Gumball Poodle

Remembering Arturo Vega - Friend, Artist & Designer of the World's Most Iconic T-Shirt

10 June 2013

Arturo Vega and Gumball Poodle in Las Vegas, February 2013.
Arturo Vega and Gumball Poodle at the end of a long day in Las Vegas, February 2013.[/caption] We were shocked and very saddened this past Saturday to learn of the passing of Arturo Vega. Back in 2005 we interviewed Arturo for our book Rock Tease (Abrams Image, 2006) - which was the first book ever written about vintage rock t-shirts - and had remained friendly ever since. As the designer of the Ramones' iconic logo and creator of their earliest t-shirts, Arturo had an incredible impact on pop culture...but while his history with the Ramones is great stuff, you can read about it elsewhere (see his feature interview in Rock Tease, or listen to him in this video clip.) We want to mention Arturo here because his generosity was inspiring. He never hesitated to share his time, his stories, his spirit, and in that way he was a great role model (although we think he'd laugh to hear that). Quite unlike the main stream stereotype of punks as sneering misfits and angry assholes, Arturo was very kind, articulate and talented. And, lastly, he did what he did because he loved it - not because he wanted to be a star. The last time we saw Arturo was in Las Vegas several months ago at a trade show. It was gratifying to have the designer of the world's most iconic T-shirt (the classic Ramones tee!) approve of our work; we talked about his current project, Saint Joey (honoring his good friend, Joey Ramone), and a possible collaboration. We were lucky to have known you, Arturo.