple pie (along with the baseball bat in the other claw, which represents Johnny Ramone’s love of that “all-American” sport). Vega also added the names of first and legendary Ramones line-up, which consisted of Johnny, Joey, Dee Dee and Tommy. Now, the logo itself printed on shirts became so popular that not only Ramones fans wore them worldwide, but was also populized by many other rock stars and celebrities, too. Below we have an example in the form of Paris Hilton (although we all will agree she didn’t pick it up herself, most likely her stylist recommended it to her).
Being that popular, the famous Ramones shirt is (nowadays more than ever) illegaly printed and sold around the globe, and there are not many shops which carry original Ramones merchandise. Fortunatelly, UK-based online shop called Mr. Cloud carries it, and they do so in the case of many other famous rock bands (for example – The Doors, The Beatles, The Who, the Beach Boys and also some of my favourites – Sonic Youth and the Pixies). Oh, not to forget misters Bowie, Mercury, Dylan, Clapton… Along that, Mr. Cloud also has legendary movie-themed shirts, such as the “Goonies” (never say die!), “Clockwork Orange”, “Grease”, “Superman”… Plus, there are plenty of shirts available with imagery from classic toons. Seems like Mr. Cloud understood well that mixing retro and “evergreen” images always does well. And what I like about it – they do it with a style; fine folks at Mr. Cloud design and print their shirts theselves!
And now – back to THAT Ramones shirt! Recently I was offered by Mr. Cloud to choose one of their shirts for a review here at Tee zine. Since Ramones are one of my favourites for… well… 20 years now, my choice was obvious. After the shirt arrived I was pleasently surprised by it’s quality. This Fruit Of The Loom tee is quite heavy and the cotton is a bit thicker.
The eagle logo printed on the front, and the Ramones slogan “hey ho, let’s go” on the back feels somewhat boldly beneath the fingers. Chosing this kind of shirt will fit slim to your body, but luckily not too much, so there is enough space for skin to breathe at hot days. Plus, it will give you the feeling you’re wearing your famous band shirt with a certain sense of pride, like I do feel wearing mine (especially after seeing Ramones live two times “back in the day”).
Not once I’ve stated details are what makes the difference, and with this shirt we have such detail in the form of a piece of cloth sticked to the shirt itself, which proves this is a part of original Ramones merchandise. It also makes this shirt stick out from the bunch of look-alike illegaly printed Ramones shirts with the same logo, Plus – it looks nice, too (heavy pink printed on black).
Since the print on this shirt is double-sided, I think the price of 18 British pounds is quite fair, having in mind that not so popular bands do sell their tees for a much, much more. And if you decide to order one-sided shirt (only with a logo) the price is 15 pounds. There is no doubt Mr. Cloud will deliver it quickly (my shirt arrived only a few days after I ordered it). So, if you’re still living in the past (or “the best years”, in my opinion) go check their online shop, I am 100% you will find something you like.
Mr. Cloud – please rain on me!