The Who Target/Bull's-eye Logo: Anyone Know the Story?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by elvismcdouglas, Jul 28, 2008.

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  1. elvismcdouglas

    elvismcdouglas Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    bay area, ca
    I'm wondering if there's a story behind the Who's logo, the "Mod target" / bull's-eye? Over the weekend I watched a few Who movies and the VH1 Who Rock Honors and kept noticing said logo. Just curious. Thanks....
     
  2. sbroache

    sbroache Forum Resident

    Location:
    Richmond, Virginia
    I think it originates/is adapted from the London "Underground" transit railway system design
     
  3. johnny33

    johnny33 New Member

    Location:
    usa
    from wiki

    "The roundel, especially the RAF's, has been associated with British pop art of the 1960s, appearing in paintings by Jasper Johns. It became part of the pop consciousness after British rock group The Who started to wear RAF roundels (and Union Flags) as part of their stage apparel at the start of their career. Subsequently it came to symbolise Mods and the Mod Revival."

    Insteresting, I wonder why they picked it though? Just thought it looked cool?
     
  4. Their management encouraged them to be a Mod Group and wear
    pop-art symbols. Kit Lambert and Jasper Johns should share the blame!
     
  5. Cassiel

    Cassiel Sonic Reducer

    Location:
    NYC, USA
    If they'd zigged instead of zagged, as it were, on the Jasper Johns iconography, they could have ended up decked out in American flags.
     
  6. elvismcdouglas

    elvismcdouglas Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    bay area, ca
    thanks for the info!
     
  7. william shears

    william shears Active Member

    Location:
    new zealand
    Nonsense! Jasper Johns is American, one of the greatest American painters. He predated pop art though he was widely imitated by the later artists of the 60s. His flags and targets were groundbreaking and Townshend would certainly have known about them. Peter Blakes 'The First Real Target?' came after (1961) and was an homage to Johns. Again Townshend would have been more than aware. Blake lived in Chiswick and was something of a 'star' in the art world, he may have even lectured at Ealing. Townshend is on film stating that he wanted to bring colour into the visual make-up of the band as he felt the mod scene was very monochromatic. There are photos of him in his room with Johns work, Blakes work and Marcel Duchamps 'Two Hearts' on the wall.
     
  8. aoxomoxoa

    aoxomoxoa Play that fast thing one more time

    Location:
    Dayton Ohio
    Mod design.
     
  9. Cheepnik

    Cheepnik Overfed long-haired leaping gnome

    As an aside, my teenager watched The Kids Are Alright for the first time last year and was appalled that The Who were wearing shirts advertising Target stores.

    "Uh...no, son...."
     
  10. kentb47

    kentb47 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Hot Springs Ark.
    IIRC, Moon had the first on a t-shirt, with 'Elvis' and 'Pow!' on it.

    Course I might not remember that correctly.
     
  11. Matthew B.

    Matthew B. Scream Quietly

    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    Jasper Johns's targets used very conspicuous brushwork, and were usually in two colours (sometimes only one). The first picture here is one of his most famous, Target with Four Faces. Beside it is Peter Blake's The First Real Target, which actually uses an archery target. The RAF roundels might have been Pete Townshend's innovation (though Blake incorporates them into much of his later work, including the album cover for Paul Weller's Stanley Road). In early photos you can see Keith Moon wearing targets with other colour schemes, including the "Elvis" target mentioned by Kent.
     

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  12. Matthew B.

    Matthew B. Scream Quietly

    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    Three more early Peter Blake works: Self-Portrait with Badges, Tuesday, Got a Girl. His influence on the Who's visual style, and pop iconography in general, is pretty obvious. Richard Evans's album covers for Who's Missing and Two's Missing are direct homages to Blake, and Blake himself designed the cover for Face Dances. But Blake's most famous album sleeve design was done for another British group.
     

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  13. Matthew B.

    Matthew B. Scream Quietly

    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    I don't think the Who ever used that logo, but other pop art groups have made use of it.
     

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