Once upon a time — or more accurately, back in the 1970s — the van reigned supreme. Riding-in right on the heels of the fading muscle car era, the custom van became the ultimate self-expression vehicle– tricked-out and personalized to show all the world just how your bad self rolled. They were badass, man– a portable pampered pad that allowed you to take all your extra-curricular activities of sorts (legal or lotharious) on the road– and there were custom shops on every corner back then that would customize your ride with a kick-ass sound system, lighting, shag carpeting, Captains chairs, beds, bubble windows, louvres, spoilers, mag wheels, custom horns, CB radios– and don’t forget to top it all off with a one-off airbrushed paint job depicting your choice of Wizard, Warlock, Wave or Western scenic. It may be time for a comeback, folks– especially with the home foreclosure rate being what it is…
Artists Rick Griffin and Anton Kelley at the poster art exhibit at the Psychedelic Poster shop in Haight-Ashbury, San Francisco, 1967. -- Image by Ted Streshinsky
Rick Griffin– surfer, cartoonist, psychedelic poster artist, legend. Born near Palos Verdes in 1944, Griffin took-up surfing at age 14. During the 50s while he was in high school, Mad magazine heavily influenced his comic stylings– but he soon found his own voice, creating his own surf style that would become iconic. Through his undeniable talent and connections, Griffin was soon working for surf legend, Greg Noll, among others. After leaving high school he joined Surfer Magazine as a staff artist– creating the legendary California surf scene character Murphy, and working his way up to Art Director by the time he was of 20. But by 1964, Griffin decided it was time to move on and see what the world outside of So Cal’s tight-knit surfer scene had for him.