Gustafer Yellowgold is a little, cone-headed guy who came to Earth from the Sun. His hobbies include punching cheese and jumping on cake. Gustafer is friends with a pterodactyl and has a pet eel named Slim and a pet dragon named Asparagus. If this sounds a bit far out and trippy….it is.
Gustafer Yellowgold was created by Morgan Taylor, a former rock musician and cartoonist. The NY Times has called his show, “a cross between ‘Yellow Submarine’ and Dr. Seuss.” He has won numerous awards, including two NAPPA Gold awards and New York Magazine named him “Best Kids’ Performer” in its 2008 Best of New York Awards.
Taylor is another one of the refreshing children’s performers, who not only has fans among the preschool set, but grown-ups really dig him too. In fact, a Gustafer Yellowgold show has been the supporting act for Wilco.
Morgan told me about Gustafer Yellowgold and his upcoming show at the Montclair Library…
Georgette: You have a background in illustration and rock music. What made you decide to combine the two and create Gustafer Yellowgold, a children’s project?
Morgan Taylor: In 2004 I was on the back end of another rock band and wanted to do something a bit different than just start another one. My wife Rachel suggested I start my ‘kids book project’ that I had been thinking of doing one day. Once I started illustrating out the lyrics to some of my quirkier songs, I saw this world beginning to emerge. The original concept was to make kids’ books with a CD in the back pocket, so there was always the thought that the image and music should be experienced together. After I had drawn out about 5 songs worth of material we met an animator who showed us how easy it was to make these little videos.
Georgette: How would you describe a Gustafer Yellowgold show?
MT: With the live shows, we’re trying to create a peaceful spectacle. The band plays the music while the videos with lyrics are running along in sync with us on a giant movie screen. It sort-of creates the same vibe as watching the DVDs but with live music and lots of crowd-interactions and participation. I also do a lot of stuff between the songs with added visuals and added details about Gustafer’s past and present life. It’s almost like I’m teaching a masters class on Gustafer!
Georgette: Did you have any idea that Gustafer Yellowgold would be such a hit with adults, or was that your goal?
MT: I didn’t realize it would be so attractive to adults until our original animator took it to a SOHO roof party and played the videos onto a giant wall and the all these twenty-somethings wanted to watch them over and over again. He called me the next morning and told me about the reaction and he was a little stunned himself. At that point we knew we had something pretty different and special.
Georgette: What brings you to Montclair?
MT: This will be our second performance at the Montclair Library. We visited back in 2007 during our tour for the 2nd DVD “Gustafer Yellowgold’s ‘Have You Never Been Yellow’?”. We are on a much longer and bigger tour for our new release that came out this month. The new DVD is called “Gustafer Yellowgold’s Mellow Fever”, and we’re excited to see the Montclair folks again and play them the new songs as well as some of the old faves!
Experience this unique blend of live music and moving image on Saturday, April 11 at the Montclair Public Library. My family will definitely be there, because, as you know, we really like concerts.