Say it Ain’t So

FROM JAPAN WITH LOVE: Famous underground artist and Norton recording star, Rockin’ Jelly Bean makes a pilgrimage to the Norton Record Store, October 2016.
RJB shows off his art work to an amazed employee.

If it’s one thing you can be sure of in NYC, it’s change. News came recently from Ms. Miriam Linna that the Norton Record Store in Prospect Heights will be moving to another location. You can read her announcement here. In the meantime, if you have never been to the store, what are you waiting for?? Pick up some wax and run into some colorful characters. This certainly is not your average record store!

A Jelly Bean in NY

I’ve written previously on the Japanese garage band scene and it’s amazing ability to take the basics and put their own indelible spin on it. Another area that is just as important but often neglected is the art angle. Shows need advertising. And while the Japanese scene boasts its own lineup of stellar illustrators, the one most often pointed to as the Grandaddy of them all is Rockin’Jelly Bean.

Starting as a way to advertise his surf-garage band (the amazing Jackie and the Cedrics) his style of art evolved into a combination of 50/60s pinup girls, and 70s exploitation movies with a smattering of eroticism. Success and accolades soon followed allowing RJB to open up a store, Erostika, in the Harajuku area of Tokyo, followed by another one in Nagoya.

front1Personally, I am indebted to RJB for being kind enough to encourage me to bring many of the images on this site to Japan for a gallery show in Shimokitazawa as well as an additional show at his store in 2009. At that point I had only begun exploring what to do with the images I had collected. It was mainly through his encouragement that much of what you see here became a reality. Which brings me to the point of this post!

On October 8, Rockin’ Jelly Bean brings his amazing art stateside with a rare NYC appearance in Toy Tokyo’s basement gallery at 91 Second Avenue. Previously, the last time RJB was in town was in 2011 with Jackie and the Cedrics for the Norton Records 25th Anniversary shows. If you’re in the tri-state area, stop by and bask in the masters glow….I sure will!