Arturo Vega, who spent 22 years as artistic director and confidant to the Ramones, creating the punk legends’ iconic logo and many of their album covers, as well as running the RamonesWorld.com website, died today, according to Punk magazine co-founder and “Please Kill Me” author Legs McNeil, a close friend of Vega.
RIP: ARTURO VEGA: 1948-2013 Sleep gently my dear friend, you were the must optimistic, jubilant and fun pal anyone could wish for. I don’t know what the world will be like without, nor do I want to even imagine it… But I know you will find eternal happiness wherever you end up….I love you Arturo.
As for the creation of the band’s famed logo, Vega said it was inspired by the presidential seal after he took a trip to Washington, D.C., according to to Jim Bessman’s book “Ramones: An American Band.”
Vega told the author:
“I saw them as the ultimate all-American band. To me, they reflected the American character in general — an almost childish innocent aggression… I thought, ‘The Great Seal of the President of the United States’ would be perfect for the Ramones, with the eagle holding arrows — to symbolize strength and the aggression that would be used against whomever dares to attack us — and an olive branch, offered to those who want to be friendly. But we decided to change it a little bit. Instead of the olive branch, we had an apple tree branch, since the Ramones were American as apple pie. And since Johnny was such a baseball fanatic, we had the eagle hold a baseball bat instead of the arrows.”
Vega also served as the band’s lighting director, and claimed to have been at all but two of the band’s 2,263 concerts. Check out a video interview with Vega below.
Video: Interview with Arturo Vega
PREVIOUSLY ON SLICING UP EYEBALLS
- Ramones’ 1976 debut added to the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry
- Milestones: US Festival debuted 30 years ago today — watch the Ramones’ full set
- Stream: Joey Ramone, ‘Rock ’N’ Roll Is The Answer’ — off new album ‘…Ya Know?’
- Ramones reissuing first 4 albums on 180-gram vinyl with bonus blue-vinyl 7-inches