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That’s Entertainment


Join Todd Marella for today's craft class.


Typically, it’s been a Clash tune that sets the tone or theme for these posts. This one is a little off topic, and this song by The Jam is what keeps playing in my head. I had it bad for them, too. How could you not? Perfect power pop, all the best gear, and those shapes… The Jam delivered in bombastic fashion sonically, of course, but visually, they were something else. Their look was sharp, smart, and tight, borrowing from an earlier era called ‘Mod,’ and propelling it forward, making what was old, modern again.


Sunday evening could have played out like any other, after having met for a drink with Korry and Hannah, after I'd stopped at See See for caffeine, earlier in the day. Upon hanging my keys on the holder in my apartment, I looked at my black Biltwell helmet sitting on the little single drawer table in the living room. I picked it up and set it on the kitchen table and cued up a mix of tunes on the Apple play list. I was feeling creative and motivated to add that certain something to the flat black dome with only my name emblazoned on the front. I wanted something bold, something different than other helmets I’ve seen. That’s Entertainment came on through the speakers. ‘That’s it,’ I said out loud. ‘Something modern, but in a 60’s/70’s sort of modern. An arrow…’ Not the crossed native American sort of motif, which is very popular, or was 5 years ago, but a big, bold arrow starting at the base of my skull and terminating at the oval surrounding my name.

With that, I went to the cabinet containing my art supplies, and retrieved all of my painting tape, including two rolls of 1/8” and one of ½”. With the ½” tape, I pulled the first piece determining what would be the end of the point, and the angle of the triangle. From there, it just sort of progressed. No measuring, just eyeballing it to get the shape of the arrow. I was pleased with the shape pretty quickly, as it seemed to come together just like that. Staring at the outline, I wasn’t quite satisfied with my original intention of a solid white arrow. I entertained blocking out my number with decals within the body, but passed upon glancing up across the room at the pizza box which contained the 85% plate and accompanying goods. Those parallel dashes. I could make this arrow mine with this fancy striping tape. I started at the point, placing a strip of 1/8”, then another, then a strip of ½”. Then, I started a pattern of ½” exposed, followed by ½” for space, and then I’d come back with the 1/8” and split the space in equal parts. This was all happening very rapidly, again, all by my not so keen old eyes, and I couldn’t have been more pleased. I’d since put That’s Entertainment on repeat.

The tape was done. I masked off the rest of the helmet, and thinking the sooner the better to apply paint, I positioned my heater next to my coffee table, grabbed the can of Montana Gold, an especially quick drying paint created by taggers for taggers, the helmet, and headed for the garage.

I’d have shot it on my balcony as I did my name, but the sun had set and it was windy. After a quick light dusting (I’m learning, less is more) I headed back upstairs and proceeded to peel tape. Voila! It turned out as I wished, and the entire process happened in an hour. Paul Weller is quoted to having written That’s Entertainment in ten minutes after coming home pissed from the pub one night. I’m pretty certain the arrows fashioned out of electrical tape on his sweater, er, um, ‘jumper,’ for the cover shot of This Is The Modern World didn’t take much time, either. The new @cycleheap decal is a perfect capper, covering the DOT sticker nicely.

That’s Entertainment. Dig.

#toddmarella #biltwell #diy #helmet #portland