driplets0003This past season Kris Allen and Adam Lambert wore extreme handpainted shirts and jackets on “American Idol”, so did Jay Z, Kanye West, and Lady Gaga in their videos. A look, style, and technique I pioneered 25 years ago!

“In 1983, my friend and sometime business partner Allan Rinde decided to exit the music business and open a Chinese Restaurant in a Jewish neighborhood in Hollywood. I came up with a name for him, Genghis Cohen! The place was an immediate hit. Soon after, Allan asked me to take some of the burden off his shoulders and become night host. It was about this time that I had begun working with fabric paint and decided to create a unique look for myself. The first night I wore one of my painted shirts to work, I sold it off of my back for $125.00, and knew I had something special.

Soon I had all sorts of people buying my clothes including, Sarah Jessica Parker, Robert Downey, Jr, The Scorpions, Patti Dahlstrom, Sammy Davis, Jr., James Caan, Val Garay, Steve Cropper, and Luther VanDross.

erteWhen I did a couple of jackets for ERTE….the father of Art Deco….I didn’t know who he was. When I found out, I doubled my prices and landed a one man show at Bobbi Leonard’s gallery in Santa Monica. It wasn’t long before I was selling my clothing out of Fred Segals, Robinsons & Leather Force (who created Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” and “Thriller” Jackets) on Melrose Avenue.

I was really excited when I was asked to create something special for Michael. He was at the height of his career and had the biggest album in history. His old label Motown had just put out an album of unreleased masters, “Farewell My Summer Love 1984”, which included “Touch The One You Love”, which I wrote with George S. Clinton, Jr. in 1973.

I hadn’t seen Mike for a few years, but like most of the world, I was a fan of his music and his fashion. I got an idea to do something in the military style he was starting to wear, and created “Driplets” which were globs of paint on the shoulders of a sweatshirt, to resemble “Epillets” on a military dress jacket. I also dripped paint down the side of a pair of old torn jeans to complete the outfit.

A few days after I delivered my new piece to Leather Force, I was told that Michael thought it looked great, but the paint was too thick, and would be impossible to dance in!

Unfortunately, I never was able to make that style work without a lot of paint. It didn’t make a difference, however, to actresses Sarah Jessica Parker and Kelly Le Brock, Rolling Stone writer Ellen Sander, and J.D. Nicholas of the Commodores who had me create “Driplets” for them…but I guess they didn’t have to “Moonwalk” for a living.”


Copyright 2009 by Artie Wayne from his forthcoming autobiography, “I Did It For A Song” https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/about-artie-wayne/

MICHAEL JACKSON R.I.P.  ROCK IN PERPETUITY! https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2009/06/25/michael-jackson-r-i-p-rock-in-perpetuity/

THIRTY OF THE TOP,  BEST, AND GREATEST MICHAEL JACKSON VIDEOS! https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2009/06/26/top-best-and-greatest-michael-jackson-videos/

THE STORY BEHIND MICHAEL JACKSON”S “LITTLE CHRISTMAS TREE” https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2009/06/29/michael-jackson-and-the-story-behind-little-christmas-tree/

LISTEN TO MY LOST MICHAEL JACKSON TRACK FOUND ON YOUTUBE! ! https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2009/07/01/lost-michael-jackson-track-found-on-youtube-touch-the-one-you-love/

THE AMAZING SHIRT I MADE FOR MICHAEL JACKSON!https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2009/07/04/exclusive-the-amazing-shirt-i-made-for-michael-jackson/

EXCLUSIVE! MORE NEW MICHAEL JACKSON TRACKS FOUND! http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/2172551/new_michael_jackson_recordings_to_be.html

To contact George S.Clinton Jr. http://www.georgesclinton.com/

Allan Rinde http://allanrinde.com

Top photo by Patti Dahlstrom in 1984